Saturday, January 17, 2015

Song of the Week #332

This week it's a guitar fest on the World Wide Woozle. Some you may have heard before but I'll try to mix it up. Playing to a diverse audience, I always attempt to have a tune for everyone.

I've been reading Keith Richards' autobiography (you remember him right...from The Rolling Stones). It's not a bad read and Keith tells his story with a lot of humour and honesty as well. At the moment I'm still stuck in the early 60's with the Stones cutting their teeth covering American rock 'n' roll and blues. Reading about Keith and Mick's love for the music is a real treat as there's no doubt despite their rise to mega-fame, that they are fans. I could easily construct an essential listening episode just from the names that Keith drops. One of the guitar tunes that he made a name playing is this one...Keith goes into detail about learning the licks and how he still can't quite get it right!

Elvis Presley - I'm Right, You're Left, She's Gone -

Keith talks a lot about his influences and most of them are fairly obvious. He says that he has a notebook with "Chuck, Reed, Diddley" written in it. Chuck and Bo I know but I didn't know Jimmy Reed at all until now. Shame on me!

Jimmy Reed - Aw Shucks, Hush Your Mouth -

Tom Paxton is an American Folk Music icon. At age 77 he's just announced that he's giving up touring. Given that his music has been part of my life forever I'm rather hoping that he'll make it to Australia this year as he winds it up. I haven't seen him play live and I'd really like to. Years ago I copped a fair bit of abuse for singing this song in was worth it. You can relate the lyrics to any war you care to. 

Tom Paxton - Lyndon Johnson Told The Nation -

As an aside, there's a movement here in Australia to get Taylor Swift into the Triple J Hottest 100. Triple J is the national youth radio station. Personally I think it's a hoot and more power to all the TSwizzle fans. Triple J and its offshoot Double J may not appeal to one and all but they remain a great service in terms of promoting Australian music as well as anything that the commercial stations won't touch. How many other countries have a national, ad-free radio station playing a really wide range of tunes?

As for Taylor...try this track. Full of 80s goodness and today's production values. I love the cheesy drum machine and the lyric "I'm a nightmare dressed like a daydream".

Taylor Swift - Blank Space -

I really need to finish Keith Richards' book quick smart as the new biography of Randy Rhoads is en route via the Book Suppository. He's my favourite metal guitarist because he plays with fluidity, style and works within the song rather than over the top of it. Randy was a guy that could play vicious riffs, searing solos and then delicate, classically tinged pieces.

Ozzy Osbourne - Over The Mountain -

Cinderella were a mid 80s / early 90s hair metal band from Philadelphia. I guess they got their initial image cues from bands like Motley Crue. For the casual listener they are a solid and good fun metal band, But take a chance and delve a little deeper and there is some fantastic bluesy, country styled stuff to enjoy. These days their singer, Tom Keifer, is still plugging away. Last year sometime I got a copy of his solo album, "The Way Life Goes". It's fantastic. Tom's voice is great and he is a brilliant guitar picker. I'm bringing this episode full circle now as I imagine his influences aren't that different from Keith Richards'. Blues baby, blues. Try this track...

Tom Keifer - The Flower Song -

And for those who remember Cinderella, or need an introduction, here are two very different songs...

Cinderella - Shake Me (1986) -

Cinderella - Dead Man's Road (1990) -

It seems like the right time for some Joan Jett. Kim Fowley, original manager of The Runaways died this week. By all accounts he wasn't a very nice man but without him there'd be no Joan (or Lita Ford either of course).

Joan Jett - Cherry Bomb (live) -

Punk-pop faves of mine, The Dollyrots, have some fairly obvious Runaways / Joan Jett influences. They also used to be on Joan's "Blackheart Records" label.

The Dollyrots - Because I'm Awesome -

Enough already I hear you cry! Well this is the end anyway. Thanks for tuning in.

Rock on brothers and sisters,


" long as I've got rock 'n' roll, I'm forever young..." Cinderella, One For Rock 'n' Roll (1990)

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