A legend passed today.
I have to add one more thing; guitar work aside – and there is some great guitar work here – this may well be the greatest rock & roll song ever written. 1973 was a great year for Led Zeppelin.
And now, for something completely different; my list of the five best guitar players in rock & roll history. Here they are, at their finest and in no particular order. These are all live shows – no studio riffs here.
First up: The irreplaceable Jerry Garcia, in 1990, playing lead in Eyes of the World. Mrs. Animal and I saw the Grateful Dead in 1991, and this was one of the best tunes in the almost 5-hour show.
Next, the irrepressible Frank Zappa, from a 1977 concert, with his favored show-closer The Muffin Man.
Next, the irreproachable Stevie Ray Vaughan, with a live rip of his Couldn’t Stand the Weather.
And then there’s the irredeemable Jimi Hendrix, with a 1970 performance of his famous Purple Haze.
And finally, the only member on the list still walking the mortal coil; the irresistible Carlos Santana. I didn’t pick one of his usuals for this; instead I chose a more intimate performance, where he met the radiant Faith Hill and accompanied her on her song Breathe.
So. Thoughts? I would have named my top ten, but I was running out of words that began with the ‘irr’ prefix, and besides, after five the choices widen out some. I suppose I’d put Eddie Van Halen in that list, and Jimmy Page, and maybe George Thorogood.
I think I like this better than Donna Summer’s original version. This is the percussion-heavy Blue Man Group with early 2000’s alt-band VenusHum – lead singer Annette Strean has some pretty good pipes. Enjoy.
Mrs. Animal and I have seen the Blue Man Group twice, once the full show in Las Vegas, once the road show with the aforementioned VenusHum; in fact we saw this very song performed. They’re worth checking out.
I remember seeing her on the original Dick Van Dyke show, and my Mom was a big fan of her own sitcom in the 1970s. She was a rare talent.
We haven’t had one of these for a while. In addition to classic old head-banger rock, I’m also partial to good country music. So, to commemorate today’s single-digit temps here in the Denver area, here is the Zac Brown Band with their great song Colder Weather. This one rings home for a traveling guy like me. Enjoy.
Summer 1980; yr. obdt. was a brand-new high school graduate, Ronald Reagan was running for President, the Cold War was in full sway and Boz Scaggs was one of the more innovative musicians of the day. Here is his hit from that summer, JoJo. Enjoy.
As we slip into winter, let’s have a little Saturday morning ode to warmer times. Here’s Kenny Chesney with Summertime. He does a great job of describing summers in the Seventies, when I was a teenager.
We haven’t had one of these in a while. Remember 1980, the year that gave us President Reagan? It also gave us Boz Scaggs and his great song, Breakdown Dead Ahead. Enjoy.
Back in the Nineties, I used to enjoy the Newfoundland band Great Big Sea. Here, from a September 2009 in Vancouver, is their song Jack Hinks. Enjoy.
He’s a seafaring, sail-making, gamboling, capering, grog-drinking hero!