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Author Ken Sharp

Graham Gouldman defines the word wunderkind. In the ‘60s, in his late teens, Graham established himself as an in demand songwriter, penning smash hits for The Yardbirds, The Hollies, Herman’s Hermits and countless others. Moving into the ‘70s, joining forces with Eric Stewart, Lol Creme and Kevin Godley, 10cc were born. They were the masters of clever thinking man’s pop, consummately written, arranged, produced and performed songs, sonic missives bursting with humor, pathos and invention. Stateside, they’re best known for the major chart hits, “I’m Not in Love” and “The Things We Do For Love.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgJckGsR-T0 After 10cc split, Graham…

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Todd Rundgren (Photo: Jean Lannen) Todd Rundgren’s long awaited autobiography The Individualist bears a title apt for a musical iconoclast who has steered his 50 year career with stubborn independence and uncompromising artistic vision, battling the “Blue Meanies” of the music industry. His brilliant new book carves an illuminating window into the psyche of one of the most fearlessly creative and original musical forces the world’s ever seen, chronicling snapshots of his life with disarming candor and incisive reflection. A troubled childhood, musical adventures as a groundbreaking artist and producer, the use of psychedelics as a creative tool, personal relationship struggles…

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John Lennon photo by Peter Fordham © Yoko Ono Having channeled the searing pain and primal scream angst of his first solo album, Plastic Ono Band, John Lennon’s follow-up release, Imagine, was infused with glittering Beatles magic; it was a much more accessible and commercially palatable release culling some of Lennon’s strongest solo songs, namely “Jealous Guy,” “Oh My Love,” “Gimme Some Truth,” “How?” and the title track. 47 years since its initial release comes Imagine: The Ultimate Collection, a lavish 6-disc box set (4 CDs and 2 Blu-ray discs, available at this link) culling a newly remixed version of…

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(Ace Frehley photograph courtesy Jay Gilbert) In the ‘60s while growing up in the Bronx, budding teenage guitarist Paul “Ace” Frehley, had his share of formidable six-string heroes, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Pete Townshend. Decades later, as a founding member of KISS, a result of his fiery and inventive playing, Ace Frehley turned the tables and was not widely regarded as a pioneering and highly influential guitar hero whose mighty fretboard prowess is routinely cited a source of lifelong inspiration by the likes of Pearl Jan’s Stone Gossard, Lenny Kravitz, “Dimebag” Darrell and countless others.…

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Combining an infectious collision of ‘60s pop, surf, dance and spiky new wave flavors, The B-52’s emerged on the music scene in the late ‘70s looking and sounding like no other band. More than 40 years since they formed, the band, led by founding members, lead vocalists Kate Pierson, Cindy Wilson and Fred Schneider, are still bringing the fun delighting concertgoers with their zany intergalactic brand of party rock. We spoke with Kate Pierson during a short break in the group’s headlining tour with Boy George and Culture Club. Rock Cellar: In a business that cannibalizes its artists, what’s the…

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Boasting signature classics like “Back In The USSR,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Happiness Is A Warm Gun,” “Blackbird,” “Yer Blues,” “Birthday,” “Glass Onion,” “Helter Skelter” and “Julia,” The Beatles, more commonly known as The White Album, is a sprawling and ambitious double-album that chronicles the acceleration of the the Beatles’ creative powers. Hot on the heels of last year’s Sgt. Pepper’s box set comes a deep dive into The White Album, with various configurations being made available of this seminal 1968 long player (3-CD, 2-LP and Super Deluxe box with 6 CDs, book and ephemera) featuring a newly remixed version of the album with…

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Recorded at London’s Royal Albert Hall, Free Spirit – Celebrating The Music of Free, the new CD/DVD from legendary singer Paul Rodgers finds the master rock stylist revisiting the catalog of his late ‘60s/early ‘70s group, Free. The best singer in rock and roll, according to this rock scribe, Rodgers’ remarkable voice remains a marvel, an instrument of power, precision and passion, seamlessly traversing the stylistic dynamics ever present in Free’s body of work. Shortly before heading out on the Stars Align tour with Jeff Beck, Ann Wilson of Heart and Deborah Bonham (sister of the late John Bonham), we…

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Listening to the Who’s debut 1965 album, My Generation, and the new Roger Daltrey solo album, As Long As I Have You, with a mere 55 years in between, one can hear the stylistic ground that connects both together. There’s a wide range of material on Daltrey’s new solo effort, his first since 1992, which finds the legendary singer revisiting his formative soul/blues roots, culling several strong original compositions alongside carefully selected tracks by Stevie Wonder, Stephen Stills, Nick Cave, Boz Scaggs and others. Enjoy Rock Cellar’s chat with Daltrey below. Rock Cellar: The Who’s first album, My Generation, found you in total…

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Passed over for years, The Cars are finally being inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. And it’s about time. Coming off like art-rock Beatles fronted by Buddy Holly, they delivered album after album of infectious pop music laced with a twisted, avant-garde sensibility, marrying mighty hooks, lush vocals, consummate musicality and forward thinking production into one package. https://twitter.com/ElliotEastonEE/status/983523613751037953 We caught up with lead guitarist and founding member Elliot Easton for a peek under the hood into the history of The Cars — past, present and future. Rock Cellar: What does it mean for The Cars to be…

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From the early ‘60s onward, The Supremes owned the pop charts, scoring hit after hit with an extraordinary run of consummately crafted songs courtesy of Motown tunesmiths Holland-Dozier-Holland. Their songs embraced universal themes of love, heartbreak and togetherness. The group’s 1966 number one chart topper, The Supremes A’ Go-Go, is now out as an expanded 2-CD edition loaded with unreleased material–alternate takes, mixes and vocal performances. In connection with this new release, Rock Cellar sat down with founding member Mary Wilson for a wide ranging chat about all things Supreme. Rock Cellar: Universal just issued a new, expanded 2-CD edition of…

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