Category Classic Rock

LITTLE DITTY ‘BOUT JACK & DIANE: Holding On To Sixteen Forty Years Later

Forty years ago, one of the big hits of the day during my senior year of high school was, for better or worse, “Jack & Diane” by John Cougar (the Mellencamp moniker was still a few years away). It was a ubiquitous soundtrack playing everywhere on any given day — outside at my school’s parking lot, cranking from cars and boom boxes, and emanating across the football field.

BACK TO THE FUTURE: Sno-Cone Songs, Sherbert Pants, and other Fashion Faux Pas of the ’80s Stones

Funny how back at the dawn of the ’80s, the punks, goth kids, and New Wavers thought the Stones were dinosaurs lumbering from a prehistoric age, lumbering toward the conclusion of their two-decade run after having outlasted everyone else from the black-and-white TV generation. Little did any of us know that unlike the T. Rex — they even outlasted him — the beasts of burden weren’t even at the halfway mark. 

HEART OF THE STONES: In Praise of Charlie Watts, June 2, 1941-August 24, 2021

“Charlie’s good tonight in’nit he?” — Mick Jagger, Madison Square Garden, 1969. Charlie Watts’s drum kit was a pitch-perfect reflection of the man who sat behind it for The Rolling Stones for nearly 60 years: modest yet essential. Charlie famously eschewed rock drum solos as frivolous, show-offy expressions of ego. A lifelong jazz devotee and […]

Smashing Mirrors & Smashed Guitars: Pete Townshend, Purveyor Of Power Chords, Turns Seventy Five

The sentiment of my original story still holds. Happy 75th Birthday, Mr. Townshend, and many more.  So glad you didn’t die before you got old. You had so much more to say and do. And in turn, over the years you’ve certainly inspired me (and many others) to listen to, live through, and reflect upon, […]

Welcome To The Breakfast Show: 50 Years of Living With Let It Bleed

Talk about setting a high bar. How do you match an album (1968’s “Beggars Banquet”) that has “Sympathy For The Devil” as its opener? Simple. Make “Gimme Shelter” the opening salvo on your follow-up record. Some of us didn’t need a big box set (out now) marking the golden anniversary of “Let It Bleed” to […]

STONED BRUSSELS ON THE BISCUIT: Revisiting The Legendary ’73 Radio Broadcast

As a small tribute to today’s birthday boy, guitarist extraordinaire Mick Taylor, (who turns an improbable Seven-O), here’s my take on one of the most famously obsessed-over, and mythologized slabs of live rock & roll of the past 50 years that Mr. Taylor was intrinsic to bringing to life — and which, until fairly recently, wasn’t even officially released (and even then, as a mostly digital-only treat). Hence this review, written by my alter-ego “Leedslungs71,” of another enterprising foray into the nether realm of unofficial, fan recordings that have kept this blistering concert and indelible moment alive and humming across generations of listeners for more than forty years. (This piece first appeared at the terrific Collectors Music Reviews blog and website, which is populated by those of us who care about such things).

A ROOM AT THE TOP OF THE WORLD: Tom Petty, 1950-2017

He became a stadium superstar in later years, but Tom Petty’s early, brilliant records of underdog striving were what got us (and many other kids tuned in to their radios during the ’70s) hooked. Our appreciation of the man on what would have been his 67th birthday Friday.

WALTER BECKER (1950-2017), STEELY DAN’S CO-ARCHITECT OF IMPOSSIBLE COOL

What sometimes seemed like so much shiny “Pop” on the outside  — and yes, much of it certainly was intelligent, immaculately crafted pop music (“Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”; “Hey Nineteen,” “FM” etc.) — Steely Dan’s music held a far more slippery substance, both instrumentally and lyrically, that simmered and squirmed inside that lacquered shell of crisp studio perfection.

The Luckiest Man Alive: Happy Birthday Ringo Starr, The Man Who Brought The Beat To The Beatles

Happy 77th (!) Ringo! Source: The Luckiest Man Alive: Happy Birthday Ringo Starr, The Man Who Brought The Beat To The Beatles

ONE WAY OUT: Gregg Allman, 1947-2017

Along with his brothers (biological, spiritual, musical or otherwise) , Allman certainly left his mark on the vast and variegated landscape of American rock & roll and the deep reservoirs of blues, soul, gospel, and country from which his group’s music drew.

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