Thursday, 25 September 2014

You Won’t Find A Better Loser

Some people think Bell Bottom Blues is a wonderful song, one of Clapton’s best.  Many people think it’s rubbish.

I happen to be in the former camp, but I kinda get why some people don’t like it too much.  Even though I enjoy it, it can come across somewhat unsettling, like something’s not quite right. 

Well, 40+ years later, I think I’ve finally put my finger on it:  it’s performed by the wrong band.  Instead of Derek and the Dominoes, it should be a Beatles record, with John singing, and Paul doing the harmony.  Clapton is guesting, as is Billy Preston.  George and Ringo make their presence known, tastefully as always.

Can you picture it – I mean hear it?  Nice, eh?

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Rockumentary Heaven

Rolling Stone’s 40 Greatest Rock Documentaries nicely illustrates just how much good video is out there to enjoy.

Dylan, Page, White, U2, Rush, Bowie, Neil Young, James Brown, The Stones, Hendrix, The Who, Zep, Floyd, a little band out of Liverpool called The Beatles  - they’re all there.

Kinda like my desert island playlist, but without enough blues and folk.

Some masterpieces (Talking Heads), some silliness (Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus), some cultural chronicles (Monterey, Woodstock), and a lot of great music.

The list has something for everyone, so I won’t complain, other than to say I would have included:

The Concert For George – my favourite concert video, period
AC/DC Live at Donnington – killer performance, surpassed only by
Queen Live At Wembley – Freddie’s control over the audience is simply mesmerizing.

Speaking of which, there’s a lot of rubbish (OK, music that didn’t age too well) on the Live Aid video, but some of it is great, so it deserves at least an honourable mention.  Maybe?

Friday, 12 September 2014

Undercover Agent For The Blues …

… and Rock!  Take a look at the influence John Mayall has had.  The connections.  The influences. The great music that came out of his influence.

It’s almost unbelievable.  The diagram just depicts the most obvious connections.  The ones that could fit on a page.  It’s missing the Yardbirds-Page-Zeppelin link.  It obscenely abridges Clapton’s reach.  It skips the whole Dylan universe outside the Willburys.  It doesn’t even try to show who Phil Collins has touched, which is, like, everybody.

Was John Mayall as influential as Lennon, Dylan, Jagger, Hendrix or Page?  Maybe not, but when you think about who he’s played with – and who they played with, he’s touched just about everything.  Mayall is one important cat.