And for the third and final birthday guest post, we’re looking at how rock ‘n’ rollers will never really retire, let alone die (although personally, I think both Lemmy and Keith Richards are both undead already…). Thank you to BeatCityTone for this excellent post, and over to him for the important info:
Beat City Tone does a New Music podcast called Beat City and an Old Music podcast called Retro Beat City. He can be found on Twitter here @beatcitytone. The only thing Beat City Tone hates more than people who use stupid pseudonyms on Twitter is people who refer to themselves in the third person. And more power to him for that.
LEMMY CANCELS GIGS BECAUSE HE WAS HIGH:
You may have seen the news that grizzled old former Jimi Hendrix roadie, current Motorhead-fronting Nazi-memorabilia collecting ex-rocker Lemmy has had to cancel a few dates in Texas owing to experiencing breathing problems during a gig in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Finally! The birthday guest posts are here…. First up, I’d like to say a very big thank you to Paul (aka @thehatandbeard) for contributing this highly thought-provoking post on how our taste in music (perhaps inevitably?) changes over time, which I am sure will get you lot discussing and debating! Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments, and watch out for another guest post tomorrow…
This is the story of how I fell out of love with rock music. There wasn’t a specific incident or event that caused it but, rather like falling out of love with a person, a series of clues that, when taken together over time, left no doubt that it had happened.
I’m not going to attempt to define what I mean by rock as entering into the world of genre politics would just take too long. I’m going to assume that, broadly, we all pretty much know what it is.
I love music. I’ve loved it since I would hear my, slightly older, neighbour Richard play The Spencer Davis Group’s ‘Keep On Running’ through the bedroom party wall. It was 1965 and I was eight years old. Even before that I can remember being impressed by Susan Maughan’s 1962 hit ‘Bobbie’s Girl’ which I would hear on the family radio.
I went on to love The Beatles, The Monkees and everything similar but didn’t have access to a record player until I insisted on being bought one as a fourteen year old T.Rex obsessive. Electric Warrior was my first buy and I still have, and play, that wonderful LP.
If I ever really felt depressed, I would just start putting on all my old records that I played as a kid, because the whole thing that really lifted me then still lifted me during those other times. It was good medicine for me, and it still does that for me when I put something on. Isn’t it wonderful that we’ve got all that good medicine? I think it’s got to be all part of our DNA, this mass communication through music. That’s what it is. It’s got to be, hasn’t it? Music is the one thing that has been consistently there for me. It hasn’t let me down.
Today is Led Zeppelin guitar legend Jimmy Page’s 68th birthday. To celebrate the day on which one of the greatest and most influential rock guitarists of all time was born, I found this fantastic quote from the great man himself. It comes from an interview he gave to The Scotsman in 2010 – and, personally, I couldn’t agree more with his comments….
“You never told me he was that fucking good!” – a gobsmacked Eric Clapton on first jamming with Jimi Hendrix.
In the mid-1960s, mysterious graffiti began appearing on walls around London. ‘Clapton is God’, these simple messages said, but their writers meant it very seriously indeed. This painted phrase was the work of the legendary rock and blues guitarist Eric Clapton’s legion of devoted fans, who completely idolised their talented hero to the point of such deification.
However, as good as Clapton was (and he was – his groundbreaking work with Cream and The Yardbirds still sounds amazing today), he was soon to be eclipsed by the arrival in London of the man who was eventually to become the greatest guitar god of them all…
Born in Seattle in November 1942, Johnny Allen Hendrix (later renamed James Marshall Hendrix by his father) was fascinated by the guitar from a very early age. As he was growing up, his family life became more and more difficult and disrupted, which must have made music an important and necessary escape for the young Jimi.
Fantastic. It’s Christmas Day again. You’ve stuffed your face with turkey and all the trimmings. The Christmas pud nearly set fire to the curtains (again). Crackers have been pulled, and various family members have insisted on taking embarrassing photos of you wearing a downright silly paper hat. You’ve just avoided a minor civil war over whose turn it is to do the washing up. You’ve opened all your pressies and expressed your dutiful delight at those horrible socks you seem to get from your auntie every year. Your uncle is now snoring in the only comfy armchair in the room, and you’re desperately looking round for a way to escape The Great Escape on telly again. Help!
Someone turns the radio on. You groan, knowing that, today of all days, all that will be playing will be schmaltzy, saccharine seasonal pop and horrible manufactured Simon Cowell/X-Factor tat. But wait! What’s this?
The DJ is playing the Christmas number one, and suddenly the living room is full of the sound of righteous rage, ripping through the speakers and terrifying your granny. “FUCK YOU, I WON’T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME! MOTHERFUCKER!” yells Zack de la Rocha fiercely, making your prudish auntie blanch as you sit there, grinning secretly at the sheer fabulousness of it all.
Actually, the very idea of Rage Against The Machine getting the Christmas number one is not as far-fetched as it may seem. In fact, it’s a very real possibility this year, due to the sterling efforts of Jon and Tracy Morter’s Facebook group and the Rage Factor! online campaign, which have been supported by hundreds of thousands of British music fans already and have raised thousands of pounds for charity in the process.
Reacting to the truly ridiculous fact that, since 2005, every British Christmas number one single has been by one of Simon Cowell’s X-Factor pop nonentities, and to last year’s very nearly successful campaign to get Jeff Buckley’s definitive version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah to the top of the charts instead of Alexandra Burke’s reality show recording of the same song, this year’s campaign clearly demonstrates how many people are heartily sick and tired of the same old bland pop music dominating the charts.
When I was young, there was always a mystery and excitement about who was going to get the Christmas number one. It was very rare that there was an obvious shoe-in for the position, unlike the situation in recent years. It would seem that I’m not the only one who would like to see a return to the good old days when we would be glued to the radio at 7pm on the last Sunday before Christmas, breathlessly waiting to find out who had won the coveted Yuletide top spot.
The campaign has rapidly caught the imagination of internet users, as well as those in the real world, and has attracted comment and backing from musicians and celebrities including Bill Bailey, Phill Jupitus, The Prodigy, John Lydon (yes, that John Lydon), Stephen Fry, Ross Noble, Skin (Skunk Anansie), Enter Shikari, Matthew Wright (!), Lenny Henry, Fall Out Boy, XFM, Kerrang! and Metal Hammer magazines, Five TV and countless other mainstream media outlets. It’s taken on a life of its own – and maybe it’ll work this year…
So, to ensure that the Christmas airwaves are full of the festive sounds of Rage Against The Machine, you need to buy a download of Killing In The Name from one of the many digital providers listed on the Facebook page here any time between today (13th December) and the end of next Saturday (19th December)- and also visit the campaign’s JustGiving page to donate to the vital work done by the homeless charity Shelter over the Christmas period and beyond.
You know what to do…
UPDATE: WE WON! Yep, Rage Against The Machine’s Killing In The Name is officially the 2009 UK Christmas number one, by at least 50,000 copies! And, in the process, Rage fans have raised more than £75,000 for the homeless charity Shelter. Great to see the music talking for a change – and a job well done by all involved…