The “Grumpy Old Rock Star Tour” found its way to the Scottish Rite Cathedral on October 11, 2019. Rick was anything but grumpy. And the sold-out crowd loved every second of it.
When I spoke to him (see Podcasts) he told me that his show was a combination of piano playing and silly stories. He was more than well equipped to do both.
Many people do not know just how funny this man, who is very serious about his music, can be. Those who were in the audience last night who didn’t know prior to the show quickly found out. From the time Rick walked on stage (almost on time) he had the audience totally captivated with his unusual show.
Back in the late 60’s when I was on the air at WDAS FM there were two rumors that kept popping up. The biggest one was that Paul McCartney was dead. The other was that Ginger Baker was dead. Fortunately, Paul is still alive after all these years, but unfortunately Ginger Baker died on October 6, 2019.
After my first encounter with the dynamic redhead, I was convinced that Ginger Baker was too feisty to ever die! His battles with fellow member of Cream, Jack Bruce, were legendary. Now 2/3 of Cream are gone.
In my book “Confessions of a Teenage Disc Jockey” I gave a full account of the night that I was able to convince both Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker to come to the WDAS FM studios for an interview. Eric was more than willing, but Ginger had to take a little more convincing. Perhaps the fact that Jack Bruce was coming helped. I didn’t know at the time that the two were consistently at odds, so it was a bit of luck that I was unable to even find Bruce to convince him.
The actual store address is 550 N Reading Rd. (272 highway) just outside the Lancaster county town of Ephrata, PA. At this unlikely address you will find a real gem. I hadn’t visited the store myself in several years and was absolutely amazed at how much the store has grown and improved since my last venture into the shop.
I had a long conversation with the store’s owner Andy Kamm, and he explained why. When I first talked with Andy, I expressed my surprise on how much larger the store was. He was able to explain why since he has been the sole store owner for over thirty years.
It was the perfect night for a cookout and ZZ TOP and Cheap Trick did the cooking. Either band could have been the headliner, but apparently Cheap Trick lost the coin toss and went on first. Why not? The last time ZZ Top was at the BB&T Center just over a year ago as part of WMGK’s Heavy Hitters Concert, they opened for John Fogerty.
Before either act took the stage there was an unannounced act. A young blues singer named Marquise Knox and his band played their brand of Blues/Rock. It was an interesting mixture of the old and the new. Later Marquise was invited to play with Cheap Trick. It is always good that established acts are so willing to help new ones. That is how the music gets carried on.
I had a chance to talk with Marquise after his performance. He informed me that they have a new album coming out in 2020. He is lucky to even be alive or be able to perform. Last year he was stabbed in the neck after a performance in his home base of St. Louis. He is actually from Bowling Green, MO, an hour and a half from St. Louis. More information is available on his website http://www.Marquiseknoxblues.com.
Just as I was getting ready to write a review of last night’s Z Z Top and Cheap Trick concert, word came of the death of Ric Ocasek. This on the heals of Eddie Money’s death was a real double whammy. They say that these deaths come in threes. Let’s certainly hope not. We have lost enough talent already.
It was a day not to forget. When the first Cars album came out there was the usual hype from their record company. The promo guy from Electra Records was certain that they had a huge hit on their hands. OK, that has been said of many groups before that never made an impact.
After putting the debut Cars album on the turntable, you could tell from the very first few notes that this group was different. In an age of Progressive Rock getting more and more complex, the first cut “Good Times Roll” was unique. So, what else does the group have to offer?
It’s no secret that Ten Years After exploded on the music scene international after their explosive performance at Woodstock 50 years ago. This year there has been a flurry of concerts with some of the artists who played performing on the same program marking the anniversary of the legendary concert. Ten Years After has done a few of them, but on August 21, 2019 they were the only attraction at the Sellersville Theater.
Their performance that night showed the crowd that gave them a standing ovation that they are not just another old band trying to cash in on the Woodstock anniversary. While there are those who will claim that Ten Years After will never be the same since the departure of the late Alvin Lee, they should at least listen to the new lineup before passing judgment.
On a Friday the thirteenth that also featured the rare occurrence of a full moon on that date, it was announced that Eddie Money died of esophageal Cancer. Eddie probably would have seen some humor in that.
The first time I met Eddie many years ago when he was first starting out, it was very evident that he found humor in most things. He was so upbeat. He laughed about how he also most became a New York City cop.
His grandfather and brother were policemen in New York City. So, it really wasn’t a big surprise that under his real name of Eddie Mahoney, he went to the police academy. He told me that while he passed the course, he never actually was on the force. NYPD’s loss was our gain.
We continue our search for record stores with Vinyl Revival Records. The name of this store tells only part of the story.
In a day and age when all the major record stores have closed due to lack of sales, why does someone decide to invest in opening a small local record store. Each store owner has a different story.
So why did Andrea DiFabio take on the task of trying to make a go of selling records at 35-37 N Lansdowne Avenue in Lansdowne, PA? Here’s what she had to say about the genesis of the idea.
In his autobiography BORN TO RUN, Bruce Springsteen gives a highly personal account of his life that saw him rocket from his very humble beginnings in Freehold, New Jersey to one of the most popular of all time in music. This is truly an honest look at not only his music but his failings as a person.
This extremely well written account of Springsteen’s life compares favorably to his idol Bob Dylan’s autobiography. Unlike the disappointing and almost unreadable attempt by Steven Tyler in his autobiography that gets mired in his sexual and drug misadventures, this is a much more reveling look into what makes Bruce tick.
The Springsteen family was like so many others in Middle America. They suffered through many hardships and always seemed to be on the verge of losing everything, but that was pretty much par for the neighborhood. Somehow the family was able to find the money to the children to catholic schools. There the nuns gave Bruce the usual hard times that any aimless boys got from them.
Some call Bob Dylan the greatest songwriter of all time. You certainly can argue that he is one of the best songwriters of the Rock era. No one has won more awards or been honored as much as Dylan. Is there an honor that hasn’t he hasn’t awarded at this point?
You certainly can’t dismiss the volume of music that Bob has written and released over his career. It is very easy to lose track of how many albums and singles he has released since the start of his debut in 1961. No other songwriter has had more other artists do covers of their songs.
With all that music it is easy to have overlooked some of his best singles. Dylan wrote and recorded so many great songs during the mid- sixties that he even admits are beyond his abilities to write today. Of course, he has reinvented himself so many times that his song writing has changed. These changes make it possible for him to have had such a successful career and sustain it over many decades.
August 16th marks the anniversary of a very special event. On that date in 1967 a new form of radio was born in Philadelphia.
In 1967 there was an explosion of new music. It was the Summer of Love. Much of it centered in San Francisco where flower power was born along with a whole host of new music acts the likes of that no one had ever seen before. In the clubs of the city by the bay you could see and hear The Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Big Brother &The Holding Company and a host of other exciting new groups.
First entry in an upcoming series.
Do you like to sort through stacks of records? Do you get real joy out of finding a real gem in those stacks?
If you read my book “Confessions of a Teenage Disc Jockey”, then you know that I spent countless hours in my local record stores. They were all Mom and Pop operations. You could strike up a conversation with the owners and often be taught about the music by them.
It was a true small business. I’m sure their profit margin wasn’t great, but they loved what they were doing. At the time I often thought that when I grew up I would open a record store or maybe a book shop.
The Beatles have always had interesting album covers. At three of them caused a great deal of controversy. We may get to others in the future, but today we will focus on the cover of Abbey Road.
When Paul McCartney did a pencil sketch of what he wanted on the cover of Abbey Road, he never imagined what demons he would unleash. It did seem pretty simple and straight forward. The fab four walking across Abbey Road.
The only problem that anyone foresaw was crowd control and traffic. That was easily solved when the police blocked off the area and gave the photographer just ten minutes to take his best shots. Despite having to balance himself on a step ladder while taking the legendary photo, the work was accomplished in the allotted time. Everyone was happy with the results.