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NOTHING ELSE MATTERS

I saw this on another site recently but I can't remember which one.  These guys are amazing.  I love cello music but who would have thought Metallica could sound so good?  I think the music is haunting. Sorry about the ads but I couldn't find a video without them.

It's terrific music but I think the video makes it even better.  But I confess that I can't figure out what it's about or what it has to do with the music.  Any takers?

By: Lewis Medlock on March 1, 2010 in Music | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

CHRISTMAS MUSIC

For your Christmas listening pleasure. Here's Vince Vance and the Valiants, circa 1992. I hope everyone has their best Christmas ever!
By: Lewis Medlock on December 23, 2009 in Music | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

REMINISCENCING

In the early seventies I was recently out of the Army and had started my first real job.  I moved into an apartment that was within walking distance of a newly built municipal arena that hosted everything from rodeos to rock and roll concerts.

The seventies were probably the golden age for music tours, especially rock.  And I made the most of it from my location.  Through the magic of the internet I recently discovered a listing of the groups and the musicians that played at that arena during the seventies, including the dates and the prices they charged.  I think the list is missing a few names though because I distinctly remember seeing Ike and Tina Turner there in the seventies (and if you never saw the Ikettes, you missed something).  Anyway--from that list I was able to make a list of the ones that I attended in the seventies. 

Aug. 10, 1974 - Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons - $6

Dec. 7, 1974 – Doobie Brothers $6

May 10, 1975 – America w/Captain - $6

Aug. 4, 1975 – Eagles w/Poco

Nov. 9, 1975 – Lettermen - $6.50, $5,50

April 2, 1976 – Neil Sedaka - $6.50

Aug. 16, 1976 – Doobie Brothers w/Heart - $6

Oct. 21, 1977 – Kenny Rogers w/Stella Parton and T.G. Sheppard - $7, $6

Nov. 19, 1977 – England Dan and John Ford Coley - $7, $6

Oct. 21, 1978 – Ferrante & Teicher - $8, $7

May 12, 1979 – Willie Nelson w/Leon Russell - $8, $6

Even after I moved from the apartment I attended other concerts in the eighties that I don't know the dates or prices.  Some of those included the Judds, Elvis and others that I can't recall.  I don't think I ever paid more than $10 for a ticket.

By: Lewis Medlock on November 12, 2009 in Music | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

DANNY GANS

I was very sad to see this.

I've probably been to Vegas at least eight or ten times but prior to my second or third visit a guy I worked with suggested I go to see Danny Gans.  I had never heard the name and didn't have a clue who he was or what sort of entertainer he was but my buddy said he was the best entertainer on the Strip. 

At that time Gans was at the Rio so technically he wasn't even on the Strip.  My wife and I headed there one night, more for the Rio buffet than anything.  We hadn't even bothered to buy tickets to Gans' show.  We just walked up to the ticket window and still ended up with very good seats. 

Gans came out and proceeded to wow us for the better part of two hours with his dead-on impersonations of singers, both male and female.  Now, many years removed and lots of concerts and shows later, I consider his show to be one of the top two or three I've seen in Sin City.

He became a really big name entertainer in Vegas not long after I saw him and moved on to the Mirage and I think later to the Wynn.  He never really became a nationally known entertainer probably because of the lack of television variety shows, etc.  I did see him on Larry King just a couple of weeks ago.  He was only 52 years old.  RIP.

By: Lewis Medlock on May 4, 2009 in Music | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MUSIC ASSOCIATION

I am frequently amazed at how I associate specific periods of my life with music.  And sometimes it's not just periods of time.  Sometimes I can even nail down specific weeks even thirty or more years ago.  Here's some examples:

1.  1969Bad Moon Rising from Creedence Clearwater Revival.  It's classic rock now but back then it was CCR hitting its stride.  I used to sit in the college parking lot in my candy apple red 67 Mustang before classes started and hope they would play that song on the radio.  That's right--no eight-track tape player.  Never owned one.

2.  1970.  James Taylor's Fire and Rain from his album Sweet Baby James.   Everyone my age listened to the Midnight Rambler, the hot DJ at that time but I listened to Bob Lawrence.  He was the DJ of the radio show East of Midnight and he played that album non-stop most of 1970 but especially in the fall.  I was a senior in college, trying to find my way in the world.  I wasn't too sure about anything but Uncle Sam took care of that for me very soon thereafter.

3. 1971.  Bread's If.  I played that song on the jukebox every time I went into a little tiny bar called the 112 club in El Paso, Texas.  The oriental bartender felt sorry for me every time I did and bought me a Tom Collins.  I think I shut that bar down every Saturday night while I was there.

4. 1971.  Carole King's It's Too Late from Tapestry.  It was early September and I was sitting in a small cafe on an army base in Okinawa when I first heard that song.  Something about that song just tore into my heart.  Eight thousand miles from home and I have never been any lonelier than that day.

5. 1971.  I love the Temptations.  They were the best of the Motown groups.  And I love Ain't Too Proud to Beg.  I can still see Glenn Close and Kevin Kline dancing to that song in The Big Chill.  But I hate, and I really mean hate, their song Just My Imagination.  I've got a good reason to.  There was a guy in our barracks who left his record player on that 45 all day.  I'm talking about ALL day, every day.  No one dared tell him to turn it off because we found a switchblade stuck in the mattress springs in the bunk above him.  We had a pretty good idea why he kept it there.  I turn the radio off when I hear it to this day.

6. 1975.  The Eagles Best of My Love.  Out of the Army.  Back in East Tennessee.  Working my first real job.  Divorced and depressed.  Dating too many of the wrong type of women.  I had a cold, cold heart.  That wasn't just my opinion; it was their opinion too.  Some told me point blank but it didn't bother me.  Not one of the better periods of my life.

By: Lewis Medlock on April 17, 2009 in Music | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

THAT'S WHEN YOUR HEARTACHES BEGIN

There have been thousands of Elvis impersonators but the best one has been dead for over twenty years. For you twenty-somethings his name is Andy Kaufman.

By: Lewis Medlock on January 22, 2009 in Music | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

JIM DANDY

In 1971 there was a guy in our barracks when I was stationed on Okinawa. 

I believe he was from somewhere in Indiana.  His name totally escapes me now but I can easily remember how he looked.  I'll just call him Jim Dandy.  That name seems to fit him for some reason.  He was skinny, angular and wore thick glasses.  The Army uniform didn't help his look much.  He always looked like it swallowed him whole.  Ill fitting would have been an understatement. Today you would call him nerdy but that word didn't exist back then.  He wasn't the type you saw running around with the local bar girls.  He seemed to stay in his room most of the time.

I didn't live in the barracks very long but that's another story for another time.  Anyway during one of the three typhoons that hit the island I was still living in the barracks.   We had steel shutters that we closed for the duration and I think we ate C rations for the duration of the storm.  During that first day I heard music coming from the room down the hall.  It was Jim Dandy's room.  I had never heard music like what I heard from his room.  I made my way down there.  His door was cracked and I could see him sitting there listening to his music.  He had bought some of the superior Japanese made stereo equipment that was available there for next to nothing.  The sound was great and I liked what I was hearing very much.

Soon enough he caught sight of me and motioned me in.  We were familiar with each other from work but had never spent anytime with each other.  He asked me what brought me to his room.  I motioned to the stereo equipment and my ear.  It wasn't long before we were discussing the music.  I asked him who we were listening to and he told me it was Big Mama Thornton.  I had never heard the name or the music but I liked it a lot.  He noticed that.  Soon enough we were listening to LPs of Gatemouth Brown, Johnny Guitar Watson, T-Bone Walker, John Lee Hooker, Skip James, Sippie Wallace and others.  He didn't play anything but blues and seemed immensely happy that I liked it as well as he did.  The blues were his passion.  We literally sat and listened there for hours.

Jim Dandy introduced me to the blues that day.  We were thousands of miles from the Delta or Memphis but it felt like we were there.  Maybe it was the combination of the typhoon, the closed barracks and the distance from home but the music was terrific. 

I thought of him today as I was washing my truck.  I had the radio on an alternative FM station and they were playing Bonnie Raitt's bluesy live version of Love Me Like a Man.  She does a fine job on that song.  It brought back memories of that day in 1971 when I first heard the blues from Jim Dandy's room. I'll always think of Jim Dandy when I hear the blues. 

By: Lewis Medlock on December 30, 2008 in Music | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

PLEASE COME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS

I'm feeling in the Christmas spirit today.  Enjoy the Eagles...

By: Lewis Medlock on December 19, 2008 in Music | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BOSS REVIEW

Mrs. Medlock and I caught the Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert in Charlotte Sunday night. 

The truth is that the missus has probably never heard of Springsteen or the E Street Band but she goes to any concert that I want to go to anyway.  I think it's in some ways it's her own way to escape even if she doesn't know the music.  I really don't know of any artists or music in particular that she likes (with the possible exception of Cher or Elvis) but that hasn't stopped her from going to a hear a lot of them.  Together we've seen so many I couldn't begin to count them.

The Boss was at the Bobcats Center.  While the acoustics weren't so good the seating was very good.  We were in the upper section facing the stage.  The cost was reasonable at $100 a ticket.  Scheduled show time was 7:30, surprisingly early.  There was no opening act but finally at 8:15 the lights faded and the show began with Souls of the Departed and a visual tribute to Danny Federici, Springsteen's late keyboard player.  From there it was non-stop rock and roll and I mean that literally.  I don't recall there being any breaks between songs.  One song simply led into another. 

Clearly Springsteen loves to perform and high energy is the name of his game.  The E Street Band are all outstanding musicians and it shows.  Two keyboard players, three guitarists besides the Boss, a bassist, Clemons on his sax and of course Max the drummer.  No Mrs. Springsteen.  I really don't know how they and the Boss go at it so hard for so long though.  At 10:30 after the first encore we hit the road.  The band was still playing.

The only downside was the concert was too loud.  I'm not a wimp for loud concerts but this one hurt my ears from the first song.  It may have had something to do with our position in the upper deck but it was so loud at times the music was distorted.  That has to be a sound engineer's fault and it's hard to explain how someone could let that happen. 

The loudness didn't hurt the content though.  I've always wanted to see Springsteen live because I've read and been told it's the best way he can be appreciated.  I can confirm the truth of that.  He's a music legend and his reputation is well-deserved.

By: Lewis Medlock on April 30, 2008 in Music | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

THE LENINGRAD VANZANTS?

This is simply amazing.
(Thanks and a hat tip to big sister).

As a southern boy I'm awed by these guys. 

And I'm going to have to rethink my thoughts about the Red Army.

By: Lewis Medlock on April 11, 2008 in Music | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack
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