A is for AC/DC, Aretha Franklin, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Allman Brothers, Argent, Aldo Nova, The Animals, America, Autograph and Asia!

A

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…

Hell’s Bells

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…

Respect

A is for Aerosmithoften 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.”

Aerosmith concert stubsI’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 AnimalsThe 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!

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38 thoughts on “A is for AC/DC, Aretha Franklin, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Allman Brothers, Argent, Aldo Nova, The Animals, America, Autograph and Asia!

  1. Hiya .. I used to love Aretha … but you’ve certainly listed many I know … but am not that musical .. so sort of goes over my head … excellent resume of A – bands … cheers Hilary

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    • Thanks Hilary. Yeah, I know when I started doing this that there were probably only a percentage of people that would really dig my efforts but I really have wanted to do something like this for a long time, catalog my favorites, so this was a perfect opportunity to do just that. Truth be told I’ll probably continue to add to it because even after all the bands I did include I discovered that I forgot many too. So this will be a labor-of-love-work-in-progress project for me. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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    • Lol! I’ve done that before, leaving the music cranked up in the car and then jump in the next day and get blasted out. I can imagine it was especially unpleasant to be blasted by a band you hate! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Out of these groups, Aretha Franklin and Aerosmith are the ones I enjoy the most. Aretha I have always loved. That woman could sign a list of ingredients and make it sound good. I didn’t discover Aerosmith until 2009. But even then, I fell in instant love with them.

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    • So true about Aretha Franklin making an ingredient list sound good!! And I will have to say, if I were hard-pressed to pick a definite favorite band over all others Aerosmith would be at the top of that list. Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate you taking the time to comment too. Happy A-Z!

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    • Yay! I’m so glad that you’ll be along for the ride this month! I hope you dig the music that I’ve chosen. Thanks so much for stopping by and especially for subscribing! Happy A-Z…

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    • Ooh, I forgot about Air Supply!! Yes, good group!!! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Much appreciated.

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    • Lol! Yeah, this challenge isn’t anything to do with dogs but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Although the dogs did get to jam out with me while I was compiling all the posts. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by! Will look forward to seeing more of you here. Rock on…

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  3. This is so awesome, Michele! What a great beginning to the A-Z Challenge. 😀 One of the best concerts we ever attended was Aerosmith’s. I’ve loved Eric Burdon since the very beginning of The Animals. We saw him a few months ago and he’s every bit as good at 73 years old! Always wanted to see Alice Cooper live, but that one escaped me. Such high camp fun! I’d love to see AC/DC too, but hubby hates them! LOL Then again, he doesn’t like The Stones either, but came along anyway. Aretha is such a legend and everybody loves “Respect”. Did you see her perform that in The Blues Brothers movie? So cool! Allman Brothers have a rich, yet tragic history. “Whipping Post” is one of my favourite songs. Ventura Highway from America brings back memories of a California road trip I took (yes, I did drive on the Ventura Highway). I remember your other selections too. Can’t wait to see what’s coming up tomorrow!

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    • Oh how cool that you saw Aldo Nova in concert! I thought about posting this video of his single “Monkey On Your Back” because it’s a really cool video. Check it out when you have a chance: https://youtu.be/qs6iMer68co
      Thanks so much for stopping by Alex. I hope you’ll be visiting often…

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    • Lol Stephen! But guess what? The Guess Who is probably hands down my favorite band of all-time, ranking even above Aerosmith I have to say, so you’ll get a super nice Guess Who fix on our G day and naturally the Who is definitely at the end for sure. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ll visit often!

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  4. Wow… I am not worthy… I am not worthy… Awesome post!

    Great start, all the luck on all the letters!

    Welcome in the “A”… as a host I am stopping by to say thank you!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

    There’s no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!

    HOLLYWOOD NUTS!
    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood… is Nuts?

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    • Thanks Jeremy! Glad you liked it. I hope you’ll be back to check out the other letters and if you need a music fix, there will be plenty here. And thank you for all your hard work in your hosting duties. This is only my second A-Z and I’m hooked! Rock on…

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  5. Holy Moly! I think it might take me a lifetime to give this post the reading/listening it deserves… I was a HUGE America fan in my youth, and the rest of your selections are fabulous as well. Perhaps I’ll just leave this page up and listen all night long! 🙂

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    • Ah yes, America: Their Greatest Hits album holds so many memories for me. Such great music! Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate it. Hope you’ll be back…

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  6. Wow! You’re going to end up with an encyclopedia of rock and pop by the end of April. So many great artists in this list. My favorite was America. The only one I ever saw in concert was Alice Cooper in about 1972 I think. It was a great concert.

    Off to a great start.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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    • Thanks Lee! You’re right, I am going to have an encyclopedia by the time this is all over. Actually I’m sure I will be adding to the posts: when I hear a song or think of a group that I didn’t include but should have, I’ll go back in and add it. I really view this as a work in progress.
      I bet the America concert was incredible. I love that band!
      Thanks for this amazing opportunity with the A-Z Challenge and for all your hard work!

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    • ooh, what was Alice Cooper like in concert? I heard his stage antics were a bit off the rails! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Much appreciated!

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  7. HOLLY COW, thought I’d never get to the end of your post to be able to leave a comment. I’m not a rocker, in fact have only heard of few of those you listed. I did like Aretha, loved the mowtown, probably my favorite type of music back in the day.

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    • I’m a big Motown fan too. There is some sprinkled among my posts. Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate the time you took to leave a comment…

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  8. Pingback: Battle of the Bands – Hold Your Head Up by Argent | Angels Bark

    • Hey Paula, you stumbled into my 2015 collection from last year! So nice to have this post visited again! I love it. (I’m doing classic TV show theme songs this year)…
      Oh, that night in the bar was memorable for sure. Nothing like some Aretha to get a party going!
      Thanks for stopping by Paula. Going to be a crazy month huh? I’m excited!

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    • Thanks Angel! Nice to see you stopping at my 2015 collection. I had a lot of fun putting this together last year. It’s a work in progress and I just added a post earlier this week called One Hit Wonders where I posted a bunch of those for the tail-end of the collection. Thanks so much for checking it out!

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    • Thanks so much for stopping by to check out the Musical Tour of My Life post! It’s nice that folks still visit these! I love Aerosmith. Was my favorite band back in the day. Thanks Gina!

      Liked by 1 person

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