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Author Frank Mastropolo

Sad news to pass along, as iconic and influential jazz fusion guitarist Larry Coryell has died at the age of 73. Coryell, who played alongside and worked with Sonny Rollins, John McLaughlin and Charles Mingus throughout his career, passed away on Sunday of natural causes. A remembrance by RCM contributor Frank Mastropolo:  We were saddened to learn that virtuoso guitarist Larry Coryell died Sunday night in New York at age 73. Known as the “Godfather of Fusion,” Coryell helped pioneer jazz-rock fusion and was a master of jazz, Latin and classical guitar. In November, Coryell shared with Rock Cellar his…

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Vodka does not ease back pain. But it does get your mind off it. ­– Fuzzy Zoeller   11. “King of Pain” by the Police “I do my best work when I’m in pain and turmoil,” Sting once explained in Rolling Stone.  The singer and bassist of the Police wrote “King of Pain,” which appeared on 1983’s Synchronicity, the final album by the band. Sting wrote the song after he’d separated from his first wife. While on vacation in Jamaica with Trudie Styler, whom he would marry, the song’s most memorable line came to Sting by chance. “I was sitting moping under…

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When he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012, President Obama said of Bob Dylan, “There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music.” Hailed as the voice of his generation, Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016 but his greatest achievement may be his influence on musicians that have included the Beatles and Bruce Springsteen, who said Dylan “changed the face of rock and roll forever.” In the first of a series, Rock Cellar asked some of the most respected artists in rock, folk and blues to share their recollections of the…

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Rock and Roll: Music for the neck downwards. – Keith Richards Below,  enjoy Frank Mastropolo’s new Top 11 Rock N’ Roll Songs, but note: The absence of Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll” is not an egregious omission, but a conscious choice. You see, that song appeared on our Top 11 Geezer Songs list already!  “Travelin’ Band” by Creedence Clearwater Revival “Travelin’ Band,” backed by Who’ll Stop the Rain, was one of three doubled-sided hits released by Creedence Clearwater Revival from their 1970 LP Cosmo’s Factory. The lyrics describe a band on the run between planes, hotels and the…

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Nuclear apocalypse – who do you need? Actors are probably not top of the list. What can I do for you? I can pretend to be somebody who can grow you some nice crops. – Christian Bale You’d better read our Top 11 Apocalypse Songs now – before it’s too late. You never know. “1999” by Prince https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8ut5FsXpa0 In 1982, the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union was at its peak. Both sides wielded nuclear stockpiles and could wipe each other out many times over. That year President Reagan promised “the march of freedom and democracy will…

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The young always have the same problem – how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another. — Quentin Crisp James Dean was a rebel. Marlon Brando was a rebel. Johnny Yuma was a rebel. You’re not. But listening to some of our Top 11 Rebel Songs may get you there. We’re Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister Despite their success, Twisted Sister’s We’re Not Gonna Take It was the metal band’s only Top 40 hit. Frontman Dee Snider told Wikimetal that the song was born…

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The young always have the same problem – how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another. — Quentin Crisp James Dean was a rebel. Marlon Brando was a rebel. Johnny Yuma was a rebel. You’re not. But listening to some of our Top 11 Rebel Songs may get you there. We’re Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister Despite their success, Twisted Sister’s We’re Not Gonna Take It was the metal band’s only Top 40 hit. Frontman Dee Snider told Wikimetal that the song was born…

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I don’t want to live in a city where the only cultural advantage is that you can make a right turn on a red light. – Woody Allen Despite its earthquakes, traffic, smog and pretentiousness, Los Angeles has inspired great tunes like those on our list of Top 11 L.A. Songs. Know any more? Take off those Ray-Bans – you’re indoors – and tell us in the Comments section below. Hotel California by the Eagles Hotel California has become the Eagles’ best-known song, an exploration of the dark underbelly of Los Angeles that ends with two minutes of dueling guitar…

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“Sex at age 90 is like trying to shoot pool with a rope.” – George Burns Let’s get right to our list of Top 11 Geezer Songs. There’s no telling how much time you’ve got left. Old Time Rock and Roll by Bob Seger The lyric “I reminisce about the days of old with that old time rock and roll” explains the geezer appeal of Bob Seger’s 1979 hit. Seger recorded Old Time Rock and Roll backed by the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, also known as the Swampers. Old Time Rock and Roll was written by local songwriters…

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There is no easy characterization of the Leo Sayer sound. The singer-songwriter broke out in the U.S. with 1974’s Long Tall Glasses (I Can Dance), a quirky story-song that made the Top 10. Sayer followed with a pair of No. 1 hits: the disco-flavored You Make Me Feel Like Dancing and a ballad, When I Need You. Hits like How Much Love and More Than I Can Say followed. Sayer’s career’s took off in 1973 under the tutelage of British pop star Adam Faith, whom Sayer calls an “incredibly charismatic rogue.” Faith introduced the young writer to the Who’s Roger Daltrey,…

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