Browsing: Music

Attention all Glee fans and musical theatre buffs: Have you wondered what it’s like to be a part of a Broadway musical production? What if you were paid to travel the world and perform nightly for thousands of fans, never staying more than a few weeks in the same city? It sounds like the ultimate dream to anyone in show biz, but for the sixty-seven cast and crew members touring with the 25th anniversary of Les Misérables, it is a thrilling reality. The universally adored musical kicked off its fourth U.S. tour here in Los Angeles last month to much…

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Ever since Spinal Tap skewered classic rock bands with their excess, egos and miniature Stonehenge stage props back in 1984, many other fictional musicians and bands have popped up in movies and television programs. While Rob Reiner’s fake-rock legends, made up of the amazingly-named David St. Hubbins, Nigel Tufnel and Derek Smalls, may have set the bar impossibly high, there have been some pretty great examples over the years. Some are composites of real-life musicians, whereas others are just farcical clichés fleshed out on-screen for laughs and satirical value. A few of the most notable acts began as comedy sketch…

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It was November 1977. Guitarist Rory Gallagher and his band members – bassist Gerry McAvoy, keyboardist Lou Martin and drummer Rod de’Ath – were capping off a 6-month world tour with dates in Japan before coming to San Francisco to begin work on a new studio album. Gallagher had signed a deal with Chrysalis Records and would be working with hotshot producer Elliot Mazer, whose clients included Neil Young, Janis Joplin, Gordon Lightfoot and The Band. The songs were recorded quickly, but the sessions were dogged with tension and Rory’s belief that the mixing was too complicated. He was also…

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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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Jethro Tull front man Ian Anderson is quick to let the numbers do the talking.  His band is going on 43 years, more than most marriages last. The landmark album, Aqualung, the prime distillation of the band’s rock/jazz/folk/baroque musical approach as well as a classic rock staple, is 40 years old this year. Anderson on stage is still a flute-packing joy to behold.  Anderson was in a reflective/talkative mood prior to setting sail on his umpteenth Jethro Tull U.S. tour and he was quick to jump on the fact that, despite his often demonic presence on stage, off stage he was…

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This past weekend, thousands of mud-soaked concertgoers flocked to the town of Somerset, England for this year’s Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts. The fest featured a slew of international bands of varying genres, including headliners U2, Beyonce, Coldplay and Morrissey, with surprise sets delivered by Radiohead and Pulp causing attendees (and the Internet) much excitement. I haven’t personally been able to go to Glastonbury in my life, mainly because it is held in England and the US dollar is little more than play money over there. Glastonbury is arguably bigger than Southern California’s Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival,…

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David Hart loved his friends. The 23-year old Royal Marine from York, England was killed by a bomb in Afghanistan last year, but he was determined to make sure his friends continued partying in his memory. Prior to being deployed, Hart took out a 250,000 pound (roughly $400,000) life insurance policy on himself, with some stipulations: if he was to die in action, $150,000 of that policy money would fund a trip to Las Vegas for his friends. $80,000 would go to various charities, while the rest of the money would go to his family. According to one of his…

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