Tag Archives: Guns ‘n Roses

My iPod Has Issues – It Has Been a Busy Day

11 Oct

It has been a busy day. It all started with a Historic Lebanon meeting at 7:30. Then, I went to work and prepared for my 9:30 class. After a quick lunch, it was time for my 12:30 class. At that point, I spent time at the copy machine making tests. That involves pushing more buttons than they push in a NASA control room.

I left campus and went to the bank. There were deposits to make. Then, it was to a meeting about city council issues. When that meeting was over, I drove to a meeting of the James E. Ward Agriculture and Community Center Management Committee. Yep, that is a along name. A lot of government committees have long names.

At that point, I went back to campus to finish making copies of tests. Of course, that involved pushing a bunch of buttons. On a mission to find copy paper, I ran into a couple of the other history professors and talked to them for a bit.

After all of that, I made it home to have a dinner of cold pizza. To wind down, I decided to have a little bourbon and see what is going on inside the mind of my iPod.

“Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin

“Keep A Knockin'” by Little Richard

“Changes” by David Bowie

“You Could Be Mine” by Guns N’ Roses

“Sleeping Bag” by ZZ Top

“Standing in the Safety Zone” by The Fairfield Four

“Tombstone Blues” by Bob Dylan

“Lady Marmalade” by Labelle

“I Just Can’t Help Believing” by B.J. Thomas

“No Better for You” by Gay Crosse and the Good Humor Six

“Bye Bye Love” by The Everly Brothers

“Westbound and Down” by Jerry Reed

“Honey” by Bobby Goldsboro

“Next to Me” by Clyde McPhatter

“We Will Rock You” by Queen

“Bring It On Home to Me” by Sam Cooke

“Help Me” by Joni Mitchell

“Ain’t That a Shame” by Fats Domino

“Baby Please Don’t Go” by Van Morrison

“I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher

 

 

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Live and In Person

31 Jan

Listening to music is one of my favorite pastimes. Cranking of the radio and letting the sound fill the air is a great pleasure. It is truly pleasurable when that music is of the Rock variety. However, listening to live music is more enjoyable. I have been lucky enough to attend many concerts, and there is nothing like being in a room filled with people and hearing a performer sing a great song.image-6

The other day, I was at the magazine rack when I spotted something called 101 Greatest American Rock Songs. With a title like that, how could I not buy it? The magazine offers an interesting list with stories about each one. As I read through it, a question entered my mind.

How many of these songs have I heard in a live setting? In Nashville, we hear a bunch of songs being covered by bar bands. My real question was trickier. How many of these songs have I heard performed by their actual performers in a live setting?

Here is the answer.

98. “When Doves Cry” by Prince

97. “Legs” by ZZ Top

95. “All Shook Up” by Elvis Presley

94. “Lay, Lady, Lay” by Bob Dylan

92. “Paradise By the Dashboard Light” by Meatloaf

84. “Jackie Brown” by John Mellencamp

82. “Black Magic Woman” by Santana

72. “Blowin’ in the Wind” by Bob Dylan

64. “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper

62. “Rock and Roll All Nite” by Kiss

60. “Tangled Up in Blue” by Bob Dylan

51. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses

48. “Bye Bye Love” by The Everly Brothers

46. “Dream On” by Aerosmith

36. “Heartbreaker” by Pat Benatar

32. “All Along the Watchtower” by Bob Dylan

31. “One of These Nights” by The Eagles

29. “Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

27. “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan

24. “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

23. “Enter Sandman” by Metallica

22. “Atlantic City” by Bruce Springsteen

18. “Walk This Way” by Aerosmith

10. “In the Ghetto” by Elvis Presley

9. “Hotel California” by The Eagles

5. “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

3. “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen

2. “Like a Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan

I have been lucky enough to hear 28 out of 101 in a live setting, and, by looking at the list, I am afraid that I will not be able to add many more.

Rock Died When Guns N’ Roses Broke Up

11 Dec

The other night, my wife and I were riding down the interstate and having a conversation about music. I cannot remember the context, but, at some point, I said, “Rock died when Guns N’ Roses broke up.”

My wife said that I had to remember that line because it would make a great title for a blog post. I knew that she was right, but I had no idea what should go under that title. Now, I may have figured it out.

I am a fan of most musical genres, but Rock has always been my favorite. It is a genre that changed the musical landscape in the 1950s and found itself changed in the decades that followed. Rock and Roll. Psychedelic Rock. Prog Rock. Punk Rock. Glam Rock. Southern Rock. Heavy Metal. There are different styles. They are all Rock, and I like them all.

I could list many Rock Stars, but the list would go on and on. Instead, all the Rock Stars and Rock Bands, no matter the style, fit within the lines of an AC/DC song.

There was sound.

There was light.

There was drums.

There was guitar.

Using the past tense is fitting because Rock is dead.Rock Dead

Some people are going to argue that point and mention that Rock Bands still exist. That is true. However, Rock as the dominant genre is dead. In my opinion, current Rock Bands perform on the fringes of popular music. In the old days, Rock Bands were the leaders of popular music. They ruled the airwaves and the charts.

All of that ended when Guns N’ Roses broke up. This does not mean that it is the fault of Guns N’ Roses. Plenty of groups before them broke apart, and they were only following an established pattern. The difference is that there was, in my opinion, no Rock Band to replace them. They were replaced by Grunge. The flamboyant clothes were replaced by cardigan sweaters.

Rock Bands still tour and fill up arenas, but they are the bands of old playing for people reminiscing about their younger days. The Rock Stars are graying, and their fans are retiring. It is strange to hear someone who qualifies for AARP singing lyrics that relay the feelings and thoughts of their younger selves.

When I was in high school, there was an awesome Rock station in Nashville. 103.3 WKDF played all of the great stuff. I laid in my bed with headphones over my ears and listened to Metal Shop. Many years ago, that station changed to a Country format. It was a sad day, but it was a fitting and smart business decision.

At times, I lament that state of Country music. The genre should be a singer standing behind a microphone and singing about heartbreak and loss. Instead, it is a genre about partying and having a good time. A contemporary Country concert would be unfamiliar to Hank Snow, Patsy Cline, Roy Acuff and others. However, it is familiar to me because it has sound, light, drums and guitar.

Country has filled the void of Rock. Today’s Country fans would have been Rock fans in the past. A while back, we went to a Kenny Chesney concert, and Joe Walsh, a guitarist who epitomizes Rock music and its culture, was his special guest. At the time, I thought it strange. However, it was the only place for Joe Walsh to go.

I know the history of music from the 1990s until now. I know the bands and the singers. However, I still think Guns N’ Roses was the last great Rock Band. When they broke up, Rock as I knew it died.

 

Songs of the Year

3 Jul

When I put together the Songs of the Week post, I knew that this could be taken further. Why? Because there are a ton of songs that go along with the months. A Songs of the Year post could be easily compiled.

Except, I was wrong. Some days inspire more songs than other days. Likewise, some months inspire more songs than other months. Apparently, there are certain time slots that have little artistic value.

Despite the obstacles, I trudged through my iPod and other resources to put together my favorite songs of the year.Months

January – How can you beat Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, going to her gospel roots and singing “Amazing Grace”? Answer: You cannot beat that. Her live version, titled “Amazing Grace (Live at New Temple Missionary Baptist Church, Los Angeles, January 13, 1972)“, is the best version you will ever hear.

February – This month does not provide much in the realm of music. There are plenty of songs about February, but I do not know many of them. Of course, I could be prejudiced against February. With that being said, I will go with “February Stars” by Foo Fighters. It is as good as any.

March – Going after the fanboy traffic, I am picking “The Imperial March” from the Star Wars soundtrack. It is John Williams. It is Darth Vader. In other words, it is cool.

April – Now, we are getting into some good stuff. Straight off of the iPod comes “Pieces of April” by Three Dog Night. the singer is remembering a month-long romance. I wonder why they did not make it to May.

May – Speaking of May, there is an awesome song by Little Jimmy Dickens. “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose” was his top charting song and was inspired by Johnny Carson. Dickens is a cheapskate, and the chorus is what people say to him.

June – Dean Martin was the coolest of the cool. Frank Sinatra may have been the leader of the Rat Pack, but Dean Martin was the soul of the Rat Pack. No list is complete with him, which means “June in January” is next on the list.

July – It was written by Bruce Springsteen, but I am not a fan of his. For that reason, this month is represented by “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” as performed by The Hollies.

August – Wow, August has inspired hardly any songwriters. Does it not rhyme with anything? Just. Must. Au jus. There has to be something about August that is worthy of song. If you know of something, then let me know. I cannot find anything worthy of listing.

September – It is not his best, but “September Morn” is a decent Neil Diamond song. Have you ever taken your mom to a concert only to see women throw their underwear at the performer. It happened to me at a Neil Diamond show.

October – Deadmau5 was at Bonnaroo. In fact, that is the only thing I wish I could have seen at this year’s show. For that reason, “October” makes the list. One day, I will go to a Deadmau5 show.

November – It is the greatest Power Ballad of all time. It is the greatest video of all time. If Axl Rose had not been nuts, then Guns N’ Roses could have been the greatest band of all time. Ladies and gentlemen, “November Rain” is the best song on this list.

December – The year will end with a legend. Merle Haggard’s “If We Make It Through December” is about a man facing hard economic times. If he can make it through the disappointment of Christmas without gifts, then everything will be fine.

We made it through an entire year with August being the only disappointment. Do you know of any August songs? What about the other months?

My iPod Has Issues – Brain Drain

25 Jun

There are a lot of things going through my mind that I could write about. My opinion on the Confederate flag. Some issues in local politics. The events of everyday life. Heck, I could even give out the Yard Dog Award. However, I am not going to write about any of those things.

I am tired. My brain is tired.Brain

At the moment, the energy does not exist to create a post of any depth. As has been done before, I will take this opportunity to take the easy way out and let my iPod do all of the work.

It is now time to put it on shuffle and listen to what comes out.

“I Sang Dixie” by Dwight Yoakam

“Flash Light” by Parliament

“Broken Arrow” by Robbie Robertson

“She Shot A Hole In My Soul” by Clifford Curry

“Arranca” by Manzanita

“Sweet and Slow” by Carol Sloane

“He Went To Paris” by Jimmy Buffett

“Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” by Kenny Rogers and The First Edition

“Tiger Man” by Elvis Presley

“Texas” by Chris Rea

“Country Boy (You Got Your Feet In L.A.)” by Glen Campbell

“Dear Mr. Fantasy” by Traffic

“Safe From Harm” by Massive Attack

“Civil War” by Guns N’ Roses

“Comin’ Home” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

“Sweet Baby James” by James Taylor

“Hurt” by Johnny Cash

“I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” by Otis Redding

“Lotta Love” by Nicolette Larson

“Sweet Tennessee” by Judah and the Lion

Man, that wore my iPod out. I think we both need a good night’s sleep.

 

My iPod Has Issues – Sad Songs Say Everything

10 Feb

A sadness has come over me. There are reasons for the melancholy that has settled in, but I will not go into them. When I get into a mood such as this, I need to hear sad songs. I suppose many people would listen to happy music in an attempt to pull themselves out. However, sad music helps me focus on what is going through my mind and alleviate some of the feelings that have developed.Pier

With that in mind, I think it is a good time to look into the iPod and play some songs that I consider sad. Of course, that definition is in the ear of the beholder. One person’s sad song could be someone else’s happy song. Nevertheless, here we go.

“Kentucky Rain” by Elvis Presley

“You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” by Dave Alvin

“It Was A Very Good Year” by Frank Sinatra

“Love On The Rocks” by Neil Diamond

“The Pretender” by Jackson Browne

“Moment Of Surrender” by U2

“Pieces Of April” by Three Dog Night

“Just A Song Before I Go” by Crosby, Stills and Nash

“Scarborough Fair” by Simon and Garfunkel

“Girl From The North Country” by Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash

“November Rain” by Guns ‘N Roses

“Shenandoah” by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

“For The Good Times” by Ray Price

“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” by The Hollies

“Alone Again” by Dokken

“By The Time I Get To Phoenix” by Glen Campbell

“It Was Almost Like A Song” by Johnny Hartman

“Levon” by Elton John

“Everything Must Change” by Oleta Adams

“Badge” by Cream

Dang, I want to continue listening to sad songs. However, I will stop typing right here.

My iPod Has Issues – Or Maybe Not

8 Oct

This History of American Music course that I am teaching has me digging deeper into my iPod than I ever have. I knew there was a bunch of stuff in there. Heck, I downloaded it all. However, I did not realize that depths of its knowledge. When I want to play a sample for the class, I find it on my iPod. It makes me realize that the iPod does not have any issues at all. It is simply steeped in music history.iPod

In honor of this newfound respect for the iPod, I have decided to explore its inner workings and see what is there. Besides, I cannot think of anything else to write about.

“Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition

“Night Train” by Alvino Rey

“Wild World” by Cat Stevens

“America” by Neil Diamond

“Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman

“Luck Be a Lady” by Michael Civisca

“You Really Got Me” by The Kinks

“John Barleycorn” by Traffic

“Changes” by David Bowie

“When I Can Afford to Lose” by Will Hoge

“Save the Last Dance for Me” by The Drifters

“Sweet Tennessee” by Judah and the Lion

“The Road to Hell” by Chris Rea

“High Fever Blues” by Bukka White

“Don’t Cry” by Guns N’ Roses

“My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison

“All the Young Dudes” by Mott the Hoople

“Elevation” by Television

“Still” by The Commodores

“Jack and Diane” by John Mellencamp

Yeah, maybe my iPod is not as crazy as everyone thinks.