Jazz-rock legacy of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, John McLaughlin (age 75 at the time of this blog post) is retiring from touring.
Many of us musicians have known John as an esoteric monster on the strings. His departure from mainstream songs to introspective nuance has been instrumental (no pun intended) in providing for insightful creative considerations of arpeggiated themes in playing styles.
The article below mentions some fun highlights of McLaughlin’s final performance in Los Angeles at UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance at Royce Hall in December 2017.
Just finished talking with a tavern owner and supporter of live and live open mics… as a matter of fact if it wasn’t for this venue owner, musicians of this particular local town would need to drive another hour to reach another open mic scene.
Bottom line and a wake up call for us musicians and an insight that marketers have known for many decades… “You do not know what patrons want until you ask them what they want, and then support them with what ‘they’ want!”
Meaning… Don’t think that the venue patrons are attending just to hear your amps cranked, pointing at their ears loud enough to make their conversations turn into a shouting match.
This owner opened up to me ‘big time’! She goes… “Look, I’m happy to open my establishment up to open mic musicians (and of course pay the house band for its backline) for sure, but, when I see over 50% of my potential buyers of food and drink turn immediately around and leave because they can’t hear themselves think, let alone try to talk over the jammers that are trying to prove how bitch-en they are on stage then, unless they come up with a way to turn it down’ or maybe turn their amps toward themselves and ‘not forward’ and stop thinking they are the center of attention, well maybe it’s time to just shut er’ down!”
side bar: Musicians don’t buy enough drinks or food on their own to pay for the doors to be open.
So the question gets turned on its ear… ?- Maybe some new reasoning needs to be created, busting down the old paradigm. Maybe the new is… ‘listen to the patrons’ and stop trying to be the main attraction and become background to their ‘wants’ (and play as your own gig)!… Unless of course, you ‘are’ the center of attention as a big touring act and they’re paying you the big bucks to see you play… and (sorry) that ain’t a cover band btw!
The old saying… “we ain’t done it that way before” needs to be ‘busted’!
It’s a tough one for us prima-donna musicians, thinking we’re the center of attention.
Let’s find some new ways to jam but make the jam to and within ourselves and let the natural bleed of the freqs hit the audience so that they can both, enjoy their conversations during the music and appreciate our delivery.
Now, we all know that the basic 1, 4, 5 note structures (with maybe an additional transition note/chord) can create a complete song… However, when you toss in randomness of notes it might take a little more time to complete the composition.
This video shows a keyboard prodigy that just might blow your mind!
You’ll soon discover how this gifted musician takes four randomly selected notes and compiles a complete symphony beyond what you’d expect on the piano… Very impressive and inspiring.
(Video credit to CBS News 60 Minutes)
“It takes Alma Deutscher just four notes and forty seconds to improvise an impressive short piano sonata right before 60 Minutes cameras. That alone is remarkable — but she’s also just 12 years old…
“While interviewing Alma at her piano, Pelley draws from a hat four cards with musical notes on them: B, A, E flat, G. She announces the four notes’ solfège names and considers them silently. Pelley waits, and the cameras roll.
As a musician you no doubt had a least one Tom Petty album in your library of classic references to straight ahead rock. Unfortunately Tom passed away in Oct of this (2017) year at the very young age of 66. It was a heart attack.
Petty had a way of taking what appeared to be soft folk songs of his own and placing some power behind them to create a unique rock ambience. He just had a way of keeping rock n’ roll alive within its original roots.
He’ll be missed… play a few tribute songs at your next gig… for Tom!
As quoted from Rolling Stone (credit – online magz.)… “In the late 1970s, Petty’s romanticized tales of rebels, outcasts and refugees started climbing the pop charts. When he sang, his voice was filled with a heartfelt drama that perfectly complemented the Heartbreakers’ ragged rock & roll. Songs like “The Waiting,” “You Got Lucky,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “Learning to Fly” and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”
“Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, which came out in 1976. It failed to make an impact at the time – the album’s lead single “Breakdown” didn’t even chart – but they picked up heat after touring England as support for future E Street Band member Nils Lofgren. They soon became headliners on the tour, with the album topping the U.K. chart. ”
This article is a great example of how being a musician is a wonderful reason for getting up in the morning.
Now we all know that eating right and getting a decent amount of exercise can extend our lives, yet, being a musician seems to be another contributing factor of life extension. (albeit, that’s if you don’t get hooked on the alchy and drug spin).
Steve Hideg is a good example of not only extending ones life being a musician, he does so living of the very edge of pure poverty. Now, we understand the poverty scene being a musician, yet, here’s a great example of enhancing ones spiritual drive with music. And to do it in such a classy way!
Jam On! -Ron
(credit given: By Steve lopez | Photography by Francine Orr – via Los Angeles Times)
His rent is roughly $1,000 a month, and his Social Security income is about $900 a month.
“It’s a total miracle how he exists,” says one friend.
The secret is disciplined austerity, occasional help from buddies, and a once-weekly job as a jazz drummer — a job that feeds Hideg’s soul.
Hideg studied the moves of drummers Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa, got a job in an electronics factory and joined all three of the company bands. He later became a full-time musician and worked with a circus band for a while, but the songbook wasn’t to his liking and the government deemed Western music the enemy of the people…
“I Can’t Stop Laughing! As of right now, Conan O’Brien is one of the most popular late night talk show hosts in television. It’s almost always guaranteed that when a segment from Conan’s show gets uploaded on youtube that it’ll go viral within minutes. Sure, that’s the case for almost all late night talk show …” Continue reading
According to Gregg Allman’s website… “Allman was born December 8th, 1947 in Nashville, TN, a little more than a year after his older brother Duane. Raised by single mom Geraldine, the family moved to Daytona Beach in 1959, though the brothers would spend considerable time back in Nashville.
Music City (Nashville) was an inspiration to Allman… He attended his first concert – starring Jackie Wilson, Otis Redding, B.B. King, and Patti LaBelle – and with the guidance of a neighbor named Jimmy Banes, fell in thrall to the power of a guitar. Nashville’s pull continued long after the family moved, with the brothers both hooked on local radio station WLAC’s legendary late night R&B broadcasts.”
Many of us have played numerous Allman Brother songs at band practice and on stage… Gregg’s talent with his vocals, the keys and guitar have provided tunes that have inspired many musicians and fans!… RIP Gregg!
“Gregg struggled with many health issues over the past several years. During that time, Gregg considered being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans, essential medicine for his soul. Playing music lifted him up and kept him going during the toughest of times.”
According to wikipedia… Cornell was known for his role as one of the architects of the 1990s grunge movement, for his extensive catalog as a songwriter and for his near four octave vocal range] as well as his powerful vocal belting technique.
Chris released four solo studio albums, Euphoria Morning (1999), Carry On (2007), Scream (2009), Higher Truth (2015) and the live album Songbook (2011). Cornell received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his song “The Keeper” which appeared in the film Machine Gun Preacher and co-wrote and performed the theme song to the James Bond film Casino Royale (2006), “You Know My Name”.
He was voted “Rock’s Greatest Singer” by readers of Guitar World, ranked 4th in the list of “Heavy Metal’s All-Time Top 100 Vocalists” by Hit Parader, 9th in the list of “Best Lead Singers of All Time” by Rolling Stone, and 12th in MTV’s “22 Greatest Voices in Music”.
The singer had played a show with Soundgarden, who were midway through their tour, when shortly after Chris Cornell was found dead on his MGM hotel by an apparent hanging.
“Born Christopher John Boyle in Seattle on July 20th, 1964, Cornell – who took his mother’s maiden name after his parents divorced – was the son of a pharmacist father and accountant mother in Seattle. He had two brothers and three sisters and jokingly likened his family to The Brady Bunch in interviews. Cornell eventually carved a path for himself after taking piano and guitar lessons before finding his way to the drum kit, which he played in an early incarnation of Soundgarden.”
Wikipedia mentions that In 1960, Russell Solomon opened the first Tower Records store on Watt Avenue, in Sacramento, California. He named it for his father’s drugstore, which shared a building and name with the Tower Theater, where Solomon first started selling records.
By 1976, Solomon had opened Tower Books, Posters, and Plants at 1600 Broadway, next door to Tower Records. In 1995, Tower.com opened, making the enterprise one of the first retailers to move online.
You probably remember your first encounter with a brick and mortar record store… heck even if it weren’t selling vinyl and only CDs, you no doubt can still flash back to the earliest of days that you experienced the ambiance of music in an actual walk in store…. Russell Solomon and Tower encouraged that experience.
We now see that vinyl is back, but a touch to late to save the iconic Tower Records from moving on into the music history books.