Friday, December 21, 2012

Rock and Roll Xmas Spectacular

As a special holiday message to y’all, my Constant Readers, I wanted to share this video of an outfit from St Cloud, MN called “Slip Twister,” who, every year at this time, turns on the holiday charm with traditional Christmas music set to the tune of your favorite classic rock. Check ‘em out, have a great holiday season, and keep on rockin’!

Friday, December 14, 2012

She Was Just 17...

On this day in rock history, in 1999, Paul McCartney, David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) and Ian Paice (Deep Purple) perform at The Beatles old stomping grounds, Liverpool’s Cavern Club. The concert is broadcast on the Internet. End of an era, and the millennium, for sure – notice how everyone has that Beatle hop head bobbin’ thing goin’ on. Thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin’

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Keeps Me Happy...

On this day in rock history, in 1965, an electrical short knocks out Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards during a Sacramento concert. Richards takes about ten minutes to get back up to speed. He finishes the show. These days it might take him an hour or so, but Richards rolls on. Here’s some recent footage of the Stones’ show at the O2 arena in London. Rock on, Keef! Thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin’!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Footstompin’ Music

On this date in rock history, in 1971, Grand Funk Railroad releases “E Pluribus Funk.” The critics bash the album but the fans buy it. I’ve always been a big fan – I saw them live in Iowa City in 1976 or ‘77; at that time they were one of the loudest (if not the loudest) bands around. Let’s take a look at one of the songs from that album – must be nice to have an extra B-3 laying around for Mark Farner to play a couple of chords on - and does the man even own a shirt?! I also like Don Brewer’s bolero look – cute! Thanks to for the info, enjoy, and keep on rockin’!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sometimes I feel Like I’m Dyin...

… too true, too true…Today in rock history, in 1971, Allman Brothers Band guitarist Duane Allman is laid to rest. The group, plus Dr. John and Bonnie Bramlett, perform at the service. Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident three days earlier, at the age of 23, which is the age of my oldest son right now. Kid, stay off of motorcycles (unlike your old man) and you'll make it to 24 and beyond. Let’s celebrate his life by checking out this vid (for all of you folks who always yell “Whippin’ Post” at rock concerts, this one’s for you!) Thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin’!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

This Could be the Last Time…

But it wasn’t…On this day in rock history, in 1964, the Rolling Stones perform for the first time on CBS-TV’s The Ed Sullivan Show. It's a riotous debut. Following the appearance, Sullivan vows to never have the group on the show again. “It took me 17 years to build this show,” he says. “I’m not going to have it destroyed in a matter of weeks.” Of course, Sullivan relents. I don't think I've ever seen the Stones do this tune "live" - check out Jagger's 2 or 3 second harmonica solo near the end of the song. Thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin’!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

… And the Livin’ is Easy…

Today in rock history, in 1970, Janis Joplin dies from what is termed an “accidental heroin overdose.” She checks out before fellow ‘60s icons Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison. Oh Janis, we hardly knew ye! Let’s celebrate her life by checking out this vintage video. Thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin’!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Tighten Up Your Wig!

On this date in rock history, Steppenwolf bassist Nick St. Nicholas is born with the name Klaus Karl Kassbaum in Plon, Germany. His family immigrated to Toronto after WWII. Later, Nicholas split for L.A. and joined Steppenwolf (replacing Rushton Moreve). His was fired from the band in ’70 for a number of reasons including playing a Fillmore East gig wearing only bunny ears and a jock strap. George Biondi then became the Steppenwolf's bassist but Nicholas rejoined the group from ’76 to ’80. Well, what’s wrong with that? Lots of people wear little or nothing when playing on stage (remember the Ladybirds, a ‘60’s-‘70’s topless all-girl group – you should!)! Enjoy some early Steppenwolf (this song is a thinly disguised version of Junior Wells’ “Messin’ with the Kid.” and talks about stealing riffs from other songs), thanks to, and keep on rockin’!

Friday, September 14, 2012

I Ain’t Superstitious…

… when a black cat cross my door... On this date in rock history, in 1968, the Jeff Beck Group’s “Truth” album enters the charts. The Beck Group has Rod Stewart and future Rolling Stone Ron Wood (on bass). I always like Beck’s cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s “I Ain’t Superstitious,” which, as indicated in the liner notes, is “4:51 of my guitar being sick.” … drummer Micky Waller’s solo ain’t bad, either. Thanks to and for the info, and keep on rockin’!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Send All Your Money, Money, Money…

On this date in rock history, in 1972, John Lennon and Yoko Ono make an appearance on the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon. A reggae version of “Give Peace a Chance!?” Blood Clot, Mon! Thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin’!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Uneasy Rider

Hiking along the Stillwater river in the Beartooth Range. Tubing down the Yellowstone River near Columbus, MT. Crossing Beartooth pass at over 10,000 feet and shivering. Eating a buffalo burger in Cody, WY. Gorge-watching on the Chief Joseph Highway. Rolling along I-90 towards Gillette, WY in strong crosswinds. Arriving in Deadwood, SD the day after Sturgis (you can get a table in any restaurant you want). Eating an elk burger at Old No 10 Saloon in Deadwood. Rolling up the Iron Mountain highway in the Black Hills – switchback city and hairpin county. Crossing the Missouri river near Chamberlain, SD in a torrential downpour and vicious crosswinds...

These are some of my experiences on a 3 day, 1200 mile motorcycle trip taken this summer with my cuz, Steve. He on his 2012 Harley Road Glide, me on my 1990 Honda Pacific Coast (aka “the Tupperwaremobile”), which never missed a beat.

Luckily we never had the problems that Wyatt and Billy had - only nice people on our trip and no rednecks!

Thanks and keep on rockin'

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pickin' and Grinnin'

Constant readers may remember a post from a couple of years ago entitled "Jammin' at Merkle's". Let's just call this one "Merkle's II" and leave it at that = thanks to Greg for the good shootin', and keep on rockin!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Where the Skies Are So Blue…

Today in rock history, in 1974, "Hope Neil Young will remember, a southern man don’t need him around anyhow." Lynyrd Skynyrd release “Sweet Home Alabama,” a response to Neil Young's critical "Southern Man." Another bit of trivia – Ed King, who was one of Skynyrd’s guitarists at the time, is credited with writing the main riff for the song. I had the opportunity to jam with Ed in the Spring of 1970 when he came to the Roof Garden ballroom in Arnold’s Park, IA when he was with the Strawberry Alarm Clock. If I remember right, we jammed on “Politician” for about 20 minutes…heck of a jam, for sure! Here’s an ... interesting cover of the song. Gee, wish I had hair like that and a drum kit built into a tractor! Thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin’!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Really North of Anywhere!

It’s that time again folks – it’s Windsor time! It's that magic time when we all gather in northern Wisconsin, and, in between the sunstroke and mosquito bites, we rock til' we drop. Time for the Windsor Bar’s 4th annual open house and band jam, held near Barnes, WI 7-21. The fun starts at 6 PM and goes on until we drop. Here’s a little preview from last year’s gig – c’mon up; you won’t be sorry you made the drive!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Gathers No Moss…

On this date in rock and roll history in 1962, the Rolling Stones make their live debut at the Marquee Club in London (a group name founder Brian Jones picked at random from a Muddy Waters album he spotted while on the phone with the promoter). The band at this point features Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Jones, with Dick Taylor, later of the Pretty Things, on bass and Tony Chapman on drums. The band is paid 20 pounds. Nice work if you can get it! And the rest, as they say, is history…Thanks to for the info, and I hope to still be rockin’ 50 years from now!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Where the Action Is, baby

Today in rock history, in 1965, Dick Clark's latest rock n' roll variety show, Where The Action Is, premieres on ABC-TV, featuring performances by Jan & Dean, Dee Dee Sharp and Linda Scott, (and lots of kids in swim trunks and bikinis) and also introducing a new house band called Paul Revere and the Raiders. This clip shows what a bunch of clowns these guys were, and how they made a joke out of the lip-syncing they were obviously doing and weren’t trying to hide. And, BTW, RIP, World’s Oldest Teen-Ager…Thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin’!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sir Lew Who?

Today in rock history, in 1975, John Lennon makes what would prove to be his last TV appearance, performing "Imagine" and a cover of Little Richard's "Slippin' And Slidin'" on the ABC special A Salute To Sir Lew Grade. Ok, I’ve never seen this one before, and, well, make of it what you will…but, geez, this one is weirdsville for sure. Thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin’!

P.S. Sorry, no thumbnail – embedding has been disabled or whatever, but you get the idea…

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hey Grandma..

… or perhaps they were actually thinking of someone a bit younger… today in rock history, in 1967, cementing the promising hippie-folk band's downfall, three members of Moby Grape are arrested for allegedly "consorting" with underage schoolgirls. Happens to the best of us, I guess. I didn’t even know they were at Monterey, but it figures…here’s some live tunes from that historic festival. Thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin’, but carefully and legally!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Kids Are Alright…

… or not…Today in rock history, in 1976, The Who secures its place as the World's Loudest Rock Band with a 120-decibel, 76,000-watt blast of a performance at Charlton Athletic Grounds in London. The record would stand for nearly a decade. Huh? What did you say? This could be one of the reasons Pete Townsend (and me, for that matter), can’t hear squat these days. Let’s enjoy a vid from Pete and the boys from that gig, thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin’!

Friday, May 25, 2012

6 Days on the Road...

... and I'm gonna make it home tonight...some of my constant readers may know of my retirement plan to hit the road again drivin' those big rigs. To that end, after attending a 16 hour refresher course at a local driving school, I secured my "Class A" CDL on 5-9. I am ready to roll now, for when retirement time is right. So in honor of my achievement, I thought I'd find a unique cover of the ol' Dave Dudley song, and here is Steve Earle and the Dukes beltin' out this tune back in '87. Keep on rockin' and of course, keep on truckin'!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

… Didn’t You?...

On this date in rock history, in 1966, Bob Dylan, who had recently "gone electric" and added rock and roll instruments to his folk music, appears at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, England; just before he begins a version of his latest hit, "Like A Rolling Stone," a member of the audience, a folk purist angry at the move to rock, shouts out, "Judas!" Dylan responds with "I don't believe you," adding, "You're a liar!" Then proceeds to tell the band to play the song "f****** loud." Or did it really happen that way? Here’s another view…Thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin’!

Friday, May 11, 2012

It Was His Cross to Bear…

On this date in rock history, in 1975, Cher's new boyfriend, rocker Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers, appears as a guest on her CBS-TV show Cher. Here’s the “softer” side of Greg with Cher before things went “south.” You can also read all about it in excerpts from Gregg’s new biography “My Cross to Bear:” Thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin’!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Let Me Hear Ya Say “Yeah...”

Today in rock history, in 1964, Stevie Wonder, performing "Fingertips," makes his debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. Here is the 14 year old harmonica “wonder” playing a Hohner chromatic, and doin' the Watusi and the Frug (or whatever they were) to boot...Thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin'!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

40,000 Headmen

Today in rock history, in 1968, Traffic makes their US debut at the Fillmore East. They probably did this song…enjoy, thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin’!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bounce Back

If you are a fan of NBC's “The Office,” then you are probably aware of Dunder Mifflin's resident curmudgeon, Creed Bratton, who has been known to play the occaisional hot guitar solo, in between his sarcastic gibes. Where does that come from, you wonder? What you may not know is that, back in the turbulent '60's, Creed was a member of the Grass Roots, that seminal LA pop-rock band created by P. F. Sloan and Steve Barri. What you may also not know is that Creed, at age 69, is still a performing and recording musician, most recently releasing an album in 2006 called “Bounce Back.” Let's take a look at Creed yesterday and today - keep on rockin' Creed!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I've Got a Black Magic Woman...

Today in rock history, in 1970, Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green leaves the group to do “what God will have me to do,’ after joining a commune in Munich and taking one too many LSD trips. Green, one of the founding members of the Mac and 38th on Rolling Stone magazine’s top 100 guitarists, came to the Mac from replacing Eric Clapton in the Bluesbreakers. This was said about Green by the recording engineer right prior to his first recording session with the Bluesbreakers: “As the band walked in the studio I noticed an amplifier which I never saw before, so I said to John Mayall, ‘Where's Eric Clapton?’ Mayall answered, ‘He's not with us anymore, he left us a few weeks ago.’ I was in a shock of state (sic) but Mayall said, ‘Don't worry, we got someone better.’ I said, ‘Wait a minute, hang on a second, this is ridiculous. You've got someone better??? Than Eric Clapton???’ John said, ‘He might not be better now, but you wait, in a couple of years he's going to be the best.’ Then he introduced me to Peter Green.” Well, maybe not better than Clapton (but who knows what would have happened if fate had not intervened?), but a blues guitar giant in his own right. Let’s check out some of his best work (along with co-guitarist Danny Kirwan), thanks to and for the info, and keep on rockin’

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Whiter Shade of Fail…

Today in rock history, in 2008, a London Court of Appeal reverses an ‘06 ruling that gave Procol Harum keyboardist Matthew Fisher a 40 percent stake in the royalties on the group's signature hit, the ‘67 single "A Whiter Shade Of Pale." Frontman Gary Brooker retains all of the song's commercial rights. The ruling is based on Fisher's "excessive and inexcusable delay (38 years) in his claim to assert joint title to a joint interest in the work." An update, though, according to his website, is that he has made a publishing agreement with the publisher of the song, so apparently he is getting some piece of the pie. It’s still a great tune, and one that I continue to work on, on and off, on my Hammond – maybe someday I’ll get it!. Thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin’!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gonna Buy Five Copies for My Mother...

Today in rock history, in 1973, Dr. Hook gets on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine largely by singing about wanting to be there. Rolling Stone’s credibility never really recovers. Man, this would be a great song to cover (ha ha get it?) so I’ll let you know how that goes! Thanks to for the info; you can see the cover here at; keep on rockin’!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wiggle like an eel, waddle like a duck…

That's the way you do it when you do the Hucklebuck… On this day in rock and roll history, in 1952, a rather auspicious beginning, it’s the first Rock n’ Roll concert. Put on by Cleveland DJ Alan Freed, it was a five-act show called "The Moondog Coronation Ball" held at the Cleveland Arena. This event is known as the first rock and roll concert. Crowds attended in numbers far beyond the arena's capacity, and the concert was shut down early due to overcrowding, a near-riot and vandalism after only one song played (“The Hucklebuck,” a then-popular local dance craze, by Paul Williams and the Hucklebuckers). Everybody has a great time. Thanks to and for the info; check out the poster at, and keep on rockin’!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

When You Touch Down…

… you’ll find it’s stranger than known…Today in rock history, in 1966 the Byrds release "Eight Miles High." Way ahead of the curve, the song’s psychedelic overtones plus a radio ban (due to “drug references”) cause it to stall at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. Check out what looks to me to be the drummer’s bored sigh at about 1:08 (either that or he’s in pain). Well, Mr. Clarke, if you didn’t want to be there, I’d have gladly changed places with you! Also check out bass player Hillman’s bass chords at about 3:10 - a truly great underrated bassist! Thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin’!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

It May Give You Warts…

Today in rock history, in 1968, the definitive (and lengthy – 16:51) version of “Toad” is recorded at Fillmore West in San Francisco (2nd show). The original studio-take appears on Cream’s debut “Fresh Cream.” This version is found on the studio/live “Wheels Of Fire,” the first double-album to go platinum. One time, in that same year, I was playing this solo with my band at a gig at the Music Box Ballroom in Omaha, and I was into it so much I broke a bass drum head. Extreme, yes, and, ultimately expensive; it hadn’t happened before or since. Here’s a vid of ol’ Ginger at his 70th birthday party showing that the Master has still got it! Thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin’ – but gently!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Well, It’s-a One for the Money,

… two for the show…Today in rock history, in 1956, Carl Perkins’ “Blue Suede Shoes” enters the pop charts. Carl, along with Elvis, Johnny and Jerry Lee, was a pioneering Sun Records artist and George Harrison's favorite guitarist. While other Sun artists moved over to the country “dark side,” Carl continued to record rockabilly classics until his death in 1998. Slim pickin’s today, since leap day happens about once every four years, so this is what we got. Here’s an obscure, really funky cover of the tune done by none other than Jimi Hendrix. Be patient; they finally get into the song at about 2:23. Thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin’!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Suzy Creamcheese…

… honey, what’s got into ya? Today in rock history, in 1971, a London performance of “200 Motels” by Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention is cancelled because Royal Albert Hall officials deem the material obscene. Oh c’mon! It depends on your definition of “obscene,” I guess, you’ll just have to judge for yourself. Thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin’!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Never Gonna Be A Millionarie...

… Yeah, right, Rod! Today in rock history, in 1970. the Faces play their first gig. It’s in Southampton, England. The band consists of ex-Small Faces Ronnie Lane (bass), Ian McLagen (keyboards) and Kenney Jones (drums). They are augmented by former Jeff Beck Group members, Rod Stewart (vocals) and Ron Wood (guitar). Hey, isn’t that Rod’s Lamborghini? Check out this interview from 1970, and a link to a great Faces concert from 1972. Thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin’!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Still Crazy After All These Years...

Today in rock history, in 1971, Charlie Manson and friends are found guilty. This doesn’t have much to do with Rock except the chain of murders was triggered, in Manson’s twisted mind, by The Beatles’ “White Album” and (in particular) the songs “Helter Skelter” and “Piggies.” Here’s one of Charlie’s recorded works and, hey - the song ain’t bad! As an extra added bonus, here’s Weird Al “interviewing” ol’ Charlie. Thanks to, and keep on rockin’, but in a law-abiding way!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Take a Load Off Fanny...

… take a load for free…Today in rock history, in 1994, The Band, among others, are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Eric Clapton. The Band perform "The Weight" with special guest Eric Clapton; and also featuring Garth Hudson on accordion, Paul Schaefer on keyboards and Anton Figg on drums. It’s the first time guitarist/vocalist Robbie Robertson has played with the group in 15 years. Thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin’!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Secret "Asian" Man

On this date in 1963, the legendary Whisky-A-Go-Go opens on the Sunset Strip (8901 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, California). While the club fell on some hard times in the 80’s, closing in 1982, it reopened in 1986 and continues its run. The club served as a launching pad for several L.A. bands including the Doors. Johnny Rivers was one of the first live acts to play the “The Whisky” in 1964; the show also included DJ Rhonda Lane spinning records between sets from a cage to the right of the stage; since she was known to dance along with Rivers’ music, the audience thought it was part of the act and the concept of Go-Go dancers dancing in cages was born. Let’s catch a bit of Rivers’ act, thanks to and for the info, and keep on rockin’!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

And It's 1,2,3...

...What’re we fightin’ for…Today in rock history, in 1967, in order to avoid the draft, folk singer Jesse Winchester moves to Canada. I was of draftable age during the Vietnam “era,” and I must admit that the thought crossed my mind, but then, in the spring of 1970, the lottery came out, and I was #264, so…they never got around to me, I guess. Let’s enjoy some of the ol’ draft-dodger’s work (he became a Canadian citizen in 1973, gained amnesty in the U.S. in 1977 and resettled there in 2002), thanks to and for the info, and keep on rockin’!