19/11/2017

Eagles

Take It To The Limit

 

The Eagles formed in Los Angeles in 1971, drummer Don Henley had migrated west from Texas with his band, Shiloh, (and was living at the home of fellow Texan Kenny Rogers); guitarist Glenn Frey was a rocker from Detroit who headed to Los Angeles, where he befriended fellow musicians Jackson Browne and John David Souther. Bernie Leadon had a bluegrass background (The Scottsville Squirrel Barkers, Dillard & Clark), and later the Flying Burrito Brothers with ex-Byrd, Gram Parsons. Bassist and high-harmony singer Randy Meisner had worked with Rick Nelson, James Taylor and Poco.

After working together on Linda Ronstadt’s on her eponymous album they went off on their own, honing the repertoire of songs that would appear on their debut album, which was recorded in England in 1972 with producer Glyn Johns.

Bernie Leadon first suggested the name of the band during a peyote and tequila-influenced group outing in the Mojave Desert, when he recalled reading about the Hopis' reverence for the eagle.

 

The first single and lead track, "Take It Easy", was a song written by Frey with his then-neighbour, Jackson Browne. Browne had written the majority of the song, up until the line "I'm standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona", where he became stuck. Frey added the next line "It's a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford" and Browne carried on to finish the song. When released the song reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was the start of a succession of hit singles; "Witchy Woman", "Peaceful Easy Feeling", "Best of My Love", "One of These Nights", "Lyin' Eyes" and the bands signature tune "Hotel California".

They released four consecutive Number One albums between 1975 and 1979: One of These Nights, Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, Hotel California and The Long Run. Collectively, those four albums topped Billboard’s album chart for 27 weeks.

Former James Gang leader, Joe Walsh joined the Eagles in 1975 as the group's keyboardist and guitarist following the departure of their founding member Bernie Leadon, with Hotel California being his first album with the band. After leaving The James Gang, Walsh had seen success as a solo artist with his debut album The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get and solo hits included "Rocky Mountain Way", and "Life's Been Good".

Timothy B. Schmit joined the Eagles after the Hotel California tour, replacing Randy Meisner on bass/vocals after Meisner quit. As well as being a member of Poco, Schmit was an in demand session player working with Steely Dan on Pretzel Logic, The Royal Scam and Aja. Schmit also sang backing vocals on "Never Let Her Slip Away", a top 5 UK hit for Andrew Gold in 1978.

By 1980, the Eagles were the biggest band in America, but their success took a horrible toll on the group. Don Henley and Glenn Frey were intense and driven men, and original members Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner had already quit because the atmosphere had become toxic. Joe Walsh was often too drunk and stoned to complain about his lack of control by this point. The band broke up in 1980, following a difficult tour and personal tensions that arose during the recording of The Long Run.

 

Things came to a head on July 31, 1980, in Long Beach, California, when tempers boiled over into what has been described as the "Long Night at Wrong Beach". The animosity between Felder and Frey boiled over. Frey and Felder spent the entire show telling each other about the beating each planned to administer backstage. "Only three more songs until I kick your ass, pal", Frey recalls Felder telling him near the end of the band's set. Felder recalls Frey telling him during "Best of My Love", "I'm gonna kick your ass when we get off the stage."

During the 80’s various members (particularly Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh) launched or resumed successful solo careers. Walsh released a successful album in 1981, There Goes the Neighborhood and Henley achieved arguably the greatest commercial solo success of any former Eagle. In 1981, he sang a duet with Stevie Nicks, "Leather and Lace." In 1982, he released I Can't Stand Still, featuring the hit "Dirty Laundry." His next release, Building the Perfect Beast (1984), features the classic "The Boys of Summer". Henley's next album, The End of the Innocence (1989), was also a major success and includes "The End of the Innocence," "The Last Worthless Evening" and "The Heart of the Matter."

Meanwhile, the Eagles’ on-going influence inspired the renegade “new country” movement. When 13 of country music’s hottest acts recorded the tribute album Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles in 1993, its triple-platinum success helped trigger an Eagles reunion a year later.

Country star Travis Tritt insisted on having the Long Run-era Eagles in his video for "Take It Easy" and they agreed. Following years of public speculation, the band formally reunited the following year with Frey, Henley, Walsh, Felder, and Schmit.

When released in 1994, the live album Hell Freezes Over (named for Henley's recurring statement that the group would get back together "when hell freezes over"), debuted at number 1 on the Billboard album chart. The group’s first best-of collection, Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, is among the best-selling albums of all time, having sold more than 26 million copies.

In February 2013 the Eagles released a career spanning documentary called History of the Eagles and kicked off the supporting tour. Don Henley said that the tour, which would continue until 2015, "could very well be our last...”

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The Supremes

19th Nov 1964, The Supremes became the first all girl group to have a UK No.1 single when 'Baby Love' went to the top of the charts. Written and produced by Motown's main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland, it was also the second of five Supremes songs in a row to go to No.1 in the United States.

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The Beatles

November 19th 2000, The Beatles started an eleven-week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with 'The Beatles 1'. The album features virtually every number-one single released from 1962 to 1970. Issued on the 30th anniversary of the band's break-up, it was their first compilation available on one CD. The world's best-selling album of the 21st century, 1 has sold over 31 million copies.

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18/11/2017

Malcolm Young

Sad to hear that guitarist and AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young has died aged 64 after a long battle with dementia. After forming AC/DC in 1973, Malcolm and his brothers were credited as co-writers on every song the band recorded by the band between their 1975 debut High Voltage through to 2014's Rock or Bust. Malcolm was born in 1953 in Glasgow before his family emigrated to Australia when he was 10. His family confirmed he was suffering from dementia in 2014.

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Herman 'Ze German' Rarebell

Happy birthday Herman 'Ze German' Rarebell (born November 18, 1949 as Hermann Erbel) a German drummer, best known for his time in the band Scorpions from 1977 to 1995, playing on 8 studio albums. Rarebell was an important composer in the history of the group, writing classic songs like "Another Piece of Meat", "Falling in Love" and the second single from Savage Amusement "Passion Rules the Game". He wrote the lyrics for some of the most classic songs of the band like "Rock You Like a Hurricane", "Make It Real", "Dynamite", "Blackout", "Arizona", "Bad Boys Running Wild", "Don't Stop at the Top", and "Tease Me Please Me".
In 1982 he released his first solo album Nip in the Bud (which he re-recorded as Herman ze German & Friends with the help of some friends of his as guest, such as members of Dokken, Great White, Ratt etc.) He remains the only member of Scorpions to have released a solo project while still a full member of the band.
Later on, he co-created Monaco Records with Prince Albert of Monaco .
He participated in the Drum Legends project with his friend Pete York (ex Spencer Davis Group) and Jazz drummer Charly Antolini and released a live CD & DVD.
On August 3, 2006 he joined Scorpions onstage at the Wacken Open Air Festival, as a special guest along with Ulrich Roth and Michael Schenker.
Rarebell released I'm Back in June 2007 on Mausoleum Records, with touring in the United States, Europe and Japan.
In 2009 Herman returned with his new band Herman Ze German to perform at Rocklahoma. HZG featured Herman with guitarist Duke Jackson of Strikforce, bassist Joe Council of PUSH, and singer Timexx nasty of Drivin Rain and Beggars Jury. Herman Rarebell signed with Dark Star Records in 2010.
To preserve his legacy within Scorpions, Rarebell released his autobiography in late 2011, "And Speaking of Scorpions..." Written with the aid of an American writer, Michael Robert Krikorian of Pleasanton, California, the frank and extremely humorous book chronicles not only his vast contributions to Scorpions but his philosophies on life and music.
In 2012 Herman toured with Michael Schenker on the Japanese and European dates of his Temple of Rock tour, alongside another former member of Scorpions, Francis Buchholz.

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Kirk Lee Hammett

Happy birthday to the great metal guitarist Kirk Lee Hammett (born November 18, 1962) the lead guitarist and a songwriter in the heavy metal band Metallica and has been a member of the band since 1983. Before joining Metallica he formed and named the band Exodus. In 2003, Hammett was ranked 11th on Rolling Stone's list of The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. In 2009, Hammett was ranked number 5 in Joel McIver's book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists.
Hammett was born on November 18, 1962 in San Francisco, California, the son of Teofila "Chefela" (née Oyao) and Dennis L. Hammett, a Merchant Marine. His mother is of Filipino descent and his father was of part Irish ancestry. He attended De Anza High School in Richmond, California. While attending De Anza High School, he met Les Claypool of Primus, and they remain close friends.
Hammett's musical interests eventually drew him into the fledgling thrash metal genre. In 1980, he formed the band Exodus with vocalist Paul Baloff, guitarist Gary Holt, bassist Geoff Andrews, and drummer Tom Hunting. He played on Exodus' 1982 Demo. Exodus was an influential band in the Bay Area thrash movement.
In 1983 Hammett was invited to join Metallica following the dismissal of the band's original lead guitarist Dave Mustaine, who went on to form the band Megadeth. This was prior to the recording of Kill 'Em All. At the time Hammett was taking private lessons from guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani.
Hammett has written and contributed riffs for Metallica songs since the band's second album . One of these riffs, used in "Enter Sandman" became one of Metallica's most popular songs. It was the first track and first single on Metallica's self-titled Black Album and was ranked 399th on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The bridge for "Creeping Death" was originally an Exodus riff that Hammett took with him to Metallica.
In 1986, during the band's European leg of their tour to support "Master of Puppets", Hammett, and bassist Cliff Burton had a dispute over sleeping arrangements on the band's tour bus and it was decided by a card draw, which Burton won by picking the Ace of Spades. Once the draw was completed, Burton looked at Hammett, and stated "I want your bunk," to which Hammett agreed, saying that he might be able to sleep better in the front of the bus anyway. Early the following morning the tour bus slid off the road and overturned, throwing Burton out of the window – subsequently killing Burton. Hammett has stated in an interview that he once thought that it easily could've been him who was killed instead, since Burton was sleeping in what was considered Hammett's bunk.
Hammett initially wanted to have guitar solos on Metallica's 2003 album, St. Anger, but drummer Lars Ulrich and producer Bob Rock thought that the solos did not sound right in the songs. He later admitted himself, "We tried to put in solos but they sounded like an afterthought so we left them out".
On April 4, 2009, Hammett, along with Metallica bandmates Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, and Robert Trujillo and former Metallica bandmates Jason Newsted and the deceased Cliff Burton, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2009, Hammett provided the foreword to British author Joel McIver's book To Live Is to Die: The Life and Death of Metallica's Cliff Burton.

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Kim Wilde

November 18th 1960, Born on this day, Kim Wilde, singer, (1981 UK No.2 single 'Kids In America', 1987 US No.1 single 'You Keep Me Hanging On', plus 20 other Top 50 UK singles).

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Don Cherry

November 18th 1936, Born on this day, Don Cherry, jazz musician, father of Neneh and Eagle Eye Cherry. Cherry died on 19th October 1995.

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Nirvana

November 18th 1993, Nirvana recorded their MTV unplugged special at Sony Studios, New York. Nirvana played a setlist composed of mainly lesser-known material and cover versions of songs by The Vaselines, David Bowie, Meat Puppets and Lead Belly. The album won the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album in 1996.

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Billy Joel

November 18th 1978, Billy Joel went to No.1 on the US album chart with his sixth studio album, '52nd Street'. His first US No.1 album was also the first commercial album to be released on compact disc (by Sony Music Entertainment) and won Joel the 1979 Grammy for Album of the Year.

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Genesis

November 18th 1974, Genesis released the double concept album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadwaytheir sixth studio album and the last album by the group to feature the involvement of lead singer Peter Gabriel.

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Cat Stevens

November 18th 1972, Cat Stevens started a three-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with 'Catch Bull At Four'. The title was taken from one of the Ten Bulls of Zen a series of short poems and accompanying pictures that are intended to illustrate the stages of a Buddhist practitioner's progression towards enlightenment.

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The Beatles

November 18th 1963, The Beatles received silver LP discs for 'Please Please Me' and 'With the Beatles' at a ceremony held at EMI House in London. They also received a silver EP for 'Twist and Shout' and a silver single for 'She Loves You'. The band then attend a cocktail party and a formal lunch in the EMI boardroom with company executives and invited guests. Also on this day, the US NBC news program "The Huntley-Brinkley Report" was the first to air footage (albeit pre-recorded) of The Beatles in concert.

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17/11/2017

Fats Domino

18th Nov 1956, Fats Domino appeared on the US TV Ed Sullivan Show performing 'Blueberry Hill.' Before the song became a rock and roll standard it had been recorded by various artists including Louis Armstrong, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Gene Autry and Jimmy Dorsey. The version by Fats Domino was ranked No.82 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

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Led Zeppelin

18th Nov 1970, Led Zeppelin III was at No.1 on the UK & US album charts. The original cover and interior gatefold art consisted of a surreal collection of random images. Behind the front cover was a rotatable laminated card disc, covered with more images, including photos of the band members, which showed through holes in the cover. The distinctive cover was based on a suggestion of Jimmy Page's that it should resemble an old-fashioned gardening seed chart. Designed by Richard Drew aka Zacron, the sleeve photographs were taken by fellow Leeds Polytechnic lecturer Martin Salisbury.

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Martin Barre

November 17th 1946, Born on this day, Martin Barre, Jethro Tull, (1969 UK No.3 single 'Living In The Past').

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Gene Clark

November 17th 1944, Born on this day, Gene Clark, singer, songwriter, The New Christy Minstrels, The Byrds, (1965 UK & US No.1 single 'Mr Tambourine Man'). Solo, (1974 album, 'No Other'). Died of a heart attack on 24th May 1991 aged 49.

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Gordon Lightfoot

November 17th 1938, Born on this day, Gordon Lightfoot, Canadian singer, (1971 UK No.30 single 'If You Could Read My Mind', 1974 US No.1 single 'Sundown')

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Arthur Conley

November 17th 2003, American soul singer Arthur Conley died of intestinal cancer in Ruurlo, The Netherlands at the age of 57. Had the 1967 US No.2 & UK No.7 single 'Sweet Soul Music'. He first recorded in 1959 as the lead singer of Arthur & the Corvets.

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16/11/2017

Chester William "Chet" Powers, Jr.

Today we remember the passing of the great Chester William "Chet" Powers, Jr. (October 7, 1937 – November 16, 1994) was an American singer-songwriter, and the lead singer of the rock group Quicksilver Messenger Service. He was also known by the stage name Dino Valenti and, as a songwriter, as Jesse Oris Farrow. He wrote the famous 1960s song "Get Together".
Before serving in the United States Air Force and playing in the coffeehouses of Boston and Provincetown, Massachusetts, Powers had already performed as "Dino Valenti" with small rock bands in New England lounges.
In the early 1960s, he performed in Greenwich Village coffeehouses such as the Cock 'n' Bull and the Cafe Wha?, often with fellow singer-songwriter Fred Neil, and occasionally with Karen Dalton, Bob Dylan, Lou Gossett, Josh White, Len Chandler, Paul Stookey and others. He influenced other performers including Richie Havens, who continued to perform some of Powers' early "train songs". Powers was prevented from acquiring a cabaret license due to an earlier arrest, a requirement that was beginning to be imposed on Village entertainers at the time.
By 1963, Valenti/Powers was in Los Angeles where folk-rock had already begun to coalesce. During this period he wrote his best-known song "Let's Get Together". "Get Together", a quintessential 1960s love-and-peace anthem, was later recorded by The Kingston Trio, We Five, The Dave Clark Five, H. P. Lovecraft, Jefferson Airplane and The Youngbloods, among others. He also controversially claimed the copyright of Billy Roberts' hit song " Hey Joe".
Valenti/Powers moved north to the San Francisco Bay area where he recorded for Autumn Records (an acetate of these sessions exists in a Quicksilver collector's possession), though no album was ever issued. He had been friendly with Roger McGuinn in Los Angeles and it is said that The Byrds' Michael Clarke played in a band with Valenti/Powers in Big Sur. He is said to have played in an early line-up of the San Francisco psychedelic rock group Quicksilver Messenger Service when John Cipollina, David Freiberg, and Jim Murray all joined his group in 1964. He later rejoined the group as its lead singer and main songwriter.
Powers' career was blighted by several drug busts. After an arrest for possession of marijuana, while awaiting trial he was searched again by police who found more marijuana, then amphetamines in his apartment. He received a one-to-ten-year sentence served in part at Folsom State Prison. To raise money for his defense, he sold the publishing rights for "Get Together" to the manager of the Kingston Trio, Frank Werber, (the Trio had recorded the song in 1964).
In the late 1960s, he signed as a solo artist with CBS's Epic Records, releasing the solo LP Dino Valente. He traveled with Quicksilver's Gary Duncan to New York in January 1969 to form a new band to be called "The Outlaws", while Quicksilver's noted album Happy Trails album appeared in March. While Valenti and Duncan were in New York, British keyboardist Nicky Hopkins joined Quicksilver for their third album, Shady Grove (December 1969).
The Outlaws came to naught and the two musicians joined Quicksilver at a New Year's Eve concert by the band. Eight of the nine songs on the group's next album, Just for Love (August, 1970) were written by Valenti/Powers, six of them under the pseudonym of "Jesse Otis Farrow," including the hit single "Fresh Air." He remained the primary songwriter on their next album, in December, What About Me?. Despite occasional personnel changes the band released Quicksilver (1971) and Comin' Thru (1972) before calling it quits. The 2-LP Anthology was issued in 1973 and a tour and album, Solid Silver, appeared in 1975.
Powers underwent brain surgery for an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in the late 1980s. In spite of suffering from short-term memory loss and the effects of anti-convulsive medications, he continued to write songs and play with fellow Marin County musicians.
His last major performance was a benefit at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall. He died suddenly at his home in Santa Rosa, California on November 16, 1994, leaving behind a younger sister, Katherine (Kay), and two sons, Joli and Sterling.

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