Archive for George Harrison

WHEN HEROES GO

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

Its not the first time a musician I admired, respected, and was awe struck by, has passed away. There were the untimely deaths of Pete Ham, Ronnie Van Zandt, Lowell George, John Lennon, Randy (California) Wolfe, George Harrison, Freddy Mercury, and I am sure, many more. So, what is it that has me so disturbed and disheartened by the recent deaths of so many musicians?

In the past 18 months or so, we have lost, among others, Jesse Winchester, Jack Bruce (Cream), Chris Squire (Yes), Lemmy, David Bowie, Dale Griffin (Mott The Hoople), Glen Frey (The Eagles), Paul Kantner (Jefferson Airplane),  Merle Haggard, and Prince. What the hell is going on? I was fortunate to have met some, was a fan of them all, and considered myself a contemporary of many. I grew up with the music of most of them, and carried it with me throughout my adult life. There are songs by these artists that will forever be etched in my memories, as one of those, ‘this is what I was listening to when…’, or ‘this is what I was doing the first time I heard….’ moments.

 

Perhaps it is my own mortality that is being thrown in my face, as I am just about the same age as most of them. Maybe it is the realization that the talent pool on this planet is being depleted faster than it can be replaced. Or maybe it is simply the understanding that my heroes were, in fact, only human.

I am deeply saddened by it all. I have been spending a great deal of time listening to the music these giants have created, maybe reliving my youth, but also to ingest the insanely wonderful legacy they have left for me. The memories, the emotions, the thoughts that each song creates in me will never wane. I am saddened. I am hurt. It is so very hard to say goodbye to a hero.

 

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THE 286

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

the2861Another U.K. band, introduced to me by former The Toniks drummer Colin Marshall, The 286 released a self-titled EP in April, 2014. I confess. I missed it then. The 4 tracks resound with shades of ELO, and George Harrison. “Miracle On 286th Street“, an instrumental track, offers cool piano and bass, with some wonderful tremolo guitar. “Little Louisa” delivers a nice vocal track within a 1950’s Rock ‘N’ Roll vibe. There are 2 versions of “Let The Rain Fall Down“, a shorter radio edit, and the extended play. The track is amazingly infectious. The bittersweet melody fuels the wonderful vocals. There are incredible changes, a cool bridge, and a great hook. An incredibly beautiful song.

the2863This ep delivers. A wonderful fusion of classical themes and pop melodies. The arrangements are exciting. Orchestral-pop is back. The 286 are simply a lot of fun. I am looking forward to the next release. Check them out for yourselves at https://the286.bandcamp.com/ and LIKE them on facebook…https://www.facebook.com/the286?fref=ts

 

 

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TOXIC MELONS-Bus Therapy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

tm12So, the story goes that Paul Fairbairn, Pablo Melons himself, was taking a lengthy bus trip and became so inspired, that he  the he got the idea for the entire album right there and then. Why not? George Harrison was said to have written “Blue Jay Way” on a plane!

I first encountered Toxic Melons in May, 2013, and my love affair with their quirky U.K. sound continues with the new release, Bus Therapy, which I was fortunate to get pre-release.

The album opens with “More Or Less“, showcasing way cool  piano and organ, a great melody and super harmonies. The song could be on any XTC album. “Journey“, an instrumental, has a dynamite musical melody that sits under  electronic effects to create a Close Encounters feel. The acoustic guitar of “Let Me Sleep” is reminiscent of early Bowie, and fits perfectly among the weird keys that create a circus tm13atmosphere.  Interesting melody, sweet harmonies and a precise and tight guitar solo. “Disco Balls“, an amazing satire of the genre, nails it, with a great disco beat, cool changes and transitions, and  great electronic effects. The cowboy sentiments of “Just One Beer“, captured by the saloon style piano, hide just below a sweet melody, nice harmonies and cool guitar riffs and runs. “Getting Old“, with its melancholic melody, delivers dynamite strings and horns, great transitions, and a cool bridge. I can’t help liking the vocal track. “Take Me Back” is beautifully melodic, with harmonized vocals that rival The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. That good! The track kills, with amazing flute and acoustic guitar, and wonderful arrangements. I am particularly fond of the vocals being the primary instrument here. Surprisingly, I have 2 favorite tracks. The wonderfully fabulous melody and sweet harmonies, combined with some way cool piano,  and lyric- “was a need to change the world before her lifetime expired; no complicated reason, just the way she was wired”- had me asking why “Change The World” hasn’t been on a Nilsson album. “Not In Love” has a great pop melody and  lush harmonies. The guitar and piano are dynamite, and I really dig the guitar runs. The bridge is perfect. Great pop song!

tm11Bus Therapy is my kind of therapy. Truly inspiring, soul touching, and mind altering. The album plays like a journey through a toxic mind, but that’s ok. The songs are pop heaven, with shades of folk, blues, electronic, and some western influences. This Paul Fairbairn can write songs. The melodies are out of this world, and the harmonies, well, remind me of The Beach Boys. The music is wonderfully eccentric.The album is insanely addictive. It has me singing along and I haven’t figured out all of the lyrics yet!  An amazing compilation of great songs that has been placed on my must have list. Very cool.

Check out Toxic Melons and help this band:https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/11591364/toxic-melons-bus-therapy-kick-starter-campaign

 

 

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THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

I had spent the better part of a day with a friend, who is certain that Led Zeppelin sits at the right hand of God, discussing music. As his attempts to throw me off my Beatle wagon fell on deaf ears, he resorted to idiocy and asshat-ery. His premise became threaded with examples of Beatle thievery; stealing songs from others and claiming them as their own.  I decided to do some checking into the prevalence of plagiarism in popular music. The findings may surprise you.

george1john1Yes indeed,  George Harrison was found guilty of plagarism.  “My Sweet Lord” was ruled a case of subconscious theft of The ChiffonsHe’s So Fine“.  It cost him a little of $500,000,00 and 75% of the song;s North American sales.  John Lennon‘s “Come Together” was ruled to have plagarized Chuck Berry‘s “You Can’t Catch Me“. Lennon agreed to record 3 more of the writer’s songs as a settlement. Well, John only recorded 2 and the writer sued him. Lennon was ordered to pay $7000.00.

The Doors have been accused of lifting “Hello, I Love You” from The KinksAll Day And All Of The Night“. Staunchly denied by Doors guitarist, Robby Krieger who said that The Doors did lift the drum beat of the song from Cream‘s   Sunshine Of Your Love“.  Johnny Cash‘s “Folsom Prison Blues” is an almost carbon copy of Gordon Jenkins‘ “Crescent City Blues“, which was penned 2 years before Cash wrote his bbsong.  Johnny Cash paid Jenkins about $75,000.00. The Beach Boys‘ “Surfin’ USA” can actually be sung to the Chuck Berry tune “Sweet Little Sixteen“. Brian Wilson admitted to ripping off the melody and Chuck Berry was given co-authorship of the song and a portion of the royalties.

The Rubinoos

The Rubinoos

Other notable mentions include Ray Parker Jr;, writing “Ghostbusters” after stealing the melody from Huey Lewis‘  “I Want A New Drug“; The Oasis song “Whatever” was lifted from Neil Innes‘ “How Sweet To Be An Idiot“; The Rubinoos song   “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” was reworked into Avril Lavigne‘s hit “Girlfriend“. And The Rolling Stones‘ “Anybody Seen My Baby?”, lifted from k.d. lang & Ben Mink‘s “Constant Craving” was resolved by giving lang & Mink writing credit. Interesting, but not what I was looking for.

zep

Spirit

Spirit

I had already known that Led Zepplin had ripped off Spirit‘s 1968 song “Taurus” and used it in “Stairway To Heaven” and that Spirit had toured with Led Zepplin in  1969. But there had to be more. And then I found it. An extensive list of Zep-pilfering. “Black Mountain Side“, appearing on the 1st Led Zeppelin album is a traditional English folk song that appears on Bert Jansch‘s 1966 album, Jack Orion as “Blackwaterside“, yet it is credited on the Zeppelin album as a Jimmy Page composition. Pretty slick!!  The same Zepnique was used again on “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You“, written in the 1950s by Anne Bredon (covered by Joan Baez in the 1960s) and credited by Zeppelin as “trad.,arr. Page”. In the 1990s it was changed to give Bredon credit for writing the song. The Led Zeppelin III song, ” Since I’ve Been Loving You” features lyrics taken from the  Moby Grape song “Never“. Is it coincidental that Moby Grape was one of Plant’s favorite bands? HA!

Bobby Parker

Bobby Parker

The guitar riff in “Moby Dick” is a nearly note for note rip-off of Bobby Parker‘s 1961 single, “Watch Your Step“. Jimmy Page was a Parker fan and at one time tried to sign him to Swan Song Records. “In My Time Of Dying“, a traditional blues song that has been recorded by many musicians since the early 1960s, was credited as being written by “Page, Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham”.  Great Zepnique. Again. Off of Zeppelin II, “The Lemon Song” borrows heavily from the Howlin’ Wolf song, “Killing Floor“. Credits again attribute the song to Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham. Another Zeppelin II song, “Bring It On Home” was written by Willie Dixon. However Willie Dixon was not given writing credit and Led Zeppelin was sued for copyright infringement. The case was settled out of court.

Jake Holmes

Jake Holmes

Whole Lotta Love“, again from Zeppelin II and the band’s 1st hit single, is not an original composition as the album credits originally claimed. The lyrics were taken from Willie Dixon’s “You Need Love” and this was settled out of court. Released on Zeppelin’s 1st album, “Dazed And Confused” was originally credited as being written by Jimmy Page. However, this is not the case. It was originally written by folk singer Jake Holmes who opened for The Yardbirds while Page was a member. Page arranged a version of it for The Yardbirds but he didn’t record a studio version until 1969 with Led Zeppelin. HA!

So there it is. There are many other cases of plagiarism in music, far too many to mention. This is not intended to slam Led Zeppelin but rather to ask my pal, Mr. K. is Led Zeppelin really a farce as implied on Howard Stern  or just the greatest cover band in music history? In any event, there you have it, my friend. Thievery, pilfering, song snatching, whatever you wish to call it, seems to run rampant on the Zeppelin. Should we start to question if the Zeppelin is actually theirs?

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