Archive for May, 2015

The Freedom of Music: Rock is Dead They Say

May 31st, 2015
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One likes to believe in the freedom of music.
Rush – Spirit of Radio.

“Hope I die before I get old,” Roger Daltrey sang in 1965. Fast forward 50-years and last week at a concert in Long Island, Daltrey threatened to walk off stage if someone smoking a joint up front didn’t put the joint out. One wonders if his specific request used the line “get off the grass!”? Pete Townsend, writer of the above line, followed Daltrey’s threat with a suggestion the offending pot smoker take his medication in suppository form. It’s like Grumpy Old Men 3: the Rock and Roll Tour™.sidebar-1

“How the hell am I supposed to hear myself sing with you people clinking your ice-cubes around in your glass?” Frank Sinatra never yelled at his audience. Sinatra died at 82 and performed until about a year before his death, when heart problems, bladder cancer and dementia forced him to stop performing. The smell of scotch never becoming an issue with Frank, even as he was dying of what was basically old age, Sinatra never seemed quite as old as The Who’s lead singer. Daltrey, now 71, for the last several years has kept his light, curly hair cut short and wears small colored glasses, looking more like your Granny than Tommy.

But the Who came of age when Sinatra was middle aged. They cut their teeth the 60’s in front of the stoned hippies and cemented their reputations in the 70’s in front the of the hippies ever more stoned brothers and sisters. Smoking a joint was as much a part of the experience as the music was.

Here’s another Townsend penned line that Daltrey sang:

long live rock, be it dead or alive.

When rock has been reduced to a nostalgic hippy paying $100 to have Roger Daltrey’s granny yell at him to get off the grass, then it has lived long – long past it’s dead date.

for certified professional guitar repair in Cambridge Ontario: Brian Gardiner Guitar Repair

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Review: Sammy Hagar and the Circle: At Your Service

May 25th, 2015

Sammy Hagar and the Circle, featuring Hagar, his old pal Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, Led Zeppelin’s Jason Bonham, and guitarist Vic Johnson take a roll through Hagar’s career, with some Led Zeppelin added in for good measure, in the new live album At Your Service. Recorded at various shows during last years fall tour, At Your Service covers Hagar’s solo material, his Montrose years as well as 80’s era Van Halen (in a nod to both Hagar and Anthony).thecircleatyourservicecd

The Circle is a band of solid professionals who all know their business. There is nothing here that’s not very well done. Whatever era of Hagar – or Led Zeppelin – you are a fan of, you will be pleased by the performances of those songs. There is no weak points or performances here.

The album features four Led Zeppelin songs, and aside from Good Times Bad Times having a bit of an 80’s feel to it, they are performed excellently. Hagar is, perhaps a bit surprisingly, a good singer of Led Zeppelin.

The highlight of the album however is the final track, when Hagar and Johnson take a seat for an acoustic arrangement of Van Halen’s Dreams, from 5150. Stripped of Eddie Van Halen’s keyboards and pyrotechnic guitar licks, it’s an extremely pretty song.

Sammy Hagar and the Circle’s At Your Service is a very enjoyable live recording that is both worth having and makes you hope this particular lineup continues to tour, and that they come to a town near me soon.


CD 1

  1. There’s Only One Way to Rock
  2. Rock Candy
  3. Good Times Bad Times
  4. Poundcake
  5. I Can’t Drive ’55
  6. Mikey Bass Solo
  7. When It’s Love
  8. Whole Lotta Love
  9. Little White Lie
  10. When the Levee Breaks
  11. CD 2

  12. Jason Drum Solo/Moby Dick
  13. Why Can’t This Be Love
  14. Finish What You Started
  15. Heavy Metal
  16. Vic Guitar Solo
  17. Best of Both Worlds
  18. Right Now
  19. Rock and Roll
  20. Dreams (acoustic)

for certified professional guitar repair in Cambridge Ontario: Brian Gardiner Guitar Repair

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Now is the Time When Hespeler Juxtaposes

May 13th, 2015
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National Post, today:

Kevin O’Leary appeared on Celebrity Jeopardy! Tuesday and further burnished his reputation as one of Canada’s foremost intellectuals… Unfortunately, the Canadian businessman did rather poorly.

National Post/ 2006: I bombed on Jeopardy, by pretentious writer of important public policy issues for the National Post, John Moore. (John Moore’s bio.)

With the usual apologies to Kate at SDA.

for certified professional guitar repair in Cambridge Ontario: Brian Gardiner Guitar Repair

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In Breaking, Other, Breaking News…

May 10th, 2015

McLeans magazine writer sides with Elizabeth May and Omar Khadr


for certified professional guitar repair in Cambridge Ontario: Brian Gardiner Guitar Repair

Media doesn't matter

Happy Birthday (plus a day)…

May 7th, 2015

I’ve seen Bob Seger a number of times, the last time at MSG in December. He is at 70, as good as he was thirty years ago. He is, and has always been, a solid performer and a consummate professional.GeorgeHarrison_FrontTipIn.indd

At age 31 he was singing about ‘sweet sixteen turning thirty-one,” and “Chuck’s children… playing his licks…” As Seger’s 70th birthday passes us by, it’s worth noting that Seger is doing exactly what he wrote of almost 40-years ago, he’s out there playing Chuck Berry licks, and a better night would be hard to find.

As we celebrate the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers 70th birthday (yesterday, May 6th), Universal Music (UMe) has announced it is releasing Seger’s breakthrough, and many believe his masterpiece, album, Night Moves on 180g vinyl.

Capitol Records recording artist Bob Seger’s classic album, Night Moves, makes its debut on 180-gram vinyl on June 16, 2015. Seger’s breakthrough album, powerful and personal, is the newest vinyl reissue addition to the GRAMMY® Award-winning rocker’s extraordinary catalogue.

So Happy 70th Birthday to Bob Seger, still Rock and Rollin’ like he always has.

for certified professional guitar repair in Cambridge Ontario: Brian Gardiner Guitar Repair

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