1995 MUSIC NOSTALGIA : BALANCE BY VAN HALEN

1995 and I had temporarily moved to Bangalore for a year for studies at the age of 19. One of the albums I bought during my stay there – and also helped me to adjust to life living away from my family and staying in a college hostel which was really bad as was the food and well loneliness – was Balance. I also remember reading an article in a Guitar magazine about Eddie’s change from Musicman to Peavey (which I think was just after the same time) for some reason.

Anyway, from the somewhat controversial art work on the cover to the more heavier sounding songs and what I believe at the time was called a more guitar-centric album, I enjoy this album a lot. The Seventh Seal & Don’t Tell Me What Love Can Do are more heavier and I love the guitar riffs and solos on the latter. Amsterdam & Take Me Back are more lighter and fun while the ballads “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You” &”Not Enough” are pretty solid ones.

However my favourite track is the instrumental Baluchitherium which is forever in my playlist. I think this was a really good album that closes out the Van Hagar era.

Why I Don’t Care About The Grammy Awards Anymore

Once upon a time, many many years ago I looked forward to the Grammy awards. For the most part it was talented artists who had earned their popularity by genuinely having good to great songs, to rock and heavier artists who had great songs and created a loyal following by churning out great songs & albums and touring as much as they could.

I was introduced to many artists and bands because of their nominations and we would have a pre-Grammy program where the music videos of the nominated song or one song from a nominated album would be featured and we got to know about the artist that way. And then there was the actual show and we (my cousins and I) looked forward to seeing the artists perform and come and accept the awards if they won. It was a family thing as a lot of my cousins had the same musical tastes during the 80s & 90s.

Since the 2000s I haven’t watched the Grammys at all. Because it’s all screaming divas, rap idiots who think the world of themselves and some assholes who the music media wants to promote. The songs suck, the artists suck and the show sucks donkeys balls. I do not care about the Grammys anymore (though the award itself would look cool). It’s not for me or lovers of real music.

1991 Music Nostalgia : For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge By Van Halen

1991 – the year we started to get MTV in India with the introduction of cable tv which until then was something we only heard off & seen in foreign movies & tv shows. MTV used to play Poundcake & Runaround continously and I was hooked. I had listened to some songs of VH till then and knew about them – Jump & Panama were my favs but this album made me into a bonfide fan and it was also the first VH album I bought. Ofcourse I would get their entire catalog till that time soon but I am a Van Hagar guy.

With songs like the aforementioned Runaround & Poundcake leading the pack, we also get Spanked, Top Of The World, the lovely 316, The Dream Is Over and the brilliant Right Now they had the hits comings one after the other. During the long world tour they recorded a live album and concert film at two 1992 F.U.C.K. tour shows in Fresno, California called Live: Right Here, Right Now.

Great album for a 15 year old to get into.

RIP DAVID CROSBY

American singer, songwriter, guitarist David Crosby had passed away at the age of 81. He was known for his solo career, his stint with the Byrds but most famously with Crosby, Stills & Nash and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. A cause of death has not been revealed. The death came as a surprise to those who followed his very active Twitter account, which he’d kept tweeting on as recently as Wednesday. One of Crosby’s final tweets the day before he died was to make a typically jocular comment about heaven: “I heard the place is overrated
 cloudy.”

David Van Cortlandt Crosby was born in Los Angeles, California, second son of Academy Award-winning cinematographer Floyd Crosby, who formerly worked on Wall Street, and Aliph Van Cortlandt Whitehead, a salesperson at Macy’s department store. He briefly attended Santa Barbara City College to stydy drama but dropped out to play music. With bandmates Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke, Crosby set down the template for ’60s L.A. folk-rock in the Byrds during his stormy 1964-67 tenure in the group. They recorded a version of Mr. Tambourine Man, with vocal harmonizing, which went to #1 in 1965. Disagreements and tensions with the band saw Crosby leave the band after arguments subsequently received a cash settlement, with which he bought a sailboat and soon after, he began working with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash in the successful supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash.

Having met Stills at a party at the home of Cass Elliot (of the Mamas and the Papas) in California in March 1968, the two started meeting informally and jamming together. They were soon joined by Graham Nash, who would leave his commercially successful group the Hollies. Their multi-platinum 1968 debut inaugurated rock’s supergroup era, their appearance at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in August 1969 constituted only their second live performance. Their first album, Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969), was an immediate hit, spawning two Top 40 hit singles and receiving key airplay on the new FM radio format, in its early days populated by unfettered disc jockeys who then had the option of playing entire albums at once. The songs Crosby wrote while in CSN include “Guinnevere”, “Almost Cut My Hair”, “Long Time Gone”, and “Delta”. He also co-wrote “Wooden Ships” with Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane and Stephen Stills.

In 1969 Neil Young joined the group, and with him, they recorded the album DĂ©jĂ  Vu, which peaked at number 1 on the Billboard 200 and the ARIA Charts. a constant clash of egos within Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, fueled by the rock excesses of the era, toppled the act during the ’70s, though its members would regroup sporadically over the years as a recording and touring unit. Crosby’s most stable association was with Nash: The duo recorded and toured regularly into the new millennium. The hedonistic personification  of the ’60s sex-drugs-and-rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, he grappled with addiction for many years. His sensational 1982 arrest in Texas on drug and weapons charges led to a five-month prison stay in 1986. Wracked by years of cocaine and alcohol abuse, he underwent liver transplant surgery in 1994.

Crosby recorded and toured profitably into the 2000s. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, as a member of the Byrds (1991) and Crosby, Stills & Nash (1997). As a duo, Crosby & Nash (C&N) released four studio albums and two live albums, including Another Stoney Evening, which features the duo in a 1971 acoustic performance with no supporting band. He sang backup for on several Paul Kantner and Grace Slick albums from 1971 through 1974. Crosby worked with Phil Collins occasionally from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. He sang backup to Collins in “That’s Just the Way It Is” and “Another Day in Paradise”, and, on his own 1993 song, “Hero”, from his album Thousand Roads, Collins sang backup.

In January 2014, Crosby released his first solo album in 20 years, Croz, recorded in close collaboration with his son James Raymond (of CPR) at the latter’s home studio. On July 14, 2016, Crosby announced a new solo album named Lighthouse, which was released on October 21, 2016, and shared a new track from it titled “Things We Do For Love”. In September 2017, Crosby announced a solo album (his third one of original material in four years and his sixth in total) entitled Sky Trails. On October 26, 2018, Crosby released Here If You Listen on BMG, his first collaborative album with Michael League, Becca Stevens, and Michelle Willis, all members of the Lighthouse Band, touring later that year. Crosby was the subject of the documentary film David Crosby: Remember My Name which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. In July 2021 Crosby released what would become his final studio album, For Free.

Crosby had a son with Celia Crawford Ferguson, James Raymond, in 1962, who was placed for adoption and reunited with Crosby as an adult. Since 1997, Raymond has performed with Crosby on stage and in the studio, as a member of CPR and as part of the touring bands for Crosby & Nash and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Crosby had three other children: a daughter, Erika, with Jackie Guthrie, a daughter, Donovan Crosby, with former girlfriend Debbie Donovan, and a son, Django Crosby, who was conceived with wife Jan Dance after extensive fertility treatments while Crosby’s liver was failing. Crosby, then 45, married Jan Dance, then 35, in May 1987 at the Hollywood Church of Religious Science in Los Angeles.

Crosby’s brother Ethan, who taught him to play guitar and started his musical career with him, committed suicide in late 1997 or early 1998. In January 2000, Melissa Etheridge announced that Crosby was the sperm donor of two children with her partner Julie Cypher by means of artificial insemination, who unfortunately died died of causes related to opioid addiction at the age of 21.

My Pick For The Ultimate Jeff Beck Album

One of my favourite albums of all time is 1989’s Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop. My first time listening to Jeff Beck was on a documentary from the late 80s about rock music and there was a clip of him playing the solo to “Just Ambitious“. That was 1987 or 88 I think. Then on a VHS tape of music videos I watched the video for People Get Ready. After that I think it was in the early 90s when, after listening to a lot of Joe Satriani, Steve Morse and Steve Vai, I wanted to get more and Beck was next on the list for more guitar instrumental music.

I bought the 1989 album at a time when I didn’t know what a whammy bar was I was wondering, how the heck did he get these amazing sounds out of the guitar. I listened to this album on cassette many many times and later on in the late 90s when cds were cheaper, I got it on cd. I can remember many weekend morning of me sitting in my room, glass of juice in my hand, with a magazine or novel lying open and teenage me listening to Jeff over and over again. Seriously all I could think about yesterday when I read about his passing, is sitting in the big bedroom, pulling out the cassette and then cd on certain days and playing it (its’ only about 40 mins long) and reading a book.

Great songs like Savoy, the title track, Sling Shot, Behind The Veil, Big Block and the melancholic Where Were You. No wonder he won the Grammy, one of 6 that he has won. But this is my favourite album of his and I play it all the time.

Goodbye Jeff. Thank you for all the great music.

RIP JEFF BECK

Jeff Beck, one of the most influential rock guitarists of all time, and a personal musical favourite and hero of mine, has died at the age of 78. The English rock guitarist who rose to prominence with the Yardbirds and afterwards fronted the Jeff Beck Group and Beck, Bogert & Appice. In 1975, he switched to a mainly instrumental style, with a focus on innovative sound, and his releases spanned genres ranging from blues rock, hard rock, jazz fusion, and a blend of guitar-rock and electronica. Beck ranked in the top five of Rolling Stone and other magazine’s list of 100 greatest guitarists. He was often called a “guitarist’s guitarist”.

 Born on 24 June 1944 to Arnold and Ethel Beck at 206 Demesne Road, Wallington, London, England he said that he first heard an electric guitar when he was six years old and heard Les Paul playing. Cliff Gallup, lead guitarist with Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps, was also an early musical influence, followed by B. B. King and Steve Cropper. Upon leaving school, he attended Wimbledon College of Art, after which he was briefly employed as a painter and decorator, a groundsman on a golf course and a car paint-sprayer. Beck’s sister Annetta introduced him to Jimmy Page when both were teenagers. He briefly played with shock-rocker Screaming Lord Sutch and the Tridents. When Eric Clapton left the Yardbirds in 1965, Jimmy Page suggested hiring Beck – and he went on to play on hits like I’m A Man and Shapes Of Things, where his pioneering use of feedback influenced musicians like Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix.

The guitarist stayed with the Yardbirds for nearly two years, before declaring he was quitting music altogether and releasing his first solo single Hi Ho Silver Lining. However, he quickly returned with the Jeff Beck Band, which included Rod Stewart on vocals, Ronnie Wood on bass, Nicky Hopkins on piano, and Aynsley Dunbar on drums (replaced by Micky Waller). Their first two albums Truth (1968) and Beck-Ola (1969), took a ferocious approach to the blues that laid the groundwork for heavy metal. With new members he reformed the band post an accident and recovery in 1971 he recorded Rough and Ready  and a second album Jeff Beck Group. Beck then started collaborating with friends  bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice forming the power trio Beck, Bogert & Appice.

In April 1973 the album Beck, Bogert & Appice was released (on Epic Records). While critics acknowledged the band’s instrumental prowess the album was not commercially well received except for its cover of Stevie Wonder’s hit “Superstition“. Beck, Bogert & Appice dissolved in April 1974 before their second studio album (produced by Jimmy Miller) was finished. Their live album Beck, Bogert & Appice Live in Japan, recorded during their 1973 tour of Japan, was not released until February 1975 by Epic/Sony. Beck’s solo album Blow by Blow (March 1975) evolved from these sessions and showcased Beck’s technical prowess in jazz-rock. The album reached number four in the charts and is Beck’s most commercially successful release.

In the 1980s he collaborated with Eric Clapton, Sting, Phil Collins, Donovan and Bob Geldof. In 1985 Beck released Flash, featuring a variety of vocalists, but most notably former bandmate Rod Stewart on a rendition of Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready“a big hit. During this period, Beck made several guest appearances with other performers, including the movie Twins, where he played guitar with singer Nicolette Larson. After a four-year break, he made a return to instrumental music with the Grammy Award winning album Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop (1989), the first album to feature Beck as a fingerstyle guitarist, leaving the plectrum playing style. It was only his third album to be released in the 1980s.

In the 1990s, Beck had a higher musical output. He contributed to Jon Bon Jovi’s solo debut album “Blaze of Glory” in 1990, playing the main solo of the album’s title song, which was also the theme song to the movie Young Guns II. The same year, he was a featured performer on Hans Zimmer’s score for the film Days of Thunder. He played lead guitar on Roger Waters’ 1992 concept album Amused to Death, and on the 1993 albums The Red Shoes by Kate Bush and Love Scenes by Beverley Craven. He recorded the instrumental soundtrack album Frankie’s House (1992), as well as Crazy Legs (1993), a tribute album to 1950s rockabilly group Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps and their influential guitarist Cliff Gallup.

Beck’s next release was in 1999, his first foray into guitar-based electronica, Who Else!. The album also marked Beck’s first collaboration with a female musician, Jennifer Batten. Beck won his third Grammy Award, this one for ‘Best Rock Instrumental Performance’ for the track “Dirty Mind” from You Had It Coming (2000). The song “Plan B” from the 2003 release Jeff, earned Beck his fourth Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, and was proof that the new electro-guitar style he used for the two earlier albums would continue to dominate. In 2007 he appeared once again at Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival, performing with Vinnie Colaiuta, Jason Rebello, and the then 21-year-old bassist Tal Wilkenfeld. Beck announced a world tour in early 2009 and remained faithful to the same lineup of musicians as in his tour two years before, playing and recording at Ronnie Scott’s in London to a sold-out audience.

Beck was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the second time on 4 April 2009, as a solo artist. Beck’s album, Emotion & Commotion, was released in April 2010.  Two tracks from Emotion & Commotion won Grammy Awards in 2011: “Nessun Dorma” won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance, and “Hammerhead” won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. He released the album Loud Hailer in 2016, his last. Beck lived in a Grade II-listed house called Riverhall, in Wadhurst, East Sussex and is survived by his wife Sandra Cash.

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN: FIRST 11 SONGS LISTENED TO IN 2023

My Roshan’s Eleven first 11 songs I listened to in the New Year has been a constant thing since 2007. This year however I split it between Jan 1st and today, Jan 2nd. Usually I post about the first 11 songs that I listen to on my Mp3 player on my system. I pick them at random or like today when I specifically selected a couple of songs because I was thinking about them. I must say that this year too, I played some songs from Youtube and some on Spotify. So a day late but here is 2023’s list:

  • Addicted To Pain – Alter Bridge
  • Cowgirl In The Sand – Neil Young
  • Lux Eterna – Metallica
  • Rolling 7s – Dirty Honey
  • Grind – Alice In Chains
  • Breaking Down – Skid Row
  • Pretty Fly For A White Guy – The Offspring
  • Blow At High Dough – The Tragically Hip
  • All Hell For A Basement – Big Sugar
  • The Final Countdown – Europe
  • Under Pressure – Queen with David Bowie

RIP IAN TYSON

While the sporting world and football fans were grieving the passing of Pele, the country music & Canadian music scene also had a major legend passing. Singer-songwriter Ian Tyson also passed away at the age of 89 at his ranch near Longview, Alberta. The Member of the Order of Canada (in October 1994) wrote a significant number of modern folk songs, including “Four Strong Winds” and “Someday Soon”, and performed with partner Sylvia Tyson as the duo Ian & Sylvia.

Tyson was born to British immigrants in Victoria, and grew up in Duncan B.C. Right after his graduation, Tyson bagged a job in Toronto as a commercial artist where he performed at local clubs. In about 1959, he actually began his singing career with Sylvia Fricker. In 1961, the beloved duo began performing a full-time musical act and three years later they got married. By 1969, they began a group called, The Great Speckled Bird. The musical duo released over 13 folk and country music albums. In 1970, Ian Tyson famously hosted a national television program, called, The Ian Tyson Show, which aired on CTV. The show aired till 1975 and was titled Nashville North for its first season.

In 1980, Ian Tyson began working with Neil MacGonigill and delivered several albums focussed on the country and cowboy niche. His famous works include Old Corrals and Sagebrush. The man popularized “Cowboyography” and was on a winning streak as he went on to deliver famous albums focused on cowboy music including, I Outgrew the Wagon (1989),And Stood There Amazed (1991) & Eighteen Inches of Rain (1994). In 1989, Tyson was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.  In 2005, CBC Radio One listeners chose his song “Four Strong Winds” as the greatest Canadian song of all time on the series 50 Tracks: The Canadian Version. He has been a strong influence on many Canadian artists, including Neil Young, who recorded “Four Strong Winds” for Comes a Time (1978).

In 2006, Tyson sustained irreversible scarring to his vocal cords as a result of a concert at the Havelock Country Jamboree followed a year later by a virus contracted during a flight to Denver. He was nominated for a 2009 Canadian Folk Music Awards for Solo Artist of the Year. The album includes a song about Canadian hockey broadcasting icon Don Cherry and the passing of his wife, Rose. Tyson was married twice. Both marriages ended in divorce. His first marriage, to his musical partner Sylvia Fricker, ended in an amicable[14] divorce in 1975. Their son Clay (Clayton Dawson Tyson, born 1966) was also a musical performer and has since moved to a career modifying racing bikes.

His second marriage in 1986 to Twylla Dvorkin also ended in divorce in 2008. The couple had a daughter together named Adelita Rose. The song Four Strong Winds, written by Ian Tyson, was named as the greatest Canadian song of all time by the CBC-Radio program 50 Tracks: The Canadian Version in 2005. There was strong momentum for him to be nominated the Greatest Canadian, but he fell short.