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This is the conclusion to last month’s interview with Mike Love of the Beach Boys — get caught up with Part 1 here, and enjoy the rest below. Rock Cellar Magazine: What’s the back story behind the song “Happy Birthday Mike Love”? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtC0wsP6FCo Mike Love: I was in India studying with the Maharishi and The Beatles were there as well. It was my birthday, March 15th, 1968 George Harrison had his birthday on February 25th and there were fireworks and music. It was a really fun thing. Maharishi being the ultimate host created a party for my birthday and Donovan and…

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Reflecting back on Jimi Hendrix’s career, one marvels at how productive and creative he was in a short span of just a few years. By the time Hendrix formed Band of Gypsys with long-time pal Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles, he was moving in a different direction stylistically, shaking the foundation of his artistry and fulfilling his hungry quest for continual musical evolution and exploration. The music he wrote and performed with Band of Gypsys demonstrated his forward-thinking creativity. The band impressed most in a live setting, allowing the trio to stretch out, going on expansive musical adventures combining fiery, virtuosic…

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Decades after the release of Dio’s early ’80s albums, in particular, Holy Diver and The Last In Line, those recordings are widely recognized by music fans and critics alike as towering achievements in ’80s hard rock. Helping carve out the metallic fury of those landmark alums was Northern Irish guitarist Vivian Campbell, whose tough and strident playing and fierce acrobatic solos helped him garner acclaim as a shining new talent on the hard rock scene. In 1985, creative and personal differences between Campbell and Ronnie James Dio led him to depart from Dio after the group’s third album, Sacred Heart, and he found a permanent home in Def Leppard. Through the years, Campbell has enjoyed a particularly productive…

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“Mudcrutch’s whole approach is like a power band,” Roger McGuinn, the founder of The Byrds, tells me when I catch up with him after seeing him in New York City with Tom Petty’s “other” band. “They’re more like Rolling Stones than Beatles. It’s a powerful, punchy band.” But McGuinn, who tours the world solo these days, says it wasn’t much of an adjustment to sit in with his old friends from the Heartbreakers. “I play with the Rock Bottom Remainders almost every year,” he says of the band of best-selling authors, including Scott Turow, Amy Tan and Stephen King, that…

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Producer George Martin was thrust head first into the eye of the hurricane when The Beatles performed a series of now historic concerts held at The Hollywood Bowl in 1964 and 1965. Surrounded by thousands of unruly screaming Beatlemaniacs, he witnessed first-hand the mania, excitement and fever pitch generated by the Fab Four, an unforgettable experience he described in the liner notes to the Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl album issued in 1977 on Capitol Records: “The chaos, I might almost say panic, that reigned at these concerts was unbelievable unless you were there. Only three-track recording was possible; The Beatles had no…

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For over 55 years, Mike Love has been a faithful steward of the Beach Boys, the ultimate cheerleader championing their timeless legacy around the globe. He’s the lead vocalist on signature classics I Get Around, Surfin U.S.A, California Girls, Do It Again, Be True To Your School,  Little Deuce Coupe and countless others and a natural born front man/entertainer who is never more comfortable than prowling a big stage, exhorting SRO crowds to have Fun, Fun, Fun. But as his new book reveals, it hasn’t all been Fun, Fun, Fun. Love, a polarizing figure often villainized in Beach Boys history, is…

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Outspoken and brash, arrogant and opinionated, profane and vulgar, supremely narcissistic and sexist, are among the colorful descriptions both the public and media foist at KISS’ founding member Gene Simmons. Acutely aware of how he is perceived, Simmons even named his last solo album Asshole. When meeting with the “God of Thunder,” one will notice he’s polite and gracious, proving there’s much more behind the self-proclaimed “Man of 1000 Faces.” Currently on the road with KISS for their “Freedom To Rock” jaunt of the U.S., the band, or brand, as Simmons often likes to describe the Roll & Roll Hall of…

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Long before Fleetwood Mac owned the Billboard record charts for years in the mid to late ’70s with a string of mega-selling albums/singles culled from the albums Fleetwood Mac, Rumours and Tusk, their formative sound was rooted in something altogether different. Fleetwood Mac mark 1 drew from a heavy blues-rock sound that stood in diametric opposition to their reputation as traditional pop alchemists in a later configuration featuring Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. Fronted by one of Britain’s most respected and revered lead guitar players, Peter Green, the early form of Fleetwood Mac was a raw blues band that won over audiences with its dynamic, blues-drenched sound with such signature…

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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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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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