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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…
D is for David & David – I’ll start off with a few obscure bands. I LOVE the band David & David. I had just moved to Washington DC and was still buying vinyl. I came across a wonderful band called David & David and fell in love with their 1986 album “Boomtown.” The title track, Welcome to the Boomtown, played so many times on my turntable that you could actually see where that song was on the record because the grooves were so worn. The single reached #37 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1986 and #8 on the Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart. The duo, Los Angeles studio musicians David Baerwald and David Ricketts, disbanded shortly after the Boomtown album and sadly never released another single, let alone another album. They went on to work with other musicians and in fact both collaborated with Sheryl Crowe on her debut album.
Give a listen to this amazing sound. I love turning people on to them. Here’s Welcome to the Boomtown. Enjoy!
If you want to check out the whole album, I’ve posted it below. But first check out my second favorite song by them, Being Alone Together.
And Swallowed By the Cracks, their follow-up single that reached #14 on the Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart (they perform on the video after the brief MTV Midweek Concert commercial):
Here’s the whole album, their one and only:
Have you experienced David and David before this?
D is for David Essex – David Essex is popular in England as a singer-songwriter, musician and actor. Here in the States he is best known for his 1973 hit Rock On, which reached #5 on the US charts. This song brings back memories from the early 70s. Here he is performing on Burt Sugarman’s Midnight Special:
D is for the Doobie Brothers – I remember a few of us from my neighborhood would walk the streets and just be belting out the lyrics to Black Water. That was mid-70s back in Town of Niagara.
The Doobie Brothers have such great sing-along songs! I saw them at the Niagara Falls Convention Center back in 1978. And how about this for an opening act: southern rock band The Outlaws. What a great concert! The Doobie Brothers, to me, is just some down home ‘feel good’ music. Like their hit Listen to the Music. This is one of those songs that you play at full blast volume, cruising on a sunny summer day. Check out this 1973 performance from the Midnight Special show:
I could listen to the Doobie Brothers all day! Here are a few of my favorites, for your listening pleasure:
This is China Grove, recorded during their last date on their “Farewell Tour” at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley CA, 1982. Apparently, this concert was touted as the best performance in their career. Video provided by Eagle Rock YouTube channel.
Takin’ It to the Streets – a montage video:
Jesus is Just Alright – from a Midnight Special performance in 1975:
Long Train Runnin’ – Another great recording from the 1982 “Farewell Tour” at the Greek Theater in Berkeley. Video courtesy of Eagle Rock’s YouTube channel:
It Keeps You Runnin’ Written By Michael McDonald. The Doobie Brothers Live On Soundstage in Chicago. From The Livin’ On The Fault Line Tour 1977:
D is for Donovan – Scottish singer, songwriter and musician, Donovan has a very colorful bio. Read about him at the Donovan Wikipedia page. Here are a few of his songs that got a lot of air play when I was growing up that I particularly liked:
Mellow Yellow – This song reached #2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1966 and #8 in the UK the following year. Here’s a very intriguing fact about the song: The song was rumored to be about smoking dried banana skins, which was believed to be a hallucinogenic drug in the 1960s, though this aspect of bananas has since been debunked. According to Donovan’s notes accompanying the album Donovan’s Greatest Hits, the rumor that one could get high from smoking dried banana skins was started by Country Joe McDonald in 1966, and Donovan heard the rumor three weeks before “Mellow Yellow” was released as a single. According to The Rolling Stone Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll, he admitted later the song made reference to a vibrator; an “electrical banana” as mentioned in the lyrics. This definition was re-affirmed in an interview with NME magazine: “it’s about being cool, laid-back, and also the electrical bananas that were appearing on the scene – which were ladies’ vibrators.”” Another song based on a vibrator! Ha! Studio version (audio only):
Hurdy Gurdy Man – first released as a single in 1968, the song gave its name to Donovan’s album that year. Performance from that year:
Season of the Witch – a song that has been featured and played in many movies and TV shows, it is one of the first psychedelic songs, written by Donovan and released in 1966 on his Sunshine Superman album:
Sunshine Superman – Here’s a lyric video of this 1966 classic:
D is for Dr. John – Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack (born November 21, 1940), better known by the stage name Dr. John (also Dr. John Creaux, or Dr. John the Night Tripper), is an American singer-songwriter, pianist and guitarist, whose music combines blues, pop, jazz as well as zydeco, boogie woogie and rock and roll. He’s mostly known by his New Orleans R&B roots.
I don’t know a whole lot about Dr. John but I sure love his song Right Place, Wrong Time that went to #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart back in 1973. It was from his In the Right Place album. This is some serious boogie rock.
Crank this one up!
D is for Deep Purple – Now a switch in musical style, the next D band I’m showcasing is the hard-rockin’ Deep Purple. I used to go to a lot of bars that had live music. So many cover bands that I went to see back in the day regularly included Deep Purple songs in their playlist. I used to dance the nights away to Smoke on the Water, Space Truckin’ and Highway Star:
Smoke on the Water – from 1973
Space Truckin’ from their Machine Head album (audio only; video is a static still of the Machine Head album cover):
Highway Star – from Deep Purple’s Made In Japan album. This video was found on the YouTube channel of NormanZavlandid1066. He synced Highway Star from the Made in Japan CD with sections of the Copenhagen DVD. Great video!
D is for the Doors – Next up: The Doors. I was on a Doors kick for awhile. I thought Jim Morrison was a really disturbed individual after reading his biography. Probably my favorite Doors song is Riders on the Storm. There’s something about the Doors music that is very moody, and often a dark moody. Riders on the Storm is the perfect song to listen to on a misty foggy rainy dark day. If you like Jim Morrison and the Doors, kick back and plan to hang out here for a bit. I have uploaded some FABULOUS videos!
Riders on the Storm – Taken from the YouTube channel of Zaradur: “The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, California by vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densmore, and guitarist Robby Krieger. They were considered a controversial band, due mostly to Morrison’s cryptic lyrics and unpredictable stage persona. After Morrison’s death on July 3, 1971, the remaining members continued as a threesome until disbanding in 1973. Despite a career that barely totaled eight years, The Doors still enjoy a huge cult following as well as status in the mainstream music industry as being hugely influential and original. According to the RIAA, they have sold over 32 million albums in the US alone.”
Here’s a haunting video that came from the Jim Morrison Channel and is a live performance of this cult classic.
A lot of the Doors songs remind me of being cooped up on cold winter days or stuck inside on dreary rainy days. The melodies are so haunting, the lyrics cryptic and dark, it’s hard to think of sunshine when listening to the Doors. Anyone else find that to be true?
The Doors performing Light My Fire:
People Are Strange – Official music video in HD:
Break On Through (to the Other Side) – Official Music Video:
Touch Me – This video is of a Smothers Brothers appearance in December 1968. On Saxophone: Curtis Amy; String & Horn sections: Nelson Riddle Orchestra
The story about Robbie’s black eye is either:
1) He got into a fight with Jim
2) A car accident
3) A guy went to punch Jim for being a “hippie”. Jim ducked, nailed Robby right in the eye.
All of these accounts have been said by band members.
Roadhouse Blues – Live in NY, 1970:
The End – Live at the Hollywood Bowl 1968:
I do love his voice! Jim Morrison left way before his time when his life came to a tragic end back in 1971.
There’s the documentary called “Jim Morrison – The Last 24 Hours” The video wouldn’t post here but you can go directly to YouTube and check it out: https://youtu.be/_SZLXffMTqU
Need a mood lift, after listening to all this Doors music? How about the incomparable Dan Fogelberg. Now his music makes me feel like sunshine:
D is for DAN FOGELBERG – “Dan Fogelberg (August 13, 1951 – December 16, 2007) was an American musician, songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist whose music was inspired by sources as diverse as folk, pop, rock classical, jazz and bluegrass.” (Wikipedia)
Here he performs live at the Fox Theater in St. Louis (June 25, 1991) two great songs: Missing You and Part of the Plan:
If you prefer the studio version, here’s one with the lyrics beneath the still:
Lyrics: (scroll through the blue if you’re not interested in reading the lyrics)
I have these moments
All steady and strong
I’m feeling so holy and humble
The next thing I know
I’m all worried and weak
And I feel myself
Starting to crumble.
The meanings get lost
And the teachings get tossed
And you don’t know what you’re
Going to do next.
You wait for the sun
But it never quite comes
Some kind of message comes
Through to you.
Some kind of message comes through.
And it says to you…
Love when you can
Cry when you have to…
Be who you must
That’s a part of the plan
Await your arrival
With simple survival
And one day we’ll all understand…
I had a woman
Who gave me her soul
But I wasn’t ready to
Her heart was so fragile
And heavy to hold
And I was afraid I might
Your conscience awakes
And you see your mistakes
And you wish someone
Would buy your confessions.
The days miss their mark
And the night gets so dark
And some kind of message
Comes through to you
Some kind of message
Shoots through —
There is no Eden or
That you’re gonna make it to
But all of the answers you seek
Can be found
In the dreams that you dream
On the way.
This is probably my favorite Dan Fogelberg song: The Power of Gold. He teams up with jazz flautist Tim Weisberg and they cut an album called “Twin Sons of Different Mothers” (1978). Lyrics below:
After a remission of a few years, the prostate cancer returned and Dan Fogelberg died on December 16, 2007. What a huge loss. I would’ve loved to have seen him in concert. Did you ever see him live?
D is for David Bowie –“is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, arranger, and actor. He is also a painter and collector of fine art. Bowie has been a major figure in the world of popular music for over four decades, and is renowned as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s. He is known for his distinctive baritone voice as well as the intellectual depth and eclecticism of his work.
Bowie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Through perpetual reinvention, he has seen his influence continue to broaden and extend: music reviewer Brad Filicky writes that over the decades, “Bowie has become known as a musical chameleon, changing and dictating trends as much as he has altered his style to fit, influencing fashion and pop culture.” Biographer Thomas Forget adds, “Because he has succeeded in so many different styles of music, it is almost impossible to find a popular artist today that has not been influenced by David Bowie.”
Most recently, in 2015, he was named one of GQ’s 50 best dressed British men.” (Source: Wikipedia)
I like so many David Bowie songs. He’s not an artist that is top-of-mind for me but when I started compiling the songs I wanted to spotlight, it became apparent just how prolific he was/is. He certainly thrived in an ever-changing industry. Here are the Bowie songs that I like most:
Space Oddity – 1972 music video:
Changes – a lyrics video:
Suffragette City – Here’s a video that was part of the International Rock Awards which was held in Austin Texas, June of 1990 (6/6/90). David Bowie performed live via video link:
Ziggy Stardust – Footage taken from BBC 4’s documentary, The Story of Ziggy Stardust:
The Jean Genie – I love this song!
Rebel, Rebel –
Young Americans – performing on Dick Cavett Show (December 4, 1974):
Golden Years – montage video:
D is for Duran Duran – I wasn’t a huge Duran Duran fan but I did like a few of their songs. They were popular in their day though: “Duran Duran is an English rock band formed in Birmingham in 1978. They were a successful band of the 1980s and a leading band in the MTV-driven “Second British Invasion” of the US. Since the 1980s, they have placed 14 singles in the Top 10 of the UK Singles Chart and 21 in the Billboard Hot 100, and have sold more than 70 million records.
While they were generally considered part of the New Romantic scene, along with bands such as Spandau Ballet, when they first emerged, the band later shed this image. The band worked with fashion designers to build a sharp and elegant image. The band has won a number of awards throughout their career: two Brit Awards including the 2004 award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, two Grammy Awards, and an MTV Video Music Award for Lifetime Achievement. They were also awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The band’s controversial videos, which included partial nudity and suggestions of sexuality, became popular in the early 1980s on the then-new music video channel, MTV. Duran Duran were among the first bands to have their videos shot by professional directors with 35 mm film movie cameras, which gave their videos a much more polished look than was standard at the time. In 1984, the band were early innovators with video technology in their live stadium shows; they were the first major act to provide video screens above the stage to bring the action closer to the audience in the rear.” (Source: Wikipedia)
Here are my favorite Duran Duran songs:
The Reflex –
Hungry Like the Wolf –
Save a Prayer –
Ordinary World –
So, did you like any of the bands/artists that I featured here? WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE D BANDS? WHO DID I FORGET?