One of the guitar mags asked me to write about what I’d been listening to lately (thanks, guitar mag). I listed some YouTube things for them which they understandably edited to smithereens.
Here’s what was really said. Wouldn’t bother but it feels good to give tribute to things that matter:
Hendrix at Woodstock, YouTube:
Closing the biggest festival in history with an unsettled new band and new music, going on at 6am after being up for days, a remnant audience under heavy clouds and mountains of garbage, movie cameras at every turn plus a hundred other distractions – it would have undone the best of any era. But JH, looking and sounding like the one of a kind he surely was, manages – with some help from Mitch – to defy the inevitable once again and turn ashes to gold. Soul magic. Inspiration, anyone?
JHE plays Sgt Pepper at Saville Theatre, YouTube:
Another pressure cooker that Jimi out-cooks, this time playing the biggest Beatles song to date a few days after it was released, with Paul & Co in attendance, at Brian Epstein’s venue. JH first sincerely cautions the audience about the volume, then levels the joint with his super-bad arrangement and tone. Band great. Check Jimi’s confidence, considering the circumstances. Note the tepid applause. A riot!
Glass Onion, the White Album:
Listened to it again recently as my kid wanted to learn it on ukelele. Lennon’s rep as a musician may be eclipsed by his cred as a poet, but don’t believe it. Unconventional, imaginative, soulful beyond belief – check his vocal on this. Then learn the chords, sing the melody and remind yourself this used to be pop music. Heavy, and for all time.
NRBQ “I Got A Rocket In My Pocket”(1988), YouTube:
Some TV studio somewhere and they still get the tiger by the tail. One of nature’s great gifts to rock’n’roll, among other things. Get a load of the groove, playing, arrangement…way out of control. Best band in the world!
D’Angelo “Chicken Grease”, Chris Rock Show, YouTube:
The mighty Voodoo band in their prime. This is one of the funkiest things I’ve heard. So bad it’s awful. D’ coined a new rhythm thing – one of the last times that’s happened – and the band beautifully, definitively slaughters it. Look, listen and freak out.
WK Dec 22 ’14