ROCKTOBER-One

In today’s edition of ROCKTOBER you get two for the price of ‘One'(see what I did there?) Starting of with Metallica’s epic song “One”

Metallica thrashed into the MTV mainstream with this nightmarish tale of a World War I soldier who steps on a landmine and wakes up to find he’s lost his arms, legs, sight, hearing and speech—left only with the torture of being trapped in his own mind.

The lyrics are largely inspired on Dalton Trumbo’s 1939 anti-war novel “Johnny Got His Gun,” and subsequent 1971 movie of the same name.

“One” was written in November 1987 by Metallica’s principal composers James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. The song was released in 1989 as the third and final single of the album “And justice for all….” For the first 20 seconds of the song there are a series of sound effects with a battle theme, an artillery barrage and helicopter are heard and continues slightly over a clean tone guitar intro by Hetfield before Kirk Hammett comes in over the top with a clean-toned solo.

“One” was the first Metallica song for which a music video was created. The music video, directed by Bill Pope and Michael Salomon, debuted on MTV on January 20, 1989. The video, shot in Long Beach, California, is almost entirely in black and white, and features the band performing the song in a warehouse. It features dialogue and several scenes from the 1971 film adaptation of Johnny Got His Gun. Timothy Bottoms can be seen starring as Joe Bonham.

The second ‘One’ is U2’s classic hit from the album “Achtung Baby” in my opinion the last good album that U2 produced. Ironically it is the album that stopped them from breaking up.

During a Dublin show on December 31, 1989, Bono took a minute to air his band’s dirty laundry. U2 had entered the final stretch of the Lovetown Tour, launched earlier that year to help promote Rattle And Hum, and the guys were beyond exhausted. There were family issues to deal with; Bono’s wife had given birth to the couple’s first child earlier that year, and the Edge’s marriage to his high school sweetheart had started to crumble. There were creative problems, too, which had manifested themselves on Rattle And Hum and spilled over into the current tour.

“This is just the end of something for U2, and that’s why we’re playing these concerts,” Bono told the crowd during an encore performance of “Love Rescue Me.” “It’s no big deal. It’s just … we just have to go away and dream it all up again.”

Looking for some new inspiration, the guys wrapped up their tour, spent several months at home and headed to Berlin in October 1990, flying into town the day Germany officially reunited. The sessions were fraught with conflict, as the band argued over their musical direction and the quality of their material. After tension and slow progress nearly prompted the group to disband, they made a breakthrough with the improvised writing of the song “One”.

“At the instant we were recording it, I got a very strong sense of its power. We were all playing together in the big recording room, a huge, eerie ballroom full of ghosts of the war, and everything fell into place. It was a reassuring moment, when everyone finally went, ‘oh great, this album has started.’ It’s the reason you’re in a band – when the spirit descends upon you and you create something truly affecting. ‘One’ is an incredibly moving piece. It hits straight into the heart.”

—The Edge, on the recording of “One”

Bono recalls that “the melody, the structure, the whole thing was done in 15 minutes”. He also stated that the lyrics “just fell out of the sky, a gift”; the concept was inspired by the band members’ fracturing relationships, the German reunification, and Bono’s scepticism of the hippie idea of “oneness”. Bono later sent a note to the Dalai Lama declining an invitation to a festival called Oneness, incorporating a line from the song: “One—but not the same”. The song’s writing inspired the band and changed their outlook on the recording sessions. Mullen said the song reaffirmed the band’s “blank page approach” to recording and reassured the band that all was not lost.

“Is it getting better
Or do you feel the same?
Will it make it easier on you now?
You got someone to blameYou say one love, one life (One life)
It’s one need in the night
One love (one love), get to share it
Leaves you darling, if you don’t care for it”

“One” was released as a benefit single, with proceeds going towards AIDS research. The song topped the Irish Singles Charts, the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart and the US Billboard Album Rock Tracks and Modern Rock Tracks charts. It also peaked at number three in New Zealand, number four in Australia, number seven on the UK Singles Chart and number ten on the Billboard Hot 100. In promotion of the song, the band filmed several music videos, although they were not pleased until a third was created.

sources

https://www.bigedition.com/s/meanings-stories-pop-songs-lyrics-a727257e0a5a43c2

https://www.loudersound.com/features/the-real-story-behind-one-by-metallica

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_(Metallica_song)

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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ROCKTOBER-In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida

I have to be honest but “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” would not be one of my favourite Rock songs. However it is a classic Rock song nonetheless.

A friend once asked me if I knew the song “In the Garden of Eden” . He had heard it in the 1986 film “Manhunter” I corrected him and told him that the title was in fact “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” by Iron Butterfly.

It was only later that I discovered that we were both technically correct, in relation to the title.

One of the most blissfully indulgent rock songs, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” is animal-instinct rock and roll, playing out for 17:05 in its unabridged form and taking up an entire album side. The mysterious title is one of the great legends in rock. You might think it has a deep, mystical meaning, but it’s really a translation error.

Released in 1968, “In a Gadda Da Vida” is Iron Butterfly’s one and only hit. And this 17-minute song was recorded when the singer was not completely sober. The words ‘in a gadda da vida’ occur at the beginning and the end — in the middle it’s mostly instrumental. Which is a good thing because apparently the singer was drunk or high or both, and slurred the words ‘in the garden of eden.’ What you’re hearing, in fact, wasn’t supposed to be recorded, it was only meant as a soundcheck. The producer hadn’t arrived and the band was just kind of messing in the studio, but the engineer was rolling tape. At the end of it he decided it was actually pretty good. Their record company was OK with the title because it sounds exotic and Eastern spirituality was big at the time, with The Beatles going to India and The Rolling Stones experimenting with Indian instruments.

As for the meaning of the song, it’s just a guy affirming his love for his special girl.

“In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” was Iron Butterfly’s only song to reach the top 40, reaching number 30,though the album containing the full-length song was far more successful, reaching number four on the album chart and selling over a million copies. An 8-minute-20-second edit of the song was included in the soundtrack to the 1986 film Manhunter, the first movie to feature the character Hannibal Lecter. In 2009, it was named the 24th-greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1. It is also often regarded as an influence on heavy metal music and one of the firsts of the genre.[

My favourite version of the song featured in a 1995 episode of The Simpsons, “Bart Sells His Soul”, in which Bart Simpson tricks Reverend Lovejoy’s church into singing the song as an opening hymn by handing out sheet music titled “In the Garden of Eden” by “I. Ron Butterfly”. Lovejoy describes the hymn as “sounding like rock and/or roll”. The church organist, an elderly woman, collapses after playing for the entire seventeen minutes.

sources

https://www.pri.org/stories/2015-06-06/gadda-da-what-accidental-inspiraton-these-six-hit-songs

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/iron-butterfly/in-a-gadda-da-vida

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ROCKTOBER- Child in Time

As you can see I renamed October to ROCKTOBER- Throughout the month I shall be posting classic Rock songs and the stories behind them. Starting with Deep Purple’s “Child in Time”

It is the 3rd track on the a side of Deep Purple’s classic 1970 album “Deep Purple in Rock”

Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan has said that “Child in Time” is based on It’s a Beautiful Day’s psychedelic song “Bombay Calling”.

It’s a Beautiful Day in return borrowed Purple’s “Wring That Neck” and turned it into “Don and Dewey” on their second album Marrying Maiden (1970). The song started with organist Jon Lord playing “Bombay Calling”, which the band then re-arranged and changed the structure. Gillan had never heard the original song, and created lyrics about the Cold War to fit the music, later saying it “reflected the mood of the moment”. The band then worked out instrumental lines to accompany this.

With themes of war and inhumanity, the song is regarded as a heavy metal anthem and an example of art rock.

A staple of the Deep Purple live concerts in 1970–73 and later after their initial reunion tours of 1985 and 1987–88, the song was not featured regularly at concerts after 1995. It was re-added to the setlist for the band’s 2002 European tour, with its final appearance in Deep Purple’s live set was at Kharkiv’s Opera Theatre’s scene in March of that year.

A live version later appeared on the 1972 live album Made in Japan.

Ian Gillan said in an interview in 2002: “There are two sides to that song – the musical side and the lyrical side. On the musical side, there used to be this song ‘Bombay Calling’ by a band called It’s A Beautiful Day. It was fresh and original, when Jon was one day playing it on his keyboard. It sounded good, and we thought we’d play around with it, change it a bit and do something new keeping that as a base. But then, I had never heard the original ‘Bombay Calling.’ So we created this song using the Cold War as the theme, and wrote the lines ‘Sweet child in time, you’ll see the line.’ That’s how the lyrical side came in. Then, Jon had the keyboard parts ready and Ritchie had the guitar parts ready. The song basically reflected the mood of the moment, and that’s why it became so popular.”

Lars Ulrich of Metallica cites this as one of his favorite songs of all time. He says that when he was 9 years old, his father took him to a Deep Purple show, and it changed his life. “This is their most iconic moment,” he told Rolling Stone regarding the song. “I’ve heard it 92,000 times, and it never sounds anything less than great.”

I have to agree with Lars on this one.

sources

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/deep-purple/child-in-time

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Dirk’s A-Z Rock Music guide

In general I do a lot of history blogs which are often hard hitting, but every once in a while I like to do something more lighthearted.

Aside from history, music is one of my great passions and especially Rock music. This blog is a compilation of an A-Z Rock music guide. I say a guide because it will contain not the most commonly known Rock bands. but bands I really like. So sit back and relax Dirk’s A-Z Rock Music guide.

All About Eve-What kind of Fool

BONFIRE – You Make Me Feel

Cinderella-Somebody Save me

Dokken-Unchain the Night

Eels – Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues (Road Trip)

FM – Just Like You

Golden Earring – Clear Nite, Moonlight

Heart – Never

Icehouse – Crazy

J. Geils Band – Freeze Frame

Krokus – Eat The Rich

Linkin Park-In the end

Magnum – Just Like An Arrow

Nazareth – Hair of the Dog

OZZY OSBOURNE – “Mama, I’m Coming Home”

Papa Roach-Last Resort

Queensryche – The Mission

Radiohead – Street Spirit (Fade Out)

Saxon – Ride Like the Wind

Tesla – Modern Day Cowboy

Uriah Heep “Stealin’

Vandenberg – Your Love Is In Vain

Witness-Do it till we drop

XTC – Senses Working Overtime

Y&T Summertime Girls

ZZ Top – Jesus Just Left Chicago—–Rest in Peace Dusty Hill

Happy Birthday Ronnie James Dio

If Elvis is the King of Rock and Roll, and if Michael Jackson is the King of Pop, then surely Ronnie James Dio must be the King of Heavy Metal. Not only was he the front man in bands like Rainbow, Black Sabbath,Dio and Heaven & Hell, he is also the one who popularized the sign of the horns in heavy metal.

He claimed his Italian grandmother used it to ward off the evil eye (which is known in Italy as malocchio). Dio began using the sign soon after joining the metal band Black Sabbath in 1979. The previous singer in the band, Ozzy Osbourne, was rather well known for using the “peace” sign at concerts, in an attempt to connect with the fans, Ronnie James Dio wanted to similarly use a hand gesture. However, not wanting to copy Osbourne, he chose to use the sign his grandmother always made. The horns became famous in metal concerts very soon after Black Sabbath’s first tour with Dio. The sign would later be appropriated by heavy metal fans.

Ronald James “Dio” Padavona was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Italian-American parents from Cortland, New York. His family moved to Portsmouth from Cortland as part of his father’s service in the U.S. Army during World War II, and they resided there for only a short time before returning to Cortland. Ronnie James listened to a great deal of opera while growing up, and was influenced vocally by American tenor Mario Lanza. His first formal musical training began at age 5, learning to play the trumpet. He participated in his high school’s band program.

It was also during high school that he formed his first rock-n-roll band, The Vegas Kings, which would later be named Ronnie and the Rumblers and then Ronnie and the Red Caps.

Dio’s musical career began in 1957, when several Cortland, New York musicians formed the band, The Vegas Kings. The group’s lineup consisted of Dio on bass guitar, Billy DeWolfe on lead vocals, Nick Pantas on guitar, Tom Rogers on drums, and Jack Musci on saxophone. The band changed its name to Ronnie and the Rumblers. In 1958, the band again changed their name to Ronnie and the Redcaps. Musci left the band in 1960, and a new guitarist, Dick Botoff, joined the lineup. The Redcaps released two singles: The first single was “Conquest”/”Lover” with the A-side being an instrumental reminiscent of The Ventures and the B-side featuring DeWolfe on lead vocals. The second single was “An Angel Is Missing”/”What’d I Say” featuring Dio on lead vocals for both tracks.

Explanations vary for how Padavona adopted the stage name “Dio”. One story is that Dio was a reference to mafia member Johnny Dio.

Another has it that Padavona’s grandmother said he had a gift from God and should be called “Dio” (“God” in Italian), although this was debunked by Padavona’s widow, Wendy, in a February 2017 interview. Padavona first used the name on a recording in 1960, when he added it to the band’s second release on Seneca. Soon after that the band modified their name to “Ronnie Dio and the Prophets”. The Prophets lineup lasted for several years, touring throughout the New York region and playing college fraternity parties.

In the history of metal, there are good singers and then there are legends – vocalists who are identifiable with the first note of song. Dio’s operatic vibrato was unmistakable and extremely versatile. His was a voice that could sooth like a soul crooner one minute and roar like vengeful tyrant the next. Even when he was embellishing tunes with melodic interjections like ‘alright,’ ‘yeah’ or ‘ooooohh-oooohhhh,’ he loomed high above most vocalists of his era – even though he stood at just about five-feet-four-inches tall.

In 1974, Dio sang on the Roger Glover conducted and produced concept album The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast. Along with other guest-singers, the album featured Deep Purple alumni Glenn Hughes and David Coverdale. Dio provided vocals for the songs “Homeward”, “Sitting in a Dream”, and the single Love Is All

But of course we all will remember him for his Heavy Metal work and especially that from the band named after him’Dio’. I think it is safe to say that there is no such thing as a bad Dio song.

Unfortunately he died on May 16,2010 from stomach cancer.

ROCKTOBER-The story behind Innuendo.

Some of you may not realize this but Queen only had 3 number 1 hits in the UK; Bohemian Rhapsody in 1975,Under Pressure in 1981 and 10 years later with Innuendo in 1991. Ironically their previous number one hit had been brutalized by a certain Mr. Vanilla Ice who used it for his Ice Ice Baby which only had been released a few months before Innuendo. Vanilla Ice completely denied that he used Queen and David Bowie’s ‘Under Pressure’ for his single. He must have realized though that even a deaf person could have heard he sampled the song.

Innuendo is one of Queen’s epic songs and their longest ever released as a single, exceeding “Bohemian Rhapsody” by 35 seconds.

Much like David Bowie’s Blackstar, to listen to Innuendo isn’t to be confronted with the sorrow of a man with one foot in the grave. Rather, the song and indeed the album comes off as the work of an artist staring sickness right in the eye and vowing to “keep working until I fucking drop,” as Mercury was once quoted as saying.

And from the sound of Innuendo, he meant exactly what he said. In many ways, Innuendo looked to be a triumphant continuance of the return to Queen’s early-Seventies hard-rock roots that began on 1989’s underrated The Miracle. Innuendo is also the only studio cut of the group’s to feature another guitarist: Steve Howe of Yes joined May in the song’s meticulously designed middle section.

On a break from a recording session in Geneva, Howe drove to Montreux and stopped to have lunch. There he ran into Martin Groves who had worked for Yes before and by this time was Queen’s equipment supervisor. Groves told him that Queen were in the studio at the moment.

As soon as Steve Howe went into the studios, Mercury asked him to play some guitar (according to producer David Richards, who had worked with Yes in the past as well). Another version is that Brian May was the one who asked him to play the flamenco bit.[5] When the members of Queen asked if Howe wanted to play on the title track, Howe politely suggested they’d lost their minds. It took the combined weight of Mercury, May and Taylor to persuade him.

According to Steve Howe:

“Inside, there’s Freddie, Brian and Roger all sitting together. They go: ‘Let’s play you the album’. Of course, I’m hearing it for the first time […] And they saved “Innuendo” itself until last. They played it and I was fucking blown away. They all chimed in: ‘We want some crazy Spanish guitar flying around over the top. Improvise!’ I started noodling around on the guitar, and it was pretty tough. After a couple of hours, I thought: ‘I’ve bitten off more than I can chew here’. I had to learn a bit of the structure, work out what the chordal roots were, where you had to fall if you did a mad run in the distance; you have to know where you’re going. But it got towards evening, and we’d doodled and I’d noodled, and it turned out to be really good fun. We have this beautiful dinner, we go back to the studio and have a listen. And they go: ‘That’s great. That’s what we wanted’.”

“Innuendo” began as a jam session in Switzerland amongst Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon in spring 1989. Freddie Mercury was upstairs and heard them playing the beat, and turned it into a song, creating the melody and starting off the lyrics. From then on all four worked on polishing the track and Taylor took over the lyrics (which were written as a tribute to Led Zeppelin and their song “Kashmir”)

The single was released on January 14,1991, hard to believe it has already been 30 years since I first heard that song. 10 months later Freddie Mercury died from bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS.

There will never be a singer and entertainer like him again.

sources

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/queen/innuendo

https://brianmay.com/reviews/innuendo.html

It’s all about the Bass

What is a band without a Bass player?

Not much really when you think of it. Yet bass players are nearly always underrated. Most people will be able to name a list of singers, guitarists, drummers and even keyboard players when asked, but they will struggle with listing bass players.

The bass is real the base of music, it is the foundation together with the drums. The vocals, guitars and keyboard are the rest of a song., the melody that makes a song recognizable. But without a solid foundation the melody would collapse. The bass is the most important part of that foundation.

I could mention 1000s of bass players but I will limit it to a few of my favourites.

Robbie Shakespeare-Sly & Robbie

Mark King- Level 42

John Deacon-Queen

Lemmy -Motorhead(performing with Metallica)

Peter Hook-Joy Division and New Order

Tina Weymouth-Talking Heads

Suzi Quatro

Chuck Wright-Quiet Riot

John Entwistle-The Who

James Jamerson was an American bass player. He was the uncredited bassist on most of the Motown Records hits in the 1960s and early 1970s (Motown did not list session musician credits on their releases until 1971), and is now regarded as one of the most influential bass players in modern music history.

Vortex-Open the Gate- Probably the worst Rock song ever, yet I still love it.

It is 1986 you get ready for your weekly dose of Heavy Metal on Sky’s Monsters of Rock. presented by Mick Wall.

You hear the opening theme ” Ice 9″ by Joe Satriani from his Epic album “Surfing with the Alien”

You sit back relax and get ready for an onslaught of Rock and Metal. Mick juts finished playing “Gonna get close to you” Queensryche’s cover version of a Dalbello song, one of those rare occasions where the cover is better then the original.

Then Mick announces a band from the Netherlands, called Vortex, the Dutch are not known for the abundance of Rock bands, So I have high hopes. ‘Vortex, who are they?’ I never heard of them, but they are on Monsters of Rock an international Rock show. They must be good.

Mick tell me the track is called “Open the gate” it is a bit of a cliché title, but hey I am willing to give it the benefit of doubt.

Four minutes of pure brutality follows, a brutal assault on my delicate ears. Would there perhaps by naked women in the clip, to soften the blow? No, just a few men and some dude singing into a bone, a character mash up between Mad Max and the Last of the Mohicans.

No redeeming features whatsoever.

Fast forward to 2021. I listen to the song again. It is just bad, in fact it is so bad it is good, I love it despite the lack of quality it did bring me back to that Sunday night in 1986.


Happy Birthday Kurt Cobain

I could say so much about Kurt Cobain but today I want to celebrate his birthday with his music.

He was a troubled soul, often referred to as the founder of the grunge music, which is not true because it was actually another Seattle band called Green River who pioneered the grunge sound. Kurt Cobain and many other of the so called ‘grunge’ scene did not like that label.

But as I said I want to celebrate his birthday, February 20,1967, with his music. Starting off with a picture of him playing drums in a high school band, it must be so caool for the other peole in the picture to be able to say they played with Kirt Cobain.

What if?.. The rockers that may have never been. A story of Kiss.

I am passionate about Music, especially Rock. One of my favourite bands is Kiss. When we hear one of their songs on the radio, songs like “I was made for loving you” or “World without heroes” we just sit back and enjoy and don’t give it a seconc thought.

However these songs and so many of their other classics , may have never been written or composed. The two lead men of Kiss Gene Simmons(aka Gene Klein and Chaim Witz) and Paul Stanley (aka Stanley Bert Eisen) are both lucky they were born.

Paul’s both parents are Jewish. He was the second of two children. His mother came from a family that fled Nazi Germany to Amsterdam, Netherlands, and then to New York City. His father’s parents were from Poland.

His mother was born in Berlin, Germany on November 16, 1923. and fled the Nazi uprising she lived for a brief time in Amsterdam, the Netherlands with her mother and stepfather before moving to New York City in 1939. If they had stayed in Germany, like so many others did, they definitely would have been subjected to the cruelty of the Nazi regime.

Gene Simmons’s start in life could have been even more uncertain . He was born on August 25, 1949 in Haifa, Israel, to Jewish immigrants from Hungary. His mother, Florence Klein (née Flóra Kovács), was born in Jánd and survived internment in Nazi concentration camps. She and her brother, Larry Klein, were the only members of the family to survive the Holocaust.

Florence or Flora was 19 when she was liberated on May 5th 1945 , from Mauthausen concentration camp , by American troops.

I have written blogs on the Holocaust before ,contemplating how many talents were destroyed by this evil ideology and regime. Thankfully some people did survive and their legacy produced talented people like Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons.

For some people the Holocaust may seem like a distant bit of history, but this is how close the Holocaust still is.

Finish up with my favourite Kiss song , I chosen a video with the lyrics because the song “A world without heroes” has such a powerful message and is still so poignant today.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

https://www.thesound.co.nz/home/music/2020/05/kiss-gene-simmons-shown-his-mother-s-nazi-victim-impact-statement.html

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/gene-simmons

https://www.geni.com/people/Eva-Eisen/6000000002765905416