Monday, March 30, 2009




Bob Weir says that the Dead is hard at work getting the band in shape for their upcoming tour, and digging deep into its back catalogue for the band's first extended trek in five years.

Weir explained that they have been working on material that hasn't been performed live by the band since around the time of their Wake Of The Flood album: "Um, (laughs) well we're trying to bring out as many tunes as we can. We've got 150 tunes that we're working on, I don't know how realistic it is that we'll be able to bring that many out (on the road) -- but we'll do a bunch of 'em. I'm doing tunes that I haven't played in 35 years or so, there are a few of 'em, actually. That said, they'll be all the old favorites. Some that really, I don't know why I dropped them from our repertoire, but they're sort of sitting up for us."




Happy Birthday to Eric Clapton, who turns 64 today (March 30th, 1945)!!! Since his mid-'60s stint in the Yardbirds, through John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith, Derek and the Dominos, and his solo career, Clapton -- who was affectionately dubbed "Slowhand" by his fans -- has come to personify the best in blues-rock guitar.

Last month Clapton teamed up with fellow former Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck for a handful of dates in Japan and later this spring will undertake a 14-city tour with former Blind Faith bandmate Steve Winwood. Clapton says that he doesn't mind reigniting past partnerships as long as they go as smoothly as Cream's 2005 series of concerts did: "Well, we all knew where we were, for one thing. You know, we were kind of in the same place at the same time. I suppose from just having really come full circle in my own life and really enjoying my family and feeling like it would be good to do something worthwhile, not just leave that as a memory. You know, when, when everyone was still available to do it."

One of the downsides to having such a long and influential career is that Clapton's current work is always measured against his past successes. He admits that he's easily insulted when people tell him that they prefer his earlier work: "People have said to me, 'Your best work was with Cream.' And I think, 'Oh, well, I know you think you're paying me a huge compliment, but in actual fact, it's kind of, you know, it's a little bit upsetting that you don't care about what I'm doing now.'"

Clapton, who's married with three young daughters at home and an older one from a previous relationship in school, also said that having a stable family and home life keeps him grounded: "I'm hoping, maybe, that there's an evolution going on in my character, which makes it so that I'm just a little bit more accessible -- a little bit more sane -- about the reality of what I need to be, you know, and what my life is composed of these days. I'm married and I have kids, and that, that home thing is actually there, and is actually waiting for me. So it's not so much anxiety about that anymore. Nothing has to be that drastic or dramatic as it used to be."

Clapton kicks off his next set of solo dates May 11th in Dublin. His joint tour with Steve Winwood begins on June 10th in East Rutherford, New Jersey at the Izod Center.

Crosby, Stills & Nash dust off old demos

DETROIT (Billboard) – Early recordings of a dozen Crosby, Stills & Nash tracks -- including favorites such as "Marrakesh Express," "Almost Cut My Hair," "Deja Vu," "Love the One You're With" and "Chicago" -- will be featured on an album of demos due in stores on June 2.

The release of the Rhino Records set, "Crosby, Stills & Nash Demos," coincides with the trio's June 18 induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and a brief summer tour of the United States and Europe.

"It's fascinating stuff," Graham Nash, who co-produced the set with Joel Bernstein, told "On some of these songs you really hear us becoming a band, trying out different ideas in our songwriting and singing and harmonies. It really is a time capsule."

The "Demos" version of "Long Time Gone," for instance, features just Crosby and Stills during June of 1968, a few weeks before Nash joined the group. "Marrakesh Express," meanwhile, was recorded four months before CSN's first album came out in 1969. The set also includes: a Crosby solo demo of "Almost Cut My Hair;" a Stills solo take of "My Love is a Gentle Thing" form 1969; Neil Young joining Crosby and Nash on "Music is Love" for Crosby's 1971 solo debut album "If I Could Only Remember My Name;" and demos of three tracks for Nash's 1971 solo debut "Songs For Beginners" -- "Sleep Song," "Be Yourself" and "Chicago."

The full "Demos" track stack included: "Marrakesh Express," "Almost Cut My Hair," "You Don't Have To Cry," "Deja Vu," "Sleep Song," "My Love Is A Gentle Thing," "Be Yourself," "Music Is Love," "Singing Call," "Long Time Gone," "Chicago" and "Love The One You're With."

"Demos" is the latest result from a spate of vault trolling that's produced box sets for Crosby and Nash, a demos collection from Stills and expanded editions of "If I Could Only Remember My Name" and "Songs For Beginners." Stills is currently working on his box set, while CSN is recording an album of covers that's being supervised by Rick Rubin.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Allman Brothers with guest Eric Clapton 3-19-09

Eric Clapton was the special guest at the Allman Brothers Show Thursday 3-19-09 at The Beacon Theater. Below are a couple of links - one to a video of Layla on You Tube and the other for an audio torrent of the entire show.

Disc 1 : 1st Set
01-Little Martha W/ Warren, Derek, Oteil
02-Statesboro Blues
03-Done Somebody Wrong
05-Woman Across The River
06-Don't Keep Me Wonderin'
07-Whippin' Post

Disc 2 : 2nd Set
01-Oncoming Traffic - Gregg Solo
02-Come & Go Blues
03-Good Morning Little Schoolgirl W/ Danny Lewis Keys
04-Key To The Highway W/ Eric Clapton
05-Dreams w/ Eric Clapton
06-Why Does Love Have To Be So Sad W/ Eric Clapton
07-Little Wing W/ Eric Clapton
08-Anyday W/ Eric Clapton & Susan Tedesch
Encore :
09-Layla W/ Eric Clapton & Danny Lewis Keys

ABB w/Clapton

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Woodstock Death Count

Well, the 40th anniversary of Woodstock is coming up this summer. As I said in a prior post, I hope they let the anniversary just quietly pass. But, something tells me that someone is going to see potential $$$ and try to hold a Woodstock 2009 and it will be a f***ed up mess again.

Anyway, I found this article interesting for those of you who remember Woodstock 1969.

This might be a tad morbid, but that’s the way it goes sometimes…

A friend recently sent me an email containing a link to a news story about the death of a 1960s musician. Well, he was probably a musician later in life as well, but was most famous during the ‘60s.

I cranked off a reply that was something along these lines: “Huh. Wonder how many of the original Woodstock performers are dead now? Forty percent?”

Turns out the musician in the article hadn’t even performed at the festival. I was mistaken, but still curious about the Woodstock Death Count. I did some Google searches, and came up with nothing. Nobody, it seemed, was keeping a running tally.

And so, once again, it’s been left to me to crunch the numbers. First it was Deadwood, and now Woodstock. It’s a heavy burden I carry, my friends.

Here are the results of my exhaustive research:
DAY ONE Friday, August 15, 1969

Richie Havens: alive

Swami Satchidananda: dead

Sweetwater: 4 alive, 3 dead
Nancy Nevins: alive
Alex Del Zoppo: alive
Fred Herrera: alive
August Burns: dead
Alan Malarowitz: dead
Elpidio “Pete” Cobian: alive
Albert Moore: dead

Incredible String Band: 4 alive
Mike Heron: alive
Robin Williamson: alive
Christina “Licorice” McKechnie: alive
Rose Simpson: alive

Bert Sommer: dead

Tim Hardin: dead

Ravi Shankar: alive

Melanie: alive

Arlo Guthrie: alive

Joan Baez: alive

19 performers: 13 alive, 6 dead
Death percentage (Day 1): 32%

The first day has taken the biggest hit, percentage-wise. There were only nineteen performers, since the festival didn’t start until Friday evening, but almost a third of them have passed through the big beaded curtain in the sky. Sweetwater alone has three deceased members, and are tied with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band for the most by any band at Woodstock.
DAY TWO Saturday, August 16, 1969

Quill: 5 alive
Jon Cole: alive
Dan Cole: alive
Roger North: alive
Normman Rogers: alive
Phil Thayer: alive

Keef Hartley Band: 4 alive, 1 dead
Keef Hartley: alive
Miller Anderson: alive
Jimmy Jewell: alive
Henry Lowther: alive
Gary Thain: dead

Country Joe McDonald: alive

John Sebastian: alive

Santana: 5 alive, 1 dead
Carlos Santana: alive
Gregg Rolie: alive
Jose “Chepito” Areas: alive
Mike Carabello: alive
Michael Shrieve: alive
David Brown: dead

Canned Heat: 3 alive, 2 dead
Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson: dead
Bob “The Bear” Hite: dead
Harvey “The Snake” Mandel: alive
Larry “The Mole” Taylor: alive
Adolpho “Fito” de la Parra: alive

Mountain: 3 alive, 1 dead
Leslie West: alive
Felix Pappalardi: dead
Norman D. Smart II: alive
Steve Knight: alive

Janis Joplin: dead

Grateful Dead: 5 alive, 2 dead
Jerry Garcia: dead
Bob Weir: alive
Bill Kreutzmann: alive
Mickey Hart: alive
Ron “Pigpen” McKernan: dead
Tom Constanten: alive
Phil Lesh: alive

Creedence Clearwater Revival: 3 alive, 1 dead
John Fogerty: alive
Tom Fogerty: dead
Doug “Cosmo” Clifford: alive
Stu Cook: alive

Sly and the Family Stone: 7 alive
Sly Stone: alive
Freddie Stone: alive
Greg Errico: alive
Larry Graham: alive
Jerry Martini: alive
Cynthia Robinson: alive
Rosie Stone: alive

The Who: 2 alive, 2 dead
Roger Daltry: alive
Pete Townshend: alive
John Entwistle: dead
Keith Moon: dead

Jefferson Airplane: 5 alive, 2 dead
Marty Balin: alive
Grace Slick: alive
Paul Kantner: alive
Jorma Kaukonen: alive
Jack Casady: alive
Spencer Dryden: dead
Nicky Hopkins: dead

57 performers: 44 alive, 13 dead
Death percentage (Day 2): 23%

Thirteen performers from the second day are now dead, the biggest number by far. However, a whopping fifty-seven people took the stage on Saturday.

The Who have lost 50% of their members, the highest of any band at the festival. Canned Heat, the Grateful Dead, and the Jefferson Airplane are each down two, as well. But all seven members of Sly and the Family Stone are still kicking. And I find that to be fairly amazing, if you want to know the truth.
DAY THREE Sunday, August 17, 1969

Joe Cocker: alive

Country Joe & The Fish: 5 alive
Country Joe McDonald: alive
Barry “The Fish” Melton: alive
Greg “Duke” Dewey: alive
Mark Kapner: alive
Doug Metzler: alive

Ten Years After: 4 alive
Alvin Lee: alive
Leo Lyons: alive
Chick Churchill: alive
Ric Lee: alive

The Band: 3 alive, 2 dead
Robbie Robertson: alive
Rick Danko: dead
Levon Helm: alive
Garth Hudson: alive
Richard Manuel: dead

Blood, Sweat, and Tears: 9 alive
David Clayton-Thomas: alive
Bobby Colomby: alive
Jim Fielder: alive
Dick Halligan: alive
Jerry Hyman: alive
Steve Katz: alive
Fred Lipsius: alive
Lew Soloff: alive
Chuck Winfield: alive

Johnny Winter: alive

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: 6 alive
David Crosby: alive
Graham Nash: alive
Stephen Stills: alive
Neil Young: alive
Greg Reeves: alive
Dallas Taylor: alive

Paul Butterfield Blues Band: 7 alive, 3 dead
Paul Butterfield: dead
Howard “Buzzy” Feiten: alive
Rod Hicks: alive
Ted Harris: alive
Phillip Wilson: dead
Steve Madaio: alive
Keith Johnson: alive
David Sanborn: alive
Trevor Lawrence: alive
Gene Dinwiddie: dead

Sha-Na-Na: 12 alive
Joe Witkin: alive
Jocko Marcellino: alive
Donald “Donny” York: alive
Rob Leonard: alive
Alan Cooper: alive
Frederick “Dennis” Greene: alive
Dave Garrett: alive
Richard “Ritchie” Joffe: alive
Scott Powell: alive
Henry Gross: alive
Bruce Clarke III: alive
Elliot Cahn: alive

Jimi Hendrix: dead

54 performers: 48 alive, 6 dead
Death percentage (Day 3): 11%

Sha-Na-Na(?!), Blood, Sweat, and Tears, and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band filled the stage with performers. Why is it necessary to have a dozen people in your band? Doesn’t that seem a bit excessive? In any case, the death percentage for the final day of Woodstock is probably lower than that of my high school graduating class — even though it included high profile artists such as Jimi Hendrix and Rick Danko. Nicely done, Day Three!

And that brings us to the answer of my original question:

130 total performers: 105 alive, 25 dead
Total Woodstock death percentage: 19%

My inner-sensors told me the final number would be much higher; I would’ve bet good money the bottom-line would be closer to 35 or 40 percent. After all, it’s been four decades since the festival took place, and these are… musicians we’re talking about. The fact that only 19% of Woodstock performers have said “Goodnight Tokyo!,” is a pleasant surprise.

I spent considerable time researching this information, and believe it to be accurate. However, if you find an error, please let me know and I’ll fix it. I will attempt to keep a running tally, as well. So, check the Big Pie Chart of Death often!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It's Woodstock '09! What could possibly go wrong?

Getty Images Rolling Stone reports that there are plans to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the original Woodstock festival with a pair of free two-day concerts taking place in both New York and Berlin, Germany.

"According to promoter Michael Lang, the New York festival will take place exactly on the 40th anniversary, August 15-16th, while the Berlin event will go down August 22-23rd at an abandoned airport. The exact location for the U.S. festival has not been determined."

Lang is apparently a co-creator of the original Woodstock and had something to do with both the Woodstock '94 and the Woodstock '99 festivals.

It's hard to know how pleased to be about this, considering how the last one turned out (And is that already 10 years ago? Wow.) with all the fires and raping and generally disgusting, doofus-y behaviour (see the tools in the accompanying photo). To be honest I think I might be too scared to go to anything with Woodstock in its name.

On the other hand, while no bands have been named for either festival, RS says organizers reportedly hope to recruit some of the acts that played the original 1969 fest, like the Who, Santana and the Grateful Dead. And those names don't exactly strike fear in the heart, despite the fact that the Who once boasted one of the craziest mickeyfickeys in rock n' roll for a drummer. Being men of a certain age, they've probably calmed down you know? Though no doubt there will be some acts under 50 to balance things out. At the 99 disaster it was artists like Insane Clown Posse, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Limp Bizkit who were accused of inciting the crowd. I hear things weren't helped by shoddy organization, overflowing porta potties or price gouging for water either.

The official Woodstock Website is currently "under construction" and offers no more info.

After the 1999 fiasco, they need to just forget any idea of continuing with this. They are just ruining the "legend" of Woodstock. But then, I'm an old fart too.