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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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When a band releases somewhere north of ten full-length records, multiple EPs, and participates in numerous side projects and still toils away in relative anonymity, you might come to expect that there will come a day when that band will attempt to depart from what makes them unique. That they will venture down a path that the nabobs of the commercial world have determined is the only avenue to stride upon if they want to widen their circle of audience members. But for Centro-matic – unlike many before them – that fateful day would appear to still be nigh. As…

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The harpsichord was the Humphrey Bogart of baroque instruments, until 18th century innovation produced the piano and brought its near-death. It lay dormant in basements and opera halls, until the 20th century when its tone bashfully attempted to fill in empty spaces in pop, vocal, and jazz tracks. When the dark and melodramatic step-sister of sunshine pop was born – “baroque pop” – the harpsichord made a comeback becoming the melancholy whine of the ’60s. Entire groups were spawned from this movement creating a full=blown epidemic of chamber rock bands. Oboes, French horns, stringed instruments and yes – harpsichords filled…

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Photos by Frank Buddenbrock; all rights reserved RCM: Do you consider yourself more of a business manager, a personal manager or both? PA: I was a personal manager yes, ‘cause the two are very much interwoven. Suddenly when James was having drug difficulties and stuff, inevitably you get involved. You try and help them sort things out. RCM: Some managers are a bad influence. That artists are looking for their manager to be the guiding voice and it’s to the contrary? PA: Maybe so. And then the whole drug thing – it’s the misfortune that there are inevitably people who…

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Photography by Frank Buddenbrock From his musical days with Peter & Gordon through his careers as a Grammy-award winning producer, artist manager, Apple A&R man, and record company executive, Peter Asher has witnessed and participated in the entire spectrum of the record-making industry. Rock Cellar Magazine sat down with this artistic legend in an informal interview covering highlights of his five-decade ride. RCM: You’ve listened to a lot of music, judged it, and obviously found some of the best. Do you think that rock is tapped out? PA: No. They’ve thought it about every kind of music. “How many bloody…

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Guitars share a special bond with their players, and those partnerships often outlast those between humans. These 11 are not necessarily the most recognizable guitars, or necessarily ones that defined a sound, but these are the guitars that have stood the test of time. These guitars were given names. Sometimes, we know them by that name alone… 1. “Lucille” – B.B. King Legend has it King saved his guitar from a fire in an Arkansas dance-hall where he was performing. The fire was caused by a fight he witnessed – over a girl named Lucille. Ever since, he’s named all of…

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It’s hard enough being in a band without having to deal with the added stress of expectations weighing down upon you. Throughout rock history, bands and artists have had to deal with various pressures: from themselves, fans, the media, the labels, everyone. Some handled it well, others didn’t. Too many bands and solo artists crumbled early because of heightened expectations after a stellar debut album. Others dissolved after a key member quit or passed away when the band was on the cusp of superstardom. In some cases, a band breaking up facilitated the inception of another, more important band. Examples…

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1. Bob Dylan, Freewheelin’ © Don Hunstein © Don Hunstein Captured in 1963 on the corner of 4th and Jones in Greenwich Village, Freewheelin’ featured the iconic album cover that inspired a generation of young men to “hunch their shoulders, look distant, and let the girl do the clinging.” Bob Dylan and Suze Rotolo stepped out of their apartment and into an icy February morning. “It was very casual, completely unplanned and it was freezing outside,” Rotolo said. “Bob just took this thin, suede jacket that wasn’t good for a New York cold winter day…he was freezing and I was…

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When George Harrison took the stand in a New York City courtroom in January 1976 to defend himself against charges that he had stolen a good portion of The Chiffons’ classic He’s So Fine and turned it into his biggest solo hit, My Sweet Lord, his memory of the song’s creation was admittedly foggy. But that did not stop him from spinning one hell of a yarn for the judge and jury. Legal documents reporting on Harrison’s testimony reported that the former Beatle insisted that Billy Preston and a group of faceless musicians and backup singers had thrashed out an…

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