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Public Enemy’s Chuck D is on a mission. As one of the godfathers of modern hip hop, he’s has taken on the mantle of elder statesman of the genre, in an effort to ensure that it’s now 40-plus year history is held in the same esteem as that of rock and roll, country, jazz and the blues. “Rap is a truly American art form that’s been around now for almost half a century, but it’s not taken all that seriously,” he tells Rock Cellar. “I think that needs to change, and I’m going to do what I can to make…

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She wasn’t a songwriter per se, but Linda Ronstadt, blessed with one of music’s most extraordinary voices, shone as a masterful stylist and interpreter, expertly navigating her way through a rich and diverse songbook. Today, sadly, Linda can no longer sing, a result of the ravages of Parkinson’s disease. Through the recent release of her first live album, Live in Hollywood, however, fans can revel in that beautiful and robust voice once more. The album finds Linda and a stellar band (featuring guitarists Danny Kortchmar and Kenny Edwards, drummer Russ Kunkel, pedal steel guitarist Dan Dugmore, bassist Bob Glaub, Little Feat keyboardist…

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Drummer Denny Seiwell discusses his time with Paul McCartney and Wings, his friendship with McCartney over the years and much more …  When The Beatles imploded, Paul McCartney, by all accounts, was shattered. Without a band, or the friends that had traveled that remarkable road together with him, he retreated with his new wife Linda to his Scottish farm, with its barebones living quarters, and, depressed, he drank himself into a stupor. “I think I was just trying to escape in my own mind,” McCartney said in 2012. “I had the freedom to just have a drink whenever I fancied…

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Reggie Griffith, Prince’s sometime front of house sound engineer, recalls vividly what it took to work with the icon, though he hardly complains about the herculean hours required. “I loved it, because he was great,” he says. “He was extremely hardworking. I think he slept two hours a day! He gave everyone around him that same work ethic. Once you started to work, you worked till you were done. Sound checks were rehearsals. Everything that wasn’t the show was a rehearsal. You want to know how to get good? Rehearse! His dedication to his craft was astonishing.” In 2004, Prince…

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Bob Marley would have turned 74 years old on Wednesday, February 6, 2019. To celebrate Marley’s influence, enjoy a chat with Don Letts …  Don Letts is a Grammy-winning filmmaker, world renowned DJ, and was the yin to Mick Jones’ yang in Jones’ ahead-of-its-time post-Clash outfit Big Audio Dynamite. But back in the wild days of the early era of punk in London, when he was simply trying to make ends meet between gigs spinning white label reggae records to the punk cognoscenti, Letts was also Bob Marley’s weed dealer. “I’d go by his house on a pretty regular basis,”…

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Graham Gouldman defines the word wunderkind. In the ‘60s, in his late teens, Graham established himself as an in demand songwriter, penning smash hits for The Yardbirds, The Hollies, Herman’s Hermits and countless others. Moving into the ‘70s, joining forces with Eric Stewart, Lol Creme and Kevin Godley, 10cc were born. They were the masters of clever thinking man’s pop, consummately written, arranged, produced and performed songs, sonic missives bursting with humor, pathos and invention. Stateside, they’re best known for the major chart hits, “I’m Not in Love” and “The Things We Do For Love.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgJckGsR-T0 After 10cc split, Graham…

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Todd Rundgren (Photo: Jean Lannen) Todd Rundgren’s long awaited autobiography The Individualist bears a title apt for a musical iconoclast who has steered his 50 year career with stubborn independence and uncompromising artistic vision, battling the “Blue Meanies” of the music industry. His brilliant new book carves an illuminating window into the psyche of one of the most fearlessly creative and original musical forces the world’s ever seen, chronicling snapshots of his life with disarming candor and incisive reflection. A troubled childhood, musical adventures as a groundbreaking artist and producer, the use of psychedelics as a creative tool, personal relationship struggles…

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John Lennon photo by Peter Fordham © Yoko Ono Having channeled the searing pain and primal scream angst of his first solo album, Plastic Ono Band, John Lennon’s follow-up release, Imagine, was infused with glittering Beatles magic; it was a much more accessible and commercially palatable release culling some of Lennon’s strongest solo songs, namely “Jealous Guy,” “Oh My Love,” “Gimme Some Truth,” “How?” and the title track. 47 years since its initial release comes Imagine: The Ultimate Collection, a lavish 6-disc box set (4 CDs and 2 Blu-ray discs, available at this link) culling a newly remixed version of…

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(Ace Frehley photograph courtesy Jay Gilbert) In the ‘60s while growing up in the Bronx, budding teenage guitarist Paul “Ace” Frehley, had his share of formidable six-string heroes, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Pete Townshend. Decades later, as a founding member of KISS, a result of his fiery and inventive playing, Ace Frehley turned the tables and was not widely regarded as a pioneering and highly influential guitar hero whose mighty fretboard prowess is routinely cited a source of lifelong inspiration by the likes of Pearl Jan’s Stone Gossard, Lenny Kravitz, “Dimebag” Darrell and countless others.…

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Nancy Wilson and Liv Warfield of Roadcase Royale (Photo: Jeremy Danger) In the past year or so, there has been much talk in the press regarding the breakup of Heart. Unfortunately, when you live your life in the public eye, even the slightest event gets put under the microscope of popular culture. What happened between sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson has led many to assume that Heart is no longer, but one should never say never. I’m not going to address the split here, nor did I bring it up in the following interview, because it has nothing really to…

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