Friday, 26 June 2015

The Texas Continuity

Carrying on about “how come Johnny Winter didn’t make the list of influential guitar solos?” …

Much has been made of the great Texas Blues tradition and how Freddie King was just as strong on influence as Albert King on the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan.  Fair enough, but have a listen to Johnny Winter’s Be Careful With A Fool, then check out SRV’s Texas Flood.  Sounds like a direct connection to me.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Solo Stars

Guitar World’s 40 Most Influential Solos In Rock is quite possibly the list that’s come closest to what I would have expected.

All the early rockers are there: Scotty Moore, James Burton, Eddie Cochrane –and Chuck Berry, who’s Johnny B. Goode GW correctly notes is “the most important rock guitar part ever recorded.”

All the Classic Rockers are there: Clapton, Beck, Hendrix, Blackmore, Allman, Fripp, Page, Gilmour, Knopfler, Young and West.

The blues influencers are there: Elmore James, and the 3 Kings.

The list is chronological, so until it got to the 80’s my reaction was consistently, “yep, influenced me alright.”

The latter-day guitar heroes are there too: SRV, Zakk Wylde, Randy Rhoads, Malmsteen, Satriani and, the cat with the coolest handle: Dimebag Darrell.

One or two guitarists I wouldn’t have included myself, but fully expected to see.  And given GW limited itself to one solo per guitarist, I think they did a pretty good job of coming up with the most representative tune.  No easy feat with most of these guys.

Not sure how Heartbreaker gets to be Jimmy Page’s most important solo, but that’s just me.  I certainly remember being floored when I first heard it, but later on I kinda felt it wrecked the song, because it interrupted such a powerful groove.

Nice to see Europa chosen for Santana so they could make room for Peter Green and the original Black Magic Woman.  Peter Green is usually under-rated and overlooked.  Speaking of overlooked: no Highway 61 Revisited by Johnny Winter?

Friday, 12 June 2015

Into The Night

Many others have been, or will be, more eloquent than me, but I just gotta say I was pretty busted up about losing B.B. King.

He was old.  He was unwell.  We could all see it coming.  But when someone has been riffing into the soundtrack of your life since before you were born, you tend to ignore his mortality.  You expect him to always be there.  You expect the magic to go on forever.

It will, of course.  No one can take away his music.  And no one can overstate his importance.  For that we should all be grateful.  RIP B.B..  You were the King.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Crash and Burn

OK, I get Guitar World’s point about the ending can be – should be - the most dramatic part of the song, and, like, fade outs are maybe over done.  So, I wasn’t surprised to see Hotel California left off their list of Top 10 Greatest Rock and Roll Song Endings of All Time.

And the idea of a climax, as it were, to end the song, is laudable.  But the songs selected seem to have endings bordering on the apocalyptic.

Don’t get me wrong.  Won’t Get Fooled Again probably does have the best ending in the history of rock and roll, and the ending of 21st Century Schizoid Man sure fits the song.  But how about The Beatles’ A Hard Days Night?  Oops, GW doesn’t like endings with strange chords.  Sure fits the song though.  OK then, how about Help!  Not enough guitar for you?  So what.  Listen to John’s voice.

Or, speaking of voices, how about Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit?

Well, if you want even more drama, how about Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody – or Under Pressure?  Not loud enough?

OK, I give up.  Drama bordering on self –immolation it is.  So then how about including Deep Purple’s Child In Time, then?  Or Hendrix’s Manic Depression?

But I’ll still take Nowehere Man or even Eight Days A Week.