Archive for tommy james

WHO WAS FIRST?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

I haven’t been to a large venue concert in a long time. I refuse to pay several hundreds of dollars for a ticket and honestly, there is really no one that I want to see. It did however, start me thinking about the first concert I went to. Truth be told, I just can’t remember. I don’t know if it is the years of illicit substance use or age induced memory failure. Or a little of both.  Sadly, I just can’t remember!

BDGRSMBAnd so, writing about my first concert is clearly an impossible task. What about my most memorable concert? Well, there was Badfinger at the old O’Keefe Centre, Spirit at the old Victory Burlesque Theatre, Tommy James, The Band, The Grateful Dead, Clapton, Jethro Tull, Harrison, and a litany of others to choose from. What would make a concert the most memorable? Well, for starters, remembering it! And so the dilemma began. I remember generalities, but no details. I remember going to see Steve Miller. I remember it was just after the release of the Book Of Dreams album. I remember Norton Buffalo was the opening act, it was at Maple Leaf Gardens and that I ate a gram of gold Lebanese  about 30 minutes before show time. Well, now i know why i can’t remember anything else!

yesAnd so, the highlight reel in my head began playing, reviewing every concert I could remember attending. I saw Yes on at least 2 occasions.  The 1st tine was following the release of Close To The Edge. I remember almost nothing. The other was the Tales From Topographic Oceans tour. I remember sitting 4th row, floors at Maple Leaf gardens. Pretty sure we were on opium. I remember bright lights, dry ice, and Jon Anderson emerging from darkness about halfway through the introduction of the “The Revealing Science Of God“.

genesisI saw Genesis, not the And Then There Were Three version, but the real Genesis, with Peter Gabriel. You know, “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway“, genesis. I saw Queen, right after the release of Sheer Heart Attack and remember nothing.

It was suggested that I write about the 1st concert I remember. I couldn’t tell you what that was. Another suggestion was t write about the last concert I attended. Not surprising, I can’t remember hat either. Had I known this would happen, I would have attended concerts in alphabetical order, beginning with AC/DC and ending with ZZ Top. The only certainty in my concert going days, is that I never saw The Beatles. Now, that I surely would have remembered.

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/

MY WORLD GOES POP

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

My venture into popular music began with an uncle, 10 years my senior, who was entrenched in the girl groups of the early 1960s. The first songs I remember listening to were the delightfully unsophisticated  “My Boyfriend’s Back” by The Angels, ” He’s A Rebel” by The Crystals and The Chiffons’He’s So Fine“.   I spent numerous hours ingesting  the harmonies and the melody lines of these and other pop classics.

The Ronettes

The Ronettes

And just when I thought I had heard all there was to hear, I discovered The Ronettes. They were amazing. Insanely different. Veronica Bennett, her sister Estelle and her cousin Nedra Talley created a sound so different than anything I had heard before. It was Ronnie’s (Veronica) voice that drew me in. It was Phil Spector‘s production and the now infamous Wall Of Sound that kept me there. ‘Baby I Love You” and “Be My Baby”  kept me listening over and over again. I got my own 45 of “Be My Baby”. I played it and played it. I drummed along with it on pots and pans. I knew every nuance of the song. musically and vocally. I adored Ronnie’s voice and her vocal inflections. I  still do. The power of her voice  blows me away. And so began my epic adventure with rock and roll.

I heard The Beatles many times on the radio before I saw them on The Ed Sullivan Show. It was then that I knew I wanted to be, no, needed to be a musician. I wanted to make music. I wanted to be a Beatle.  A plot was hatched to dispose of Ringo. Why not? I was quite proficient on the pots and pans, and how much different could the drums be? I wanted to be a drummer. I asked for drums for my birthday, and I got a guitar. What the hell. I learned to play and began writing songs.

I dove in to the British Invasion, headfirst. I spent years harboring vinyl from across the ocean. Listening to The Dave Clark 5, The Hollies, whose harmonies were some of the most complex I had heard, and The Kinks, who wrote incredible pop songs and played them like a rock band,  allowed me to intercept the North American bands who were now emulating the British sound. And so, Tommy James and The Shondells, The Grass Roots,  and The Lovin’ Spoonful were added to my ever growing list of must have vinyl. The Beach Boys were added when I heard Pet Sounds. “God Only Knows” is a remarkable song . The harmonies are deep and full. Changes in tempo and time signature reflect Brian Wilson‘s genius. I was set. I was in pop paradise. In 1966-67, as The Beatles experimented with psychedelica, I did as well,  finding  gems in  Blues Image, Spirit, and a host of other insanely talented bands.

The Pretenders

The Pretenders

On my 13th birthday, I received my own drum kit. I had fallen ass backwards into Progressive Rock and was living and breathing Yes; amazing musicians, with the ability to incorporate so many different melodies, time signatures and themes into one perfectly crafted work. Yes led me to King Crimson, Flash and inevitably to Pink Floyd, who made the complex seem simple and the simple sound complete. . How cool was that?  I started a band, but I just couldn’t shake my passion for pop. My fondness for Pagliaro, 5 Man Electrical Band, and Badfinger, created the sound and direction of my musical psyche. New Wave delivered Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, and The Pretenders. One of my all time favorite bands,The Pretenders were pure pop. Unforgettable melody lines, great hooks, amazingly simple yet catchy riffs permeated each song. And Chrissy Hynde looked so cool holding a guitar.

Gotta Have Pop

Gotta Have Pop

To satisfy my passion, I have always looked for new artists playing pop. Over the years I have found The Pursuit Of Happiness, The Bob Segarini Band, and Sloan. Segarini is pop genius. His ability to hear the music long before it is ever played sets him out as one of the truly great pop song writers. Once referred to as the Canadian Nick Lowe, Segarini’s Gotta Have Pop  is a classic . I have, more recently found some amazing talent out there in bands named The Creekside Strays, The Micronite Filters, The Research Turtles,  Toxic Melons and The Toniks. There are so many more that I have yet to discover. I can hardly wait! Recently a friend of mine who travels The Oregon Trail looking for new music introduced me to No Small Children. I have just started my auditory stalking of this band so any verdict at this time would be premature. He rarely steers me wrong. I will go on record as saying that they have something, and I suspect it is highly contagious as I can’t seem to stop listening. My fondness for all music lies in  melodies and harmonies. It began with the girl vocal groups and is as strong today as it ever was.

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/