Welcome to Day 1 of the Blogging A-Z 2015 Challenge!
DISCLAIMER THAT APPEARS AT THE BEGINNING OF ALL A-Z 2015 PAGES:
Welcome to the A-Z Musical Tour of My Life! I have wanted to put something like this together for a long time now and the A-Z Challenge just seemed like the perfect opportunity. I’ve compiled stories, trivia, research, music videos and live concert footage on all the bands and musical artists who have been important to me over the years, especially during my youthful years in the 60s and 70s. At first glance, the posts may seem long – and some of them are due to the number of videos included – but it’s really laid out in a way that will enable you to scroll through and read, see or hear just what you want and then either move on to the next A-Zer or linger and listen to the great music that you’ll find here. By all means, bookmark my blog so you can come back! In addition to individual songs, there are some full albums here for those who may want to enjoy some music while they’re surfing or working. I hope you find that the stories are entertaining, the information educational and the trivia interesting. It would be a tremendous honor if you would bookmark the A-Z Musical Tour of My Life as a resource for great music and music information! Now, let’s get started with…
A is for AC/DC – OMG, I love this band. I spent so many nights dancing in bars (not ON bars, mind you) into the wee hours of the morning as cover bands blasted out Hells Bells and Back in Black. Probably my fondest memory though is when I was with my friend Joanne (God rest her sweet soul, I miss her!) cruising the streets in her “roach mobile” and Hells Bells came on and we just HAD TO dance so she pulled the car over on the side of the road, cranked up the music and we both got out and danced right there on the side of the road for the duration of the song. Cars were whizzing by, some of the honking their horns, all of them probably thinking we were nuts. But we didn’t care. We were not nuts, just stoned, probably… And when the song was over, we hopped back in the car and on our way we went. Two wild and crazy girls, just out for a good time…
Credit: VEVO: Music video by AC/DC performing Hells Bells. (C) 1981 J. Albert & Son (Pty.) Ltd.
Here’s Back in Black (C) 1981 J. Albert & Son (Pty.) Ltd:
And Girls Got Rhythm – a lyrics video:
How about some T.N.T. – Music video by AC/DC performing T.N.T.. (Live At River Plate 2009)(C) 2011 Leidseplein Presse B.V.
A is for Aretha Franklin – Aretha Franklin certainly needs no introduction. Her song Respect has been the theme song to countless women the world over! When I owned my bar, one of the things that I enjoyed most was picking out the music that was to be on the jukebox. People used to say my bar had the best music in the county! New people would come in because they heard about the music on my jukebox. One night, I had just called “Last Call” and Respect came on the jukebox. I turned around and twisted that volume knob up to maximum level. And that was loud, believe me. You couldn’t even hear yourself talk. I didn’t care. I was in the mood for that song and I wanted to hear it, LOUD. Well, the place started jumpin’. Every single person was off their barstool or out of their seat and everyone was dancing and singing, belting out the words. A regular customer walked into the bar at that moment, coming in for that Last Call beer. He was blasted with the music when he came through the door and, at first surprised, he then saw what was happening and this big smile came across his face. I popped open his beer and set it in front of him and he got right into the groove too. That’s the kind of effect this song has on people. You hear it and you just want to crank it up and claim it as your anthem!
Here a cool photo-montage video. Some people don’t know this but the song was written by Otis Redding. Now TURN IT UP! And SMILE…
A is for Aerosmith – often referred to as “America’s Greatest Rock ‘n Roll Band,” the group formed in 1970 in Boston. Front man and vocalist Steven Tyler, together with guitarists Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, bassist Tom Hamilton and drummer Joey Kramer were known for their excesses, drug consumption and debaucery. In the words of Bebe Buell, a fashion model known for dating rock muscians and having had a brief relationship with Steven Tyler (the two had a daughter together, Liv Tyler), she said of the group: “They [Aerosmith] were like a gang of kids with their own planes, Porsches, millions of dollars, limitless ressources. […] Mick Jagger and Jimmy Page had control, but these boys did not care. They won the prize, hands down, for the rowdiest rock ‘n’ roll band in that era. No question.”
I’ve seen Aerosmith a few times. I remember the show at the Niagara Falls Convention Center but for the life of me I can’t recall the concert that I went to at Buffalo Auditorium! I don’t even remember the show, let alone who I went with! Aerosmith is another of my very favorite bands of all time. It’s hard to choose just ONE song as my favorite because I like SO MANY of their songs. Probably my ultimate favs are Back in the Saddle and Last Child from their “Rocks” album:
Seasons of Wither, Lord of the Thighs and Same Old Song and Dance from their “Get Your Wings” album:
From their “Toys in the Attic” album, No More, No More:
To see them performing the song live, click this link: http://youtu.be/394kUMWTygM
Who doesn’t love Dream On from their first self-titled album: Video (C) 1973 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT
And I love to sing along with Dude Looks Like a Lady (music video (C) 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc):
Here’s a fabulous 60 Minutes interview on the story of Aerosmith:
Other favorite A bands:
A is for Aldo Nova – Aldo Nova, a Canadian guitarist, keyboardist, vocalist and producer, isn’t a favorite per se because all I really know of him is the song Fantasy, his 1982 single from his self-titled album. But it’s a great song and definitely worthy of inclusion into my favorites:
A is for America – an American (soft) rock band, formed in 1970 by multi-instrumentalists Dewey Bunnell, Dan Peek, and Gerry Beckley. America achieved significant popularity in the 1970s, and was famous for the trio’s close vocal harmonies and light acoustic folk sound. This popularity was confirmed by a string of hit albums and singles, many of which found airplay on pop stations.
Back in 1980, when I was working for Waldenbooks in the local mall (Summit Park Mall), I used to play America’s Greatest Hits album in the store, which violated the “company rule” that only classical music could be played while customers browsed the shelves, but my managers were cool and most of the customers didn’t mind. I played that album over and over and over, every shift I worked!
I wish I could’ve just posted their Greatest Hits album here but I’ve posted a number of their classic hits, all of which are featured on the Greatest Hits album. Scroll through and see if you remember these songs or kick back for a little while and enjoy America’s mellow sound.
Horse With No Name –
Sister Golden Hair – America performing on the Midnight Special (year unknown):
I Need You – rehearsal footage that I think is from an America DVD
Sandman – This is a very interesting video with sand sculptures set to America’s song Sandman; includes lyrics:
Don’t Cross the River – America performs “Don’t Cross the River” with special guest, photographer/musician Henry Diltz. Diltz’ photographed many of the pictures featured in America’s album covers.
Ventura Highway –
Tin Man –
Daisy Jane –
Lonely People –
A is for the Animals – The Animals, a great ’60s British Invasion band led by the famed Eric Burdon, whose deep-voice vocals brought the band up the charts and into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. They had several hits, including one of my favorites, which quickly became a Vietnam War anthem: “We Gotta Get Out of This Place.”
They are probably most known for their 1964 hit song, “House of the Rising Sun.”
A is for Alice Cooper – although he seems quite the freak and I don’t revel in some of his stage theatrics, I do so love those early 70s classics. Here are my three favorites. School’s Out:
No More Mr. Nice Guy – performing live on David Letterman show in 1999, promoting his new 4-CD Box Set, “The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper”:
and I’m Eighteen – Here’s Alice Cooper performing the iconic classic (from Beat Club’s YouTube channel), and he’s maybe just a wee bit high, ya think??
A is for the Allman Brothers Band: Oh, and I also saw the Allman Brothers Band when they performed here in Austin at a an outdoor venue in the Hill Country some dozen or so years ago. Here are two of my favorites:
The Midnight Rider:
Ramblin’ Man (performed live in 1979):
A is for Argent: Argent’s Hold Your Head Up is a great anthem. Here’s some rare footage of Argent performing that classic anthem in 1972:
Liar is another one of their greats. If you’re familiar with the Zombies, then you know Rod Argent. He was the founding member of that 1960s English rock group and then went on to head Argent. This link will take you to them performing at the High Voltage Festival at Victoria Park in London, July 25, 2010 with original band members Rod Argent, Russ Ballard, Bob Henrit and Jim Rodford.
A is for Autograph: an American heavy metal band from Pasadena, California. They released several albums throughout the 1980s and are perhaps best-remembered today for their mid-1980s hit, Turn Up the Radio.
A is for Asia: And I’d be remiss if I were to leave out Asia. I found this descriptor when I discovered this video on YouTube: “When they appeared in the early ’80s, Asia seemed to be a holdover from the ’70s, when supergroups and self-important progressive rockers reigned supreme. Featuring members of such seminal art rock bands as King Crimson (John Wetton), Emerson, Lake & Palmer (Carl Palmer), and Yes (Steve Howe), as well as Geoff Downes from the Buggles, Asia did feature stretches of indulgent instrumentals on their records. However, they also could be surprisingly poppy, and that is what brought them to the top of the charts with their debut album, Asia, and its hit single, Heat of the Moment.” Also from that album Only Time Will Tell scored major air-play as well. Here is the band performing Only Time Will Tell live in Switzerland.
The group disbanded just three years later in 1985.
So, who are your favorite A bands? Who did I forget? What bands would you have included here? What did you like of what I posted? Please share in the Comments section! And Happy A-Z!