Tag Archives: Jimi Hendrix

A Concert Full of Pet Peeves

15 Jun

Many of you know that I am a concert fanatic. The genre of music does not really matter. I just like to hear it live. Through the years, this fanaticism has created a lot of experiences. Great concerts. Bad concerts. Great venues. Bad venues. This, by no means, makes me a concert expert. However, I know a bad one when I see one. Heck, I even wrote an open letter to Madonna about the disaster that she called a concert.

I write all of that to write the following. This week, my wife and I saw a bad concert. In fact, it hit on a bunch of our concert pet peeves.

Ann Wilson of Heart was the performer. Actually, that is what the ticket said. Ann Wilson of Heart. While that was technically true, the ticket was sort of false advertising. More on that in a minute, we have to get to the list of badness.

The “We Love You” Fans – Everyone gets excited for concerts, and this excitement grows when the performer is one of your all time favorites. I understand this. Heck, that is why I like concerts. However, I have never yelled “We Love You” to a performer.

Here is how it usually goes. A song is over. The performer takes time to talk to the audience. Then it happens. “We Love You, Ann Wilson!” Some performers respond. Some performers ignore it. I am not sure which approach is best, but Ann Wilson chose the second option. The woman behind us could not get enough, and yelled it consistently throughout the show.

What causes people to do this? Once may be fine. You are expressing your adoration. You want the performer to know how much you care and how happy you are that they chose your city for a concert. However, the continuation has to mean something else. It has to mean that the “We Love You” person wants the performer to acknowledge them. Say “I Love You, Too” and let that person know that they care just as much.

It could mean that they want a personal connection. This performer is an important part of their existence, and they want to be a part of the performer’s existence. There should be a psychological study on the “We Love You” people. No matter the psychosis, please stop yelling. Ann knows you love her. We know you love her. Guess what, none of us care. Just listen to the music.

Wait, the music. That is the next pet peeve that this concert was able to accomplish.

Play the Jukebox – Several years ago, I saw Elton John in concert. After playing a few new songs, he told the crowd not to worry. He was going to play the jukebox. He meant that he was going to play all of the old hits that made him famous. Those were the same hits that people bought tickets to hear.

I know that performers want to stay creative. They want to show people that they can still produce great stuff. However, they need to understand that people want to hear the old songs. They want the music to take them back in time. Ann Wilson does not understand this. Over a two-hour show, she sang three songs from Heart. Those songs would have gotten people out of their seats. Instead, they sat there and listened to songs that they did not want to hear. Even the “We Love You” crowd just sat in their chairs.

Here is another weird thing. She did not sing that many new songs. She sang a bunch of old songs that other people recorded. Elvis Presley. Jimi Hendrix. The Who. Buffalo Springfield. This list goes on and on. Hey Ann, if you are going to sing old songs, then you may as well sing your own. I left there thinking that she has created a glorified cover band.

Ann Wilson has a great voice, and she showed it off. However, we wanted to hear that voice sing songs like:

“Magic Man”

“Dog and Butterfly”

“Dreamboat Annie”

Other songs can be sprinkled in, but the songs that made her famous should have been at the heart (pun intended) of the show. As I wrote earlier, the ticket said Ann Wilson of Heart. It did not say Ann Wilson Who Is Trying To Separate Herself From What Made Her Famous.

Although, I did notice a trend in some of the songs she chose, and that leads me to the next pet peeve.

Politics on Stage – I go to concerts to be entertained. I go to concerts to escape the world for a while. This means escaping politics. However, Ann Wilson wanted to get political. She started talking about the political landscape and how she wanted to relieve us of our confusion. That is really not her role. Her role is to sing “Barracuda.”

Instead, she sang protest songs from the late 1960s and early 1970s and was subliminally telling us how relevant they are today.

I teach a class on the History of Rock and understand that artists have always wanted to make statements with many of their songs. However, I do not need an aging rocker telling me how I should feel about politics. I have seen Ted Nugent in concert and did not want to hear it from him. Now, I have seen Ann Wilson in concert and did not want to hear it from her.

If I want to hear about politics, then I can get on Twitter or turn on some news channel. When I go to a concert, I do not want to hear someone’s opinion that is no more important than my own. I want to hear some great music.

I did not yell my advice to the stage in between the “We Love You” shouts. However, I will give it now. Ann Wilson should understand that she will always be Ann Wilson of Heart and people purchase tickets to hear those songs. If she did, then maybe the venue would actually be full. Oh yeah, those people yelling “We Love You” would probably love you more.

The Lair of the White Worm and the Night Stalkers

24 Nov

It is a time to write. Alas, what is there to write about? I only know that it feels like a time to write. In other words, it feels right to write.

Last night, I was reminded that there is an awesome movie called The Lair of the White Worm. It came out in 1989 and was a big hit with my running crew. It starred Hugh Grant and Amanda Donohoe. She was a lot better at her role than he was at his. We watched it a lot of times, but I just found out that it is based on a work of Bram Stoker. I am sure he would be proud of what they did with it.

Here is a funny story. I was dating a young lady and asked if she wanted to watch The Lair of the White Worm. She thought I said Larry the White Worm and assumed it was a porn movie. That was a disastrous moment.

We went to Jamaica a few weeks ago. There is a post about it running through my mind, but I do not have it completely worked out in my mind. I need to write it before it goes stale. Anyway, I mention it because it is a good excuse to use this photograph. img_2134

Last week, I was fortunate enough to tour Fort Campbell, the military base that sits on the Tennessee and Kentucky border. It is home to the 101st Airborne, the unit from which Jimi Hendrix washed out. It is also home to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, also known as the Night Stalkers. I made a video of their water training facility. Unfortunately, I cannot upload that video. However, I can offer this photograph.img_2144

Hey, that it two photographs of swimming pools. One is for fun. The other one is definitely not for fun.

The room is turned into a small hurricane, and that mock helicopter is dropped into the water. The people inside have to get out. It was an intense thing to watch.

Oh yeah, Fort Campbell is named for William Bowen Campbell who lived in our little town of Lebanon.

Who was William Bowen Campbell? He was the 14th governor of Tennessee and was the state’s last governor from the Whig Party. He is buried in Lebanon’s Cedar Grove Cemetery.

I need to write more, but I fingers have stopped. My mind is at a roadblock created by more serious musings. When I am ready to bring those to the screen, I will let everyone know.

Bad Football and a Musical Complaint

7 Nov

Lately, I have watched some bad football. The Tennessee Titans leave a lot of be desired. The season of the Tennessee Volunteers has gone from great promise to a quagmire. I am also reading a book about an infamous game in the history of Cumberland University. For those who do not know, our school lost to Georgia Tech 222-0. It is the biggest defeat in the history of college football.

Sam Hatcher, who I have known for years, wrote a book to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the game. Heisman’s First Trophy: The Game that Launched Football in the South is an interesting read that provides a great story of the game. I would recommend it to anyone. Some of it is fictionalized, but the heart of the story remains true.heisman-book

I have been surrounded by bad football, but I have also witnessed some bad halftime performances. The University of Tennessee Marching Band is known as the Pride of the Southland, and they have been performing something called the “Circle Drill” for 50 years. I know that because they announced  that this year is the 50th anniversary of the routine. Certainly, it is a difficult marching formation to perform, but I have one request.

PLAY SOME NEW SONGS!

I have been watching the “Circle Drill” for 42 of the 50 years that it has been in existence, and they have played the same songs the entire time. I can even recite the announcer’s script.

They do a musical tour of Tennessee by starting out in Memphis. That is when they play Elvis Presley’s “signature” tune “C.C. Rider.” Then, they go to Chattanooga with “Chattanooga Choo Choo.” Next is a visit to Nashville with “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” They end up in Knoxville with “Rocky Top,” the school’s unofficial fight song.

I understand “Rocky Top.” It fires up the crowd and needs to be played. However, it is time to spruce up the rest of the collection. Tennessee is one of the most musical places around. I know they can do better.

First, “C.C. Rider” is not the “signature” song of Elvis Presley. I guarantee that if you ask anyone to name and Elvis song that one would not be mentioned. I would choose “Hound Dog.” Here is the other thing. Elvis was not the only creator of songs in Memphis. What about doing a Tina Turner songs? Or an Isaac Hayes song? What about a Blues classic or something from Stax Records?

I know that “Chattanooga Choo Choo” is an obvious selection for Chattanooga. However, they could throw the crowd a curve with “Chattanooga City Limit Sign” by Johnny Cash. How about “Lookout Mountain” by Drive-By Truckers?

Nashville, otherwise known as Music City, is home to hundreds of artists and thousands of songs. I think they can find a new one. “Nashville Cats” by The Lovin’ Spoonful would be a great pick. Heck, they could shock the world by playing a Jimi Hendrix tune. It would work since he spent his early days in the clubs on Nashville’s Jefferson Street. I cannot even do this paragraph justice. There are so many songs to play that they could close their eyes and pick one out of a songbook.

Better yet, they could get the band from Tennessee State University to do the “Circle Drill.” I know the Aristocrat of Bands and the Sophisticated Ladies could circle it up.

Dylan, Cash and the Nashville Cats

4 Mar

A few week ago, my wife and I visited the Country Music Hall of Fame, which we like to do when they have an interesting exhibit. This time, they had a couple of exhibits that I wanted to see. The first was about Sam Phillips and Sun Records. The second was about the friendship between Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash and the effect it had on the Nashville music scene.image-7

Nashville has always been known for Country music, but I have been more fascinated with the story of Nashville’s other music. For example, it has a deep Rhythm and Blues history and is where Jimi Hendrix got his start.

I have read about Dylan’s time in Nashville and was interested to see how the Country Music Hall of Fame would present it. They did better than I could have imagined and introduced me to facts that I did not know.

Obviously, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash were the focus, but that was only the beginning. It covered the artists who were inspired by Dylan’s work in the city and followed him here. It was awesome to see the display on Paul McCartney and his time living in my hometown of Lebanon.image-9

The story of Paul McCartney’s time in town has gone down in local lore, but there were a ton of artists that I never knew recorded here. On the way out, I bought an album of songs that were highlighted in the exhibit, and it provides an example of some of those artists.

Gordon Lightfoot

The Byrds

The Monkees

Leonard Cohen

Country Joe McDonald

Simon and Garfunkel

George Harrison

Ringo Starr

Joan Baez

Neil Young

Derek and the Dominos

Those people are well-known in the history of music. However, this exhibit also highlighted the session musicians who played the music to which those people sang. These are the unsung heroes of Nashville and have become known as the Nashville Cats.

Several people had their own displays, but Jerry Reed was my favorite. Those who only know him as Snowman in Smokey and the Bandit or the football coach in The Waterboy may not realize that he was one of the greatest guitarists to ever play in Nashville. He was the heir apparent to Chet Atkins and had a distinctive style that other players have tried to duplicate.image-8

As always, the Country Music Hall of Fame did a fantastic job with the exhibit. Each time I go to the museum, I learn something new. If you ever make it to Nashville, then you will need to visit the place. Just remember that Country music is not the only music that has come out of this city.

Down in Monterey

9 Jun

We spent our honeymoon in northern California, and part of that experience consisted of a ride down the Pacific Coast highway from Half Moon Bay to Carmel. On this drive, we went through Monterey, and I could only think of one thing.

I wish I could have attended the Monterey Pop Festival, one of the great music festivals of the 1960s. Music festivals have become popular. In fact, Bonnaroo takes places just down the road from here. However, current festivals cannot be as good as the originals.

Earlier, “Monterey” by The Animals popped up on my iPod, and I realized something. I was not able to attend Monterey because I was not alive, but I can always write a blog post about it.

How will I write about something that I did not attend? Easy. I will provide the lyrics to the song and put pictures to it.

The people came and listened
Some of them came and played
Others gave flowers away
Yes they did
Down in Monterey
Down in Monterey

Young gods smiled upon the crowd
Their music being born of love
Children danced night and day
Religion was being born
Down in Monterey

The ByrdsByrds

and the AirplaneJefferson
Did fly
Oh, Ravi Shankar’sRavi
Music made me cry

The Who explodedWho
Into violent light
Hugh Masekela’s musicHugh
Was black as night

The Grateful DeadDead
Blew everybody’s mind
Jimi Hendrix, babyHendrix
Believe me
Set the world on fire, yeah!

His majesty
Prince Jones smiled as heJones
Moved among the crowd
Ten thousand electric guitars
Were groovin’ real loud, yeah

If you wanna find the truth in life
Don’t pass music by
And you know
I would not lie
No, I would not lie
No, I would not lie
Down in Monterey

Three days of understanding
Of moving with one another
Even the cops grooved with us
Do you believe me?
Yeah!

Down in Monterey
Down in Monterey, yeah
Down in Monterey
Down in Monterey, yeah

I think that maybe I’m dreamin’!

Monterey!

Monterey-yeah!

Down in Monterey

Did you hear what I said?

Down in Monterey

That some music

Monterey

I said
Monterey, Monterey, Monterey
Yeah-yeah, hey-hey-hey
A-ay, a-ay, a-ay-a-ay

My iPod Has Issues – We Almost Went to New Orleans

20 Apr

This weekend, we were supposed to take a field trip to New Orleans. However, the forecast called for a bunch of rain and the threat of flooding. Being in a city that is below sea level with the potential of flooding did not appeal to any of the teachers. For that reason, the field trip was cancelled.

To make up for that, I decided to check the old iPod for songs connected to the city New Orleans and the state of Louisiana. Hopefully, there are enough to make a good list.New Orleans

“City of New Orleans” by Arlo Guthrie

“New Orleans Instrumental No. 1” by R.E.M.

“The Battle of New Orleans” by Johnny Horton

“Saturday Night in Oak Grove, Louisiana” by Tony Joe White

“Lafayette Breakdown” by Cajun Playboys

“New Orleans Ladies” by Louisiana’s LeRoux

“High Sheriff of Calhoun Parrish” by Tony Joe White

“Basin Street Blues” by Louis Prima

“Walking to New Orleans” by Fats Domino

“The House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals

“Sons and Daughters” by The Neville Brothers

“C’est La Vie” by Bob Seger

“Acadie A La Louisiane” by Bruce Daigrepont

“Voodoo Child” by Jimi Hendrix

“Big Bad John” by Jimmy Dean

“Baby Please Don’t Go” by Van Morrison

“Jesus Just Left Chicago (And He’s Bound for New Orleans)” by ZZ Top

“Brown Sugar” by The Rolling Stones

“Mr. Bojangles” by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

“South Rampart Street Parade” by Al Hirt and His Band

 

Through the 1970s and Beyond

27 Mar

The other day, I saw something on Twitter that required further research. After a little Googling, I discovered that this information has made the Internet rounds and has been written about a bunch. However, that is not going to stop me from putting my spin on it.

Anyway, it goes like this.

In February 1970, Circus magazine pictured a bunch of people on its covered and asked if they would survive the following decade.Ty0ZdBT47

It was a morbid idea for a cover, but it has led to an interesting question. How many of them made it?

The following list is in the order of their appearance.

Johnny Cash survived the 1970s and lived until 2003. Luckily, I was able to meet him when we ran into each other in a bookstore.

Pete Townshend is still living and is about to go on another tour. I saw The Who on their last tour but left the arena disappointed.

Jim Morrison passed away in 1971 and is buried in a Parisian cemetery.

Paul McCartney is alive and recording. In fact, he just did a thing with Kanye West and Rihanna.

Grace Slick is very much alive but probably not as slick.

Bob Dylan is still around and will soon be performing in Nashville. I just read that the Country Music Hall of Fame is opening a new exhibit about him and Johnny Cash.

Janis Joplin passed away a few months after the issue hit the stands.

John Lennon made it through the 1970s but was gunned down in 1980.

Jimi Hendrix also died a few months after this issue first came out.

Johnny Winter survived the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2014.

Alvin Lee died one year earlier in 2013.

Ray Davies is still alive and doing his thing.

John Mayall is also still with us.

Mick Jagger just announced a stadium tour for The Rolling Stones. They will be returning to Nashville.

Elvis Presley died at Graceland in 1977. Luckily, my parents took me to one of his concerts a few years before that.

George Harrison was the second Beatle to leave us. He passed away in 2001.

Ringo Starr is still playing drums and getting help from his friends.

Charlie Watts is also still around. I wonder if he will be doing that stadium tour.

Jimmy Page is definitely alive. I read that his girlfriend is the same age he was when he appeared on that cover.

David Crosby is also in the news. A few days ago, he ran over a jogger.

What does all that mean?

It means that Circus put out a dumb cover and a dumb article.

It also means that most of these rockers, despite their crazy lifestyles, made it out of the 1970s. Of the 20 that were listed, 11 of them are still alive 45 years later. Out of the 9 who have passed away, 4 lived into the 21st Century.

Four of them passed away in the 1970s. Three of those due to drug use, and the fourth, Jim Morrison, remains a mystery.

However, I have a few questions. Who thought up this article? Did any of those featured read it? Did they get made or laugh at it?

I guess someone could ask those who are still on this earth.