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Author Frank Mastropolo

Top 11 Band Name Origin Stories  “If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank.” – Woody Allen Pink Floyd In 1963, future Pink Floyd members Roger Waters and Nick Mason went through band names that included the Meggadeaths, the Screaming Abdabs, Leonard’s Lodgers and the Spectrum Five before settling on the Tea Set. Syd Barrett joined the band in 1965 and when they performed at a show with another group named the Tea Set, it was time for a new name. Barrett, the band’s creative force at…

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“A guy gave me a job at an information booth – no questions asked.” – Jay London “Questions 67 and 68” by Chicago “Questions 67 and 68” was written by Chicago’s Robert Lamm, who shared vocals with Peter Cetera. The 1969 song was the first single released by Chicago, when it was still named Chicago Transit Authority. An edited version of the song was re-released in 1971 with more success. “It’s about a girl I knew during those years,” Lamm told Blue Desert, “with a hint of acid imagery, and very Beatles-influenced.” Chicago early on gained the reputation as one…

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If you haven’t yet made your New Year’s resolutions, we’re here to help. We’ve listed the Top 11 songs about bad habits you should resolve to change this year, next year — and every year, honestly, if you’re unable to stick to it this time around. Most people will find one or two of their behaviors here. If you need to make all 11 of these New Year’s resolutions, seek professional help … 11. Material Girl by Madonna (Materialism) After its release in 1984, Madonna said that Material Girl reflected her character. “I’m very career-oriented,” Madonna told Company magazine. “You…

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Looking for that last-minute Christmas-themed rock n’ roll playlist? Look no further, as we have searched far & wide for some of the most enduring and timeless (and even infamous) Christmas cover songs laid to tape. Let us know in the comments which ones we missed! Motorhead – “Run Rudolph Run” Lemmy & the gang’s take on the Chuck Berry classic. Weezer – Christmas with Weezer An entire E.P.’s worth of holiday cheer from Weezer! Paul McCartney – “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” We’ll spare you another listen to “Wonderful Christmastime,” passing along instead Macca’s warm…

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“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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I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land. – Jon Stewart Feeling thankful about anything yet? Neither are we. Thanksgiving is approaching, and the day is supposed to be about gratitude but let’s face it, the world is filled with nothing but ingrates. “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!” by Napoleon XIV  Recording engineer Jerry Samuels — as Napoleon XIV —  said he came up with this 1966 novelty hit while sitting in his vibrating lounger smoking a…

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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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Note: This piece originally ran in time for Labor Day 2012. Since 1894, when Madonna was just a toddler, the U.S. has celebrated Labor Day – …a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. — U.S. Dept. of Labor Whatever.  For the rest of us whose work ethic was learned from Maynard G. Krebs, Homer Simpson, and The Dude, we celebrate the slackers with our… Top 11 Anti-Labor Day Anti-Work Songs! 1. Bob Dylan:  Maggie’s Farm It’s a stretch to imagine Bob Dylan scrubbing floors for a living, but…

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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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