Short but sweet

Another one of my favorite bands is Creedence Clearwater Revival. They’re something quite different, more catchy tunes and country sauce all over the rock ‘n’ roll, with good lyrics and another wonderful growling voice. It’s a shame the band only existed for a couple of years, but man, did they produce some great albums! I’ve got Willy and the Poor Boys (1969) on vinyl and I really love the ending track:

There’s a little scratch around the last minute so this song just keeps going when I play it. It’s kinda nice to have it not end, but also sad not having it end properly.

The reason I’m writing this post, is because yesterday I went to the ‘John Fogerty 1969 show’. He didn’t want to play any CCR songs for a long time after the band broke up, just to keep his old record company from making any more money out of him, but today he’s playing them with pride! After reading ‘Bad Moon Rising: The unauthorized biography of Creedence Clearwater Revival’ by Hank Bordowitz, I kinda got the impression John Fogerty was a grumpy and bitter man, yet a musical genius. So seeing this happy, lively, excited and funny 72-year-old, was very strange. He’d be running around, jumping like a kid who just crawled onto a stage for the first time, telling great stories like the one about Woodstock.
The show started with a long film being projected on a white curtain, it was about the importance of 1969 and we got to see images of the band or articles about them, and clips of John singing and giving an interview. After a while I started thinking: This was all a joke; we’re not getting to see him play live, just clips! But then there was an old clip of him singing, and the curtain fell down, and there he was, singing it right now! I was glad to hear his voice hadn’t gone too bad, you could still hear the young John in there. The band was very good, consisting of his son and also a very weird but talented piano player. All the band members got their moment in the spotlight sometime during the show, which seemed like a contrast to the way John used to want to be CCR by himself and the other members didn’t matter very much to him. Anyway, it was nice to hear all their hits again (they had nothing but hits), often with longer guitar solo’s, which I love. The only minor thing was that there were too many visual effects, like John was trying to cover up the fact that he isn’t 20 anymore and his voice will never reach the same levels. The music didn’t need all that extra, the songs are masterpieces, every single one of them! And how amazing it was to hear them live. I enjoyed a very good performance and am glad to have been able to see another 60’s /70’s legend!

He didn’t play this last night, but at that first “becaaaause” I still get goosebumps… Man the power in his voice! He sure is unique.

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My crooked tower of joy

Finally! It’s here!! My dad had promised me his old music system months ago, and now it is officially mine!!! I had bought a record player last year and it spent a long time collecting dust. I have been buying records, not sure when I’d be able to play them, but here we go! It’s on! First I had Moanin’ in the moonlight (1959) by Howlin’ Wolf on, then Roy Harper’s Stormcock (1971), an album called Thunderbird (1971) with a collection of Little Walter tracks, and just now the live album The Delicate Sound Of Thunder (1988) by Pink Floyd. Life is good when you’ve got some fine speakers and a small but wicked record collection. Embracing the vinyl times! (Now just have to find a set-up or some other way to make it fit in with my interior…)

THANKS DADOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hidden treasure

Digging into the history of Led Zeppelin, you can’t help but read about when Jimmy Page wanted to start a new band and first asked this young guy if he’d be lead singer, but the fella declined because he had other commitments, and instead recommended Robert Plant. This guy was called Terry Reid, and when I looked up some of his songs, I was instantly in love! His vocals are just right op there with Plant’s, and even though people will call him crazy for ‘missing’ a huge shot at fame and stardom, I think it was for the best. Terry was not made to be a front man in glitter suits to a massive group, letting someone else do all the guitar work. He was a born singer-songwriter. He toured with the Stones when he was just a teenager and Graham Nash produced one of his albums. He had tons of potential, so it’s a terrible shame that he never got the recognition he deserved! He had some trouble with his manager Micky Most and so was unable to play his own music for quite some time. Still, I find it shocking how nobody knows him! It sort of became my mission to spread his music and have people acknowledge the genius that is Terry Reid!
Like Robert Plant, he had a powerful voice that has lost it’s strength over the years. Yet he also still performs! But let me introduce you to his stuff when he was on top of the game: From the start, my favorite song was Seed of Memory (1976), from the same-name album that was produced by Graham Nash. His voice just sends shivers up my spine, especially in the final lines. He was such a strong vocalist and lyricist, and this song proves it.

Now this Donovan cover from the 1969 Terry Reid album is why he got his nickname: ‘Superlungs’

Just one more! (For now, because he has so many great songs and covers, it’s ridiculous!) This song always reminds me of driving up the Big Sur coastline, when I was introducing my hosts there to his music. The sun was setting, we were tired after a long day, but still a little excited about seeing wales pass by. I was happy in that moment, and I love this song not just for the memory it holds, but because it’s just plain beautiful.

So there you’ve had it; a little taste of Terry Reid. I’m also glad I’m not the only one who thinks the world of Terry, because a documentary is being made about him: http://www.mysuperlungs.com/ ! At least, there was. Last I heard they had trouble with the good man himself, who drinks. He lives very humble, by the way, he never got rich from the albums he made. They are also still looking for funds to finish the film, but already have loads of interviews with people who think highly of him, like Robert Plant. Hopefully they will be able to finish and get Terry the recognition he should’ve gotten years ago!

Number One

I had no idea what I was in for when I started to listen to Led Zeppelin. My dad had the Remasters CD in his car, of course, and it was always fun having Whole Lotta Love on cause the guitar’s racing sound would be going from left to right. I didn’t mind the music at all, but it wasn’t until I met some people in my first year of film school who thought the world of them and Pink Floyd, that I started to really listen. BANG. Mind = blown. I don’t know if it went fast or slow, all I know is that I have become obsessed with Zeppelin. They seemed to have had it all: A killer voice, killer musicians, long defining guitar solos, bang, everything, I mean, I can’t even write. I have bought all of their albums, DVDs, books, I even have a Physical Graffiti image up on the wall.
I would like to say they don’t have a single song I hate, but if there’s one I just can’t listen to, it’s definitely The Battle Of Evermore, their only song to star a guest singer. That was easy, but it’s hard to choose one song that I love the most, even as I am writing this I’m thinking: which one shall I post?  So for now I’m gonna go with two songs I really wanna say something about: First there’s the final song on their first album, and it’s called How Many More Times (1969). What I like about it, is that the song is like a book with chapters, all with a different feel, yet it doesn’t sound disconnected. I think it shows what they are capable of, as does their whole debut album, I might say. So I used to call this one my favorite, but there’s this other song that really, really, REALLY, gets to me: Since I’ve Been Loving You (1970). Heart wrenching ballad, all four musicians carry out the same feeling of love and sadness and helplessness, it is just devastatingly beautiful. I always call it the best broken heart song ever. And I’ve recently come to love the live version from the DVD The Song Remains The Same, so here goes. Enjoy! More Zeppelin will be featured on this blog for sure.

That feeling that’s left everybody; the cosmic energy… Everybody goes “yaaaaaaay” BASH!

It started with

When I was 14 years old, our music teacher asked us to give a presentation about our favorite band and play our classmates a song of theirs, this was my pick:

At age 13 one day I was sitting in my dad’s car and I heard this song on the radio I liked. When I was a child I always used to say old music made me nauseous, but this time I really liked the band, and so I asked my dad who this was. He told me it was the Police and he proudly put on their Greatest Hits album. From that moment on, this Britney Spears fan turned into a Police nut.
My favorite album was always Reggatta De Blanc (1979), which contains some of my absolute favorites like Walking On The Moon, The Bed’s Too Big Without You, and Bring On The Night. They remained my favorite band for 5 years and I couldn’t believe my luck when, even though I was convinced I’d never be able to see them play live, they decided to do a reunion tour in 2007! I remember my sister had to buy me the tickets online in the morning, but the website kept crashing and so I thought I didn’t get any! I’d lay in my bed all day crying and listening to their music like a moron, until my sister decided to check her mailbox and turned out; we DID get the tickets!
I went to the concert in Antwerp and saw these old men perform all the songs I love, while they used to be young blond fellas in their video clips and on album covers. Sting was unable to sing Roxanne as the grand finale, because he had problems with his voice and the concert the next day was even cancelled. I remember the following morning in religion class when the teacher brought up the concert for some reason, and I was so proud to be able to say I was there! It was the best day of my young life.