Tuesday May 21, 2013
We really had the feeling that we had something very special, something that only happens once. We thought we were going to change the world. - Ray Manzarek
That was Ray Manzarek
talking in a 2008 interview about The Doors
recording their first album in 1967. Manzarek, founding member and keyboardist for the iconic band, died yesterday of cancer at the age of 74.
"I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today. Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him," wrote The Doors guitarist, Robby Krieger
, who has toured with Manzarek for the past ten years.
"Ray, I felt totally in sync with you musically. It was like we were of one mind, holding down the foundation for Robby and Jim to float on top of. I will miss my musical brother," wrote drummer John Densmore
, referring to The Doors lead vocalist, Jim Morrison
, whose death in 1971 effectively ended the band's short but wildly successful life.
Manzarek died at a clinic in Germany where he was being treated, his wife and brothers at his bedside.
Photo © PhotoFlashbacks - The Doug Hartley Collection
Thursday May 16, 2013
In a business full of enigmas, Ginger Baker stands out, not because he's an enigma, but precisely because he isn't.
"There's no myth about Ginger. He is exactly what he is," says his former Cream and Blind Faith band mate Eric Clapton, one of the many people Baker has known, worked with, and influenced who populate the new (on DVD) release of the film, Beware of Mr. Baker
I qualify the newness of the film, because it was screened at SXSW in 2012, and was shown in theaters later in the year. With Baker, as Clapton suggests, what you see is what you get. What you see in this film is a sometimes angry, even violent man (hence the film's title) with a past that includes drug and alcohol abuse, and almost as many failed marriages as car wrecks.
What you also see is a masterful musician, a prodigy according to the people who knew him as a teenager, when he got his first gig as a drummer without ever having played drums, and without being able to read music. As for his claim that he is not now and never has been a rock drummer? Sorry, you'll just have to read the review and watch the clips.
• Review: Beware of Mr. Baker
Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images
Friday May 10, 2013
From the beginning (with The Runaways
) Lita Ford's name has been synonymous with hard rock and heavy metal. Although she has often written songs based on her own experiences, her song, "Mother" (from her 2012 album, Living Like A Runaway
) is about as personal as it gets.
The "Mother" music video was released this week, not coincidentally, a few days before Mother's Day. One of the video's many interesting aspects is that it was directed by Victory Tischler-Blue
, who, as Vicki Blue, was The Runaways bass guitarist in 1977-78.
The song was written for and about Ford's two teenage sons, from whom she has been estranged since her divorce in 2011. Ford told USA Today
that she hopes her sons see the video, and that the song's message reaches other parents who are in the same situation, and that "it will give them belief and faith and strength to get through whatever it is that they have to go through in order to have their children safe and sane." Even if you are not an alienated parent, and even though it will probably not cheer you up, it's well worth watching.
• Watch Lita Ford's "Mother" music video
Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images
Friday May 10, 2013
In real life, I'm not much of a list-maker. Typically, I only make lists when the workload gets crazy and I have to either organize and prioritize, or go curl up in the corner in the fetal position. But turn me loose with a little slice of classic rock lore, and I suddenly become the list king (well, maybe the king's assistant jester) and the lists just keep on coming.
A little while back, I put together a list of 10 of the hottest classic rock guitar licks
. Since the available pool of knockout riffs is in the dozens, maybe even hundreds, I labeled the list Part 1, knowing there would potentially be many more to come. In Part 2, the licks just keep on coming ... READ MORE
Lita Ford photo by Zoran Veselinovic via Wikimedia Commons