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RUSH: 2112 and Beyond

Posted by Artster63

Hey all. It's been a while since my last post. I'm in the middle of my road trip season, but will be getting back to posting regularly in the next week or so. I appreciate and thank you for hanging. Now for a short and sweet memory of mine.

My first and most favorite Rush album was 2112. And I mean I wore the grooves off that puppy. This was my full jump, both feet first into Progressive Rock. An array of sounds I never heard before. A voice as distinctive as the guitar and drum portions on each song. As I write this post I'm listening to the album on my iPod.

How times have changed. I used to have this boom-box with a cassette player, playing this album as I roamed around aimlessly with my buds. The radio was too big I couldn't carry anything else. I remember having to switch arms regularly to prevent one arm being longer than the other. So said my mom, she was a hoot.

"We are the priests... of the temples... of Syrinx"

2112 was my gift of long play. Track 1 comes in at 20 min. 33 seconds of electric Rock at it's best. Even at that length I still find myself replaying the track over and over. Geddy on bass, keys and vocals, Alex on guitar and Neil on drums. A basic setup for any group, but incredibly potent for Rush. Turning the volume up I can catch every guitar note and drum beat. One of the few times I'd heard the bass play an equal lead.

This people is serious air-guitar music. My problem was always trying to stay with one instrument instead of playing all the various instrument solos. But they're all so cool!

The rest of my Rush collection includes:

The Unofficial Rush Jukebox. I found this at Power Windows: A Tribute to Rush

Wordless Wednesday

Posted by Artster63

Check out: UFO

UFO - Wiki

Wordless Wednesday

Posted by Artster63

Check out:

John Lennon

70's Classic Rock: Arte y Pico

Posted by Artster63

When I first started 70's Classic Rock, I was just taking a trip back, to the music and the memories of my teen years, which were the 70's. Never did I imagine that someone or anyone would have stopped, read and enjoyed my posts. Well, Carol from She Lives stopped, read and chose to honor me with the "Arte y Pico" award. Thank you Carol.

Take a minute to visit her site. Here's what she says about it, "My desire for She Lives is that it develop as a site for musicians, musicians-to-be, musicians who have laid their instruments down for a time, young musicians and their encourage them in their musical endeavors, no matter the level at which they play." She is right on the money based on what I've read on her site. My thoughts are also with Carol as she is dealing with a debilitating illness in her family.

In following the tradition of this award, I will now pay it forward with my list of 5 bloggers and their sites who have entertained, challenged and motivated me, as well as, enriched the blogging community as a whole.

1) Barbara at Layla's Classic Rock Faves. A daily blogger with an enthusiastic love for all things Rock. It's easily sensed in her posts and subject matter. I've enjoyed this site with it's informative articles and occasional curve ball trivia thrown in. She has 6 blogs in all, but 2 sister sites, "Gone, But Not Forgotten" and "Writing From The Inside Out" are a compliment to her love of music and compassion in life.

2) Malcolm at Pop Culture Dish, Presented by Malcolm. Now I want to be like this guy when I grow up. He's got games, trivia, movie and TV classics, music and a whole-lot-more. If I were half as driven and talented as Malcolm, I'd be Superman, Jr. Definitely visit this site to learn something about pop culture or to be challenged weekly with his Tuesday Trivia feature. Oh, did I mention he has a weekly radio show called "The Retro Mix".

3) Chili at Classic Video Jukebox. Here's a blogger with 22+ plus years in broadcasting and programming. Detailed posts on groups from the 60's, 70's and 80's including Classic Rock, R&B, Soul and Funk videos. Written with a Midas touch, like only someone who was there can lay down. A companion site, Rock and Roll Classics compliments his ability to offer deep insight and facts on artists and groups and reinforces his love of the music and stories.

4) Nards at Nardeeisms. A truly gifted mother, wife, photographer and blogger. Nards is incredibly creative and insightful on all things about family life and everyday musings. She writes her posts like a daily novella often referencing encounters or items from previous posts. Nards has a twist, in that she gives us readers a song and lyrics of the day cleverly incorporated into her articles. A truly addicting blog. I bet you just can't read one!

5) Sondan at Old School Music Lover. This is where I go to get a little Soul. A great blog celebrating the artists of old, Ray Charles, Undisputed Truth, The Temptations, The Parliaments, The Dominoes and of course a little Sly & The Family Stone for spice. Before I was a rocker I was hooked on Motown with my hometown group The Chi-lites. This site is where I go to step back into my roots of music enjoyment. Sondan is awesome with her knowledge and love of the oldies. Like the tag line says, "Motown, Soul and Rock & Roll".

Folks, each of these blogs is a big influence on my own site. From the writing style and subject matter, to a shared love of music as a whole. If you enjoy 70's Classic Rock then you owe it to yourself to visit these great sites. May the "Pico" fly on.

Wordless Wednesday

Posted by Artster63

Check out: The Stevie Ray Vaughan Archive

Santana - "Festival" and the Ritual of Vinyl

Posted by Artster63

This is a special post to celebrate today, "Vinyl Record Day" - August 12, 2008. Thanks to JB at The Hits Just Keep on Comin' for the invite to participate.

I have a lot of memories of my vinyl record days. The most common of course is gently placing the record on a turntable spindle. Sliding the retaining arm over to hold it and flipping the springed switch to start the mesmerizing spin. I would stand there, headphones in hand, watching as the retaining clip on the spindle slowly disappears allowing the record to drop. Then anxiously waiting for the mechanical arm to glide over and perfectly, (most times), gently drop the needle to the beginning of the first track. A sizzling, staticky sound would amplify through the speakers before the first note was hit. Then... music! At this time I would plug the headphones in, raise the volume to the high position and stand in front of the mirror playing an air guitar concert like nobody's business.

This was the ritual I would perform every evening with my Santana - Festival album. Every evening until I wore the ridges out. I'll be honest with you, I wasn't all that familiar with who Carlos Santana was. My brother, cool dude that he was and is, had heard the album and bought it for me on my 13th birthday. Great choice Al.

The songs on this album are an awesome blend of rock, latin and soul. An intoxicating mix that have stayed with me to this day. First in album form, then cassette, then CD and now on my iPod.

The memories of standing in that basement, jammin' away on my imaginary guitar always brings a smile to my face. And don't even think I've stopped doing that. Except instead of my mother giving me the "I've got to get that boy some help" look, now it's my wife giving me the "and I married this guy, why?" look. Hey people you know the Artster is all about GOOD MUSIC and good times.

As I would strum the last note of Maria Caracoles and wipe the sweat from my forehead, I would always think to myself, "great show, dude". Then the reverse ritual would take place of removing the album from the record player and while holding the album with a full four finger spread, anchored by my thumb I would carefully reinsert the record into the sleeve, where it would be safely kept until my next show.

If you have an opportunity to listen to this album, I highly suggest it. Great artist, great tunes and another one of those "you won't be able to sit still" moments.

Here are just a few videos of songs on this LP. Revelations was my favorite. Enjoy!!

Isaac Hayes: Composer, Performer, Humanitarian

Posted by Artster63

I was checking the news today and came across a headline. "Soul Legend Isaac Hayes Dead at 65". After reading the headline, the first thing that came to mind was the theme to "Shaft". A song I had heard over and over while I was growing up and quite frankly never tired of it. A wickedly, smooth beat with no instrument left out. Drums, guitars, bass, keyboards, horns and the all too familiar deep voice blending together, creating one of the most recognized and admired theme songs of our generation.

How can you not bob the head? Tap the foot? Maybe even sing the entertaining lyrics, "That Shaft is a bad motha.... , SHUT YOUR MOUTH. I'm just talkin' 'bout Shaft". Come on. Who hasn't done that?

Some of you are probably asking, what does Isaac Hayes have to do with classic rock? Well he has more to do with the "70's" part of the title of this blog, which lends itself to the music part of this website. An icon to most... a bad motha... to me, his accomplishments earned him a right of passage into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

For me personally, growing up on the southside of Chicago and listening to R&B music, which was played everywhere, I came to appreciate composers like Isaac Hayes and Quincy Jones. Their contributions to the music I grew up with and enjoyed, is a life long gift. Thank you for that.

Here's a few listings from his RRHF bio:

March 14, 1972: Isaac Hayes wins an Academy Award for “Theme from ‘Shaft,’” making him the first African-American composer to be so honored. It also won two Grammys, a Golden Globe award and the NAACP Image Award.

December 15, 1973: “Joy,” by Isaac Hayes, enters the R&B charts, where it will peak at #7. It will be the last time he cracks the R&B Top Ten until 1986.

July 23, 1994: Isaac Hayes is crowned a king in Ghana for his humanitarian work and economic efforts on the country’s behalf.

March 18, 2002: Isaac Hayes is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the seventeenth annual induction dinner. Alicia Keys is his presenter.

Please do yourself a favor and listen to the music. Tap a foot, bob your head and that's all the artist needs to know that he's left his mark.

In memory of Isaac Hayes....

Summer Jams II: California Jam 4.6.74

Posted by Artster63

Recently, on a sales call, to a good friend and client, I was given a copy of a newspaper article entitled "One day in 1974...". Thanks to Randy for his "keepin' an eye out". He said it would make a good story for my "Summer Jams" series. The article appears on the "California Jam" website and was originally written by David Allen and appeared on April 4, 2002 in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (CA).

Described as the first of the California Jam series and the last of the original rock festivals, that is to say, before the corporate heavyweights got involved. Funny it's described as such when this very concert was planned and sponsored by the ABC Network.

Some portions of the article that caught my eye:

- News accounts of the concert use the phrase ``sea of humanity'' to describe the audience on the grass.
Did you watch the video? A sea of people, people!!!

- Stars stayed at the local Holiday Inn and were flown to the concert by helicopter. To keep fans away, the message sign
outside the motel read: ``Welcome Western States Police Officers Assn.''
How funny is that?

- The real problem was traffic. Cars were backed up on the freeway as far as 13 miles.
Would you abandon your car and walk 13 miles to get to a concert?

- Despite gate-crashers at California Jam, ticket sales were 168,000 -- at the time the largest single-day paid attendance in U.S. rock concert history.
Estimated 25,000 - 30,000 gate-crashers. Lucky dogs.

-Supposedly there were 900,000 hot dogs sold at the festival.
If I were there, it would've been 900,500 Vienna Red Hots.

How awesome is this line-up? To have sat there all day and have a whole spectrum of sounds and styles. Baking away in the sun with 200,000 fellow rockers with two things in common, the love of music and Bain de Soliel tanning lotion. The scent of that browning oil whisping through the air, mingling with the soft sounds of EW&F and the hard hitting notes of Black Sabbath. Too much!!!

# Rare Earth
# Earth, Wind and Fire
# Eagles
# Seals & Crofts
# Black Oak Arkansas
# Black Sabbath
# Deep Purple
# Emerson, Lake and Palmer (ELP)

This show was out there people. Ritchie Blackmore tearing up his guitars like they were a-dime-a-dozen. Keith Emerson playing a raised, flipping piano. This show was totally over the top.

I'm including some of my personal favorites that don't appear in the video player below. Hope you enjoy!!!!

Rare Earth - Get Ready, (I Know) I'm Losing You

Earth, Wind and Fire - Reasons, That's The Way Of The World, Shining Star, September

The Eagles - Desperado, Hotel California, Lyin' Eyes, The Best of My Love, Take It To The Limit

Seals & Croft - Summer Breeze, Diamond Girl, We May Never Pass This Way Again

Black Oak Arkansas - Hot Rod, Rock-N-Roll, Hot and Nasty

Black Sabbath - Ironman, Snowblind, Sweet Leaf
Ozzy Bonus 1, Ozzy Bonus 2

Deep Purple - Child In Time, Speed King, The Mule, Woman From Tokyo

Emerson, Lake & Palmer - C'est la vie, Fanfare For The Common Man, The Curse of Baba Yaga, Knife Edge

Wordless Wednesday

Posted by Artster63

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers performing at LIVE AID 1985.


Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers