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Though it’s been over three decades since the untimely death of Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham, at the age of 32, he is still hailed as one of the greatest drummers in the history of rock and roll. John Bonham’s influence continues to reach new generations – partly through classic Zeppelin recordings, and partly thanks to his son, Jason Bonham, who just kicked off the 2013 Canadian leg of “The Led Zeppelin Experience.” Accompanied by atmospheric video and mesmerizing lighting effects, the show highlights the unique history Jason Bonham shares with the iconic rock quartet. Cranking out songs like Babe I’m Gonna…

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As the Vietnam War escalated in the mid-1960s and more young men were drafted into the military, protest songs became more mainstream.  Once a staple of folk music, like Phil Ochs’ I Ain’t Marching Anymore, anti-war songs like Barry McGuire’s Eve of Destruction now hit number one on the Billboard charts. The 1970 film Woodstock introduced perhaps the era’s greatest protest song: Country Joe and the Fish’s I-Feel-Like-I’m Fixin’-To-Die Rag.   The song is written in the voice of a military recruiter/carnival barker (with an outrageous hurdy-gurdy organ accompaniment) who encourages young men to join the fight, then invites parents…

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Although Billy Corgan is best known as the enigmatic frontman of Smashing Pumpkins, lately he has turned his creative energy toward smashing of a different variety: flying elbow smashes, for example. A lifelong fan of professional wrestling, Corgan decided to throw himself into the ring, so to speak, as creative director of the Chicago-based independent wrestling promotion Resistance Pro.  Corgan and his partners Jacques and Gabriel Baron debuted the new league in November 2011 at the legendary Excalibur night club in Chicago.  And while the Smashing Pumpkins have sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, running a wrestling promotion is…

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Well, since we knew you were all holding your collective breaths on this one, the results are in:  Seinfeld is the greatest sitcom of all time, followed closely by… The Honeymooners? Well, so says the latest (and ridiculously flawed) poll from tired old Vanity Fair, who must sit around in their New York offices listening to Al Jolson records on their Victrolas. The results of this half-baked unprofessional survey (which supposedly had the help of mirth experts 60 Minutes) will be included in VF’s upcoming January 2013 “comedy issue,” with ringleader Judd Apatow – who is (surprise) promoting his new movie.…

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photo: Troy Paul Though her father remains the reigning king of rock and roll, Lisa Marie Presley hasn’t forgotten her Southern folk roots. “Nothing was planned or contrived in any way and out of it came a very organic record that was always inside of me,” Presley says of Storm and Grace, her first album in 7 years. “It’s this bluesy-folksy record I’m incredibly proud to have made.” Produced by 12-time Grammy winner T-Bone Burnett, the Americana-tinged Storm and Grace marks a departure from the hard rock sound of Presley’s previous albums, To Whom it May Concern (2003) and Now What (2005). Lisa Marie Presley wrapped up…

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One Toke Over the Line by folk rock duo Brewer & Shipley was released in 1970 in an atmosphere of anti-war demonstrations and crackdowns on drug users. The song would become Michael Brewer and Tom Shipley’s biggest hit; so big that it caught the attention of Vice President Spiro Agnew, who termed the song – along with the Byrds’ Eight Miles High and Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit — “blatant drug-culture propaganda” that “threatens to sap our national strength.” Despite its marijuana references, the song somehow was performed on that bastion of wholesome American music, The Lawrence Welk Show. Produced by…

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The new novel Clockwork Angels begins with the line: “The best place to start an adventure is with a quiet, perfect life…and someone who realizes that it can’t possibly be enough.” Those words ring loud and clear for two small-town boys who dared to dream big: renowned sci-fi novelist Kevin J. Anderson and legendary drummer Neil Peart, who teamed up to convert Rush’s latest album, Clockwork Angels, into a full-length steampunk novel. It’s an innovative combination of music and literature, and the story of a young man on a quest through exotic carnivals, lost cities, and stormy seas, hoping to find the…

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Bruce Springsteen surprised fans in 2010 when he joined local band Timepiece at a Farmingdale, New Jersey club for a rousing rendition of Wilson Pickett’s Mustang Sally. Not that Bruce covering that song should be any great surprise:  In the history of music has there been another song played more often by more bands (at least in bars) than “that Mustang Sally song?”  Probably not. 2012 marks the 45th anniversary of the release of The Wicked Pickett’s classic, so Rock Cellar Magazine tracked down a couple of the musicians who helped make Mustang Sally a classic – Sir Mack Rice…

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Martha Davis strutted in heels onto the early new-wave scene in the late 1970s as part of The Motels – an intelligent, moody, yet still-catchy pop band. With her dark brunette 1940s femme-fatale style, Davis stood far apart from the squeaky, anemic, dyed-blonde lead singers of the day.  (And those were just the men.) The Motels didn’t perhaps have the gigantic career that some of their quirky contemporaries had, but semi-hits, Take the L (out of Lover), Suddenly, Last Summer, Total Control, and their biggest single Only the Lonely have cemented their sound into college-pop history.  Davis has continued to write,…

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