Friday, February 05, 2016

No Retirement Plans for The Rolling Stones!

Photo: Author's LP Collection
One of the topics I've enjoyed regaling about lately concerns the life view that "retirement" is not in everyone's vocabulary. Fortunately, The Rolling Stones have had the last laugh on this subject. 

Thirty years ago, critics predicted they would retire. They didn't. In the 1990's--again--rumors of retirement persisted, and were just as quickly doused. Yet, it is easy to forget that this band was also at the center of what is known as the "British Invasion", hot on the heels of The Beatles' 1964 visit to New York City. Consider that The Beatles arrived in February, and The Rolling Stones followed in June of that year. Pictured in their 1964 lineup above, Brian Jones (left) passed away tragically, and bassist Bill Wyman (third from the left) is currently retired. An amazing five-decades later, the band is touring sold out Latin America stadiums through the end of March. However, if history is any indication, I fully expect that more dates will be added. 

During their first U.S. tour, the band played to small audiences in the eight cities. Today, their recordings, including "Sticky Fingers" and "Exile on Main Street" are classics. Their tour includes a fleet of tractor trailer trucks required to transport complicated and expansive stage, sound and lighting equipment (with pyrotechnics). The indefatigable front man, Mick Jagger is still a torrent of hyper kinetic energy with guitarist Keith Richards and Charlie Watts--each of the original 1962 ensemble that began in London. Guitarist Ron Wood joined the Stones long ago from Rod Stewart's band, Faces, and additional musical support has made this band an unstoppable force. 

With performances scheduled in Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Rio De Janeiro, São Paulo, Porto Alegre, Lima, Bogotá, and México City, the one word answer to The Stone's retiring is "Never", and I admire that. They still have the chops, and the shows remain high octane and a cause for celebration!



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Saturday, January 30, 2016

On This Day: The Beatles Rooftop Concert Finale, 1969


(Vevo Disclaimer: Not my video and no intent infringe: private sharing only)

On this day in 1969, The Beatles performed for 42 minutes atop the Apple Records Building rooftop at 3 Savile Road during lunch hour in London, England. Footage from this performance was used in the 1970 motion picture, "Let It Be", which detailed the band's final days. While audiences were exposed to the band's internal tensions, there were also moments of joy. 

Apple executive Ken Mansfield, who was present at this performance, was previously interviewed on this blog page as my guest. 




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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Celebrating Paul Newman on his Birthday: Founder's Day


(Disclaimer: Not my video and no intent to infringe. For educational use, and to honor Paul Newman.)

Today, we celebrate the birthday of a great actor and philanthropist. His work continues to improve the lives of thousands of children coping with serious illness and their families: Paul Newman. 


As part of his vision for Camp, Paul once said, “In the final analysis, we’ll only be about as good as what people make us. We’ll need a lot of help to get this realized, and the only thing we can do is find people in the community who feel the way we do".





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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Full Moon and A Day with The Colonel


Images:  NASA
Every time I look up at the Moon, I think of a mentor whom I interviewed in New Mexico on August 9, 2001. Colonel Frank Borman was Commander of Apollo 8, the first manned lunar orbital mission for NASA. He is a gentleman and a true American hero. The Command Module Pilot was James Lovell, and the Lunar Module Pilot was Bill Anders- the first humans to see Earth as a whole planet, the first to directly see the far side of the Moon, and then the first to witness Earthrise on December 24, 1968. 

Colonel Borman had not done an interview of this type in 16 years. It was a true honor and a privilege for me.  

  


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Saturday, January 23, 2016

The NAMM Show and Your Favorite Guitarists

Photo: Sydney Sherman
NAMM, otherwise known as the National Association of Music Merchants is a four-day event that runs through this Sunday at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. Over 100,000 members are expected to attend, and of course, guitar industry manufacturers and their representatives will be rubbing elbows with many of the musical artists we admire. I thought it would fun to assemble a simple Top 10 List of my personal favorites over the years. These artists are in no particular order really. Each of the following are alive and active players and do not represent a complete listing:

Richie Sambora-Bon Jovi
Robby Krieger-The Doors
Mark Farner-Grand Funk Railroad
Eddie Van Halen-Van Halen
Patrick Simmons-The Doobie Brothers
Bruce Springsteen
Laurence Juber
Prince
Joni Mitchell
Wally Bryson-The Raspberries


Readers: Are there any favorite guitarists of yours that are not mentioned here? 


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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Holdouts from Christmas...

Photo: Michael Manning

It is amusing to step out of a bookstore at night and see a nearby house still decorated with Christmas lights, as I did recently. Either the homeowner hasn't had the time to take them down, or perhaps they just want to let the Christmas and New Years spirit "linger on" until we're officially into February. Who knows?


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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Dusting Off an Older CD

Photo of CD from my collection

Wintertime is a good opportunity to dust off a CD you haven't heard in a while. In this case, I was driving on the way to the grocery for some items. Traffic was so bad, that I was able to hear this CD twice. Lesson learned: Never drive to the grocery during rush hour! This is the debut CD of Van Halen from 1978. I'm happy to report that it still holds up. It's fun to swap CD's with friends to keep my collection fresh. I can honestly say that I do listen to everything in my CD and Vinyl collection at least once a year.

Thanks for stopping by!

Michael