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For those who only know of the power and popularity of Led Zeppelin of it’s latter days, let me take you back to before the very first album hit the stands.

Jimmy Page was one of the “three”, the triumvirate of rock guitarist gods who moseyed through a British band of some renown named THE YARDBIRDS. This band, legend states took their name from Charlie YARDBIRD Parker, was somewhat known in the USA, but much more popular in their homeland of Great Britain. Without giving the long history of the Yardbirds let say they got residency at CRAWDADDY when the spot was vacated by THE ROLLING STONES, a band on the move. Eric Clapton was the YARDBIRDS guitarist who as time moved on, after hit followed by another hit, became uncomfortable with the band veering far away from it’s blues roots by heading into a pop direction. Clapton leaves and suggest Jimmy Page take his spot. Page, who was the “go to studio guitarist” at the time, didn’t want to vacate that profitable role, so PAGE suggested JEFF BECK who took the gig.

With BECK’s influence the YARDBIRDS moved toward a psychedelic route with fuzz tones, feedback, and overall guitar virtuosity. By 1966 JEFF BECK was voted Melody Maker’s GUITARIST OF THE YEAR.When the bass player drops out of the band  JIMMY PAGE steps in that role for a spell. When a new bassist is recruited PAGE stays on playing guitar which offers a BECK/PAGE dual guitar attack approach. Beck gets sick, misses a few gigs, ultimately leaves the band to Page.With the lead singer Keith Relf’s alcoholism and the band not having any more hits, as well as with the rise of bands like CREAM and JIMI HENDRIX, soon the Yardbirds disappeared, leaving Jimmy Page with the name. To fulfill  some contractual commitments ,with a new manager PETER GRANT on board, the band hits the road as THE NEW YARDBIRDS.

Page had recruited TERRY REID as vocalist but he, with a new MICKIE MOST contract, could not leave. Reid suggested a friend, ROBERT PLANT who brought along his drummer friend JOHN BONHAM . Page called his studio buddy JOHN PAUL JONES for bass and keyboards and after a short tour of Scandinavia, the NEW YARDBIRDS hit the studio to record what would become LED ZEPPELIN’s debut.

The album is released January 12,1969 and some of the tunes hit the New York FM airwaves after the band’s now legendary performance as the opening act for IRON BUTTERFLY at FILLMORE EAST January 31 and February 1, 1969, this being Led Zeppelin’s first US tour.Legend has it, but I have not verified it, that after LED ZEPPELIN played their set the boys in Butterfly decided to just do one song, their hit IN A GADDA DA VIDA, an FM staple  at the time. The crowd cheered for more Led Zep so the British foursome hit the stage again to close out the night.

That leads me to May 30, 1969. A Friday holiday weekend night with me at FILLMORE EAST with a five dollar ticket awaiting to see LED ZEPPELIN in their first FILLMORE EAST headlining show. The underbill was WOODY HERMAN and His THUNDERING HERD, and DELANEY BONNIE AND FRIENDS. Too cool. The Friday early show which according to some who attended the other three shows, the set list I saw was a shortened one but impressive nonetheless.

From the opening howl of I CAN’T QUIT YOU, through the violin bow smacking strings on DAZED AND CONFUSED, acoustic WHITE SUMMER/BLACK MOUNTAIN SIDE, followed by BABE,I’M GONNA LEAVE YOU, YOU SHOOK ME, and the closer HOW MANY MORE TIMES, Led Zeppelin owned this audience. The encore was short, yet loud, COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN. The performance bar was now set for this 17 year old youngster on his musical journey.



GREGG ALLMAN (1947-2017)


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My journey as a fan of the Allman Brothers Band began on a cold March night in 1971. Awaiting the arrival of a friend I stood among a throng of people on the corner of Second Avenue and Sixth Street. In my pocket I was holding two tickets for the Johnny Winter late show at Fillmore East. It was a few minutes before eight, and my friend was late as we were to have met an hour ago to get a bite to eat. As the early show ticker holders slowly moved into the theatre, a guy whom I never saw before walked over to me and asked if I wanted his spare ticket for the early show. With my friend nowhere in sight, and it being extremely cold, I pocketed the ticket, but remained outside in hopes of seeing my friend show up.

At 8:30, now extremely cold, and with no crowd left outside, I entered the building. Ticket torn in half by the usher, and with program in my hand I walked to the upper balcony where I would sit. The opening act, The Elvin Bishop Group, was ending and the intermission began.

Walls of amplifiers, a Hammond B-3 organ and TWO sets of drums were taking their place on the stage. While a black and white cartoon played over the big screen located directly behind the equipment, I could hear the sounds of guitars tuning up. The house lights still dimmed and with the cartoon now over, a single spotlight hit the stage and a simple announcement was made, “Ladies and gentlemen, The Allman Brothers Band”. Not the headliners for that night but after playing for a bit over an hour, you could have fooled me.These guys were good.

After the first show ended, I finally met up with my friend. It was about 11:15 p.m. and he was a bit angry that I had taking the opportunity to see the first show leaving him alone and out in the cold. After he calmed down, we went to get something to eat. Sitting in the pizza shop across the street I told him about this incredible band I just saw. While at first he did not believe me as he was there to see the headliner Johnny Winter,  he changed his allegiance by 6:30 a.m. when we left the late show.

The late show started very late at about midnight. The first act ELVIN BISHOP GROUP  had to cut their sey short due to a bomb scare. The entire audience had to vacate the venue and then reenter a bit later. By 2 a.m. we were back in our seats entertained by a very short set from Johnny Winter. I was confused. I thought, due to the time and the scare, the “Brothers” would be cancelled. Thankfully I was wrong.

Same cartoon as the early show intermission, same equipment being set up, and then “thanks for waiting, we will make it up to those still here”. It was a different voice. No spotlight, and now a “1, 2, 3…” Statesboro Blues. The sun up when we left the theatre, with two ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND shows under my belt, knowing there would be more to come.

Here I am 46 years later, now with 47 ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND shows under my belt, and I hear the news that BROTHER GREGG ALLMAN passed away today. As my wife said, “You knew it was coming, he was very sick”. Yes, I knew but I was not ready, not ready to never hearing the live version of his bluesy vocals. Not ready to never see him behind a Hammond B-3, not ready to end the run. As he sang so many nights  “the road goes on forever”…but not tonight.

Rest in Peace, my Brother, thanks for all the great nights I watched you grace the stages.Thanks for all the wonderful music.Just….THANKS.

All prayers and thoughts go out to your family and friends at this time.



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It is such sad news that SIR ROGER MOORE passed away yesterday, May 23, 2017. While personally I find the original James Bond films with Sean Connery more to my liking and the James Bond of today more suspenseful than the Moore films, it appears that I am in the minority as Mr. Moore was voted “BEST BOND” in an Academy Awards poll, and in 2008 still had 62% of the votes.  My thanks to Sir Roger for keeping the franchise thriving.

Sir Roger, knighted by QUEEN ELIZABETH in 2003, played Bond seven times, starting with LIVE AND LET DIE in 1973 after Connery left the role. Sir Roger continued in the role with THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN (1974), THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977), MOONRAKER (1979), FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (1981), OCTOPUSSY (1983) and A VIEW TO A KILL (1985) when at 58 years of age Sir Roger announced his retirement from the role.

Now, what does this have to do with music one might ask? BOND has everything to do with music. After Shirley Bassey’s incredible version of GOLDFINGER which soared up the charts in 1964, most artists begged for a shot at “the title”. And here they are for better or worse, in chronological order as to see who was popular at the time. Interesting to note Shirley Bassey returned for a grand total of 3 and Chris Cornell passed away a few days before Sir Roger.

1962: DR.NO The James Bond Theme by The John Barry Orchestra

1963: FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE: From Russia With Love by Matt Monro

1964: GOLDFINGER: Goldfinger by Shirley Bassey

1965: THUNDERBALL:Thunderball by Tom Jones

1967: YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE: You Only Live Twice-Nancy Sinatra

1967:CASINO ROYALE:Casino Royale-Herb Albert and The Tijuana Brass

1969:ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE: We Have All The Time IN The World-Louis Armstrong

1972: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER:Diamonds Are Forever- Shirley Bassey

1973:LIVE AND LET DIE: Live And Let Die-Paul McCartney and Wings

1974:THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN: The Man With The Golden Gun:Lulu

1977:THE SPY WHO LOVED ME: Nobody Does It Better-Carly Simon

1979:MOONRAKER:Moonraker-Shirley Bassey

1981:FOR YOUR EYES ONLY-For Your Eyes Only-Sheena Easton

1983:OCTOPUSSY: All Time High-Rita Coolidge

1983:NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Never Say Never Again-Lani Hall

1985:A VIEW TO A KILL: A View To A Kill-Duran Duran

1987:THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS: The Living Daylights-a-ha

1989:LICENSE TO KILL: License To Kill-Gladys Knight

1995:GOLDEN EYE: Golden Eye-Tina Turner

1997:TOMORROW NEVER DIES:Tomorrow Never Dies-Sheryl Crow

1999:THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH:The World Is Not Enough-Garbage

2002:DIE ANOTHER DAY:Die Another Day-Madonna

2006:CASINO ROYALE:You Know My Name-Chris Cornell

2008:QUANTUM OF SOLACE: Another Way To Die-Jack White & Alicia Keys


2015:SPECTRE:The Writing’s On The Wall-Sam Smith



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During a Q and A session directly after CHASING TRANE, a superb documentary on the life and times of JOHN COLTRANE, one of the audience members asked the film maker where did some of the graphics used in the movie, and especially the poster for the movie, come from. The answer was direct and simple: “From a  children’s book, SPIRIT SEEKER ,written by a wonderful author Gary Golio who utilized the amazing art work of a guy out of New Jersey named RUDY GUTIERREZ”.

The very next day I searched for the book and lo and behold found it available on line. BINGO, I ordered two. The package arrived today and I can honestly say this purchase of two is well worth the money spent. The story chronicles the life of Coltrane from his humble, religious upbringing, through the deaths of his father and grandfather, to the time where he first picked up and instrument, and ultimately the musical leaps that occurred throughout his short career. The reason for two books ordered…THE PERFECT GIFT.

Mr. Gutierrez’s artwork is as stated “amazing” and somewhat breathtaking. I’m looking forward to sitting down with my grandchildren, putting on COLTRANE’S GIANT STEPS, and reading to them THE MUSICAL JOURNEY of JOHN COLTRANE.


What a wonderful evening it was. My bride accompanied me first to a nice dinner and then a short car ride to the CINEMA ARTS CENTER in Huntington ,New York  to view greatness, the superb documentary CHASING TRANE. We arrived a bit early as I knew the theater was SOLD OUT. Fortunately , when we arrived, the line was short and the crowd was being seated. Many seats were reserved for “dignitaries” AKA The Board of Trustees for THE COLTRANE HOME, and a few musicians.

To my surprise I was across the aisle from one of my favorite drummers, 92 years young Mr. ROY HAYNES.Seated directly behind him was bassist REGGIE WORKMAN. This was going to be a evening of memories which will last a lifetime for me.

After a lengthy, and late starting introduction of purpose, mission (To raise funds for The COLTRANE HOME), etc. etc, the film began. This documentary chronicles the life and times of JOHN COLTRANE and his influence on ALL types of music. In light of the fact that this was a fundraiser for the “saving” of the COLTRANE HOME in Dix Hills, a neighboring town, many paid close attention to the music written in that home by both John (A LOVE SUPREME) and his wife ALICE COLTRANE, a musician in her own rite.

After the film, to huge applause,REGGIE WORKMAN answered a few questions, and a SKYPE call was made to the director of the film, JOHN SCHEINFIELD who also fielded questions and gave insights to the making of the film including a humorous tale as to how DENZEL WASHINGTON was chosen to narrate the film and DENZEL’S response.

Special thanks to the CINEMA ARTS CENTER in Huntington for hosting this worthwhile and educational endeavor.



Dreaming The Beatles

Dreaming The Beatles is my current read. Written by Rob Sheffield, I am amazed at how each new chapter grabs my interest, makes me think back to a time moons ago, and ultimately  has me pulling up the music to verify my feelings about the music. Nice job Rob. Particularly, the juxtaposition of RUBBER SOUL and REVOLVER, which like Rob would be my two favorite collection song, and how the “chaps from Liverpool” developed as artists in the recording studio during that period. Experimentation aside, each Beatle brought a unique mindset to the sessions, and as Sheffield states, “you keep changing, letting your perspective get altered by time and drugs….and IMAGINATION”.#BEATLES,#SHEFFIELD,#RUBBERSOUL,#REVOLVER.



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Survey said: Roe V Wade decision was rendered this week in 1973 and a 2012 survey revealed 38% of U.S. adults couldn’t GUESS what it was !

Breast implant leak causes emergency surgery thereby delaying a bigamy trial???To make it even more bizarre, the trial was for wife of Congressman Alan Grayson.

New York State is one of only TWO states where 16 year-olds are treated as adults under the law. If we raise that minimum to 17 and then 18 as proposed then these felons would be above the law,no?

Governor Cuomo stated, “In the next 45 days we plan to embark on a trade mission with Cuba”, “Let us get opportunities for NY companies”. Hmmmm, casino.

Economics 101: Motley Crue and Alice Cooper at the New York Stock Exchange closing bell.

Cuomo invited 300 public school kids to his bashing of public education. What a bully he is.

NY Jets new GM calls his position a dream job. Just remember some dreams are nightmares.




JUST ELVIS and a few cohorts:

Undeniably, ELVIS PRESLEY served as a catalyst in the evolution of a genre that became known as” rock and roll”. We are also well aware of his significance to what is termed “popular music”. Born in Tupelo, Mississippi (1935), ELVIS at age 13 moved to Memphis, Tennessee, with his mother and father,where he started his musical journey. Today, as his original recordings  are studied,one finds it extremely difficult to label or categorize said recordings, as ELVIS  sampled and mixed genres from a huge musical palette including  gospel, hillbilly, and virtually anything and everything available to his ears.

Today, we will “tune” in to some of Elvis’ charting cohorts.

This true original was overweight, over thirty and not overly impressive on stage yet some musicologists claim he possesses the FIRST #1 Rock n Roll hit. He is A) BUDDY HOLLY  B)BILL HALEY  C)BIG JOE TURNER  D)JERRY LEE LEWIS .

This song heard in the 1955 film BLACKBOARD JUNGLE has conviently been used as the “line of demarcation” between the “rock” era and what had preceded it. This record sold over ONE Million copies in each of The United States, Germany and Britain …This tune was: A) SHAKE RATTLE AND ROLL  B)THAT’S ALL RIGHT  C)ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK  D)HEY JUDE.


One of the true originals, CHUCK BERRY’S tune about a car started as a song entitled “IDA RED”…This tune is more familiar as A)LITTLE DEUCE COUPE  B)MAYBELLINE  C)LIVING IN THE USA  D) CAR 54, WHERE ARE YOU? .0



NAME THAT TUNE: The BIG BOPPER’s hit tune was………..

TRUE or FALSE: Along with JP Richardson AKA THE BIG BOPPER, BUDDY HOLLY and  RICHIE HAVENS also died together in the same plane crash.

This CARL PERKINS tune was the FIRST song to TOP the POP, COUNTRY and RnB charts at the same time. It is: A)HONEY DON”T  B)MATCHBOX  C)BLUE SUEDE SHOES  D)YELLOW SUBMARINE.

As the DJ of the nightly “MOONDOG ROCK nROLL PARTY” this gentleman tried to copyright the term ROCK AND ROLL, he was A)COUSIN BRUCE MORROW  B)MURRAY THE K  C)ALAN FREED  D) B.MITCHELL REED.


The answers, the way I see it: (1)The last single was MY WAY with a b-side of AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL, released a few days AFTER Elvis’ death.

(2) ELVIS had an amazing career with 18 #1 hits; 38 TOP TENS. Musicologists debate this number because one record, the a-side of which was HOUND DOG was #1 for 5 weeks, while it’s B-side was #1 for the next 6 weeks. The B-side was… D) DON’T BE CRUEL

(3) Elvis had a few big hits on SUN RECORDS before RCA purchased his contract. THE KING’s first RCA hit was  B)HEARTBREAK HOTEL .

(4) ELVIS recorded 24 songs during 1953-1955, some were self-financed demos. Of the 24, ten were released as 5 singles(a-sides,b-sides) on the SUN label. Today one of those 45’s or 78’s could fetch thousands of dollars for collectors (especially SUN209 released July 19,1954). The b-side was BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY….The A-side was   B) THAT”S ALL RIGHT.

(5) Sam Phillips sold ELVIS’s contract to RCA for D) $35,000  plus $5000 which he owed ELVIS in royalties.

(6) ELVIS’s harmony group was known as B) The Jordanaires

(7) ELVIS served in the military from 1958 thru 1960. He left with the rank of.. D) SGT.

(8) THE MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET ,of which ELVIS was affiliated, got together at SUN Studios on December 4,1956.This quartet consisted of Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and.. B)JERRY LEE LEWIS.

(9) and (10) and BONUS:

This TRAVELIN’MAN outsold everybody during the 1950’s except ELVIS and PAT BOONE. He usually performed at the end of the hit TV show, OZZIE AND HARRIET, his name was Rick/Ricky Nelson and HIS BROTHER  was Dave/David.

Hope all is well….”tomorrow is another day”.



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In Tune And In Time…

The career of Elvis Presley is a well documented one. From humble beginnings as a child in Tupelo,Mississippi to the pinnacle of popular music, followed by a slow decent in the charts,to a very dramatic “come back” and ultimately his untimely death at an early age of 42, Elvis was and still is an iconic figure whom many considered THE KING. Yet, How well do you know or remember his career?

Here we go with what I call…. JUST ELVIS:

(1)The last ELVIS single,released a few days after his death, was: A)MY WAY   B)HIT THE ROAD JACK    C) GOD IS GOOD    D) THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET.

(2) ELVIS had an amazing recording career with 38 TOP TENS, eighteen #1 hits. Yet Musicologists debate this number because one record, the a-side of which was HOUND DOG was #1 for 5 weeks, while it’s B-side was #1 for the next 6 weeks. The B-side was…A)BLUE MOON B) HEARTBREAK HOTEL C) BLUE SUEDE SHOES D) DON’T BE CRUEL

(3) Elvis had a few big hits on SUN RECORDS before RCA purchased his contract. THE KING’s first RCA hit was A) HOUND DOG B)HEARTBREAK HOTEL C)LOVE ME TENDER D)BLUE MOON .

(4) ELVIS recorded 24 songs during 1953-1955, some were self-financed demos. Of the 24, ten were released as 5 singles(a-sides,b-sides) on the SUN label. Today one of those 45’s or 78’s could fetch thousands of dollars for collectors (especially SUN209 released July 19,1954). The b-side was BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY….The A-side was  A) Hound Dog B) THAT”S ALL RIGHT  C) LOVE ME TENDER  D)BLUE SUEDE SHOES .

(5) Sam Phillips sold ELVIS’s contract to RCA for a significant amount of money according to the time, plus $5000 which he owed ELVIS in royalties. That amount of sale was A)$ 1,000,000   B)$5,000,000  C) $100,000  D) $35,000

(6) ELVIS’s harmony group was known as  A)The Beale Street Boys B) The Jordanaires C) The Memphis Mafia D) The Chiffons

(7) ELVIS served in the military from 1958 thru 1960. He left with the rank of…..A)Colonel B) PRIVATE C)CORPORAL D) SGT.

(8) THE MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET ,of which ELVIS was affiliated, got together at SUN Studios on December 4,1956.This quartet consisted of Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and…. A) CHUCK BERRY  B)JERRY LEE LEWIS  C)FATS DOMINO  D)WILLIE NELSON .

(9) and (10) and BONUS:

This TRAVELIN’MAN outsold everybody during the 1950’s except ELVIS and PAT BOONE. He usually performed at the end of the hit TV show, NAME THE SHOW …. NAME THE ARTIST… and NAME HIS BROTHER …..

The previous query: Finish this:

In his 1960 hit  Brian Hyland mentioned an ITSY BITSY TEENIE WEENIE……(Yellow Polka Dot Bikini). Ooh La La…..

Gary Lewis and the Playboys sung…..Everybody loves a clown…(but why don’t you).

FYI: This first TOP TEN hit for Gary Lewis and The Playboys was actually recorded by the legendary Wrecking Crew with heavily overdubbed vocals added to the very weak vocals by Gary Lewis; and of course  The Playboys were nowhere near the record(s). Actually arranged by Leon Russell, this hit was written by Bob Brass, Irwin Levine, and another famous musician who also provided the organ parts for Bob Dylan’s LIKE A ROLLING STONE, AL KOOPER.

To Jim Morrison….People are strange when you are lonely, faces look ugly (when you’re alone).

Sir Paul once stated…..She was just seventeen…(you know what I mean)

If you need a little lovin’, call on me, and  If you want a little hugging, call on me….Finish the phone number…..634-5……….(789).

In THUNDER ROAD Bruce Springsteen tells us…….Like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays Roy Orbison’s singing..(.For The Lonely).

The Easy Beats FRIDAY ON MY MIND………Monday morning feels so bad, everybody seems to nag me,Coming  Tuesday I feel better even…(my old man looks good.

Chuck Berry’s SWEET LITTLE SIXTEEN has us…..Really rockin’ on Bandstand, Philadelphia P.A,deep in the heart of Texas…(round Frisco Bay).

Hi everybody ,I’m Archie Bell and The Drells of Houston Texas, and we don’t only sing, we dance just…(as good as we walk)

The ROLLING STONES……Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of……..(Wealth and taste).

BONUS ROUND: The Shangri La’s had a hit June of 64 with THE LEADER OF THE PACK. What was The Leader’s name? (JIMMY)………..

Who did the girls question about “really going out with him?”…(.Betty, Is That Jimmy’s ring you are wearing?)…..

and ” by the way where did she meet him?…(.at the candy store).

Hope all is well….”tomorrow is another day”.