On his second appearance on The Johnny Cash Show, Ray Charles performed Cash’s hit, “Ring Of Fire”. Do you think that at that time they knew that they’d both have biopics made in the new millennium, for which the actors portraying them would win Academy Awards?
The “King Of Pop” turns 50 today. Say what you like about ole Mike, but in his day, he was a great performer.
Here he is performing “Billie Jean” at Motown’s 25 year anniversary:
And here’s his best and scariest video, “Thriller”:
This was pretty darn scary when you’re 9 years old!
After retiring from the screen and stage in 1971, Sinatra made a triumphant return in 1974. Here he is at Madison Square Garden at a very youthful 59. The voice had lost a little, but he always made up for it with showmanship and style.
For more from Frank Sinatra. Click here.
As lead singer of The Animals, Eric Burdon was at the forefront of the British Invasion. The band’s, “House Of The Rising Sun”, was a #1 hit in the US, UK, Sweden and Canada in 1964. The song tells of life gone awry in New Orleans. Here is the song as it appeared in 1965′s Pop Gear:
The Animals sound was one that merged R&B and blues into pop tunes. Eric’s voice was at times pleading and longing at others, wrathful and angry with a sharp edge and a growl. Here they are with the written for Nina Simone song, 1965′s, “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”:
“Paint It Black” from Monterrey:
Burdon was known for his wild man ways and partied with Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison & Alexis Korner. The “egg man” from The Beatles, “I Am The Walrus”, was supposedly based on Burdon’s fondness for cracking raw eggs on friends and foes alike. A hard drinker, Eric Burdon was known to consume liters upon liters of alcohol daily.
The Animals continued until 1969. Burdon then joined funky southern California jam band, War. Their first release, “Eric Burdon Declares War”, was released in 1971 and yielded the following song, “Spill The Wine”:
Burdon split from War in 1974 and went solo. To this day, he continues to perform solo shows, shows with The Animals and collaborates sporadically with The Doors’ Robbie Krieger. Here he is from 2008, displaying a voice that is still as strong as ever, performing “The House Of The Rising Sun”:
1. Tangled Up In Blue
2. Simple Twist Of Fate
3. You’re A Big Girl Now
4. Idiot Wind
5. You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome
6. Meet Me In The Morning
7. Lily, Rosemary and The Jack of Hearts
8. If You See Her, Say Hello
9. Shelter From The Storm
10. Buckets Of Rain
8/30/69 Dallas International Motor Speedway, Lewisville, Texas
1. Introduction-> Introduction (real song title) (6:45)
2. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is (5:02)
3. South California Purples (7:05)
4. Beginnings (6:20)
5. 25 or 6 to 4 (5:43)
6. –announcements– (0:50) (8-31-69)
7. I’m A Man (7:23) (8-31-69)
Okay Doc Brown, let’s hop into the DeLorean and floor it. Set the controls for 1987 and hit 88, pronto! We’ll head to Hebron, NY and stop by for the afternoon at Ian McLean’s farm and catch some pre-Junta Phish. Bring some treats for Marley, okay? Sounds fun, no? Well, until one of us can perfect the flux capacitor, we have to wait for the return of Phish.
08/21/87 Ian McLean’s Farm, Hebron, NY
Set I: Dog Log, Peaches en Regalia, The Divided Sky, Funky Bitch, Harry Hood, Clod, The Curtain, Light Up or Leave Me Alone, Shaggy Dog, Wilson, Camel Walk
Set II: Mike’s Song, Harpua> Bundle of Joy> Harpua> Golgi Apparatus> Sparks, Flat Fee, Skin It Back> Low Rider> Back Porch> The Sloth
Set III: Big Black Furry Creature from Mars, McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters> Stir it Up Jam> Makisupa Policeman> David Bowie> Sanity, Swing Low
Sly’s always been a peculiar cat. We won’t get into details here as we like to keep things mostly positive, but it would be remiss to not mention that he hasn’t always been the most reliable and considerate performer, but when he was good, he was outtasight! Here he is performing at an awards show in 1975. You will recognize several phrases and snatches of his songs that have been sampled into other performer’s music (ie. The Beastie Boys).
For good measure, here’s what we are talking about. It’s the Beasties with “Shadrach”:
Here he is on The Dick Cavett Show in 1970:
The first album I ever bought was Paul McCartney’s 1982 release, Tug Of War. The first cassette I ever bought was in 1985 and it was Donovan’s Greatest Hits. You’d have never thought that I was a 11 year old, huh? I loved the simplicity in his songs, “Catch The Wind” and “Mellow Yellow”, while I loved the psychedelia of “Season Of The Witch’ and “Sunshine Superman”, then of course you have, “First There Is A Mountain”. All great tunes.
Here is Donovan with “Catch The Wind”:
And here’s “Mellow Yellow” with an introduction by famed San Francisco promoter, Bill Graham:
February 1975. Gerald Ford was in office. The Vietnam War was winding down. We had yet to witness the heroics of Carlton Fisk in game six of the ’75 World Series. America was preparing to celebrate the bicentennial and Led Zeppelin were the undisputed kings of the world. After releasing Zeppelin I-IV, Houses Of The Holy and Physical Graffiti, Zeppelin was the nadir of their collective power. Robert Plant would often the question at the start of their shows, “are you ready for three hours of lunacy?”. After logging in 7 years as a touring machine with a viking mentality, Zeppelin was coming to your town and you better lock up your girlfriend. Here we find Zep firing on all cylinders as they tear through 3 hours of crowd pleasing favorites and a couple of tunes off the new album, Physical Graffiti.
1. Rock And Roll
2. Sick Again
3. Over The Hills And Far Away
4. In My Time Of Dying
5. The Song Remains The Same
6. The Rain Song
8. No Quarter
9. Trampled Underfoot
10. Moby Dick
11. Dazed And Confused > San Francisco
12. Stairway To Heaven
13. Whole Lotta Love
14. Black Dog
15. Heartbreaker > That’s Alright
As we metioned yesterday, the Woodstock Music And Arts Festival started on this weekend in 1969. The festival ran from the 15th through the 17th on Max Yasgur’s farm in the rural town of Bethel, NY. It’s widely regarded as one of, if not the most influential event in rock and roll history. Tickets for the three day event cost the princely sum of $18, but most didn’t pay for their tickets and for most intents and purposes, Woodstock has been considered a free event. Concert organizers had expected 200,000 patrons, but what they got was roughly 500,000(!). Obviously the festival was not prepared for such an enormous turnout, so water supply, toilet facilities, etc., were creature comforts the concert goers had to do without.
The festival started with Richie Havens plucking and singing his version of soulful folk music and wove through several different genres and styles throughout the weekend. Some of the highlights were: Crosby, Stills & Nash- performing an acoustic set and an electric set, Canned Heat, Janis Joplin, Santana, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sly And The Family Stone, The Who (Yippie Activist, Abbie Hoffman stormed the stage and stole the microphone before it was regained), The Grateful Dead (whose set was marred by technical difficulties), Jefferson Airplane, Ten Years After, The Band, Paul Butterfield, and of course, Jimi Hendrix’s career defining early morning set.
The Beatles were asked to play, but John Lennon refused unless Yoko’s Plastic Ono Band could play as well. John and Yoko were turned down…Cold. Others that declined for various reasons were: The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, Frank Zappa, Spirit, Bob Dylan, etc., etc.
The festival was filmed and released in 1970 as “Woodstock”.
Santana’s Soul Sacrifice:
Janis Joplin’s Try:
Joe Cocker’s With A Little Help From My Friends:
Ten Years After’s I’m Going Home:
Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit:
Crosby, Stills & Nash’s Suite: Judy Blue Eyes:
The Who’s Pinball Wizard:
Sly And The Family Stone’s I Want To Take You Higher:
….. and of course, Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child:
Liverpool’s lads take home 4 of the top ten (of course). Link to story.
Nothing too surprising here, but here’s the top ten:
Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles
Sounds, The Beach Boys
61 Revisited, Bob Dylan
Soul, The Beatles
Going On, Marvin Gaye
on Main Street, The Rolling Stones
Calling, The Clash
on Blonde, Bob Dylan
Beatles (“The White Album”), The Beatles
(Taken from a 2003 issue.)
39 years ago today the Woodstock Music & Arts Festival started its legendary mark on popular music. Here we have Sly & The Family Stone attempting to take us higher.
Eric, Steve, Ginger & Ricky Grech performing at Hyde Park in 1969.
Taken from a Parisian show in 1971. Love Power Peace era James gettin’ down.
And by the way, James, it is funky now!
A little post bi-centenial Band action for ya, courtesy of our new friend Tim at Music Junkie. Mid-August 1976 found the band tired and burned out of constant touring (sound familiar?). Their legendary retirement shows, captured in “The Last Waltz” was but a mere three months away. This show finds them mustering their collective strength and flexing their musical muscle. Taken from a pre-FM recording. Download here.
Just some nice morning music to get you up and moving…
It had been roughly 40 years since Blind Faith had formed that Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood teamed up on this night in late February of 2008. With a dream setlist that wove through the career of both performers, this show brought the heat and intensity that was thought to be beyond the realm of possibility. Celebrate this special evening by clicking here. Available for download or stream.
Just a classic performance here, folks. Jimi, 1967, The Wind Cries Mary. I’ve probably heard this song 5000 times in my life, but I still love it. And I guess I always will.