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Author Frank Mastropolo

“I’m at a point in life when nothing feels shocking to me. I need something to shock me! I’m almost ready to see a UFO.” – CeeLo Green The list is compiled chronologically by the start of the musicians’ careers. “Constipation Blues” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins Screamin’ Jay Hawkins was one of the pioneers of shock rock. He delivered one of our Top 11 Rock N’ Roll Screams on his 1956 hit, “I Put a Spell on You.” Hawkins often appeared on stage with Henry, a smoking skull on a stick. Hawkins never duplicated the success of “Spell,” but he…

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Until 1964, Americans imagined Brits as businessmen in bowler hats and stuffy butlers who served tea. The Beatles’ arrival on our shores changed all that. We grew our hair, dressed in Carnaby Street fashions and overnight, British words like “fab” and “gear” entered our language. But Beatles lyrics contain many expressions that many American fans still don’t understand, even decades later. “Keeps a ten-bob note up his nose” The title character of “Mean Mr. Mustard” is not as nasty as his name implies: “Mean” in Britain means “cheap.” John Lennon explained in All We Are Saying that he’d spotted a…

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“Punk rock was the tsunami that threatened to drown us all in 1977.” – Pete Townshend “Kick Out the Jams” by the MC5 “Kick Out the Jams” is the title track of the MC5’s 1969 debut LP, recorded over Halloween weekend at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom. The song gained immediate notoriety by its introduction. Singer Rob Tyner opens with “Right now it’s time to – kick out the jams, motherfuckers!” That would lead to censored and uncensored versions of the album and Elektra dropping the band from its label. “We picked ‘Jams’ as a single because it best summed up what…

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“The average lifespan of a teen idol is five years. You have to change musically. Bubblegum pop was good for the first time you have sex.” – Leif Garrett  “Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'” by Crazy Elephant Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz of Super K Productions were major players in bubblegum music. The pair teamed with singer Robert Spencer of the doo-wop group the Cadillacs to record “Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'” as Crazy Elephant, a No. 12 hit in 1969. The imaginary band was promoted by Kasenetz and Katz as a group of Welsh coal miners. “Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'” was…

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Photo: Dennis Manuel “Some people may not realize it but the Rascals were the first rock band in the world … in the center of the universe, New Jersey, the Rascals were the first band.” –  Steven Van Zandt, 1997 Induction of the Rascals into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame New Jersey has always been an essential part of the blue-eyed soul of the Rascals. In the 1960s, the Rascals produced a string of hits notable for the diversity of their sound. “Good Lovin’,” “Groovin’,” “How Can I Be Sure,” “A Beautiful Morning” and “People Got to Be…

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“That’s the big secret. Rock and roll ain’t nothing but jazz with a hard backbeat.” – Keith Richards “Vehicle” by The Ides of March The Ides of March reached No. 2 in 1970 with “Vehicle,” their one and only hit. Singer/songwriter Jim Peterik, who would go on to found Survivor, told AXS that the band started as a British Invasion wannabe. “There was a creeping influence of jazz-rock coming up. We loved that first Al Kooper-Blood, Sweat & Tears album. We lived and breathed it … We were just very excited about that horn-rock sound, and I wrote what I…

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Top 11 Glam Rock Songs “I was recently looking at an old cover of New Musical Express from 1973. It’s me and Mick Jagger, and he’s just found glam a little late. He’s wearing this jumpsuit with epaulets, and he’s dripping in makeup and mascara. And I’m on the other half of the page with this net costume with hands stuck everywhere. You look at it and think, ‘What was that all about?'” – David Bowie “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” by Elton John “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” was written and recorded in 1973 during Elton John’s glam phase…

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Eric Clapton is one of the most skilled and creative guitarists of his generation. For more than 50 years “Slowhand” has brought his brand of blues and rock to bands that include the Yardbirds, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends and Derek and the Dominos. Clapton’s 1963-1965 stint with the Yardbirds came to an end with the release of “For Your Love.” Clapton, a blues purist, had no interest in recording three-minute pop hits. Clapton joined John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers for the album Blues Breakers, popularly known as The Beano Album because its cover shows Clapton…

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The free-form jams of the Grateful Dead provided the soundtrack for San Francisco’s 1967 Summer of Love. Led by singer, songwriter and guitarist Jerry Garcia, the band regularly performed at venues such as the Fillmore, Winterland and the Family Dog. The Dead’s original run lasted from 1965 until 1995, when Garcia died at 53. Garcia came of musical age as a folk singer during the early ’60s in the Bay Area’s beat community. He would go on to perform in bands like the Black Mountain Boys, Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions and the Warlocks before co-founding the group that is…

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“I drink too much. The last time I gave a urine sample it had an olive in it.” – Rodney Dangerfield “The No No Song” by Ringo Starr Singer-songwriter Hoyt Axton was inspired to write “The No No Song” the morning after a losing bout with booze and drugs. “I was afraid if I looked around I’d see the devil sittin’ in the chair across the room, sayin’ ‘I gotcha, boy – you finally overdid it,'” Axton told NewsOK in 1982. “That was the day before I wrote ‘The No No Song.’ “It wasn’t really that much of a moral…

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