There is nothing I can write that would do any justice to the legend that is Jim Steinman. Without him there would be no Meat Loaf, Bonnie Tyler and probably no Celine Dion either.
His songs were not just songs, they were epic mini operas. Something many people don’t know that aside from being a composer, he also worked as a producer and lyricist. In 1998 he produced the song “No Matter What” performed by Boyzone. It was taken from an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical ” Whistle down the wind” for which Jim Steinman wrote the lyrics for. Given the fact he has composed so many of my favourite songs I am willing to forgive his collaboration with aforementioned Boyzone.
The news broke today that Jim Steinman died on Monday the 19th of April. Rest in Peace Jim.
All that is left for me to do is to highlight some of his epic work.
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.
Vital Signs is a 1984 album released by one of my all time favourite bands Survivor. I was a bit reluctant to buy the album because Survivor had changed singers, from Dave Bickler to Jimi Jamison. However it turned out to be one of their best albums.
On it there was a track called “It’s the singer not the song” and I actually forgot how good that album and that particular track were.
I also think it is a true statement that a good singer makes the song. I was never a great Bob Dylan fan but I like a lot of his songs , sung by other singers.
This blog is a tribute to some of the finest Rock singers, well at least in my opinion. So sit back, relax and enjoy.
Robert William Gary Moore was born in Belfast on 4 April 1952,the son of Winnie, a housewife, and Robert Moore, a promoter who ran the Queen’s Hall ballroom in Holywood.He grew up near Belfast’s Stormont Estate with four siblings.
He credited his father for getting him started in music. When Moore was six years old, his father invited him onstage to sing “Sugartime” with a showband at an event he had organised, which first sparked his interest in music. His father bought him his first guitar, a second-hand Framus acoustic, when Moore was 10 years old. Though left-handed, he learned to play the instrument right-handed. Not long after, he formed his first band, The Beat Boys, who mainly performed Beatles songs. He later joined Platform Three and The Method, amongst others.[Around this time, he befriended guitarist Rory Gallagher, who often performed at the same venues as him. He left Belfast for Dublin in 1968 just as The Troubles were starting in Northern Ireland. A year later, his parents separated.
After moving to Dublin, Moore joined Irish blues rock band Skid Row. At the time, the group were fronted by vocalist Phil Lynott. He and Moore soon became friends, and they shared a bedsit in Ballsbridge.
After leaving Skid Row, Phil Lynott formed the hard rock group Thin Lizzy. After the departure of guitarist Eric Bell, Moore was recruited to help finish the band’s ongoing tour in early 1974. During his time with the group, Moore recorded three songs with them, including “Still in Love with You”
After Thin Lizzy, Gary Moore had a successful solo career. He is one of my all time guitar heroes. Unfortunately I never got to see him live, he died on 6 February 2011. I did get to see his brother Cliff Moore perform live in our local pub. In 1994.
There are guitarist: amateur, professional, hobbyists, virtuoso and there is Eric Clapton. To me and many others the undisputed best guitarist ever. I don’t even mention him in my top 10list because he basically is a league on his own.
Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE (born 30 March 1945) is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and of Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time.
Eric Clapton was born on 30 March 1945 in Ripley, Surrey, England, to 16-year-old Patricia Molly Clapton (7 January 1929 – March 1999) and Edward Walter Fryer (21 March 1920 – 15 May 1985), a 25-year-old soldier from Montreal, Quebec.
After a brief encounter between 16-year-old Patricia Clapton and Edward Walter Fryer ,a 24-year-old Canadian soldier stationed in England during Second World War, Eric Clapton was born and then raised by his grandparents in Ripley, a village outside London.
Edward returned to Canada after the war and never knew of his famous son in his lifetime. Music was very much a part of his whole adult life, playing piano and singing in pubs at the time he met Eric’s mother in England. It was said he had a sound like Nat King Cole. Eric Clapton got an acoustic Hoyer guitar, made in Germany, for his thirteenth birthday, and musical history was made.
Elvis, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eddie van Halen and Jim Croce all influenced my musical taste in one way or another but it was Eric Clapton who defined it.
Celebrating his birthday with some of his music.
For my mum
On 20 March 1991, Clapton’s four-year-old son, Conor, died after falling from the 53rd-floor window of his mother’s friend’s New York City apartment at 117 East 57th Street. Conor’s funeral took place on 28 March at St Mary Magdalene’s Church in Clapton’s home village in Ripley, Surrey. This tragedy inspired Eric Clapton to write the song Tears in Heaven, which he co wrote with Will Jennings.
I have to admit I am a bit skeptical about this story. Not so much about the words that were uttered, but more to who uttered them.
I was listening to a golden oldie show earlier this week. The presenter mentioned a bit of trivia in relation to the famous Beatles song, “Hey Jude” arrogant little so and so, me, assumed immediately that he was going to say that Hey Jude was written by Paul McCartney for John Lennon’s oldest son, Julian Lennon.
However it turned out that my judgement of the bit of trivia was misplaced. While recording Hey Jude ,Paul McCartney allegedly made a mistake and shouted out “Whoa” followed by “Fucking Hell”
2.58 minutes into the epic song you can hear these words in the back ground. I am just not sure of it is actually Paul McCartney, it sounds more like John Lennon to me. But that doesn’t really matter, it is still a great bit of trivia on one of the best songs ever written.
Geoff Emerick, The Beatles’ longtime sound engineer, wrote in his memoir Here, There, and Everywhere that it was Paul McCartney reacting to a botched note. Emerick claims that John Lennon insisted they leave the swear buried in the final mix. “Paul hit a clunker on the piano and said a naughty word,” Lennon said. “Most people won’t ever spot it … but we’ll know it’s there.”
Ending of course with that great, and my favorite Beatles song. So listen out for it at 2.58 minutes.
George Harrison -25 February 1943 – 29 November 2001- was an English musician, singer, songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. Sometimes called “the quiet Beatle”
Inspired by the likes of Django Reinhardt; Carl Perkins and Chet Atkins.
This is jst some of his music together with the Quarry Men,the Beatles, the Traveling Wilburys and solo.
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.
This is not going to be a complicated blog, it is basically what is says in the title, Duets, just another way to get you all some entertainment during this era of lock downs . Just a few of my favourite Duets.
Rod Stewart and Tina Turner – It Takes Two
Kristin Hersh and Micheal Stipe – Your Ghost
Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli – Time to Say Goodbye
Bløf & Counting Crows – Holiday in Spain
Ozzy Osbourne And Lita Ford – Close My Eyes Forever
Today marks the 40th aniverasry of Bill Haley’s death. Bill Haley was one of the pioneers of Rock N Roll and I felt he deserved a tribute on his annversary.
It will not be on the same scale as the tribute he received in 2006 , on the 25th anniversary , where the International Astronomical Union announced the naming of asteroid 79896 Billhaley to mark the 25th anniversary of Bill Haley’s death. This tribute is more to celebrate his music.
Many people believe that ‘Rock Around the Clock’ was Bill Haley;s first record, which he recorded with the band’ the Comets’.. However before he became a Rock N Roll star he was a Country and Western singer. His first released single was a cover version of Hank Williams’s “Too Many Parties, Too Many Pals” Bill Haley released the song with his band ‘The Four Aces Of Swing’
Probably Bill Haley’s most famous songs.
Finishing up with a song by Gina Haley, Bill’s youngest child who followed in her Dad’s footsteps.