Rock Chain #32: Sensational!

alex-harvey

This is something I used to do in a magazine I used to edit a couple of years ago. I took the idea from a column that used to appear on Scientific American magazine written by a British scientist called James Burke. His column was called “Connections” and consisted in relating history and science facts that were linked by a word until the cycle was finished. I just adapted it to Rock And Roll. Now, I’ll try to resurrect it here in the blog once a month.

Alex Harvey was the frontman of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band which featured Ted McKenna on drums.

Ted McKenna later on, went to play for a short period with Ian Gillan.

Ian Gillan rates his passage through Black Sabbath as disastrous, although many people (including yours truly) really like the Born Again album. The riff from “Zero the Hero” has an uncanny resemblance to the one on “Paradise City” from Guns and Roses.

Guns and Roses original guitarist was Tracii Guns, who left before the first album and formed L.A. Guns.

L.A. Guns original line-up had Phil Lewis as a vocalist, coming from British Glam Rockers, Girl.

Girl’s guitarist was Phil Collen, who later replaced Pete Willis in Def Leppard.

Def Leppard’s drummer Rick Allen lost his arm in automobile accident in the end of 1984 which lost the band the opportunity of playing Rock in Rio I in January 1985. They were replaced by Whitesnake.

Whitesnake sessions for their first LP had Jon Lord as keyboardist replacing Pete Solley from Procol Harum.

Procol Harum has a rather unique characteristic: their line-up has a member who doesn’t do anything except write lyrics, Keith Reid.

Keith Reid also wrote the lyrics for the hit-single “You’re The Voice” a moderate success in 1991, because of the first Gulf War, for American band, Heart.

Heart’s latest single has some cool backing vocals by James Hetfield from Metallica.

Metallica’s song “The Memory Remains” has a guest appearance by Marianne Faithful.

Marianne Faithful had a success with “As Tears Goes By” originally by the Rolling Stones.

The Rolling Stones first record label was Decca, who almost went down in history as the label who rejected The Beatles.

The Beatles were once called The Silver Beetles with John, Paul, George, Stuart Sutcliffe and Tommy Moore and they played Allentown Hall in Scotland with Johnny Gentle as Johnny Gentle and His Group in 1960.

Do you know who supported them? Alex Harvey and his Big Beat Band.

Be sure to check out my book “Straight and Lethal”

You can contact me at: carloantico666@gmail.com

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Rock Chain #13: Cape Crusader

Rick Wakeman

This is something I used to do in a magazine I used to edit a couple of years ago. I took the idea from a column that used to appear on Scientific American magazine written by a British scientist called James Burke. His column was called “Connections” and consisted in relating history and science facts that were linked by a word until the cycle was finished. I just adapted it to Rock And Roll. Now, I’ll try to resurrect it every first Friday of the month here at the blog.

Reading about keyboardist Rick Wakeman the other day, I remembered he tickled the ivories for a lot of bands besides Yes, including Black Sabbath, on the song “Sabbra Cadabra”, from the album Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.

“Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” is also the song that the band Godspeed played on the Nativity in Black – A Tribute to Black Sabbath album. They had an invaluable help from none other than Bruce Dickinson, who sang the song.

Bruce Dickinson, currently convalescing from treatment on a tumor in his tongue, was the singer on Samson, before joining Iron Maiden. Samson was one of the leading names from the NWOBHM that never fulfilled its potential, just like Angel Witch or Tygers of Pan Tang.

Tygers of Pan Tang had on their formation the talented John Sykes, who went to find fame and fortune with Thin Lizzy and specially Whitesnake.

Whitesnake which in May will release an album called The Purple Album made up of re-recordings from the David Coverdale-era of Deep Purple.

Deep Purple whose current guitarist, Steve Morse is also a member of the Jazz-Rock combo Dixie Dregs, alongside drummer Rod Morgenstein, also a member of Hard Rock band, Winger.

Winger’s leader Kip Winger, was once member of Alice Cooper recording the albums Constrictor and Raise Your Fist and Yell.

Alice Cooper was recently announced as participant of the Rock USA Festival along bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Def Leppard and Judas Priest.

Those who are older might remember that the Judas Priest’s song “Eat me Alive” was on the PMRC filthy fifteen list. Other artists on that list included Prince, Wasp and Twisted Sister.

Twisted Sister whose leader Dee Snider said recently won’t be releasing new music anymore because people are just not interested. This statement is similar (although much lighter) than that which said “Rock is dead” made by Gene Simmons not so long ago.

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are confessed anglophiles. It’s no accident that the the intro song for Kiss shows for some years now is The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again”.

The Who, whose bass player John Entwistle was a fixture at a pub in London called Red Lion, where a lot of professional musicians used to gather to jam in the mid-sixties.

Do you know who, only 17 at the time, also used to go to the Red Lion Pub? Keyboardist Rick Wakeman.

Current playlist:

Reading:

Prince Lestat – Anne Rice

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – Stephen King

Be sure to check out my book “Straight And Lethal” winner of the NABE Pinnacle Awards 2014 Fall edition.

NewPinnacleAward3D2 (1)

You can contact me at: carloantico666@gmail.com

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Rock Chain # 5: Cover versions and influences

DAN

This is something I used to do in a magazine I used to edit a couple of years ago. I took the idea from a column that used to appear on Scientific American magazine written by a British scientist called James Burke. His column was called “Connections” and consisted in relating history and science facts that were linked by a word until the cycle was finished. I just adapted it to Rock And Roll. Now, I’ll try to resurrect it every first Friday of the month here at the blog.

All of us who are huge Rock fans recently regretted the retirement of singer Dan McCafferty. Dan is often quoted as a huge influence on Axl Rose and was the lead singer for Scottish rockers Nazareth.

Nazareth once recorded a killer version of Joni Mitchell’s “This Flight Tonight”. Joni is an enormous influence on the Wilson sisters from Heart, who even included a version of her song “River” in their The Road Home unplugged album.

The Road Home was all arranged by John Paul Jones, former Led Zeppelin bassist and close friend of both sisters. John Paul Jones, whose real name is John Baldwin, was also part of Them Crooked Vultures with Josh Homme from Queens Of The Stone Age and Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters.

Dave Grohl, who is an enormous Beatles fan, performed a brilliant version of the Fab Four’s “Hey Bulldog” at the ceremony honoring 50 years of the boys from Liverpool first visit to the US.

“Hey Bulldog” had also one of the coolest versions in an album called Butchering The Beatles: A Headbashing Tribute. In this album it was played by Alice Cooper.

Alice Cooper is hilariously depicted as an extremely educated person – which he actually is – in that priceless “We are not worth it” scene in Wayne’s World.

Wayne’s World also shows actress Tia Carrere as a Rock singer doing a great version of the immortal “Ballroom Blitz” from Sweet in the end.

Sweet who also had “Ballroom Blitz” covered by Swiss band Krokus and “Action” and “Blockbuster” covered by British countrymen Def Leppard.

Def Leppard who couldn’t be part of Rock In Rio in ’85 due to drummer Rick Allen’s accident that amputated his arm. Their spot was taken by Whitesnake.

Whitesnake whose singer David Coverdale recorded (unfortunately) only one album with the project Coverdale/Page alongside Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page.

Jimmy Page, as we all know, formed Led Zeppelin from The Yardbirds who have an album called “Little Games” in a recently released collection called Original Album Series: Psychedelia.

This collection also features a band called Tomorrow which is the first band from Yes’ Steve Howe and in their album featured here there’s a song called “My White Bicycle”.

Do you know who also recorded “My White Bicycle”? Scottish rockers Nazareth.

Be sure to check out my book “Straight And Lethal”.

You can contact me at: carloantico666@gmail.com

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