Music

Glen Campbell dead at 81

Country music icon Glen Campbell has died at the age of 81. His family announced, “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease.” The star’s publicist confirmed that he died Tuesday morning in Nashville. The legend behind hits including “Wichita Lineman” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” recently released his final studio album. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease six years ago. He won five Grammys, sold more than 45 million records, had 12 gold albums and 75 chart hits, including No. 1 songs with “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Southern Nights.” His performance of the title song from “True Grit,” a 1969 release in which he played a Texas Ranger alongside Oscar winner John Wayne, received an Academy Award nomination. He twice won album of the year awards from the Academy of Country Music and was voted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Seven years later, he received a Grammy for lifetime achievement. He released more than 70 of his own albums, and in the 1990s recorded a series of gospel CDs. A 2011 farewell album, “Ghost On the Canvas,” included contributions from Jacob Dylan, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick and Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins. “Glen’s abilities to play, sing and remember songs began to rapidly decline after his diagnosis in 2011,” the singer’s wife Kim Campbell said in a press release in April. “A feeling of urgency grew to get him into the studio one last time to capture what magic was left. It was now or never.” Campbell revealed he had Alzheimer’s disease in 2011, but he went on to record two albums and play more than 150 concerts. At the time, Kim Campbell said the tour was a way to help her husband combat the brain-ravaging disease and spend time with family members who made up his band and traveled with him. He also starred in a documentary about life with Alzheimer’s, “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me.” He won a Grammy for his song “I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” which plays at the conclusion of the documentary. The song also was nominated for a 2015 Oscar. His wife revealed in March that the singer could no longer play guitar or sing.

We’re very sorry to hear about Glen’s passing.  He was truly a legend and an iconic part of American pop culture.  To read the rest of this article, click on the text above.  Thanks for the tunes, Glen.  R.I.P.

Gregg Allman dead: Singer, organist for The Allman Brothers Band was 69

Gregg Allman, the legendary frontman of The Allman Brothers, died Saturday, a publicist said. He was 69. Allman died at his home in Savannah, Georgia, publicist Ken Weinstein said. A statement on the singer’s website said he “passed away peacefully.” Allman, who is credited with spawning the Southern rock movement, cancelled some of his 2016 tour dates after announcing in August that he was “under his doctor’s care at the Mayo Clinic” due to “serious health issues.” Later that year, he canceled more dates citing a throat injury. And in March 2017, he canceled performances for the rest of the year. “Gregg considered being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans essential medicine for his soul,” a statement on Allman’s website said. “Playing music lifted him up and kept him going during the toughest of times.” The Nashville rocker, known for his long blond hair, was raised in Florida by a single mother after his father was shot to death. He idolized his older brother Duane, eventually joining a series of bands with him before finally creating the nucleus of The Allman Brothers Band. The original band featured extended jams, tight guitar harmonies by Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, rhythms from a pair of drummers and the smoky blues inflected voice of Gregg Allman. Songs such as “Whipping Post,” ”Ramblin’ Man” and “Midnight Rider,” helped define what came to be known as Southern rock and opened the doors for such stars as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band. In his 2012 memoir, “My Cross to Bear,” Allman described how Duane was a central figure in his life in the years after their father was murdered by a man he met in a bar. The two boys endured a spell in a military school before being swept up in rock music in their teens. Although Gregg was the first to pick up a guitar, it was Duane who excelled at it. So Gregg later switched to the organ. They failed to crack success until they formed The Allman Brothers Band in 1969. Based in Macon, Georgia, the group featured Betts, drummers Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson and Butch Trucks and bassist Berry Oakley. They partied to excess while defining a sound that still excites millions. Their self-titled debut album came out in 1969, but it was their seminal live album “At Fillmore East” in 1971 that catapulted the band to stardom. While Duane Allman quickly started to ascend into the pantheon of great guitarists, tragedy struck. He was killed in a motorcycle accident in October 1971, months after recording the Fillmore shows. Another motorcycle accident the following year claimed Oakley’s life. In a 2012 interview with The Associated Press, Gregg Allman said Duane remained on his mind every day. Once in a while, he could even feel his presence. “I can tell when he’s there, man,” Allman said. “I’m not going to get all cosmic on you. But listen, he’s there.” The 1970s brought more highly publicized turmoil: Allman was compelled to testify in a drug case against a former road manager for the band and his marriage to the actress and singer Cher was short-lived even by show business standards. In 1975, Cher and Allman married three days after she divorced her husband and singing partner, Sonny Bono. Their marriage was tumultuous from the start; Cher requested a divorce just nine days after their Las Vegas wedding, although she dismissed the suit a month later. Together they released a widely panned duets album under the name “Allman and Woman.” They had one child together, Elijah Blue, and Cher filed for legal separation in 1977. The Allman Brothers Band likewise split up in the 1980s and then re-formed several times over the years. A changing cast of players has included Derek Trucks, nephew of original drummer Butch Trucks, as well as guitarist Warren Haynes. Starting in 1990, more than 20 years after its founding, the reunited band began releasing new music and found a new audience. In 1995 the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and won a Grammy Award for best rock instrumental performance for “Jessica” the following year. In 2000, Betts was ousted from the band via fax for alleged substance abuse and poor performance and he hasn’t played with the band since. Butch Trucks died in January 2017. Authorities said he shot himself in front of his wife at their Florida home. In his memoir, Allman said he spent years overindulging in women, drugs and alcohol before getting sober in the mid-1990s. He said that after getting sober, he felt “brand new” at the age of 50. “I never believed in God until this,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press in 1998. “I asked him to bring me out of this or let me die before all the innings have been played. Now I have started taking on some spiritualism.” However, after all the years of unhealthy living he ended up with hepatitis C which severely damaged his liver. He underwent a liver transplant in 2010. After the surgery, he turned to music to help him recover and released his first solo album in 14 years “Low Country Blues” in 2011. “I think it’s because you’re doing something you love,” Allman said in a 2011 interview with The Associated Press. “I think it just creates a diversion from the pain itself. You’ve been swallowed up by something you love, you know, and you’re just totally engulfed.” The band was honored with a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2012.

Was sorry to hear this earlier today..  Thanks for all the tunes, Gregg.  R.I.P.

The Eagles Sue Mexican ‘Hotel California’ That Opened Decades Before Release of Famous Song

There’s not plenty of room at the Hotel California. But The Eagles sued the Mexican hotel, anyhow. The rock band filed suit in federal court against the 11-room hotel in Baja, Mexico, this week for using their most famous song’s title without their permission. The litigation faces one major hurdle: the real Hotel California opened more than a quarter century before the imaginary one immortalized in song. “Defendants lead U.S. consumers to believe that the Todos Santos Hotel is associated with the Eagles and, among other things, served as the inspiration for the lyrics in ‘Hotel California,’ which is false,” the lawsuit alleges. While one can argue that the hotel did not inspire the song, one cannot argue that the song inspired the hotel. Its founder broke ground on the project in 1947, the birth year of Don Henley, Timothy B. Schmidt, Joe Walsh, Bernie Leadon, and Don Felder. It opened three years later. While the property called itself Hotel California at its origin, as dated pictures attest, its founder, a Chinese immigrant named Mr. Wong, attempted to assimilate by changing his name to Don Antonio Tabasco, which did not fool the locals, who collectively changed his name to “El Chino”—the Chinese man. The hotel’s website further informs, contrary to the claims of the lawsuit, that though “the present owners of the hotel do not have any affiliation with the Eagles, nor do they promote any association, many visitors are mesmerized by the ‘coincidences’ between the lyrics of the hit song and the physicality of the hotel and its surroundings.” These coincidences include guests arriving by traveling a “desert highway,” hearing mission bells chime daily, and smelling “colitas” occasionally in the air. Alas, no mirrors adorn the ceilings and you can leave whenever you want. The Eagles famously provoked condemnation when they broke the $100 barrier for tickets at their reunion concerts in 1994. With the death of Glenn Frey earlier this year, the opportunities for massive moneymaking opportunities appear diminished. But litigation lottery generally pays well for the winners. File under: Bring your alibis.

We’re curious what former Eagles lead guitarist Don Felder, who wrote the song in question, thinks of this lawsuit by his former bandmates.  Don was fired from the band in 2001.

Bruce Springsteen: ‘I Was a Stone-Cold Draft Dodger’

Bruce Springsteen says writing and performing “Born in the U.S.A.” helped him reconcile the mixed feelings he has about decisions he made during the Vietnam War era. “I had some friends, very close friends of mine… guys who came home in wheelchairs and, then, I didn’t go. I was a stone-cold draft dodger,” the New Jersey rocker said at a Tribeca Film Festival conversation with Tom Hanks at the Beacon Theatre in New York Friday. “I pulled the whole ‘Alice’s Restaurant.’ ‘I’m sorry, sir. I don’t understand what you are saying because I am high on LSD.’ I did everything in the draft-dodger’s text book,” Springsteen recalled. “So, perhaps, I felt guilty about that later on. I had friends who went. I had friends who went and died. I had friends later on who were seriously hurt. And whether it was that or whether it was just the fact it was an event that defined a generation and if you were going to write about the world, if you were going to write about who we are at this this particular moment, if you were going to write about your place, if you were going to try to seize your little moment in history, which were all things I wanted to deliver to my audience, it was something that needed to be reckoned with. … And, so, it was something that I felt I had to come to terms with myself and I needed to sing about.”

Feel better about it now, Bruce?  And this is the self-righteous, sanctimonious, America-hating, extreme-liberal, socialist that Obama gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom for…probably because Obama also hates America, and respects Bruce’s cowardice.  Losers..

David Crosby, Ted Nugent feud over Trump views

David Crosby and Ted Nugent are at odds. The musicians have been taking jabs at each other on social media and in interviews in recent days. It all began when Crosby slammed a photo of Nugent at the White House with President Donald Trump, writing on Twitter on Thursday that the image featured a “pair of “a–holes.” Nugent fired back later Thursday while speaking with radio station 77 WABC. “David Crosby, he’s kind of a lost soul, and he’s done so much substance abuse throughout his life that his logic meter is gone,” Nugent said during the chat. “His reasoning and his depth of understanding is pretty much gone, so it doesn’t surprise me, I feel quite sad for the guy.” Crosby then took to Twitter to respond. He wrote, “Nugent is a brainless twit ….I can out think him without even trying hard.” It’s no huge surprise that Crosby – a liberal star who has spoken out against Trump – and Nugent, who is known for his conservative views, aren’t the best of friends. They are both politically active and stand firmly on opposite sides. In an interview posted on his website, Crosby said that Trump scared him. He said Trump “can’t control his mouth or his mind. He’s an idiot, and a scary one.”

While I enjoy the music of both these aging musicians (and have seen both live on multiple occasions), gotta say that David Crosby clearly started this, and that Uncle Ted has definitely taken the higher road.  David Crosby is a waste of talent.  Heck, on the Crosby, Stills & Nash Daylight Again cd (and yes, I saw that tour…which dates me), they had to have someone fill in for him on a few tracks because he was too gone/stoned/wasted to record! Just Google some videos of him falling out of hammocks and such back in the day..  He’s been on drugs, and in jail, a large part of his life.  In short, he is a ’60s liberal hippie reject that can’t get over Vietnam, Nixon, and so on.  So, he’s a bitter, angry loser who has the IQ of a chihuaha, and just attacks conservatives and those he doesn’t like…for no reason whatsoever.  By EXTREME contrast, ol’ Uncle Ted has been sober all his life and served his community as a volunteer deputy police officer, taught courses on the outdoors for disadvantaged youth, and currently serves on the board of directors for the NRA…among other things.  And, when David attacked him, calling him an “asshole” for no reason, other than he’s a conservative and was seen in a photo with Pres. Trump (whom he also called an “asshole” for no reason), Ted took the high road and said that he felt “sad for the guy.”  Wow..  Good for Ted!  These self-righteous, sanctimonious, arrogant, elitist, extreme liberal hippie rejects like David Crosby need to be called out for their over-the-top hatred, and challenged by the media when they say stuff like that.

Chuck Berry: Music legend given rock ‘n’ roll sendoff

Family, friends and fans paid their final respects to the rock `n’ roll legend Chuck Berry on Sunday, celebrating the life and career of a man who inspired countless guitarists and bands. The celebration began with a public viewing at The Pageant, a music club in Berry’s hometown of St. Louis where he often played. Hundreds of fans filed past Berry, whose beloved cherry-red Gibson guitar was bolted to the inside of his coffin’s lid. “I am here because Chuck Berry meant a lot to anybody who grew up on rock n’ roll,” said Wendy Mason, who drove in from Kansas City, Kan., for the visitation. “The music will live on forever.” Another fan, Nick Hair, brought his guitar with him from Nashville, Tenn., so he could play Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” while waiting in line outside. After the public viewing, family and friends packed the club for a private funeral service and celebration of Berry, who inspired generations of musicians, from humble garage bands up to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. The service was expected to include live music, and the Rev. Alex I. Peterson told the gathering they would be celebrating Berry’s life in rock `n roll style. Former President Bill Clinton sent a letter that was read at the funeral by U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay because Berry played at both of Clinton’s presidential inaugurations. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Clinton called Berry “one of America’s greatest rock and roll pioneers.” “He captivated audiences around the world,” Bill Clinton wrote. “His music spoke to the hopes and dreams we all had in common. Me and Hillary grew up listening to him.” Gene Simmons of the rock band KISS wasn’t scheduled to speak but someone urged him to take the podium. Simmons said Berry had a tremendous influence on him as a musician, and he worked to break down racial barriers through his music. Paul McCartney and Little Richard both sent notes of condolences. At the end of the funeral, a brass band played “St. Louis Blues” while Berry’s casket was carried out. When Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards spoke about Berry at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s 1986 induction ceremony — Berry was the first person inducted from that inaugural class — he said Berry was the one who started it all. That sentiment was echoed Sunday by David Letterman’s former band leader, Paul Shaffer, who spoke to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch outside the club. “Anyone who plays rock `n’ roll was inspired by him,” Shaffer said. Berry’s standard repertoire included about three-dozen songs, including “Johnny B. Goode,” “Sweet Little Sixteen” and “Roll Over Beethoven.” His songs have been covered by country, pop and rock artists such as AC/DC and Buck Owens, and his riffs live on in countless songs. The head of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Greg Harris, said “anybody who’s picked up a guitar has been influenced by him.” Well before the rise of Bob Dylan, Berry wedded social commentary to the beat and rush of popular music. “He was singing good lyrics, and intelligent lyrics, in the `50s when people were singing, “Oh, baby, I love you so,”‘ John Lennon once observed. “Everything I wrote about wasn’t about me, but about the people listening,” Berry once said.

Sounds like Chuck had a great send off in St. Louis.  As many of you know, that’s where I’m originally from.  St. Louis has a rich music heritage and culture…and Chuck is part of that great music heritage in the Gateway city.  Thanks for the tunes, Chuck.  R.I.P.

J. Geils found dead in Massachusetts home at age 71

John Warren Geils Jr., the founder and lead guitarist for the J. Geils Band, was found dead Tuesday in his Massachusetts home. He was 71. Groton Police said in a statement that they were called to Geils’ home at around 4 p.m. local time to do a wellness check. Officers found Geils unresponsive and pronounced him dead at the scene. Police said a preliminary investigation indicated that Geils died of natural causes, but the investigation was ongoing. The J. Geils Band was founded in 1967 in Worcester, Mass., while Geils was studying at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Bandmates included Danny Klein, Richard “Magic Dick” Salwitz, Stephen Jo Bladd, Peter Wolf and Seth Justman. The band, whose music bridged the gap between disco and new wave, released 11 studio albums before breaking up in 1985. They reunited off and on over the years. The group had several Top 40 singles in the early 1970s, including a cover song “Lookin’ for a Love” by the family group The Valentinos and “Give It to me.” Their biggest hits included “Must of Got Lost,” which reached No. 12 on Billboard’s Top 100 in 1975 and “Love Stinks,” a rant against unrequited love, the title song on their 1980 album. Their song “Centerfold,” from the album “Freeze Frame” was released in 1981 and eventually charted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in February 1982. It stayed there for six weeks and was featured on MTV. The band was nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the fourth time last fall but was not selected. “This is our fourth nomination, and going through that process, with its inherent disappointment, you’re not sure you want to take that ride again,” lead vocalist Peter Wolf told Billboard at the time. “It’s great to be recognized, but it’s a drag to be disappointed. I hope that we make it in. That would be great.”

Indeed..  Was sorry to hear this.  The last few years, J. Geils actually hasn’t been touring with the band with his name.  But, the rest of the band has been touring lately.  So, maybe there were some health issues?   Thanks for all the fun tunes, John.  R.I.P.