For any fan of R&B music — any fan of music, period, really — it is impossible to think of the 1970s and early ’80s without recalling the shiny, groovy, exuberant sounds of Earth, Wind & Fire. And no man had a greater impact on them than founding member Maurice White, who died Thursday at 74.
Shining Star, That’s The Way of the World, September, Sing A Song,Fantasy, Reasons: White helped write all of these hits. The onetime sessions drummer, who played with Ramsey Lewis’s jazz trio in the ’60s, also served as EWF’s principal producer as its music — steeped in jazz and funk as well as Latin influences, but as luxuriantly pop-savvy as any AM radio classics of the time — segued seamlessly into the disco era and eventually embraced electronic textures.
We lost another rock and roll great, Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane. He probably wasn’t as well-known as Glenn Frey, but Paul had a big impact on the music industry:
“In 1967, the greatest rock and roll city in America was San Francisco,” Rolling Stone wunderkind Jann Wenner wrote in 2005. ” And the most exciting and successful rock and roll band in San Francisco and the country was Jefferson Airplane. … [They] were both architects and messengers of the psychedelic age, a liberation of mind and body that profoundly changed American art, politics and spirituality. It was a renaissance that could only have been born in San Francisco, and the Airplane, more than any other band in town, spread the good news nationwide.”
Now, one of those who spread that good news is gone. Paul Kantner, guitarist for Jefferson Airplane and one of its founding members, is dead at 74. The cause was multiple organ failure and septic shock, as SF Gate reported.
“Paul was the catalyst that brought the whole thing together,” Jorma Kaukonen, Jefferson Airplane’s lead guitarist, told the New York Times. “He had the transcendental vision and he hung onto it like a bulldog. The band would not have been what it was without him.”
The Eagles had influence on, and were influenced by many local musicians. Jack Tempchin wrote or co-wrote five of the Eagles songs (including Peaceful Easy Feeling and Already Gone), and lives here in Encinitas. How often do you see a guy of his caliber playing at the local Whole Foods?
A Chevy, a Budweiser, and a big belt buckle – what else do you need!
I didn’t take notice of the Eagles until Joe Walsh joined in 1975. We had Joe’s 8-tracks and thought he was a great rocker, but wondered how he would fit in a country-ballad band. Their next album, Hotel California, was the answer. Donna and I did see the Eagles at the Murph in 1994, with Big Head Todd and the Monsters as the opening act – were you there?
Here is Glenn playing lead guitar at the California Jam in 1974, with Jackson Browne filling in for Don Felder (whose wife was having a baby).
Did you know that in the later years, they cut back the lyrics of Tequila Sunrise? Here is the original version, with extra lyrics starting at 2:25-min mark:
On Sunday, we lost one of the greatest rock and roll icons of all-time.
David Bowie was known as a trend-setter with virtually everything he did – including his final departure. Keeping his battle with cancer completely quiet for the last 18 months, he then released a new album with video just two days before his death – a final gift. Thank you David!
Videos from the early 1970s are rare but these two clips give a good sense of his unique style for the era. The first video is Space Oddity with David’s good friend Mick Ronson on guitar (the song was released five days before Apollo 11 was launched!). The second video is the song ‘1984’ (off the Diamond Dogs album) from a Dick Cavett show in 1974:
If you would have told me that Johnny Rotten was still alive, I would have said “No way”. But he is, and still performing with his second major band, PIL – how many punk rockers can say that? Here’s how he looked as one of the Sex Pistols in 1978 when he was probably the third best player behind Steve Jones and Sid Vicious: LINK.
Pardon the ad in the beginning – I try to avoid those:
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