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Author Rock Cellar Magazine Staff

One of Nirvana’s huge hits from Nevermind, Come As You Are features a down-tuned riff that bears a heavy resemblance to Killing Joke’s song Eighties. Killing Joke never did the lawsuit thing over the song, but everyone pretty much knew it was the same riff. Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighter founder Dave Grohl actually played drums on the band’s 2003 album, which some believe was a penance for knowing that Come As You Are lifted the riff from Eighties. To make things even more complicated, The Damned’s Life Goes On, which came out in 1982, well before Eighties, includes practically…

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I spent last Saturday night at the home of Levon Helm, hanging out with his pals, dining from a generous spread of food and then watching him lead a 12-piece band through a 2+ hour set of amazing music. Now, lest you think this is some rock star boast of hanging with even bigger rock stars in a world kept secret from anyone not in the club, you can put those thoughts right out of your head. Linda and I were in Woodstock at Levon’s pad for one of his semi-regular Midnight Rambles. I had heard about these shows and…

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It’s that time of year again…the time to gather with friends and family and barbecue meat, drink (American) beer and randomly engage in loud chants of “U-S-A! U-S-A!”, preferably in the most unorthodox of locations. The word ‘spangled’ may not be used very much everyday conversations anymore, it was around when the people in charge decided to make it our national anthem. As everyone knows, it’s a song that has been covered by all kinds of musicians over the years. Below, you’ll see our Rock Cellar Magazine list of 11 of our favorite cover versions, ranging from the obvious (classic…

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Pro Comedians: say what you want. Just be prepared to deal with backlash Just how far should comedians go? 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan has been the subject of much debate over the past week, after an attendee of his stand-up gig in Nashville last week reported on the comedian’s colorful remarks about homosexuality. In a Facebook post by Kevin Rogers – the offended patron at Morgan’s show – he detailed Morgan’s rants about how homosexuality being wrong because “God don’t make no mistakes.” Morgan also said that he would stab his own son if he started speaking in a…

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It’s hard enough being in a band without having to deal with the added stress of expectations weighing down upon you. Throughout rock history, bands and artists have had to deal with various pressures: from themselves, fans, the media, the labels, everyone. Some handled it well, others didn’t. Too many bands and solo artists crumbled early because of heightened expectations after a stellar debut album. Others dissolved after a key member quit or passed away when the band was on the cusp of superstardom. In some cases, a band breaking up facilitated the inception of another, more important band. Examples…

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1. Bob Dylan, Freewheelin’ © Don Hunstein © Don Hunstein Captured in 1963 on the corner of 4th and Jones in Greenwich Village, Freewheelin’ featured the iconic album cover that inspired a generation of young men to “hunch their shoulders, look distant, and let the girl do the clinging.” Bob Dylan and Suze Rotolo stepped out of their apartment and into an icy February morning. “It was very casual, completely unplanned and it was freezing outside,” Rotolo said. “Bob just took this thin, suede jacket that wasn’t good for a New York cold winter day…he was freezing and I was…

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George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” may have been one of the most successful songs of his post-Beatles career, but it wasn’t entirely his song. The chord progression, background vocals and overall melody bore a striking resemblance to The Chiffons’ 1963 hit “He’s So Fine,” so much so that a judge found Harrison guilty of “subconsciously” copying the Chiffons’ tune in 1976 after a ten-year legal battle. Despite the bad publicity, Harrison maintained that he never knowingly lifted the tune. John Lennon himself noted the similarity and told Playboy in 1980 that Harrison “must have known” that he was being a…

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I recently found this quote by Albert Camus, author of the literary classic The Stranger: “A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.” Camus’ sentiment is lovely, describing the creative process as a journey back to the feeling of aesthetic awakening. The idea reminds me of one of my favorite passages written by Jewish mystic Abraham Joshua Heschel, redefining faith: “In every man’s life there are moments when there is a lifting of the veil at the…

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