Errols Weekly Music Update.

March 4, 2011

Weekly Update – 03/04/2011

Brian Wilson at the Wellmont Theater on Thurs. June 9. Tickets on sale today at noon. $45, $75 and $95.

Def Leppard and Heart at Jones Beach on Fri. July 12 and at PNC Bank Arts Center on Sat. July 13. Pre-sale tickets for those with Citi-cards begin next Wed. Mar. 9 at 10:00 a.m until next Fri. Mar. 11 at 10:00 p.m. General public on sale next Sat. Mar. 12 at 11:00 a.m. Jones Beach: $39.50 and $186; PNC: $32 and $143.50 (I really hate this new pricing system they have going on here-“nothing in the middle any more”-this is all Live Nation and Ticket Master crap).

Phish at the PNC Bank Arts Center on Wed. June 1. Tickets on sale today at noon. $57.50 and $74.

New Kids on The Block and Back Street Boys at The Izod Center on Mon. June 13. If you have an American Express card you can purchase “pre-sale” tickets until 10:00 p.m. tonight. General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $39.85, $83.85 and $104.35

Josh Groban at The Mohegan Sun on Sat. July 30 and at the Prudential Center on Tues. Aug. 2 and at Nassau Coliseum on Fri. Nov. 4. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m for Mohegan: $110.35 and $166.60; Prudential “Pre-sale” tickets available until 10:00 p.m. tonight if you have a Citibank Card. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $69.90 and $111.40; Nassau-tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $72.50 and $113.45.

KT Tunstall at the Webster Theater on Mon. Apr. 11. Tickets on sale today at noon. $27 ($32 day of show).

Ray LaMontagne at The Rumsey Playfield (Central Park) on Tues. May 31. Tickets on sale today at noon. $50 ($60 day of show).

Seether at the Gramcery Theater on Tues. May 24. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $47.20.

Black Label Society at Irving Plaza on Sat. June 4. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $44.70.

Danzig at NYCB Theater in Westbury NY on Wed. May 18. . Tickets on sale today at noon. $28.50 and $34.75.

The Monkees at NYCB Theater in Westbury NY on Fri. June 17. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m.. $52.50 and $62.95

Miranda Lambert at the Mohegan Sun on Wed. June 8. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $53.55 and $74.55

Other items:

The Foo Fighters released their first single-“Rope”-off of their upcoming album-“Wasting Light”- to be released on April 12 and you know I love these guys and I have to be honest and tell you that this needs to grow on me. It happens a lot with this band for me, at first I am like-“Ok sounds good but…” and then a few months later I am blown away. You can definitely hear the influence of “Them Crooked Vultures” in this song with all the “program” changes. There is a blazing guitar solo that one is not particularly used to with the Foo Fighters. It sounds like both Josh and John Paul Jones helped Dave write this song.

Speaking of Mr. Grohl, he has signed on as one of the performers to make a tribute album for the late Ronnie James Dio. He reportedly will sing lead vocals on “The Mob Rules” from Dio’s days with Sabbath. I can’t wait for his take on it and I can’t wait for the entire album. \m/ \m/

My favorite new song for the second week in a row is “Come On Get It” by the amazing Lenny Kravitz. This song may have just sky rocketed to the top of his “top ten” list. The horn section is so reminiscent of James Brown and the funk-a-fied rock beat is off the charts. This has to be the best single released so far this year. Friggin’ love this song!!! I can’t wait for the new album and of course to head out to see him again. This man creates excitement!!!

There is really something different about this year’s American Idol, I’m not sure if it is due to going back with the original producer or the new judges but this year seems to be about the contestants and their ability to sing. I don’t recall a season where it has been so hard to eliminate the talent pool down to 13. I have totally forgotten about Simon and for some reason I think the talent this year has been better than ever. Could it be because of Steven and Jennifer (and of course-“The Dog”) who are all in the music business and have the right ear or maybe the “want” to be the next “Idol” has lifted everyone’s game. Who knows but there were some talented kids left off last night.

Sammy Hagar is doing a “book” tour for his “Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock” and he will be at The Borders in Columbus Circle in NYC (10 Columbus Circle-near 59th street) next Tues. Mar. 15 at 7:00 p.m. Also appearing earlier that day in Ridgewood N.J. at 1:00 p.m. at “Bookends” located at 211 E. Ridgewood Avenue. Go check out The Red Rocker and get an autograph.

Rob Zombie has squashed all the rumors that he will be directing “The Dirt”- the film version of the Motley Crue’s memoir. He doesn’t know where it started from and stated that he will be directing “The Lords of Salem” (of course a horror flick) and then will record his next CD.

The glam is back- have you heard the new single by Whitesnake-“Love Will Set You Free?”- I have to tell you this is right up my alley. Coverdale still has the vocals and the sound is pretty heavy and of course the video is just like their old videos from the 1980’s. (think Tawny) . I was going to give you the link but some might be offended, so look on You Tube for the video. The album- “Forever More”-is slated for release later this month on the 29th.

Stephen Pearcy twitted the other day and stated that “Ratt will not be active in 2011 and maybe longer.” What?? Is he kidding me? They come back with a new decent album-“Infestation”- and he is now again going to make a solo record. Haven’t we all heard this before??!! I’m exhausted and done for that matter.

Judas Priest will do a European tour with Queensryche over the summer, so hopefully their last tour will hit the States later this year-maybe “Rocktober??!!” Who is in??!!!

Paul Stanley and his wife, Erin, are now expecting their third child this year. Congrats!! Again I couldn’t do it at his age but….

Nuggets

Diver Down

The year is 1982 and I am at my favorite age- 17- and it is also my favorite number as this really is the only number I want(ed) to wear when I play(ed) on softball or football teams. (I make exception sometimes for the number “5” as this was the number my Dad always used when he played ball). Anyways, by 1982 I was at Brooklyn Tech High School and so deep into Van Halen at this point, I guess one could describe it as an obsession. In my opinion, there was no one like Diamond David Lee Roth in his prime-he was the most acrobatic front man in rock history and could perform physical phenomena’s upon the stage that I have never seen replicated. And talk about cool? Everyone in the early 1980’s wanted to be David Lee Roth-he had “it”-the rock and roll look, the voice that is so distinctive and again could do these amazing stunts which included jumping high above the Madison Square Garden stage seemingly at eye level with the mezzanine section. And what about the rest of the guys? Eddie Van Halen by this time had become a “god” on guitar and who couldn’t wait for his “solo” at every one of their concerts? Talk about some jaw dropping stuff? His craft was being idolized by the future metal bands that may have been 5 or 6 years old at that time-or may have not even been born yet. His brother-Alex, is in my opinion often over-looked as one of the best rock drummers of all time. If you have never been to a Van Halen concert, you don’t know what you are missing. Alex seems completely buried behind a wall of drums and it sounds like three other guys are helping him play, but he is the only one-he is in complete command at all times. Now I know Michael Anthony is no longer with the band but his pulsating bass playing was the back-bone of every album they did with him.Attending a Van Halen concert is the equivalent of having a ticket tape parade down the “Cannon of Heroes” located on Broadway in New York City for every New York sporting team at the same time. Think of the excitement if every team had won a championship at the same time and they threw a party for all of them at the same time. (c’mon make believe, I know it can’t happen) Can you imagine the excitement, electricity and the happiness in the air? Do you have that feeling yet? Well I just described sitting in Madison Square Garden waiting for Van Halen to take the stage. Attending their shows was magical and the bigger they became, the bigger the shows became. I can remember Diamond Dave surfing high above the crowd at MSG on an oversized surf board looking down at the absolute frenzy going on below him; it was like it was yesterday. But of course it was always about the music behind all those great stage antics-they were the best live band from 1980 – 1985 in my opinion. (And their reunion tour with Diamond and Wolfie was also phenomenal).

So where am I going with this? Ok you know it pains me to select an album by the great Van Halen and put it in the “Nugget” section but I have to be honest with myself and admit that “Diver Down” has some songs that I have skipped over-sometimes, not all the time-and also succumbing to the criticism that this album contains too many covers. (To be totally honest I skip over the most songs on “1984” than any other VH album with Diamond Dave). But know this- I own the album, I upgraded to the CD and now these songs sit very comfortably on my I-Pod and I have every song on Diver Down in my I-Pod. So, I will admit there are a few too many covers but it doesn’t mean that I don’t like them, well Ok I am not too crazy about “Pretty Woman” but maybe that is because I heard it so many times since it came out. Anyway, here are the golden “nuggets” from the often over-looked Van Halen album-“Diver Down:” (in no particular order)

Happy Trails – I need to thank my friend John for reminding me about this song-he made me a CD of “cover” songs and he squeezed this one in at number 20 because it’s only 66 seconds long. I friggin’ love this cover of the Dale Evans classic. Who doesn’t love the –“bum ba deed a…bum ba deed a…bum ba deed a..?” Or “who cares about the clouds when we’re together??!!” Happy Trails everyone this is the best!!!

Hang ‘Em High – For all the naysayers out there who criticize this album tell me this song isn’t fantastic? Don’t even try to say this isn’t vintage Van Halen-Eddie is all over this bad boy with his blistering guitar work and his solo is over the top-I always need to put the volume up higher. Alex sounds like he is getting help from five other drummers but again it is only he that makes that sound-incredible. The bass lines with thump your chest as you run all around the room or make you perform your favorite “Bo Jackson” imitation when he ran up and then down the outfield wall when he was playing left field for the Kansas City Royals-but make sure you don’t scruff the walls with your shoes.There is no other way to listen to this song but LOUD!!!! Perfect work-out song. \m/ \m/

Little Guitars – (including the “Intro”)- This song could arguably be one of Van Halen’s most recognized and popular songs ever written and performed. Eddie is pure genius on that sweet guitar riff. How doesn’t love the “flamenco” acoustic guitar in the beginning? Then Alex starts that slow head banging groove and the guitar riff makes me want to the “robot” for a bit and then it’s off to the races as Diamond Dave starts singing “Senorita I’m in trouble again and I can’t get free…” C’mon folks this is good stuff right here, there’s no denying this. With the quickened pace I feel like I am on a magic carpet ride while Eddie is just jamming away-“I can see you don’t know which way to turn but the sun still shines…” This is the highlight of the album, no question about that!! Love the way it ends with just Eddie’s guitar.

Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now) – C’mon it had to be so cool for Eddie and Alex to play along side their dad-who plays the clarinet on this “throw back” song they covered. It has that “1920’s” or “1930’s” flavor as I could picture this being played in a Marx Brothers movie. You want proof that Diamond Dave was the coolest? Listen to the way he sings this song- as the boys from Brooklyn would say-“for get about it.” The clarinet solo is righteous and the “brush” noise playing by Alex is so infectious it gives the song that “scratch” effect once you drop the needle down on the 78 record. “Yeah!!!”

Where Have All The Good Times Gone? – Yes I know it is a cover but I’m pretty sure The Kinks were proud of this version. There is a “heaviness” that spruce’s this bad boy up. This is a great “air-guitar” song and should be on Guitar Hero (if it isn’t already). “Won’t you yell me?…where have all the good times gone?”- Love the background vocals- Van Halen was always “tops” in this department.

The Full Bug – Oh Baby!!! How friggin’ great is this song? Talk about getting psyched up? I can just picture a bug that you have spotted in your house and it is trapped in a corner or something and it has to get away from you as you try to swat it-his life is in danger and he needs to run-if that bug put on some headphones and listened to this song it would easily get away from you because this song gives you power. You know those mice that run on treadmills? If they had headphones and this song came on, that treadmill would be smoking because the mouse would be running so fast, the friction would cause smoke. Eddie’s guitar solo is blazing and again it sounds like Alex is getting help from some other drummers because the sound is so full-controlled chaos. You have to feel this. This is the best song on the album.

Album Review: “21” by Adele released on February 22, 2011

21

So here it is, 60 days into the New Year and I have finally purchased a “new release.” It seems like each New Year, it takes that much longer for something to catch my attention but as I mentioned last week, I kind of knew that this album was going to be part of my musical library. And this was due to the favorable reviews that seem to be coming in from everywhere as well as the free 90-second preview allotted to each song on I-Tunes. Now I have to be honest and let you know that this album for me is an exploration, as this is normally not my “forte,” or should I say-“genre.” But if there is anything you have learned from this page, it is that I am not wed to one particular form or type of music, so with that I will give you my opinion on this work and it is the first work that I have encountered with Adele. (I know- I need to own-“19” but let me do this first).

I will let you in on how I try to listen to a new piece of work by anyone-I put the CD in and do not read any song titles and I do not read the booklet that comes with the CD that contain the lyrics. I just listen and store in my memory bank-“hey I liked track # 4, #7, etc.” Now this is a complete reversal from the way I used to listen to new material when I was a younger lad. In prior years, I would have to take out the lyrics and read along to every word while listening to each song but lack of time along with the fact that I mostly listen to music in my car, on the train or when I clean the house on the weekends, has given me a new outlook on life without reading along to the lyrics. This makes me focus more on the melody and overall arrangement of the songs and I think it has made me appreciate (or not) the effort (or lack of) of the artist/band by just listening-it has worked for me. So after giving “21” a few turns before starting to learn the song titles, I have to say that she is a very soulful woman for someone who just tuned twenty-on. Her vocals, in my opinion, are a mixture of Joss Stone, Edie Brickell and believe it or not-Amy Winehouse. She has a way about her that demands your attention, her vocals are confident as well as mesmerizing and the fact that she is only 21, makes one wonder what she has in store for us in the coming years. Folks, this album is a real pleasant surprise to me and I highly recommend it. You can use this for your next “dinner party” or “house party” with family and/or friends. It contains songs filled with “classic R&B,” “soul,” “jazz-like” and “funk” along with stellar arrangements that at some points will leave you speechless. There are really some amazing songs on this album and if I am completely honest-one cover-“Lovesong” by The Cure that should have been left off but overall, a solid effort by this new sensation from England that will easily have the U.S. audience at her fingertips for a long time coming.

The album kicks off with the soulful “Rolling in the Deep” which has a “funk-a-delic” feel to it-think of the Supremes fused together with Amy Winehouse. There is an edge to this song that makes it seem she is up for a brawl or something like when Carrie Underwood “keyed” her ex-boyfriend’s car. The arrangement of the song is very tight and with about a minute left, there is lots of percussion and handclapping that will make you twist and turn your body to the beat. “Rumor Has It” starts off with a pounding bass drum as Adele slick vocal style conjures up visions of a smoky bar room and the emphasis to the drum beats are highlighted with successive hand claps and the tambourine is consistent throughout. Then all of a sudden it slows down to a real slow pace and I picture a shadow walking under a street lamp on a city street on a foggy spring night but then the bass drum kicks it back up and the hand clapping is not only part of the song-you will be applauding this effort. “Turning Tables” takes the pace down a bit as the piano playing behind her beautiful voice is just as magnificent as her singing. “Turning Tables” kind of reminds me of “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol a little bit-in the title, but musically as well but obviously her voice is different from Gary Lightbody.I can picture this being played on pop radio stations across America and also being performed on American Idol at some point in the future. “Don’t You Remember” actually reminds me of Stevie Nicks a little bit, especially the beginning. The song is a stunning ballad which should have you completely mesmerized about one minute into the song, her vocal range is solid. I feel like I have heard this song before but can’t put my “ear” on it. When the song hits the “bridge” the production behind the song is powerful as she exclaims-“why don’t you remember??!!!…remember me once more…” Sounds like a heart-break song to me. Track # 5-“Set Fire to the Rain”-(cool name for a song, no?) starts off like a Journey song with the piano giving way to her vocals as the steady groove will have you shaking your head up and down as you drift off as you listen to the lyrics and it seems quite apparent she has experienced a bad relationship while she was writing for this album. She sounds more like Joss Stone on this song more than any other song, again in my opinion. “He Won’t Go” has that Winehouse feel to it as I am back in a bar room as the spot light is on Adele as she stands next to the piano and not a single word is spoken in the audience because they are almost hypnotized by her vocals. Listen to how she says the word-“risk”- “…I’m willing to take the riiii….ee…ssskkk.” This is one of the better tracks on the album.

Making believe it is now side two, track #7-“Take it All”-starts off very “a-capella”-ish with just the piano playing behind her. Wow what a voice, folks you need to really pay attention to her talents. She has this way of captivating you and not letting go-this is pure talent that comes from within-you have to feel it because I know she feels it. Adele is unique and it is songs like this that cement this observation. “I’ll Be Waiting” starts off very “Carole King-ish” as I could picture Ms. King singing this song if she was just starting out like Adele. This is a finger snapping tune that will have you wanting to know the lyrics right away because you will want to sing along with her. “I’ll be waiting for you…when you’re ready to love me again…” but I get the feeling she won’t be there when he is ready again. This has an “old school” feel to it and the background vocals make it seem like this is contemporary 1960’s-if you know what I mean. “One and Only” is the best song on the album. This is the game winning catch with a few seconds left in the Superbowl or hitting a homerun in the bottom of the ninth inning to win the seventh game of the World Series. Folks, this is a “knee-bending” worthy song and you just may need something to hold you up as listen to this masterpiece. I’m at a loss on what else to say-you need to hear this song. I guess maybe since “One and Only” was so phenomenally good, it is hard to top and maybe that is why I am not so keen on her cover version of The Cure’s “Lovesong.” Of course the vibe is different from the original but it’s not that bad, like I said maybe it is coming off the high of the prior song. It drags just a bit. Track # 11-“Someone Like You”-brings me back to that place where she takes you-off in your own little world as her voice is melting the snow and ice from the winter blues. Remember those old “Bugs Bunny” cartoons where the aroma of a carrot would have Bugs floating in the air towards the grand prize-same thing here and my guess is the grand prize is seeing her live in concert as I bet she will make you feel like you are the only person inside the Beacon Theater when she sings this song. I just did the Wayne’s World “We Are Not Worthy” bow (hey I know it’s a different genre but when you feel it…). The last song on this fantastic album is “I Found a Boy” and to me it has the feel ofSusan Tedeschi because of the bluesy sound punctuated by the guitar playing which sounds like something Derek Trucks (Susan’s husband) would play. It’s hard to believe this woman is only 21, dare I say that she reminds me of Christina in the sense that I don’t think there is anyone out there who sings like Christina, well I may have just found someone who is not that far behind. Folks, this is the best new female vocalist to come out in the last few years-I had heard all the rumors and praises but I now own the proof. What a way to end an album with this heart-felt passionate victory-unreal.

So what are you waiting for? I say that you stop what you are doing right now and run out and purchase “21.” Not only will she make you wish that you are 21 again but you will also wish that you could sing like her. The best release of 2011 so far and so worthy of your attention.

Top Ten

Image of The Who

This week’s I-pod shuffle landed on the “Overture” (from “Tommy”) by The Who and it had me thinking that I have done the top ten songs by“three” of the “Big Four” British bands that forever changed the world of rock music and so I figured it was time to try and tackle this list. Now again I will not sit here and profess to know all there is about this legendary band, who are still touring and recording, albeit without two of their brothers-John Entwistle and Keith Moon-who have since passed on. However, when I look at my I-Pod I do have 100 songs of theirs and I would consider myself a fan and I have seen them in concert. I am a creature of habit (for those of you who know me you know that is so true, right? –ask my bride) and I have been getting my haircut at the same place for the past 11 years and the woman who cuts it for me is a huge fan of The Who, with “Tommy” being her all-time favorite. She has passed her enthusiasm on down to her seven year old son who has known the words to every song on “Tommy” now for a couple of years. I love when I hear anecdotes like this; it gets me so psyched-if that makes me weird…then so be it. But I love it when music gets into the blood stream of folks and that sheer expression of happiness as they display their joy is what music is all about.

And talk about being in the fabric of some many people’s lives? Think about how The Who has changed people’s lives over these past five decades-their music is everywhere. And just like their British partners, they made landmark albums that forever changed the landscape of music and these albums will always stand the test of time. We are responsible for passing it on down to our children and our children’s children with no exceptions. The one moment that will forever be etched into my memory (and I think many other people will have the same memory) is when they played Madison Square Garden, along with many other superstars, a month or so after 9-11, as part of a benefit for the victims of that horrible day. There were other major stars but in my opinion, The Who will forever be the highlight of that incredible night. I will never forget the smiles on the faces of the firemen in the audience amongst the pain and tears as they watched their heroes perform up on the world’s greatest stage. The audience sang with such passion trying to match the fervor of Mr. Roger Daltrey as that night could have been his best performance ever, it was as if he was having an “outer-body” experience, he was so “lights out.” Pete and John were also fantastic, I don’t want to make it just about the lead singer-they all had to be because they knew what the moment meant to so many.

In my opinion, The Who were different from their “British Brothers” in many ways, especially in their recordings. Yes I know they were “brash” as The Stones when they first hit the scene-you want proof-“hope I die before I get old”- that lyrical line alone will forever be associated with them. They did their own “Sgt. Pepper’s” concept album but added a twist of “opera.” The Mighty Led Zeppelin seem to get the upper nod when it came to musicianship but Mr. Entwistle was a beast on bass, Keith an “Animal” (Muppets) on drums; Mr. Townsend on guitar is one you just can’t easily dismiss and Roger held his own as one of the greatest front-men in the history of music but that all said-I still maintain their sound and approach to their music was different from their brothers. (“Tommy” and “Quadrophenia”-C’mon?!). Anyway I don’t want to turn this into a competition between all of them because they each added something special to the world in their own way and we are the lucky ones because we will forever have their recordings to fall back on and to pass on down to future generations.

So here it is I am on an island and have been informed that I can only have ten songs by The Who- here is my list: (By the way if I could have “eleven” that would be the live version of “Baby Don’t You Do It”)

10.     The Punk and the Godfather– By the time The Who made Quadrophenia, I think they were in “fifth” gear and fully in stride. Listen to Entwistle on the bass on this song-he is flat out spectacular and with the “wheel house” lead guitar riffs from Pete-can it get any better? I love the arrangement-which takes the “normal Who break” as Pete takes it down with his soft vocal part while Roger waits in the wings for his turn as the composition roars back with his rough and gritty vocals. And all throughout the song, Keith’s drumming is spotless and for some reason it seems to be in the background but if you listen to just his part-it really makes me want to take drum lessons. This song is phenomenal and addictive.

9.     New Song – How can I not have this song on my list? This was the song that made me buy my first ever Who album-“Who Are You”- and then set me on the course of exploring all their classics. Now this song deserves to be on my list because I love the arrangement and the groove is so good. Listening to this song on my younger son’s headphones is something to behold-it is so good. And even though they goof on their fans by stating that “…I write the same old songs with a few new lines…and everybody wants to cheer it…” I would say that this song sounds a bit different from their late 1960’s and early 1970’s powerhouse albums and they are right-I do want to cheer it. “…let it rain…let it rain…let it rain…let it rain…let it raaaaaaiiiiiiinnnnnn yeahhhhhh..”-I love that guitar rip after that part. Great song and I don’t want any complaints.

8.     Let’s See Action – I know what you are thinking-“with all The Who songs out there how can this make your top ten?” My answer is –“to each his or her own”-I absolutely love this track. The piano part in the beginning actually reminds me of “I Call Your Name” by The Mama & Papas (the cover of The Beatles song) and the piano playing throughout the rest of the song is flawless. This song is perfectly constructed around Roger’s vocals as Pete’s guitar playing is also flawless. Keith and John provide the fuel behind the fire as their rhythm is always solid. Again there is a “Pete” break as he takes it down to a low level (…I don’t know where I’m going…I don’t know what I need…) as we all know the song will build back up again. Put on a great set of headphones and squeeze your hands as hard you can into your ears and let this song take you to another stratosphere. Awesome tune.

7.     Getting In Tune – A seemingly “forgotten” tune from arguably their best album-“Who’s Next”- but not by me- I love this song. You see, (or hear) Roger can take it down and his beginning vocal solidifies the fact that he is one of the best singers in rock history. He sings perfectly along to the background music-“…I got it all here in my head…there’s nothing more needs to be said…I’m just banging on my old piano”- which is amplified by the pounding drums of Mr. Keith Moon. The Who made many songs that are “bar songs” meaning a whole row at the bar can take their mugs and sway their arms back and forth while singing out loud-I can picture this being done to this song. Great sing along song!!

6.     Baba O’Riley– No matter how many times I thought this song was not going to be in my top ten, it kept winning the battles against other songs. Now the reason I say this is because we all know how many times we have heard this song throughout the years. (Has to be right up there with “Stairway” and “Sweet Home Alabama,” no?) But the moment you hear the opening keyboard notes, you can’t help but get psyched, right??!!! Then when the piano kicks in and Keith is chomping at the bit to add the drums, well it’s already at a fever pitch and you have to turn the volume up a couple of notches. This song will forever remind me of when I was dating my wife and had introduced her to my friend, Johnny Boy. Now for those of you who know Johnny Boy you know what I am talking about. Well we were headed to a NY Mets game to meet fellow co-workers from S&P and we were riding on the “Interboro” parkway (which is now the “Jackie Robinson” parkway) and it was a deluge of rain coming down on the road with such furiousness that the two lane highway could not handle all the water. My wife was very nervous driving and we encountered a big puddle of water and had to go through it and by this time this song had come to the part at the end where the pace really picks up and here was Johnny playing “drums” on the back of her driver’s seat and was literally possessed by the song-he was in a different world and his antics proved to be the calming influence on a pretty intense situation. Just as we parked in the Shea Stadium parking lot, the sun came out.

5.     The Seeker – This arguably could be one of their best songs ever written and recorded and I would put this song up to any other rock song-yes “toe-to-toe” and I bet this song would go far in those March Madness brackets. The guitar riff is so righteous and the melody is so sweet. “…I asked Bobby Dylan…I asked the Beatles”- c’mon who calls Bob Dylan- “Bobby?”-it’s like calling Robert DeNiro-“Bobby.”-Only close friends can call them that (not even relatives). Listen to the piano playing, listen to Pete’s phenomenal struttin’ on the guitar and tell me this song isn’t great? Roger Daltrey’s voice is fantastic and when Pete helps him out on the background vocals at the part-“…I’m looking for me…you’re looking for you…”- well that could just be the best part of the song. I can listen to this song all day long. Once the spring time rolls around, slip this song in your car and roll down the windows and play this semi loud as you drive past your neighbors-they will turn and give you a thumbs up!!!

4.     Squeeze Box – I remember being “pre-teenager” and walking around the house singing the words to this song and I knew something was not right but I could never get the melody out of my head-I love this song so much. Now the lyrics are a bit “risqué” but maybe they are really referring to a music box-any way- the only thing wrong with this song is that it is too short. Just as I am really getting into it, the song ends. I love the “bango” type playing throughout the song and Roger is flawless. “Cause she’s playing all night and the music’s alright.” Love it!!!

3.     We’re Not Gonna Take It – This song should be put into the Smithsonian Institution. Or maybe Congress should put into law that every one living in the U.S. should own this song. “We’re not gonna take it…never did…and never will…” This song arguably solidifies the fact that “Tommy” is the best rock opera concept album ever recorded. When Daltrey slows down things and is basically singing a capella, his vocals-“See me…feel me…touch me…heal me” puts me in such a trance that I feel like I am inside a kaleidoscope spinning in a circle and when Pete and Roger sing together-“listening to you…I get the music…gazing at you”-this could be the best part of a song ever recorded.(sort of reminds me of The Beatles at that point). This has to bring you back to a point in time where you were younger and had less to worry about, right?A complete masterpiece.

2.     Love Reign O’er Me – In Dec. 2009 I did a top ten “screamers” of all time and of course Mr. Daltrey was on the list and I stated at that time that this was the best “scream” song ever recorded. I still believe this. Everything about this song is so perfect-the beginning with the rain which sounds like it is coming in through the basement door into the vestibule (just like the houses built in Sunset Park Brooklyn, where almost every house had a basement entry) and the middle with the Keith getting into the action with “up and down” scaling on the drums matching the fervor of Roger as the “screaming intensifies” and of course the dramatic ending which is complete with one of the best screams ever-“LOOOOO-OHHHH-VVVVVEEEEEEEE.” What else can I say but this is another masterpiece.

1.     The Real Me – Wow…double wow…how friggin’ phenomenal is this song? John Entwistle is a pure beast on the bass guitar-I could write the whole review for this song just on the bass part. Folks, I’m telling you right now-please listen to this song carefully and follow along to the bass guitar.This song is what I call-“controlled chaos”- as it sounds like each member of the band is doing their own thing but yet it comes all together to make their greatest song-in my opinion. Keith Moon’s drumming is so infectious that it makes me feel like I am inside a box that I can’t get out of, so I resort to frantically running to each corner to try and knock down each “wall” of the box. Pete Townsend is so focused on his lead guitar riff that it appears to be in the background (because of the bass) but again, if you listen carefully, you realize just how important his part is to the song. And what about Roger?- I absolutely love the part where he sings-“I went back to my mother…I said I’m crazy Ma…help me…”- I have to rewind the song again over and over just to hear that part and who doesn’t love the ending when his voice echoes with –“can you see the real me…me (me) me (me) me (me)…” Hopefully I have put into words just how phenomenal this song is-a total team effort on the part of The Who. Thank you gentlemen for this and so many other songs. Taking a cue from AC/DC- “We Salute You!!!!”

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Charlie Daniels Band

2.     Train

3.     Zebra

4.     Young MC

This week’s trivia (Random)-

1.     I have been around since the 1980’s and most thought I’d probably not last long but after leaving the group I was in, I embarked on a very successful solo career. I don’t tour that often but when I do, I can easily sell out Madison Square Garden because I have faith in myself. Who am I?

2.     I started out as a “new wave” guy during the late 1970’s and then after a few albums I became bored with that genre and then put out a “big band” type album, complete with trumpets, saxophones and other wind instruments. I then went on to so many other genres, including jazz, pop and various others-I will not be held down to one genre. Like fine wine, I get better with age and whenever I come back to New York, my entire band comes along with me and we sell out every night. I never did go back to the “new wave” stuff but I know there are fans out there who want me to do it one more time. Who am I?

3.     In the mid 2000’s, our band exploded on to the scene seemingly breathing back life to the world of rock. Our best known song was getting so much air play it was a little overwhelming and subsequently the band had some squabbles and broke up. The band continued on in name but has not had the success of that one song. Who are we?

4.     Before I joined this three-some I was part of a band that also had a star as big as I was. This star would then play with our three-some and for a while we became a four-some. All four of us are still playing today after getting our start in the 1960’s. Who am I? What was the name of the band I was part of before the three-some and four-some? What is the name of the three-some and four-some?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     Guitar Man – Bread

2.     Knock Three Times – Tony Orlando & Dawn

3.     With or Without You – U2

4.     Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd

Can you guess the title from the following lyrics from part of the song?

1.     “…dizzy in the head and I’m feeling blue…the things you said well maybe they’re true…and getting funny dreams again and again…”

2.     “…when I was an amateur spitting before the scripts were written…first one in, last one out the club…”

3.     “…cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time and its news is captured…for the Queen to use …”

4.     “…I know she’s the kind of girl who’d throw my love away…but I still love her so…don’t hurt me now…don’t hurt me now…”

Back on this Day

Sadly back on this day in 1986, Richard Manuel, pianist for The Band, took his own life at the very young age of 42.

Sadly back on this day in 2001, Glenn Hughes of The Village People passed away from lung cancer, he was buried in his leather biker outfit.

Back on this day in 1967, The Rolling Stones single-“Ruby Tuesday”- reached number one on the Billboard Charts-making it their fourth number one song at the time.

Back on this day in 1970, Janis Joplin was fined $200 for using obscene language at a concert in Tampa FL in November 1969. My how times have changed.-seems like every song now has a curse word in its title, never mind being sung or said.

Back on this day in 1972, Badfinger received its first and only “Gold” single for the song-“Day After Day.” It was such a shame the tragedy that band suffered, they were really good.

Back on this day in 1973, Pink Floyd kicked off a U.S. tour in support of their latest release-“Dark Side of the Moon” in Madison Wisconsin.

Back on this day in 1978, the IRS raided the home of Jerry Lee Lewis and confiscated $170,000 worth of automobiles because of back taxes that he owed.

Back on this day in 1983, Neil Young collapsed on stage in Louisville Kentucky while performing and it was due to exhaustion.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with Chris Squier (Yes) and Jason Newsted (former bassist for Metallica)

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