The Rest ... Rolling Stones, Allman Brothers Band,
Peter Green, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana,
Stevie Ray Vaughan, Black Crowes, Free,
Richard Thompson, Three Dog Night,
Dr. Alexey Agranovsky, Erja Lyytinen,
Paul Pena, and Bob Dylan
Off the Top of My Head Audio Adrenaline, Badfinger, David Bromberg,
Eddie Cochran, Joe Cocker, Shirley Collins,
Kevin Coyne, CCR, CSN&Y, Fairport Convention,
Rory Gallagher, Steeleye Span, ...
I'm an unusual Beatles fan: my favorite album is the "Spectorized" Let It
Be. My favorite song is "Dig A Pony"; my
second favorite is "Day Tripper" or "Get Back"; my third favorite is ... oh,
what the heck - did they have any bad songs?
I'd like to give a big shout-out to Tom Gill (Northwestern Class of 1974),
a good friend from high school and college. We used to run into each other
every so often at the University of Maryland and talk music. I am very
grateful to him for:
Lending me the very first bootlegs I had ever seen or heard. Two albums:
Back album from the Let It Be sessions and a "Live
in Tokyo" album. (Probably one of the
Budokan Hall, 1966 concerts.) I subsequently assembled my own
collection of Beatles, Stones, and early Fleetwood Mac bootlegs. Every
few months, a guy would set up shop in the campus bookstore for a week
selling bootlegs; I figure he probably traveled to campuses up and down
the east coast to hawk his wares. These were the days of vinyl LPs,
some even in stereo (!), in white cardboard sleeves with photocopied track
listings and minimal, if any, additional information. The albums were
pretty reasonably priced, but there was a rare live Allman Brothers album
for $50—a hefty amount at that time; the album showed up on repeat
visits of the seller, so he must have had trouble unloading it.
Alerting me to the fact that the Rolling Stones song, "Have You Seen Your
Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?", is a rip-off of the Beatles song,
"Help!" I don't remember if Tom actually called it a rip-off and I don't
think it was necessarily a conscious rip-off, but the similarity in the
cadence of the two songs' lyrics as sung was interesting to note.
... something else which slips my mind for the moment ...
Sharing with me his opinion that Badfinger concerts, dollar for dollar,
were the best entertainment value in rock music. And Tom's number one
band was the Who and he had seen them live as well, so I felt his opinion
meant something. (If you listen to Badfinger's BBC In Concert
recordings, you'll understand Tom's sentiments; Badfinger could rock with
the best of them.)
What I've got that you may not have:
Throughout this page, the "What I've got that you may not have" sections
are lists I compiled for this web page in 1995 of LPs and books, etc.
that I got back in the 1970s. The "40-year-old bootlegs?" item below
was originally "20-year-old bootlegs?". Nowadays, almost all of the
music is available on CD or digitally, but, back then, a lot of it
was hard to find.
Several Eddie Cochran records,
including some live BBC recordings. Eddie Cochran, who was a favorite of
the Beatles, cowrote and recorded "Twenty-Flight Rock" and "Summertime
Blues", but my favorite song of his is "Pink-Pegged Slacks": "... I've
gotta have those peggers—What is this, man, a joke?"!
The Live Adventures of
Mike Bloomfield and
in which they jam to the tune of "Hey Jude" in the middle of Traffic's
"Dear Mr. Fantasy". As I ask on my Traffic
Covers from the Live Music Archive page, who first came up with the
idea of performing a "Dear Mr. Fantasy"/"Hey Jude" medley?
Doris Troy album (with "Ain't That Cute") on Apple.
This is a great album: great singer, great songs, and a who's who
of great rock musicians of the era backing her.
Jackie Lomax's Is This What
You Want? album (with "Sourmilk Sea") on Apple.
Skellern's Hard Times album includes a song or two on
which George plays.
The Beatles on Hammond Organ
... Kings Road band plays Beatles ... (The internet shows a 2-LP album
called The Beatles 1962-1970, but the cover doesn't ring a
bell and I don't remember my album having two LPs.)
Billy Preston's Live European Tour includes several Beatles
Mick Taylor and
Billy Preston - Live European Tour is 80 minutes of audio for two
sets from the tour. I imagine the producer picked the best performance
of each track from one or the other set in order to compile the original
40-minute LP. "Day Tripper" and "Let It Be" appear in both sets, but
"Get Back" is only heard at the very end of the second set.)
Leon Russell's fantastic
Leon Russell album. George plays guitar and Ringo drums on
some tracks; Eric Clapton and a bunch of other well-known rock musicians
also play on the album.
Beatles music book - in Japanese! Possibly issued at the time of their
Music books for John's Sometime in New York City and
A copy of Brian Epstein's book, Cellarful of Noise.
(If I remember correctly, it was actually written by Derek Taylor.)
W. Pollack's Notes on ... - are detailed notes on all
of the Beatles songs, begun in 1989 and written over a number of years.
My memory is that they were originally posted on the the rec.music.beatles
USENET newsgroup and the collection as a whole was available on an FTP
server running on a very slow, IBM PC XT. Pollack
is a musicologist and he not only digs deeply into the musical minutiae
of each song, but he also puts the song in its historical context,
discusses the lyrics, points out who plays which instrument and who
sings what vocal part, and so on. Each note is a fascinating read.
Bizerks BEATLES COVER
SONGS - "The Most Complete List of Beatles Covers Songs on the
Internet". This site is an incredible, well-researched compilation
of Beatles cover songs. As of early 2016, the site has over 17,000
listings for only "A Day In The Life" through "Penny Lane"!
And close to 12,000 YouTube links! (I counted them by running
grep on the two "complete list" HTML files,
thereby coming up with virtually the same numbers already shown
on the website.) And those counts don't include the listings for
"Piggies" through "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away"! For each
song, you get release information about the Beatles' own version
(including a link to a YouTube video for it) and a list of artists
who have covered the song. The song's entry for each artist
includes information (release dates, albums, album covers, etc.)
and, if available, a link to where the cover version can be heard
online (primarily YouTube, but also other sites). Be sure and
scroll all the way down the main page for more things to explore:
solo Beatles song covers, etc. Bizerks is a treasure trove of good
music and good information.
Bagism - John Lennon, of course -
information, bulletin boards, and chat rooms - a great site!
Maurice Cohen's The Beatles
Covers is a comprehensive database of over 7,000 Beatles covers.
The home page plays music, so turn down the volume before clicking
on the link!
From Beggars' Banquet through Goat's Head Soup.
Their earlier albums were, well, early. I gave up on their later albums
during the disco craze and I haven't followed them since. My favorite
album is Sticky Fingers. My favorite song? Hmmm ... probably
"Can't You Hear Me Knocking", but
I'll have to say that I consider "Honky Tonk Women" to be the
rock song of all rock songs. [Although Three Dog Night's recording of
"Joy to the World" (Hoyt Axton) gives it a run for the money.]
I have (or had) a commercial, reel-to-reel tape of an album by
Arthur Conley that
included Duane on "Stuff You Gotta Watch". (More Sweet Soul?)
(Duane also apparently played on Conley's version of the Beatles'
Push - I especially liked Duane's playing on the Aretha Franklin
song, "Spirit in the Dark".
Boz Scaggs' Boz Scaggs - Duane on guitar and in his birthday
Do you believe in
(Wayback Machine)? Then believe in
Back, mellower perhaps, and as good as ever!
He's possibly my favorite guitarist. If you like Peter Green too, make sure
you pick up Gary Moore's Blues
for Greeny album, a collection of tastefully done remakes of Peter Green
tunes from Green's John Mayall and Fleetwood Mac days. Although Gary Moore is
no Peter Green in the vocal department, his guitar playing is beautiful and the
songs are played with the dignity they deserve.
n' Stuff ... (Wayback Machine) - has guitar tablature for a number of
early Fleetwood Mac and Peter Green songs. You'll need to download the
free tablature editor,
Power Tab, in order to display the
The Blue Pearls - a Swedish
band that plays a mix of original compositions and old Fleetwood Mac songs.
Their CD, Watch
Out, features Peter Green's "Watch Out" and "Rattlesnake Shake";
the CD is not available yet, but you can download MP3s of the songs. Be
sure and read about Bela's
meetings with Peter
Green over the years (1968-1999).
The Time" - "Song based around a typical Greeny lick." Sort of
like "Need Your Love So Bad".
Change The Past" - by Andrew Edmonds, "based around a typical
greeny lick." The original MP3.com version was performed by father
John Edmonds and his son, Andrew. (Similar to "If You Be My Baby")
The following artists made their music available through
MP3.com, which went out of business in December 2003.
Fortunately, I had already downloaded their songs (and purchased a number of
the albums). I apologize for the invalid MP3.com links and, as time permits,
I will attempt to track down the artists and update the links.
Woman/Gypsy Queen/My Favorite Things" - 10:40 live, Santana-style.
"Peter Green's rock/blues classic done as only Mike Robles and Mona
Leigh could render it ... 11:11 minutes of incredible live performance
recorded live at JJ's Blues Cafe in Mtn. View, CA. by Mona Leigh and
Strangers With Candy."
62 Reasons It's Great To Be Eric Clapton (from the cover of
Musician magazine, February 1990):
Only Englishman who can play blues
Doesn't have to do reunion tour
All the Michelob you can drink
Howlin' Wolf likes you more than Ringo
Saw Muddy Waters ride tricycle
Had afro in '68
Got caught holding the bag for Buddy Guy
People light matches when you walk out
Pals with George Harrison
Pals with Patti Harrison
Married Patti Harrison
Still pals with George Harrison
Still afraid of Robert Johnson
Used to be God
You don't lie, you don't lie, you don't lie
Hung with Hendrix
Employed Duane Allman
I like his work from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers through Derek
and the Dominos. Before that, his playing was too raw and, after that, his
playing was too polished. (In my humble and not so knowledgeable opinion -
I have no post-Dominos albums.)
Does the phrase "liquid gold" capture the essence of his guitar playing?
What I've got that you may not have:
Vinyl bootleg picked up in the mid-1970s of a live concert - the guitar
wails on "You Just Don't Care". In 2016, I finally tracked it down:
Live at Ludlow's Garage, October 21, 1969. Here's the
concert at YouTube, but beginning at the introduction to "You Just
Don't Care". (The distinctive introduction, "You people here are
really energetic ...", is how I identified the concert.)
The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper,
which featured Carlos Santana on a couple of songs. Disappointing -
he hadn't fully developed his style yet.
Ultimate Santana - "The
Comprehensive Santana Resource", and that it is! While primarily aimed
at guitarists, other fans will find more than enough information to satisfy
them too. Scan down through the main page for assorted topics. Then, look
back at the top menu bar ... "Gear/Tone" takes you to detailed information
about Carlos's guitars, amps, and playing style. As usual, the final word
on his tone comes down to this: "Carlos uses effects sparingly; the key
component of his tone is that he plays really, really well!"
:) "Products" is Santana-related products such
as shoes. The "Songs", "Albums", "Lyrics", and "Videos" are the heart of
the site as far as I'm concerned. Lyrics and chords are available for a
lot of songs, with more being added as time permits. The chord sequences
are separate from the lyrics; it would be nice to have them intermixed.
The guitar tab links take you to a sheet music site where you can buy
books of tablature. (These minor quibbles are completely outweighed by
the fact that the site mentions and even discusses Peter Green's version
of "Black Magic Woman"!) Finally, there is a news section, the heavily
Info Bytes blog, and the aptly-named Santana tribute band,
Savor. A wealth of information
worth taking the time to explore.
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Eric Clapton is undoubtedly rock's greatest guitarist, but SRV was as one
with his instrument. I first heard/saw him on what must have been a rerun
of his 1983 performance on Austin City Limits and I was
immediately hooked. I just got the video of the Austin City
Limits performances and relived the magic all over again. I could
give or take the later performances, but 1983's was just incredible.
I first heard and saw Jeff Healey performing on a TV talk show; the song was
"Confidence Man" and, needless to say, I went out and bought the cassette,
See the Light. I would give the album a mixed review. His second
album (not including the Road House soundtrack), Hell to
Pay, was better, with cuts like "Full Circle", "I Can't Get My Hands on
You", and "Hell to Pay". Still, I don't listen to either album very often.
I love the faster high-energy songs like the tracks mentioned above. The
slower and mellower songs generally leave me cold - either the material just
isn't that good or his voice just doesn't fit these types of songs.
The third album, Feel This, struck me as kind of disco-y at first.
However, I recorded it on one side of a cassette and
Dan Baird's Love Songs for the
Hearing Impaired on the other and the cassette soon became one of my
favorites, albeit a little bit loud!
Cover to Cover, of course, is great - although I just discovered
that the British version has 4 extra songs! I would love to hear some of the
bootleg albums formerly listed on
West's (Wayback Machine) discography page: Cream, Hendrix, and Santana
songs, and performing with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble.
Their first album, Shake Your Money Maker, made me think, "Hey,
a new, late 60's, early 70's Rolling Stones!" Their second album, The
Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, was a seamless progression of
good songs; it reminded of Abbey Road.
Their next two albums, Amorica (with the expurgated cover) and
Three Snakes and One Charm, never seemed to get the adrenalin
going and a number of the songs seemed to be recycling melodies and riffs I'd
heard elsewhere ... fast-forward several years into the future ...
Hmmm ... the albums grow on you after repeated listenings - the songs are
actually pretty good!
And then, By Your Side. Now we're talking. This is the Black
Crowes we all know and love.
I heard one of the tracks off of Erja Lyytinen's The Sky Is
Crying album on the radio, liked it, and picked up the CD.
It is a fantastic tribute to Elmore James, not too slavish to the
originals, but also not too far out to lose the tribute part. I
love the album and have listened to it many times. I haven't
gotten any of her other CDs yet, but there are a number of
live performances on YouTube.
I graduated from high school in June 1974 and immediately began working as a
student employee in the University of Maryland's McKeldin Library Serials
Department. I loved books and I loved working in the library. I also
loved talking with Myra Katz (who might have been my supervisor, but I'm
not sure after all these years). Now Myra had seen the Beatles at Shea
Stadium, so she was up on a pedestal as far as I, a big Beatles fan, was
concerned. Myra and I did have two bones of contention, however,
only tangentially related to each other. I'll try to quote approximately
what I said that made her almost fall out of her chair twice.
"I think Gregg Allman is a better songwriter than Bob Dylan."
I probably said this in 1975, by which time I was an ardent Duane
Allman/Allman Brothers Band fan. I was thinking in particular of Gregg's
"Ain't Wastin' Time No More" song off of the Eat a Peach
album, a song that has always appealed to me. My only knowledge of Dylan
at that time was whatever singles of his I overheard on AM radio.
Myra, a big Dylan fan who'd probably seen him multiple times live in concert,
couldn't believe what I'd just said. She broke out laughing and rushed over
to the neighboring cataloging department to tell a friend of hers that I
thought Gregg Allman was a better songwriter than Dylan. They both rolled
on the floor laughing! Embarrassing to say the least for the young 18- or
In the late 1970s, I did gradually collect and listen to all of Dylan's
early acoustic and electric albums up through Blonde on Blonde,
the latter being my favorite Dylan album and "Stuck Inside Of Mobile With
The Memphis Blues Again" being my favorite Dylan song. I haven't seriously
listened to any of his music beyond those early albums, my only exposure to
his post-Blonde on Blonde work mainly consisting of his
appearances in George Harrison's The Concert for Bangladesh
and the Band's The Last Waltz.
To tell the truth, I still stand by the gist of what I said all those years
ago; to whit, Bob Dylan was a prolific songwriter and a clever wordsmith,
but there were many others who wrote better songs than him.
There's a certain sameness to Dylan's melodies and music. I listened to
"4th Time Around" recently, having read that it was a response to John
Lennon's "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)". Okay, I get the lyrics,
but the vocal, melody, and backing music are the same old, same old. Dylan
couldn't compete with Lennon and McCartney (and George Martin) when it came
to creating distinctive, memorable, finely crafted, richly textured songs.
(And "Norwegian Wood" isn't even high on my list of favorite Beatles' songs.)
Other examples abound of great songs, equal to or better than any of Dylan's,
by other musicians. Lest I sound too harsh on Dylan's oeuvre, I enjoyed his
early albums and I definitely think a number of his songs belong in a "top
N rock songs of all time" list. And groups like Fairport Convention
recorded/performed excellent covers of some of Dylan's songs. I'll simply
finish up by retelling a possibly apocryphal story about Bob Dylan telling
Mick Jagger that he, Dylan, could have written "Honky Tonk Women". Jagger
responded, "Yeah, but you couldn't sing it!"
Wouldn't you know it? A month after I wrote the preceding paragraphs,
Bob Dylan was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature! I discovered
I was not alone in my opinion of Dylan. For example, see the Language Log's
post, "Bob Dylan's
poetry and the Nobel Prize"; readers are directed to an earlier post
to add comments,
kid". The discussion is very interesting and gets into the topics of:
There are more deserving American writers who have been passed over
for the Nobel Prize for years. I find this argument more and
less compelling—are Americans entitled to some proportion of
There are better songwriters than Bob Dylan.
There are better poets than Bob Dylan.
The differences between poems and songs. The music is an integral
part of a song; by themselves, the lyrics of great songs often look
less than stellar on the printed page and/or sound less than stellar
when read aloud and not sung. And poems don't necessarily translate
well into songs. All of which is not peculiar to Bob Dylan or rock
music; readers delve into examples in folk and classical music as well.
Of course, the biggest takeaway from the whole shebang is that how
different people react to different music, songs, poems, and literature
is all a matter of personal taste.
"I'm not really interested in traveling because
people are the same all over the world."
I played violin for 5 or 6 years when I was young and Little Richard
was right: "The same beat you find in rock, you find in Bach!" Or to
paraphrase him with regard to violins and guitars, "The same lead you
find in rock, you find in Bach." Listen to
perform Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D and you'll
know what I mean. I also like Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi—pretty
much any violin music in their styles.
My violin teacher was Laura McKinnon at Dale Music (which sadly closed its
doors in 2014) in Silver Spring, MD. One Christmas, my brother Pete gave
me the classical guitar that our parents had given him, but that he had
never played! Miss McKinnon recommended Tony Norris, also at Dale, as a
guitar teacher. So, for three months, I took classical guitar and violin
lessons simultaneously. I had seen Mr. Norris in the hallway and he had a
bulldog kind of face—the kind of face that made a young kid want to
blend into the wall whenever Mr. Norris passed by. After my first guitar
lesson, however, I reported to Miss McKinnon that, despite his mean look,
Mr. Norris was actually a very nice man! She got a big laugh out of that.
A short time later they announced their engagement. No, I can take no
credit for unveiling the nice guy underneath the tough exterior—I
believe they already knew each other! Two wonderful teachers.
Mr. and Mrs. Norris are the owners (since 1972) of
Bertha's Restaurant in Baltimore, MD.
You might have seen their "EAT BERTHA'S MUSSELS" bumper stickers out on the
road. Here's a little
history of the
place, along with a recipe and directions. The Food Channel had a show about
them some years ago; unfortunately, I just happened to catch the tail-end of
the show as I was channel surfing and I just caught a brief glimpse of Mr.
and Mrs. Norris being interviewed.
Greg's MIDI and Tab - an all-around
guitar site with lots of tablature/chord files ... and backing MIDIs
(e.g., bass and percussion) for the songs! As Greg says, these files
are "for every guitarist who is either not confident enough to jam with
other musicians yet, who can't find any musicians to jam with or any other
reason that might arise".
Some years ago, the threat of legal action from the music industry over tabs of
copyrighted music caused a number of tablature sites to take down copyrighted
songs or to even go off-line altogether. Fortunately, some new tablature sites
have cropped up.
a GNOME2-based tablature editor for UNIX/Linux. It looks as if
playback and standard music notation are not supported.
KGuitar - a KDE-based,
multitrack tablature editor for UNIX/Linux. It appears to support
playback and standard music notation.
Guitar Pro - an excellent,
multitrack tablature editor for guitar, banjo, and bass. GP4 now
supports standard music notation. The editor costs money and is
needed to view Guitar Pro tablature.
tablatures.tk - has
lots of GuitarPro tabs, text tabs, lessons, and more.
MusEdit - I haven't tried it yet,
but it looks comparable to TablEdit, supporting both tablature and
standard music notation. The editor formerly cost money, but is now
available for free (as of March 1, 2011). Tablature for a limited
number of songs is available from the
Power Tab - similar to TablEdit,
but free, less polished, and somewhat awkward to work
with. The program is not maintained anymore, but it is still available.
tablibrary - has a lot of
Power Tab tabs. Free registration is required to access the tab
TablEdit - another excellent,
multitrack tablature editor. Most of the
available tabs are for
classical and finger-picking pieces. The editor itself costs money,
but a free viewer is
available for viewing TablEdit tablature.
All Tabs - is a repository
of free tablature for TablEdit.
TuxGuitar - a free tablature
editor and player. Despite the connotations of its name, TuxGuitar is
written in Java and thus runs under a variety of operating systems; see its
The program has plug-in modules for importing tabs generated by various