The British Rock Olympics: The Style Icon Competition, Part Two – The ’70s

Aug 10, 2012 | 2887 Views | 2 Comments

Ask me where I would love to have lived in the 1960s, and I'll say LONDON in a Big Ben minute. The fashions, the music, the clubs! Imagine the chance to sit in on the drug trials of Mick and Keith! Or being able to crawl through Paul McCartney's bathroom window, as fans once did. Blimey, the bobbies didn't even carry guns (and still don't, except for special circumstances). Alas, the swinging times came to an end in the 1970s, as inflation, unemployment, high taxes and strikes eventually made for a very unmerry old England. But... Read More »

The British Rock Olympics: The Style Icon Competition, Part One – The ’60s

Aug 5, 2012 | 2832 Views | 7 Comments

When it comes to music, I've waved the U.K. Rock Team flag my entire life. Okay, I realize those skinny boys stole a lot of riffs and rhythms from their American R&B heroes of the '50s. But there was something about their electric British sound and haughty, mod style that turned me into a Union Jack junkie from my earliest Beatle-loving days. So, in honor of London hosting the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, here is Part One of my series on British rock medal winners: The 1960s Style Icon Competition. From Carnaby Street to The King's Road... Read More »

Southside Johnny Lyon: Foot Soldier of the Jersey Music Mafia

Jul 29, 2012 | 2499 Views | 5 Comments

When tickets went on sale this past spring for the Rod Stewart/Stevie Nicks July 28 "Heart and Soul" show at Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center, I took pause. I've adored Rod since his earliest days in the music biz, when he sang his heart out with Brit bands like Long John Baldry's Hoochie Coochie Men, The Jeff Beck Group and The Faces. But as much as I love Rod The Former Mod, was I really willing to fork over $150 to sit half a mile from the stage of a 19,000-seat arena to hear him sing "Do... Read More »

The Beatles vs The Rolling Stones: Some Sound Opinions, 50 Years On

Jul 13, 2012 | 2201 Views | 2 Comments

"My brother's back at home with his Beatles and his Stones; we never got it off on that revolution stuff." So lamented Mott the Hoople in their 1972 "All The Young Dudes," a David Bowie-penned anthem about aimless glam-rockers and their disdain for the values of the past. Oh, those boogaloo boys in their eyeliner, glitter and platform shoes!  I've enjoyed glam-rock as much as many other genres, from punk to bluegrass. But no matter how many musical roads I've traveled, I always end up back at home, with my Beatles and my Stones. This summer marks... Read More »

When Johnny Cash Made ABC Censors Walk The Line

Jun 13, 2012 | 3156 Views | 3 Comments

The Smothers Brothers - Dick and Tom - are hailed as freedom-of-speech heroes for their battles with CBS network executives who censored, and eventually cancelled, their trippy 1967-69 "Comedy Hour." But few followers of music and TV history are aware that Johnny Cash also stood up to the company men who attempted to police his 1969-71 TV variety show. In March of 1970 Johnny fought to bring then-controversial folk singer Pete Seeger to his show, despite the network's fears that Seeger would perform songs critical of the Vietnam War and President Richard Nixon's administration. Just a few... Read More »