Posted by: DigitalPlato | February 3, 2013

Top Books Written by Famous Musicians

Jimmy Buffett should be on this list

Feeding Frenzy: Jimmy Buffett Live!

Feeding Frenzy: Jimmy Buffett Live! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘Now and then, an artist of particularly notability will make a transition in their field, jumping from one art form to another. Though this is relatively rare, it is getting less so- and whether it be painters trying their hand at music or a ballet dancer venturing into the world of sculpture, crossovers of this kind can produce some pretty unexpected results. Here’s a look at some musicians who have created widely celebrated works of literature…’

December 30 really rocked for me. More precisely, rocked me. I discovered 3 things all at once. First, the importance of getting out to the real world and meeting real people (again). I still didn’t want to attend our family reunion but I realized that one of us might suddenly return to the spirit world. Too many of my loved ones departed with me not meeting them for a long time and it had become too painful — and worse, burdensome to conscience. I never want that to happen again.

I also discovered today that I could still jam good with professional musicians even though I haven’t played the guitar for 9 really long years. It was really a rush feeling alive again!

The third discovery is still a big mystery to me. I discovered that another dear friend, Rene Rivas, has departed — my first social network friend to die. He had been posting digital evidence on Facebook that a friend had returned to our Philippines — and then the family of that friend proved that he’s still abroad. I wondered later how my mind coped with all these sudden discoveries. Info overload. Wow. Special THANKS to my cousins Agnette, Cyrus, and Dod.

Posted by: DigitalPlato | September 5, 2011

Goodbye to The ‘Last Great Delta Bluesman’

David "Honeyboy" Edwards

Image via Wikipedia

David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards was last living link to birth of the blues

‘David Honeyboy Edwards , believed to have been the oldest surviving member of the first generation of Delta blues singers, died on Monday at his home in Chicago. He was 96.

‘His death was announced by his manager, Michael Frank.
‘Mr. Edwards’s career spanned nearly the entire recorded history of the blues, from its early years in the Mississippi Delta to its migration to the nightclubs of Chicago and its emergence as an international phenomenon.

‘Over eight decades Mr. Edwards knew or played with virtually every major figure who worked in the idiom, including Charley Patton, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. He was probably best known, though, as the last living link to Robert Johnson, widely hailed as the King of the Delta Blues. The two traveled together, performing on street corners and at picnics, dances and fish fries during the 1930s…’

Posted by: DigitalPlato | September 27, 2010

Music Legends Who Never Made the Top 40

Would you believe that Bob Marley and The Ramones never made it!?

Bob Marley.

Closest: “Iron Lion Zion”, #11 on alternative chart in 1992

I had to quintuple-check this because I just couldn’t believe it. But it’s true. While every single college kid ever had bought (pre-1998) or downloaded (post-1998) the album “Legend”… and many have had a terrible ill-advised “white poser rasta phase” in the wake of said acquisition… not a single one of the iconic songs from that album ever cracked the overall top 40. Not even the top 100.

In a weird twist, Ziggy Marley actually has had a top 40 song, with “Tomorrow People”. Which, with all due respect to Ziggy, is like the American people passed over prime rib for the weird brother of prime rib.

(Remember that Marley wrote political songs)


Closest: “Express Yourself”, #2 on rap chart in 1989

Sure, they changed the rap genre forever… but that wasn’t good enough to make Whitey play their music on the radio. (The top 40 takes into account sales and airplay.) They never even came close. Still, they were more successful than the other NWA — Northwest Airlines. That NWA has never been on the top of ANY list.


Closest: “Free”, #11 on mainstream rock chart in 1996

Zero hits, at least $175 million in concert revenue in the past 20 years. This is about the point where the Phish people start writing furious e-mails about how the band has never been in it for the money. I don’t have any beef with Phish but I’ve anecdotally found that saying anything even a little sideways about them gets you chastised. For a band that’s ostensibly a hippie throwback their fans are quite un-mellow.

Do it.

Judas Priest.

Closest: “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'”, #67 in 1982

I guess it’s good that their subliminal messages never reached a top 40 audience. We’d ALL be Satan worshiping long hairs right now, right?


Closest: “Doin’ Time”, #87 in 1997

Granted, they only got out three albums before Brad Nowell overdosed on heroin. “What I Got”, “Santeria” and “Wrong Way” all made the modern rock chart but none of them cracked the main top 100.

I found this one particularly surprising because I felt like Sublime was everywhere when I was in college. Not just being played by the stoner kids or on college radio. (If aliens ever tried to judge the popularity of music based on intercepting college radio, they’d think the top songs in the country all feature a sitar.) I think ultimately it comes down to my friend Nathan having blasted Sublime for all four years of college. It’s the same reason I feel like everyone should be able to quote “Baseketball”.

The Ramones.

Closest: “Rockaway Beach”, #66 in 1977

Having top 40 singles wasn’t very punk rock. In fact, it might have been the opposite of punk rock. It would’ve been like putting a safety pin in your clothes to fasten them, not just for the sake of having a safety pin in your clothes. So gauche.

Also, I always liked how they all took the last name “Ramone” even though none of them actually had the last name Ramone. It reminds me of all the Dudleys in wrestling. Or (gulp) the Cullens.

Marilyn Manson.

Closest: “The Dope Show”, #122 in 1998

Even with all of the media hype — and if you’re too young to remember it, in the ’90s, every time any kid ever did anything wrong, Marilyn Manson got the blame — he never stuck a song in the top 40 or top 100. He was far more commercially recognized in the U.K., where he had 12 top 40 hits.

And by “he” I mean “they” — I somehow never realized that Marilyn Manson was both the (stage) name of the singer and of the band. Kind of like Bon Jovi, or Daughtry, or a really warped version of The Archies.

Wu-Tang Clan.

Closest: “C.R.E.A.M.”, #60 in 1994

Yet in spite of that, they still ain’t nothin’ to fuck with.

Miles Davis.

Closest: “The Doo Bop Song”, #13 on R&B/Hip-Hop chart in 1992

It’s kind of amazing how this list contains some of the most influential artists in reggae, rap, punk rock, metal, jam, androgynous angry suburban rock and now jazz. In fact, many of the artists on this list are Rock and Roll Hall of Famers. Which, coincidentally, is not even close to one of the most influential halls of fame.

Indigo Girls.

Closest: “Closer To Fine”, #52 in 1989

I once heard an interview where they said the most common thing the two Indigo Girls get asked is if they’ve had a lesbian relationship with each other. Their standard answer is “no, we’d kill each other.” If I were in their shoes, armed with my love of puns, I’d tell the interviewers, “No, things between us would never be harmonious.” Don’t tell ME Rosie O’Donnell has the market cornered on pun-spouting lesbians.

Josh Groban.

Closest: “You Raise Me Up”, #73 in 2003

I thought a legion of obsessed middle aged women would be worth at least one hit song. I mean, they’ve added at least 30 years to Tom Jones’s life, it’s clear they have SOME kind of magical power.

Honorable mention: Harry Connick Jr., The Smiths, Death Cab For Cutie, Ben Folds (solo), Vampire Weekend, Ice-T, Guster, Tori Amos, MGMT, The Shins, Mos Def, India.Arie, Daft Punk, Robbie Williams (U.S.), Bloodhound Gang, Tenacious D, Tool, Insane Clown Posse, “Double J” Jeff Jarrett.
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Posted by: DigitalPlato | June 21, 2010

Top 10 Misinterpreted Songs

Devil and drug worship are the most popular misinterpretation of two Rock songs. And this post reminded me of the ridiculous backward masking of rock songs in the early 80’s to prove the songs are ‘satanic’. Here is List Universe’s list:

“Hotel California”: Listeners think devil worship because of the “kill the beast” line, but the Eagles themselves say that’s nonsense. It’s a reflection of the rock-and-roll lifestyle they were living in Los Angeles at the time. (Although the song really sounds satanic)

“Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”: John Lennon swore that it was inspired by a drawing by his son and that he never realized the LSD connotations.

“Born in the USA”: Politicians who borrow it might think it sounds patriotic, but it’s actually an indictment of the Vietnam War’s effect on Americans.

“In the Air Tonight”: Legend has it that Phil Collins saw someone drown from afar while another person refused to help. Collins says it’s about his divorce.

See the full list at ListVerse

Secrets Behind 6 Classic Songs

Do you know that the Uptown Girl in Billy Joel’s song isn’t Christine Brinkley but Elle MacPherson? Other songs included:

Bob Dylan, “It Ain’t Me Babe”
Leonard Cohen, “Chelsea Hotel No. 2”
The Kinks, “Lola”

Posted by: DigitalPlato | May 22, 2010

Axl Rose Sues Former Manager

Axl sues for two reasons: Azoff tried to reunite Guns N’ Roses and also used Axl’s real name.

‘Axl Rose really, really does not want see Guns N’ Roses reunited, and he’s suing his former manager for allegedly attempting to do just that. Irving Azoff mishandled both the promotion of Chinese Democracy and the tour dates for Rose’s current band, the suit claims, all in an effort to force Rose to stage a GNR reunion tour—because, of course, he “would have no choice,” financially-speaking.

‘So, basically, writes Lane Brown in New York, Azoff is being sued for “trying to make the singer come to his goddamn senses.” Azoff’s other offense: daring to use Rose’s real name, William Bailey, when he filed a lawsuit against him in March—even though Azoff knows that name “carries significant emotional damage.” When asked about Rose’s lawsuit, Azoff said he would discuss it “in my upcoming book, My Life With William Bill Bailey.” -New York

Now suddenly, this smells of a publicity stunt.

Posted by: DigitalPlato | February 4, 2010

USA for Africa / Band Aid

A new version of the 1985 hit “We Are the World.” is being recorded to raise money for earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

Once again produced by Quincy Jones, the song features talents as diverse as Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand, Wyclef Jean, Pink, Usher, Vince Vaughn, and Snoop Dogg.
I wish Band Aid, from which the idea for African famine relief came from in 1984, do the same with their song ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’. Try comparing the two and see which you prefer.

Posted by: DigitalPlato | January 29, 2010

Ad Men Use Beatles to Sell Senior Care

This is an example of ingenious ad strategy:

‘The songs you loved when you were 23 may someday be used to sell you retirement care. Researchers have homed in on that age as the likeliest time when music that triggers life-long nostalgia is heard. People who watched the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show at 23 are now turning 70, and Florida care home Lakeside Village is using images of the one-time youth sensation as part of a nostalgia-based ad campaign.

‘The good feelings nostalgia generates are a potent tool for marketers, and, execs at Lakeside Village say, help improve life for seniors with little short-term memory. The care home runs a pop-culture program taking residents back to their youth. “They might not remember what they had for lunch, but they can sing along with Sinatra and know all the words,” the facility’s director of sales tells the Wall Street Journal.’

Posted by: DigitalPlato | December 24, 2009

Bret Michaels and Miley Cyrus

If you think all metal rock stars are all senseless idiots, try listening to Poison’s ‘Every rose has its thorns’ then possibly you’ll think otherwise.
Poison frontman Bret Michaels was on MTV again after working with Miley Cyrus on a cover of his band’s ballad, “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” The track won’t be a duet, but Michaels will add some harmonies.

Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Songwriters: Deville, C C; Dall, B; Michaels, B; Rockett, R;

We both lie silently still
In the dead of the night
Although we both lie close together
We feel miles apart inside

Was it somethin’ I said or somethin’ I did?
Did my words not come out right?
Though I tried not to hurt you
Though I tried but I guess that’s why, they say

Every rose has its thorn
Just like every night has its dawn
Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song
Every rose has its, yeah, it does

I listen to my favorite song
Playin’ on the radio
Hear the D.J. say
“Love’s a game of easy come and easy go”

But I wonder, does he know
Has he ever felt like this?
And I know that you’d be here right now
If I could’ve let you know somehow

I guess, every rose has its thorn
Just like every night has its dawn
Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song
Every rose has its thorns

Though it’s been a while now
I can still feel so much pain
Like the knife that cuts you, the wound heals
But the scar, that scar remains

I know I could have saved our love that night
If I’d known what to say
Instead of makin’ love we both
Made our separate ways

But now, I hear you’ve found somebody new
And that I never meant that much to you
To hear that tears me up inside
And to see you cuts me like a knife

I guess, every rose has its thorn
Just like every night has its dawn
Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song
Every rose has its

Posted by: DigitalPlato | November 2, 2009

The Golden Age of Infinite Music -by John Harris

Not long ago, if you wanted music, you had to save up your pocket money, take a trip to the local record shop and lovingly leaf through its racks.

Now, it’s almost all free, instant and infinite. And our relationship with music has changed forever.

We all know what the alleged future of music will look like. The record industry will be reduced to a smouldering ruin, the album replaced by endless individual songs and music rendered pretty much worthless by the fact that it’s universally free.

Empty record shops will be overrun with weeds and old CDs will be used as coasters. Your Madonnas, U2s and Coldplays will prosper, but for anyone further down the hierarchy, the idea of making much of a living will be a non-starter.

That’s the accepted wisdom, at least. Some of it will probably prove to be true.

But that grisly picture ignores subtler and more fascinating changes in our relationship with music that people have barely begun to understand.

Now, just to make this clear from the off: I’m nearly 40. Having recently moved house and consigned my CD collection to cardboard boxes, I’ve been surprised to find that I don’t miss it at all.

I use the free version of the music streaming application Spotify almost every day – and I now understand that it represents a genuine revolution in music consumption (and makes iTunes look pathetically old-fashioned).

Should the music industry finally get its act together and insist on some kind of subscription model, I’ll pay for the same kind of service. But I wouldn’t imagine that will alter my new listening habits.

All that said, my musical mindset is still rooted in an increasingly far-off past, where to be a true fan of a band took real dedication, access to obscure information – and, frankly, money.

I’ve just poured the music-related contents of my brain into a book, and I would imagine that 30-ish year’s worth of knowledge about everyone from Funkadelic to The Smiths has probably cost me a five-figure sum, a stupid amount spent on music publications, and endless embarrassed moments spent trying to have a conversation with those arrogant blokes who tend to work in record shops.

Last weekend, by contrast, I had a long chat about music with the 16-year-old son of a friend, and my mind boggled.

At virtually no cost, in precious little time and with zero embarrassment, he had become an expert on all kinds of artists, from English singer-songwriters like Nick Drake and John Martyn to such American indie-rock titans as Pavement and Dinosaur Jr.

Though only a sixth-former, he seemingly knew as much about most of these people as any music writer.

Like any rock-oriented youth, his appetite for music is endless, and so is the opportunity – whether illegally or not – to indulge it. He is a paid-up fan of bands it took me until I was 30 to even discover – and at this rate, by the time he hits his 20s, he’ll have reached the true musical outer limits.

What does all this tell us? Clearly, for anyone raised in the old world, the modern way of music consumption has all kinds of unforeseen benefits.

A good example: though I’ve always heard plenty of talk about the utter awfulness of such infamous albums as Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music (a double album of guitar feedback and white noise) or Deep Purple’s Concerto For Group And Orchestra (don’t ask), I can now listen to them for nothing, and have an opinion of my own.

“ As one of my music press colleagues use to say, there’s no longer any past – just an endless present ”

They’re both terrible, incidentally, but that isn’t the point. What really matters is the fact that I can so easily tune in – and what that says about a new world of completely risk-free listening.

Most importantly, as the great digital revolution rolls on, bands are no longer having to compete for people’s money. Instead, they’re jockeying for our time. And the field is huge, crossing not just genres, but eras.

Who do you want to investigate today: TV On The Radio or Crosby, Stills and Nash? Do you fancy losing yourself in the brilliant first album by Florence And The Machine, or deriving no end of entertainment from how awful The Rolling Stones got in the 1980s? Little Richard or La Roux? White Lies or Black Sabbath?

As one of my music press colleagues use to say, there’s no longer any past – just an endless present.

For musicians, it’s self-evident that there are all kinds of new openings for their music, but even if they break through, much less concerted attention will be paid to it.

They may get an audience, but it will be very easily distracted. After all, endlessly playing the same album so as to extract your “money’s worth” is behaviour that will soon seem like something from the dark ages.

Woe betide the act that decides to make the kind of record that tends to be charitably described as a “grower” – something that may account for, say, the scant interest paid to the last U2 album.

Certainly, as a record company MD told me a couple of weeks ago, stuffing your albums with mere filler is no longer a sensible option.

So, yes, the record industry may yet have to comprehensively reinvent itself, or implode. Sooner or later, given that the need to read reviews before deciding what to listen to is fading fast, I rather fear that even music journalists may be rendered irrelevant.

But for now, this is a truly golden age – the era of the teenage expert, albums that will soon have to be full of finely-honed hits and the completely infinite online jukebox.

Even if the music business manages to somehow crack down on illicit downloading and claws back a few quid via annual subscriptions in return for that self-same endless supply of music, the same essential rules will apply. Really: what’s not to like?

John Harris is the author of Hail! Hail! Rock’n’Roll, published by Sphere.
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2009/10/30 08:27:55 GMT © BBC MMIX

Posted by: DigitalPlato | September 20, 2009

What Was Really John’s Beef With Paul?

‘Long-forgotten interviews with the Beatles emerged today when rock journalist Ray Connelly dug out reels of tape he’d stored away in a forgotten suitcase. On the 40th anniversary of the band’s descent into dissolution, Connelly reveals new information upending some impressions that Paul McCartney was responsible for the split.

‘John blurted out to Connelly that he was the one who killed the world’s favorite band. At a meeting between the two, “Paul just kept mithering on about what we were going to do, so in the end I just said, ‘I think you’re daft. I want a divorce,'” Connelly quotes him in the Times of London. Lennon also admits that McCartney wrote more of the Beatles’ early material “because he was quite competent on guitar—Paul taught me quite a lot of guitar, really.” —Mat Probasco Source: Times (UK)

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