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Browsing: Behind the Curtain

Our latest Behind the Curtain finds Steve Rosen discussing his encounters with the great Quincy Jones … A long, long time ago when I was just a little kid rocker, my dad used to play catch with me in our backyard. He loved baseball and knew everything about it and he passed that passion along to me. We’d spend hours tossing a baseball back and forth, back and forth. There was an ivy hedge that acted as a sort of wall between our house and the people next door and if I hadn’t known better, I’d swear that overgrown mass…

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I first met David Coverdale on December 9, 1974, when the Mark III version of Deep Purple—Coverdale, bassist-vocalist Glenn Hughes, drummer Ian Paice, keyboardist Jon Lord and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore—were starting their inaugural U.S. tour in support of the Burn album. This third lineup of the band was performing at the Met Center in Bloomington, Minnesota. [Note: It is worth pointing out that Elf, the band formed by Ronnie James Dio, opened every show of Purple’s American tour and certainly the singer had caught Blackmore’s attention. Further, bassist Roger Glover had already produced the band’s debut self-titled album two years…

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Photo by: Glen LaFerman www.glenlaferman.com Before I begin this rock and roll tale about my encounter with Rick James, I want to explain in a way—or attempt to anyway—how I write these stories. If you’ve read any of my previous narratives, you know that a lot of times I’ll talk about stuff that doesn’t seem to have anything at all to do with rock and roll or interviewing some guitar player or hanging out with some rock band.  The story might contain bits and pieces of stuff that might strike you as extraneous, unnecessary, unimportant or just plain stupid.  I…

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January 4, 2017 was christened The Day of the Doors in Venice, California — and surviving members John Densmore and Robby Krieger were on-hand for a fun event streamed live on the band’s Facebook page. It’s within that context, as well as the 50th anniversary of the band’s legendary 1976 debut album, that we present Steve Rosen’s recollections of Ray Manzarek below.  If you were playing in a rock band doing covers anytime between 1967 and 1972, there were certain songs you had to play. De rigueur.  Dude, if you didn’t play these, your band sucked. You had to play…

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There’s an old saying about traveling to the beat of your own drummer. Taking the road less walked upon. Following your own muse. Making up your own rules. Writing your own code. We sometimes describe these individuals as unique or different; sometimes eccentric or even just fruitbat crazy. They come in all shapes and sizes and all walks of life: they are scientists and inventors; painters and writers; designers, builders, dreamers and, oh, yeah, musicians. David Lindley belongs to that rare fraternity, a gifted instrumentalist who has always followed his own heart and not only heeded the beat of a…

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Veteran rock journalist Steve Rosen details his ambitious Rock Roundtable, a group interview with five key guitarists of the hard rock realm in this month’s Behind the Curtain…Photo by: Glen LaFerman www.glenlaferman.com Now it is virtually commonplace to see multiple guitar players from different bands being interviewed together in various magazines and on online sites. You can pick up an issue of a guitar mag and see a coterie of metal shredders philosophizing, jiving, gibing and acting as pundits on the state of the electric guitar. In another periodical, a classic rock legend will be teamed with some modern gunslinger…

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Steve Rosen checks in with another entry in Behind the Curtain… Down through the years, the term “mad genius” has been given to those rare human beings who straddled the line between eccentric and brilliant. Leonardo DaVinci only slept two hours a day and was dyslexic. Thomas Edison—the American who invented the phonograph and the lightbulb—was a slob. Dr. Yoshiro Nakamatsu—the modern day inventor who patented the floppy disk in 1952—did much of his thinking in a bathroom tiled in 24-karat gold tiles as well as deep underwater where he would remain submerged to the point of drowning. Steve Jobs…

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When you think of the iconic guitar players who rocked a Les Paul and Marshall to create tones that fans still talk about to this day, certain names always come up. If you know your music history, you certainly zoom right back to Eric Clapton and the landmark Bluesbreakers recording with John Mayall. At that time, Clapton famously combined a sunburst 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard with two PAF humbucking pickups with 45-watt model 1962 Marshall 2×12 combo (JTM 45). The guitarist cranked the amp while recording, which resulted in the engineer complaining several times that it was too loud.…

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(Photo by: Glen LaFerman www.glenlaferman.com) Interviewing Ray Charles back in 1983 was like interviewing a man who had conquered the world and done it all. Ray was like an explorer seeking out new lands or a great warrior defeating his enemies in battles that were stacked against him. He was afraid of nothing, and though he experienced more than his share of defeats and losses, he never turned his ship around to head back to home shores or retreated in the face of an overwhelming enemy. Charles had seen and done it all by the time I met on him…

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Every day now for two weeks, I heard the song rise from what must have been a pair of seriously-powered speakers the size of refrigerators. Floating out over the hills of Hollywood like sweetly-scented sonic spores, the music had to be screaming from those distant monitors because the riff of Billy Gibbons’ guitar scuttled the birds in the trees and the vocals came down the canyon walls like the voice of God himself. If the Lord spoke with a southern twang, sported a beard that tickled his belly button and played the meanest blues guitar in the world. Precisely at…

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