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

Elvis’s last concert.

Anyone who tells me they like rock music but don’t like Elvis, are either lying or don’t like rock or pop music at all. The fact is that without Elvis Rock N Roll would have never been as popular as it is.

He always will have a special place in my heart. However there is no denying that his end was tragic and I still believe totally avoidable. But I will not go into that this time.

As the title suggests, this is about Elvis’s ever last concert which was held on June 26,1977. The venue was the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was his 55th show of the year.

His final show brought in a crowd of 18,000 fans at the Indianapolis’s Market Square Arena and was a must-see gig for Presley fans.

Despite his poor health condition , and at times sickly appearance, his presence alone was still enough of a draw to sell out shows nationwide.

While Elvis was overweight,158 kg, and pale at this point in his life, he still appeared on form and put on a great show.

This was his setlist; “Also Spoke Zarathustra (opening) “”C.C. Rider,” “I Got A Woman/Amen,” “Love Me,” “Fairytale,” “You Gave Me A Mountain,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “It’s Now Or Never,” “Little Sister,” “Teddy Bear,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Release Me,” “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Early Mornin’ Rain,” “Johnny B. Goode,” “I Really Don’t Want To Know,” “Hurt,” “Hound Dog,” and “Can’t Help Falling In Love.”

As he left the stage for the final time, on June 26, 1977, the King of Rock n’ Roll told his fans “We’ll meet you again, God bless, adios” He ended the show with this song.

He truly was the King of Rock N Roll

Sources

https://www.irishcentral.com/culture/on-this-day-elvis-presley-last-concert

https://www.smoothradio.com/artists/elvis-presley/final-performance-video/

https://www.thecoast.net.nz/videos/watch-elvis-presleys-final-song-at-his-last-ever-concert/

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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

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.


It’s the Singer not the Song.

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.

Happy Birthday Gary Moore

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.

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

Genesis- the Singers.

genesisThis is a slight deviation from my usual blogs. Because music has always played a major role in my life it is nive to acknowledge that every once in a while.

When you think of classic Rock bands, Genesis is usually not a band which springs to mind, strange in a way because that is basically what they are a classic Prog Rock band.

Their rise to fame was a bit of a strange one. although they had some successes in the early years but nothing really noteworthy.

They started off in 1967  with Peter Gabriel as their singer and front man, and their music was slightly psychedelic . Gabriel was only 17 at the time. I think the reason why they didn’t have any real success with him as a singer is because their music and appearance might have been a bit to extravagant.

2

In 1975/76 Phil Collins took over the reign as a singer. He had been the drummer until then. And it was with Phil Collins they got their biggest successes and turned out to become a major global band. Their first big hit was ‘Follow You, Follow me’ from the album “.. and there there were three” after guitarist Steve Hackett left , leaving only Collins,Banks and Rutherford in the band

Aside his career as the singer of Genesis ,Phil Collins also was a vert successful solo artiste. As was the former singer Peter Gabriel, both men sold millions of albums as solo artists.

In 1996 Collins thought it was better to leave the band. After 25 years in the band he thought  it was  time to change direction in his musical life and wanted to focus on music for movies and jazz.

This left Banks and Rutherford with a problem. They wanted to continue the band but had no singer. They auditioned several singer, including Francis Dunnery who had worked with Robert Plant before and had been in the prog rock band It Bites, who had  a hit with ‘Calling all the heroes’ in 1986.

Another contender was Nick Van Eede who had been the lead singer of Cutting Crew an  anEnglish rock band formed in London in 1985 and are best remember by their debut single, which became a massive global hit’ “(I just) died in your arms tonight”

They also auditioned David Longdon a British multi-instrumentalist and singer byt eventually they settled for Ray Wilson a Scottish singer and guitarist who had been the lead singer with the Rock Band “Stitskin” who had a hit with the song “Inside” which was used in a Levi’s  501 jeans ad.

The band disbanded in 1996 which gave Ray Wilson to join Genesis. In 1997 Wilson was announced as the new lead singer of  Genesis. Although Banks and Rutherford had already finished writing the album “Calling all stations”  Wilson was still able to make some contributions to to the album which included writing the lyrics to “Small Talk” and riffs on “Not About Us”

Although the albuM did reasonably well in the UK and Europe it only reached the number 54 spot in the US charts.

In 1998 the band decided to take a prolonged break.

In 2014, Gabriel, Banks, Rutherford, Collins and Hackett reunited for Genesis: Together and Apart, a BBC documentary.

On 4 March 2020, Collins,Banks and Rutherford  announced their reformation and The Last Domino? Tour. It is great to see them back again.

domino

 

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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sources

You Tube

 

The Look- Roxette’s accidental break through.

the look

The sad news reached us this week that Roxette singer Gun-Marie Fredriksson had died after a 17-year long battle with cancer.

Roxette were very successful in the late 80s and early 90s , in fact at some stage they were the biggest band in the world. But this success may never have been if it wasn’t for a young American exchange student Dean Cushman.

Roxette had already been quite successful in their native Sweden. The Look was the 4th single from their second album. It was actually their Christmas song “It Must Have Been Love (Christmas for the Broken Hearted)”  released in December 1987,which had not been included on any of their albums. that had been their biggest selling single to date

The song  became a top five hit in Sweden. In 1990 it was re-released for the movie “Pretty Woman” leaving out the Christmas for the Broken Hearted bit of the original title.

“The Look” was released as the  fourth single of their 2nd album “Look Sharp” in January 1989,=reaching the top 10 in Sweden. American exchange student from Minneapolis, Dean Cushman, had been an exchange student in Sweden where he bought the album and brought it home to the US., giving a copy of it to his local Top 40 radio station, KDWB 101.3 FM. “The Look” soon became very popular, and the station began distributing the track to their sister radio operations. EMI America had previously rejected the duo as unsuitable for the American market, and Roxette didn’t have a recording contract in the US.

“The Look” had already entered the top fifty of the Billboard Hot 100 before the duo began official promotion. It would go on to peak at number one eight weeks later. It gradually became a global hit over the next year, topping the charts in 25 countries.

To put things in perspective,their debut album Pearls of Passion which was only released in Scandinavia and Canada sold 800,000 copies(this number includes the sales of th remastered version released in 1997) Where “Look Sharp” sold 9,000,000 copies worldwide.

 

RIP Marie- You always had the look.

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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Sources

EMI

YouTube