Malcolm Young (1953 – 2017)

November 20, 2017

malcolm youngAC/DC guitarist and co-founder, Malcolm Young has passed away after a long period of illness.

Read the full story from Rolling Stone magazine here.


Radar Love – Golden Earring – 1973

February 22, 2017

golden-earring-radar-love-cover-1973Formed in 1961 and still going strong today, Golden Earring must be one of the longest performing bands in the world – in all those years they have had only one major hit, but it was a massive one – Radar Love in 1973.

golden earring fax

Golden Earring began life in 1961 in the Dutch city of The Hague when two neighbours, 13-year-old George Kooymans and 15-year-old Rinus Gerritsen got together to form The Tornados.

  • By 1970 the band had added a couple of members to become the line-up that remains together today.  Although, other musicians have come and gone over the years.
  • Discovering that there was already a band named The Tornados, the boys changed their name to Golden Earring.
  • By the late 60s, Golden Earring were quite popular in The Netherlands and had had a number of hit records and, in 1969, they embarked on their first US tour.  By 1984 they had completed 13 US tours and played alongside acts such as with Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Procol Harum, and Eric Clapton. Between 1969 and 1984, Golden Earring completed 13 U.S. tours. During this period, they performed as the opening act for Santana, King Crimson, The Doobie Brothers, and Rush.
  • Following the success of Radar Love, the band became stars in their own right and, at various times, had Kiss and Aerosmith as their opening act.
  • Those living outside The Netherlands may not realise the popularity of Golden Earring in their homeland.  They have released 25 studio albums – seven of which have reached #1 on the Dutch album chart (the last in 2012).
  • Add to this 73 single releases of which 42 have made the Dutch Top Ten!
  • Outside of the Netherlands, however, they will be remembered for Radar Love.

radar love fax

  • Radar Love was written by Golden Earring members George Kooymans and Barry Hay and recorded by the band in 1973.
  • It featured on the album Moontan.
  • There were three versions of the song: a 5:07 single, a 3:44 single edit and the album version which went for 6:21.
  • Radar Love, a #1 hit in the Netherlands, peaked at #13 in the US and #7 in the UK.
  • The song has been covered by a number of bands including, U2, R.E.M., White Lion, Blue Man Group, Def Leppard and Carlos Santana.  The White Lion version charted at #59 on the US singles chart.
  • Radar Love lyrics.

radar love – golden earring – 1973

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Hocus Pocus – Focus – 1973

August 5, 2015

Focus Hocus Pocus single cover

Remember the days of prog. rock with bands like Yes, Pink Floyd, Genesis and Rush? Well, stuck in the middle there somewhere was Dutch band, Focus, who had a 1973 hit with Hocus Pocus.

Focus 2focus fax

  • Focus formed in The Netherlands in 1969.
  • Founding member Thijs van Leer was a classically trained organist and flautist.
  • With four breaks and reunions along the way, Focus continues to tour today.
  • Focus 3Past line ups have included, guitarist Jan Akkerman (a founding member) and American singer, PJ Proby.

hocus pocus fax

  • Hocus Pocus was recorded in 1971, released on the band Focus’s second album, Focus II (aka Moving Waves), in 1972 and hit the charts in 1973.
  • Hocus Pocus was written by Focus guitarist Jan Akkerman and flautist-keyboardist Thijs van Leer.
  • Focus 1Hocus Pocus peaked at #9 on the US singles charts and #20 on the UK singles charts. In 2010 it was featured in a Nike ad shown during the FIFA World Cup causing it to again enter the UK charts where it peaked at #57.
  • The original recording of Hocus Pocus was slower than the faster radio version which was, in turn, slower than the live version.
  • The song is often heard at sporting events, was featured in the 2014 remake of the movie Robocop, and has featured in television shows, Top Gear and My Name is Earl.
  • Hocus Pocus lyrics.

hocus pocus – focus – 1973

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Cat Scratch Fever – Ted Nugent – 1977

February 12, 2015

Ted Nugent Cat Scratch Fever 1977Here’s one for my mate Wozza – he was into Ted Nugent when the rest of us were asking, “Who?”  Back in 1977, Wozza purchased a copy of Cat Scratch Fever and dazzled us with its brilliance…

Ted Nugent 1ted nugent fax

  • Way back in 1948, Mr and Mrs Nugent had a little boy.  They named him Theodore Anthony Nugent – we came to know him as Ted.
  • Ted’s first flirtation with fame came playing lead guitar with The Amboy Dukes, although he’d been performing as a guitarist since 1958 – that’s right folks, he was only ten years old.  Over time the band became known as, Ted Nugent and The Amboy Dukes.
  • By the mid-70s, The Amboy Dukes had dissolved and Ted went solo.  He had a number of songs in the US Top 100, but only once made it into the Top 40.  His second highest ranking single was Yank Me, Crank Me which peaked at #58 in 1978.  Three studio albums made it inside the Top 20 on the album charts, as did his double live album, Double Live Gonzo!
  • TEd nugent 3During his heyday, Ted was known for spending long periods so time on the road, sometimes playing up to 300 concerts a year.  Ted is still touring today and, in a 2008 show at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Michigan, played his 6,000th concert.
  • Throughout much of his life Ted has been known for his strong conservative political views – he is a supporter of the Republican Party and an advocate for hunting and gun ownership; he is on the board of the National Rifle Association.

ted trivia

  • Ted Nugent 2On April 5, 1968, Ted joined a group of fellow musicians to pay tribute to Martin Luther King with a folk, rock and blues jam session. The line-up was Ted, Joni Mitchell, Buddy Guy, Cactus, Jimi Hendrix, BB King and Al Kooper.
  • Ted suffers from rock ‘n’ roll induced hearing loss.  He has publically acknowledged the issue but adds,

The ear’s not too good, especially with background noise but that’s a small price to pay. Believe me the journey was worth it.

cat scratch fever fax

  • The album Cat Scratch Fever was released in May 1977 with the title song featuring as the first track.
  • Cat Scratch Fever was written by Ted Nugent, released at the same time as the album, and peaked at #30 on the US singles chart.
  • Ted says the song is about the disease of boys craving girls.
  • In 2009, VH1 placed Cat Scratch Fever at #32 on the list of the top 100 hard rock songs of all time.
  • In 1999, Pantera covered the song for the Detroit Rock City CD soundtrack.  While their version peaked at #40 on the US charts, Ted was less than impressed saying;

It is exceedingly white. No soul, no balls, no feel. Caucasian all the way.

  • Motorhead and Hayseed Dixies have also released covers.
  • Cat Scratch Fever has appeared on The Simpsons (like so many other 70s songs), and the Detroit Tigers baseball team (Ted’s home team) have been known to play the song at the beginning of home games.
  • Cat Scratch Fever lyrics.

cat scratch fever – ted nugent – 1977 – video

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Jack Bruce 1943 – 2014

October 26, 2014

Jack Bruce

14 May 1943 – 25 October 2014

Jack Bruce 1Iconic bass player Jack Bruce has died.

Since the 1960s, Jack has been a malent his musical talents to bands such as, Cream, Blues Incorporated, the Graham Bond Organization, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Manfred Mann, West, Bruce & Laing, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, Kip Hanrahan, BBM, Gary Moore, and Rocket 88.

Legendary supergroup Cream, which also included Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker, are now considered one of the most important bands in rock history.

Jack Bruce 2They sold 35 million albums in just over two years and were given the first ever platinum disc for Wheels of Fire.

Read the BBC’s report of Jack Bruce’s death here.

Sunshine of Your Love – Cream – Video

I Was Made For Lovin’ You – KISS – 1979

October 17, 2013

KISS - I was made for loving youPainted faces, flamboyant concerts, still going strong today; KISS’s, I Was Made For Lovin’ You hit the airwaves in 1979.

there’s only one kiss

Grease paint, flamboyant costumes, spitting blood, flaming guitars, and that tongue! We all know KISS, one of the most prolific bands of the last 40 years.

KISS began life in 1971 under the name, Wicked Lester. By 1973, they had a new name and the line-up that has remained largely unchanged to this very day.

Then came the makeup and costumes. They took on the personas of comic book-style characters: Starchild (Stanley), The Demon (Simmons), Spaceman or Space Ace (Frehley) and Catman (Criss).

the name

The name KISS came about because Ace Frehley had previously been in a band named, Lips. It seemed a natural name progression. Ace came up with the styalised KISS logo with the S’s looking like lightning bolts.

In Germany, however, it looked a little too much like the SS symbol which is banned. Hence, over there, the name is written with the S’s backwards.

gold record but still no #1’s

I Was Made For Lovin’ You was Kiss’s second gold record, the first being Beth. In all, the band produced 20 studio albums, 10 live albums, 13 compilation albums, 58 singles and 15 video albums – they are one of the highest selling artists of all time, but they have never achieved a #1 single in the US. Their highest chart listing is #7; Beth in 1976.

i was made for loving you baby fax

  • I Was Made for Lovin’ You, was released as a single on May 20, 1979 from the band’s album Dynasty.
  • I Was Made for Lovin’ You was KISS’s second gold single and certified gold in the US on August 16, 1979, and in Canada on August 1, 1979.
  • The song was written by professional songwriters, Desmond Child and Vini Poncia, and KISS guitarist, Paul Stanley. Desmond Child said of I Was Make For Lovin’ You,

Paul wanted to write a good disco song and I decided to help him with that. Paul started to write lyrics and chords then I played the song on the guitar and said “OK, we’ll do something to improve this and make it really a good song.

  • Paul Stanley said,

It was a conscious effort on my part to prove how easy it was to write and record a hit disco song.

  • Over 20 bands have produced cover versions of I Was Made For Lovin’ You. Jack Black covered the song as, I Was Made For Sliming You at the 2008 Kids Choice Awards, and some claim the central riff of the song was borrowed by Bruce Springsteen for his song Outlaw Pete, from his 2009 album Working On A Dream.
  • I Was Made For Lovin’ You lyrics.

i was made for lovin’ you – kiss – 1979 – video

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American Woman – The Guess Who – 1970

August 29, 2013

The Guess Who - American Woman - 1970Not about women at all! Back in 1970 when The Guess Who released their hit, American Woman, they copped a fair bit of criticism about it being more than a little chauvinistic – but it’s not about women from America at all…

The Guess who 1discovering live music

The very first live album I purchased was back in 1972 – Live at the Paramont by The Guess Who. I reckon I must have almost worn that piece of vinyl out. It was a great album with the Burton Cummings piano-based, Albert Flasher, and the harmonica of Runnin’ Back to Saskatoon, but the highlight was the B-side’s 16+ minute version of American Woman.

from canada with love

The Guess Who began as The Reflections and evolved to The Guess Who? dropping the “?” in 1968. They had a number of hit records but none came close to the success of American Woman.

As a band they suffered a fair amount of inner turmoil and personnel changes. Through it all, the driving forces in the band were the talents of Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman. Even this relationship was stretched to breaking point, however, when Randy converted to Mormonism back in the early 70s sometime.

Eventually, Randy left to form Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

The band split in 1975, reunited in 1977, and is still touring today.

double success for randy

The Guess Who was inducted into The Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1987. Bachman-Turner Overdrive received the same honour in 2003.

guess who trivia

The Guess who were asked by Richard Nixon to play at the Whitehouse. Mrs Nixon contacted the band to ask that they don’t play American Woman because of the anti-American lyrics.

american woman fax

  • American Woman was recorded on August 13, 1969 and released in January 1970 on the album, American Woman.
  • American Woman was written by The Guess Who band members Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings, Garry Peterson and Jim Kale.
  • American Woman began as a live jam at a concert. The band were improvising, Burton made up some lyrics, a kid recorded it, everyone liked it… the band asked the kid for the tape and hit the studio to record the song, virtually exactly as it was improvised a few days before.
  • American Woman hit #1 on the US singles chart.
  • Here’s what co-writer Jim Kale had to say about American Woman;

The popular misconception was that it was a chauvinistic tune, which was anything but the case. The fact was, we came from a very strait-laced, conservative, laid-back country, and all of a sudden, there we were in Chicago, Detroit, New York – all these horrendously large places with their big city problems. After that one particularly grinding tour, it was just a real treat to go home and see the girls we had grown up with. Also, the war was going on, and that was terribly unpopular. We didn’t have a draft system in Canada, and we were grateful for that. A lot of people called it anti-American, but it wasn’t really. We weren’t anti-anything. John Lennon once said that the meanings of all songs come after they are recorded. Someone else has to interpret them.

  • American Woman has been covered by, Led Zeppelin, and Lenny Krazitz. Lenny covered it for the movie, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. While it only made it to #49 on the singles chart, it did win a Grammy – Best Male Rock Performance – in 2000.
  • American Woman lyrics.

american woman – the guess who – 1970 – full version video

american woman – the guess who – 1970 – live video

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