Tales of Rock – Origins of the Hard Rock sound of AC/DC

Hard rock is a manifestation of garage rock, surf rock and psychedelic rock, and British blues of the 1960s. It was not until the kinks did this kind of guitar sound begin. Old speakers in London clubs provided a banged-up ratty sound. After a while, the bands started to like the sound the punctured and torn speakers in old amps made. That was a growly sound that would get you fired from a club gig until they started to like it and use it to their advantage.

Listen to what Howlin’ Wolf does with a guitar. Early distortion.

Howlin’ Wolf – How Many More Years – 1951

Link Wray – Rumble – 1958

Distortion, tremolo, and the guitar are dominant. It’s a riff.

Surf and garage coming together. Hard rock is developing.

The Chessman – Cant’s Catch Me – 1966

A hard, customized soundsystem. Volume to kick it in. A disaster at Woodstock and Altamont, crowds moving, in the wake of these two concerts. Rock and roll moves into arenas and out of outdoor parks. You can load up with gear and blast out your music.

Let’s go to Australia. AC/DC doesn’t form until 1973. But there’s a working-class youth that’s coming up that wants out of their lives. The bar scene is about rock music. Sounds a little like mid-70s Foghat.

Carson County Band-Morning Train – 1971

Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs -1971

Now we’re talkin’… That’s starting to sound like hard rock for sure. I love this!

Buffalo – Suzy Sunshine – 1972

The Valentines – Build Me Up Buttercup – 1972

Yea, that backup singer is Bon Scott. Hard to believe that one of the premier voices of 70s hard rock started out singing backup and dressed like that!

Marcus Hook Roll Band – Watch Her Do It Now -1973

Malcolm,  Angus and their older brother George. So we’ve got two of the founding members of AC/DC. You can already hear the pull in the band between pop and rock happening.

Their older is working on her sewing machine and looks down at the steel label hammered into the machine that says, AC/DC – (alternate and direct current) and suggests it to Angus as a name for his new band.  She also suggested the school outfit for Angus. She said he looked so cute in it but it became a snub at authority and school. He only zig-zagged on stage to dodge the bottles thrown at the bands in the hardscrabble roadhouse bars they played in.

Which brings us here…

Oh yea…

There you have it.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Aerosmith – Part 1

Philadelphia, PA – 1976-1977

I’ve wanted to write this for a while. Aerosmith is to American hard rock as Star Wars is to SciFi. I’ve loved Aerosmith since I was 13 years old. I’ve not only purchased nearly every album they’ve ever released, but I’ve also bought the same records in different formats. Vinyl, cassette, and CD. So I’ve made all of the payments necessary to this band as a fan.

I’m not going to review them as a band, or as a professional music reviewer. These are my personal opinions based on how old I was, how the music made me feel, what was going on in my life at the time, and what I felt were quality songs. If you want real history on this band, go buy a book or read online about them. I’m not going to get into personalities or anything about the inner workings of this group because that’s not what this is about.

Let’s face it, it’s not the guys, it’s what they did for you and how their music made you feel. I feel I’m warranted to say all of the following things because I’ve made all of the donations I’m ever going to make to this band’s bank accounts by buying their records and seeing them live. I love them, and will always love them for the decades of joy they’ve brought to my heart.

Sometimes I will be harsh with my words, but it comes from a place of pure love. So let’s get started.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerosmith

Aerosmith – Debut album – 1973

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerosmith_(album)

My older sister hung out with a neighborhood band back in 1975/1976. They were called The Grim Reaper. I think because they played that song by Blue Oyster Cult. They also played the song, Dream On’ by Aerosmith and she must have liked that song because she brought this record home. I had heard that song played on the radio for several years but didn’t think much of it or even knew who did it. I was too buried in my love for the band Steppenwolf.

Tales of Rock – Steppenwolf – First Love

Let’s start with the cover of this album. I’ll run through this from left to right. This is a pretty furry band. What’s with Joey Kramer’s mutton chops? Then we have Joe Perry looking like Injun Joe from Twain’s book, Tom Sawyer. Tom Hamilton looks like he cut his hair with kid’s scissors and a razor blade. Steven Tyler looks kinda cool. Brad Whitford looks like a girl no one ever wants to date, let alone be seen with.

Wildwood, New Jersey – 1977

On a side note, the name Injun Joe came from this kid named Tony Riccardi. He was this guy that met my older sister and fell in love with her in the summer of 1977. He would be sniffing around our house trying to get her to go to the beach or take her out on a date and she just wasn’t into him. He was a moderately good-looking Italian guy about a year or so older than me. He was fit and I didn’t get why she wasn’t into him. Except for the fact that he seemed to only own one bathing suit. It was this dark blue and yellow striped speedo-looking thing he wore every day. Sis wasn’t into him, but I got to know him and he seemed nice. We started hanging out a little bit. But I’m thinking now he may have been just spending time with me to get to my sister. Distract the brother, bag the sister.

I noticed he was missing the pinky on his one hand. I asked him about it and he told me that he lost it in a bane saw accident in woodshop at school. My friends and I had all taken woodshop in school and heard all of the horror stories, myths, and legends about mishaps in wood and metal shop at our collective schools, but we never met anybody that some stuff had actually happened to. Tony Riccardi was that man. All that was left of the digit was a little knuckle.

I remember we were sitting in Sam’s Pizza and he asked our waitress for a pen. She gave it to him and went back to waiting tables. “What are you going to do with that?”

“Watch this.”

When the waitress returned to retrieve her pen, Tony asked her if she wanted to meet Herbie.

“Umm… okay.”

Tony held out his fist to her. On the little pinky knuckle stub, he had drawn a smiley face with her pen. He could actually wiggle it and make it say hi.

The waitress turned away in revulsion.

“Ton… I think I’m starting to get why my sister doesn’t want to date you.”

Anyway, Tony Riccardi was the person who upon viewing my records, saw the Aerosmith cover and called Joe Perry, Injun Joe. I never forgot that because he looks dead-on like an angry or sad native American from popular literature.

When you’re 14 years old every guy who is older than you looks like a grown man. All of the guys in Aerosmith were only in their early 20’s but to me, they might have well been in their 30’s.

The album had modest sales and I suppose they had to put, Featuring: “Dream On” on the jacket so people would say, Oh yea, that song’s pretty good.

I was in our basement listening to records on my dad’s stereo and shooting pool on our billiard table. One of the records I put on that day was this one. I’m going to go through this song by song. (Don’t worry, I’ll be brief.)

Make It: Great song. A kick-ass opening and it felt like it was about becoming a rockstar, so I was down.

Somebody: Another great song. Loved it more than Make It.

Dream on: Already tired of it by then.

One Way Street: Great jam song where I got to hear the different guitar playing styles by Joe and Brad. Also some fine harmonica work by Steven.

Mama Kin: Another solid rocker. Yes, I like this song too!

Write Me: I wrote letters to girls back then so I could relate because getting letters from girls in the mail was a big deal back then. Great song.

Movin’ Out: Not bad. It has its moments. (I always liked the little laugh in the beginning)

Walkin’ the Dog: They didn’t write it, but it’s a sweet little closer for the record. My mom loved this song.

This record got me really interested in this band. It was like Steppenwolf, but harder and faster. I really liked the songs and how they made me feel. I was beginning to have some real love for this band.

I eventually learned how to play nearly every song on this album on guitar. But that wouldn’t happen for another 2 years.

Let’s move on.

Philadelphia, PA – 1976.

I was in the garage with my friend Michael and we were listening to various records on my little green and white record player. We were listening to Bill Cosby, George Carlin, and some other rock music records. Out of all my friends back then, Michael was probably my best friend. He was a year younger than me, but we just sort of worked as friends. He lived a few doors down and wasn’t like the other kids in the neighborhood. We had some great times together and were super close. I felt bad for him because unlike me with my zit face Mike had full-blown acne. That’s different. That scars your face for life. Also, his parents never got his teeth fixed and he always had an overbite. I never understood that. but we were good buddies and at some point, I want to write about our adventures together.

I had the first Aerosmith album and we were listening to that and smoking cigarettes. I asked him if his brother Jimmy had any more Aerosmith albums. He said he had this one and their second record. I asked him what it was called.

Mike: “Get Your Wings.”

Me: “I don’t want to listen to Paul McCartney and Wings right now, besides it’s my sister’s and she probably doesn’t want me bringing it out to the garage.”

Mike: “What?”

Me: “What’s Aerosmith’s second record called?”

Mike: “I said, Get Your Wings.”

Me: “But I don’t want… wait, is that the name of the record? Get Your Wings?”

Mike: “I’ve been trying to tell you…”

Me: “That’s a crap name for a record, but yea… go get it. I want to hear it!”

Get Your Wings – 1974

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Get_Your_Wings

So here we are.

Okay, again with the cover. Joe looks cool. Joey Kramer actually looks the most handsome and rugged in the band. Steven looks hungover and on drugs, and why is he showing off his bulge? Brad looks sad or stoned. (Understandable) Tom Hamilton has let his razor cut grow out and looks presentable. (and a bit, impish!) It looks like the title for the record was an afterthought because it’s just this little lame phrase slapped on the cover like a little sticker. Look at it! Crap.

Michael returned with the record. Let’s run down the playlist. But before I do, let me say this. You have your whole life to write your first album. If you get signed to a label by some miracle, you have to come up with 8 to 10 more songs by the next year. Super pressure, and frankly I don’t know how bands did it back then, but maybe that’s why I never ended up in that vocation.

Aerosmith was a relatively new inexperienced act that had some magic between them. I later heard that they brought in some hired guns to play on the album to punch up the tracks but that’s not what this story is about.

Same Old Song and Dance: Cool opening track. Joe always had a knack for coming up with cool riffs and he definitely hits it on this one. A solid opening rocker. I liked it.

Lord of the Thighs: A little long and slow for me back then. But Brad Whitford plays some killer guitar on that tune. I later grew to like this song because of its theme and my adoration of women’s legs.

Spaced: Ahh… it is the title. A little spacey and kind of a dated-sounding song at this point. I wasn’t feeling it. But it has a cool psychedelic late 60’s vibe.

Woman of the World: Too long and lame. It’s a throwaway song that finishes side one, and I just never felt it no matter what it did.

S.O.S Too Bad: They used to play this a lot in concert and I never understood why. Maybe it was to get it out of the way to get to the good songs. Never liked it.

Train Kept a Rollin’: This is a retread of an old Yardbirds tune. They must have performed it live as a young band and people liked it. But I will say this, It’s a great rendition of the song, and Aerosmith went on to make it their own. Their live version is an incredible song and I love it. We played this song in my first band, Renegade so there’s that.

Seasons of Wither: This is the most beautiful song on the album. I love this song. (Renegade played this too) It’s a lovely song and the arrangement is gorgeous. I loved that although I loved Aero for the way they made me feel with the energy, this song was gentle and really touched me. Steven really touched the melancholy sound of the song. Oh god, and the strings on the cello on the second chorus. Bliss!

Pandora’s Box: This is a piece of trash song written by Joey Kramer that is about cunnilingus. It’s cheap and obvious and it’s clear they were out of songs for this record to produce this turd.

To sum up, Same Old Song and Dance. Cool song with a good Perry riff, and good lyrics. Train Kept a Rollin’, very exciting song. Seasons of Wither. Gorgeous.  That’s it for this record. I’m just going to talk about what was happening at the time, and how the songs made me feel.

At this point, I love the first record, but I’m not thrilled with the sophomore effort of this band.

But there is definitely something happening here with this new band.

Check out my Aerosmith playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37GZ7T5DMK4GJ614tQ28Ir

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Tales of Rock – The Best Band You Never Heard – Solace

I love this band!

 

 

Solace is a heavy metal band hailing from the Jersey ShoreUnited States.

Formed in 1996 by the remaining members of Atlantic Records artist Godspeed, Solace is most well known in the stoner rock genre, but as guitarist and founding member Tommy Southard has said “We’re not a stoner band, we’re a rock ‘n’ roll band—a hard rock band, a metal band.”[1] This idea was reaffirmed by iTunes.com in 2010 when they voted the band’s third studio album A.D. “2010 Metal Album of the Year”.[2] However, their live performances at Stoner Rock festivals such as America’s Emissions from the Monolith and Europe’s Roadburn Festival, have rooted them just as deeply in that genre.

 

Godspeed years[edit]

In 1994, east coast rockers Godspeed went to Electric Lady Studios to record their Atlantic Records debut album Ride. Featuring future Solace members Tommy Southard and Rob Hultz, Godspeed’s major label run included a cover of “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” for Nativity in Black: A Tribute to Black Sabbath with Iron Maiden‘s Bruce Dickinson, tours of the United States and Europe with Black SabbathDioCathedral, and Sugartooth, as well as a music video for their single “Houston Street” featured on MTV‘s Headbanger’s Ball and Beavis and Butt-head.

The birth of Solace[edit]

Godspeed dissolved after just one album, but following stints as lead guitarist for both Sugartooth and Slap Rocket, Southard reformed the band in 1996 with Hultz and former Glueneck singer Jason, naming the revamped outfit Solace. After a 1997 demo, Solace released their self-titled 7″ debut in 1998, followed by 1999’s Distanced from Reality EP, a split with fellow New Jerseyans Solarized.

Soon afterwards, the band released its debut LP, 2000’s Further. A cover by metal art veteran Wes Benscoter (Slayer‘s Divine Intervention) hinted at darkness within the album, which was quickly considered a departure from the stoner rock pigeon-hole the band had already been put into.

13 and beyond[edit]

In 2003, the band released the follow-up to Further, its second full-length album 13. Artist, fan, and friend of Solace Paul Vismara created the album’s cover. Considered by some to be musically superior to its predecessor,[3] 13 helped Solace further define themselves as more than simply stoner rock, assisted by the vocals and guitar work of doom metal legend Scott Weinrich (also known as Wino, formerly of The ObsessedSaint Vitus, and Spirit Caravan) on the track “Common Cause”.

Soon after the release of 13, the song “Indolence” was used on the soundtrack of the popular video game Tony Hawk’s Underground. 2003 also saw the band tweak their line-up with former Lethal Aggression drummer Kenny Lund and the addition of second guitarist Justin Daniels. With this new line-up, they entered the studio once again in 2004 to record Black Market/Hammerhead, a split EP with Albany, New York‘s Greatdayforup.

Solace’s half of this split EP was re-released on vinyl in 2006. In April of that year, Solace headed to Europe for Holland’s Roadburn Festival. Upon their return, they strengthened their resolve further toward a new release. The band went into the studio to finish their third album A.D. in time for their Summer 2007 European tour with British doomsters Orange Goblin, only to realize that their creation was simply too vast for a single album. Four tracks were selected for release as The Black Black, which was completed and pressed to coincide with the European tour.

On the heels of that successful tour, they were signed to independent label Small Stone Records, after which they were asked by friends Orange Goblin to play their annual Christmas show in London. Solace’s set was capped by band friend and fellow New Jerseyan Ed Mundell of Monster Magnet joining them onstage for their infamous cover of Pentagram‘s Forever My Queen.

2008 saw an interesting turn of events for Solace – drummer Kenny Lund took his leave to follow business pursuits and other projects. This, while being a seemingly negative turn of events, had in actuality quite a positive effect – it opened the door for Solace’s original drummer[4] Keith Ackerman to rejoin the band. Guitarist Daniels has stated: “This is the band’s most dynamic lineup to date”.[5]

The band used this momentum to continue their upswing throughout 2009, completing their third studio LP A.D.. The long-awaited album was released to critical acclaim in Spring 2010 and received such honors as “Album of the Year” at The Obelisk,[6] and was voted by iTunes “Best Metal Album of 2010”.[7] The band finished out the year touring Europe with Orange Goblin and once again playing their annual Christmas show.

Bad luck[edit]

From early in their career, Solace has been faced with almost mysterious problems. The band had an estimated 8 different drummers between 1996 and 2003[8] and suffered through supposed splits with vocalist Jason. Even seemingly random accidents—one resulting in the destruction of the original master tapes to their second album 13—vexed the band.[9]

This curse seemed to be lifted at least somewhat in 2003, but returned only a year later when drummer Kenny Lund was diagnosed with cancer. All of the band’s plans were halted, including a new recording contract with independent label Century Media. This setback did not stop them from returning to the studio once Lund recovered in 2005 to begin work on tracks for A.D. Later that year, the band faced yet another hurdle—this time in the form of undisclosed personal problems and were forced to cancel a coast-to-coast US tour.

Solace continued sporadic work on A.D. up to its critically acclaimed release in 2010, only to announce in June 2011 via their official Facebook page that they were “closed for business” and that they “may or may not re-open”.[10] However, as soon as 2012, the band cited they were active again.

Solace today[edit]

2015:, Solace reorganized and solidified their lineup once again, most shockingly with the official replacement of reclusive and eccentric vocalist Jason by Justin Goins of The Brimstones. Solace entered the recording studio for the first time in over 5 years with this new lineup, recording a cover of Black Sabbath‘s Electric Funeral for Deadline Music’s Sweet Leaf: A Tribute to Black Sabbath. Shortly thereafter, they released a cassette single featuring this cover as well as a new original song, Bird of Ill Omen, which was described as having “characteristic intensity, volume, and unbridled rhythmic force”.[11]

2018: has seen Solace back in the studio working on their first full-length album since 2010’s A.D., tentatively titled Broken Bodies & Suffering Spirits.[12]

2019: Solace has finished the recording of the new record and has changed the title from Broken Bodies & Suffering Spirits.[12] to The Brink. They are currently waiting for studio time to finish the mixing of the record and the album will be released later this year on Blues Funeral Recordings. The Brink was released in December of 2019, featuring healthy doses of Heavy 70’s Riff Rock, NWOBHM Riffing, Drunken Sea Shanties, and plenty of Weighty DOOM.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

 

 

 

 

Tales of Rock – Guns N’ Roses’ Izzy Stradlin Ends Up in a Coma for 96 Hours After Swallowing Drugs

Guns N’ Roses rode to massive popularity as part of a wave of L.A. ’80s bands that made a career of looking like degenerates.

Guns N’ Roses rode to massive popularity as part of a wave of L.A. ’80s bands that made a career of looking like degenerates. But GNR eclipsed their peers because they walked the walk down to a man. Axl Rose largely stopped doing hard drugs once the band was successful, but had enough experience with “Mr. Brownstone” to sing about it and clearly didn’t dial down his propensity for rage, drinking and insanity.

Slash kept at it; he once told GQ magazine that his smack habit amounted to; “However much I could get my hands on. If I finished a batch, I’d go hunting for it. It never stopped.” Entering Japan on tour and ordered by GNR’s tour manager to get rid of all drugs in his possession, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin swallowed his entire stash and ended up in a coma for 96 hours. Bassist Duff McKagan abused drugs so heavily that in the ’90s his pancreas exploded resulting in third-degree burns inside his body.

Yet, the worst drug casualty of GNR was surely Steven Adler, who was kicked out of the band for being too fucked up in 1990 (Stradlin later claimed Adler’s dismissal ruined the band’s sound) and in the 22 years since, has basically done nothing but occasionally show up in news stories about the band, always supposedly newly sober.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 8am EST.

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly

Tales of Rock – Edgewater Hotel Incidents

The Edgewater is a hotel in Seattle, Washington that is located on a pier over Elliott Bay. It is currently the only hotel in Seattle that sits over-water. In the 1960s the Edgewater became a popular destination for famous rock stars. Some of the bands to visit the hotel include the Beatles in 1964, the Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa, and Led Zeppelin. The Edgewater is unique because in the past it allowed customers to fish from their rooms on the north elevation.

On July 27, 1969, Led Zeppelin performed at the Seattle Pop Festival and stayed at the Edgewater. The band was known to have wild parties and was often joined by groupies. According to Zeppelin’s road manager Richard Cole, during one incident, things between a fish and a sexy red head got a bit intimate. On the day in question, Cole was in his room fishing with drummer John Bonham when they were joined by some women. Cole and Bonham had caught a large collection of sharks, at least two dozen, stuck coat hangers through the gills and then left them in the closet. The hotel room was also scattered with various types of smaller fish.

As parties go, one thing led to another and people began to lose their clothing. One particular woman in the crowd with red hair found herself with Cole. She made a unique request, so he decided to reach for a fish and the shark episode was born. Cole was later quoted: “Let’s see how your red snapper likes this red snapper.” It was the nose of the fish and the girl liked it. There was nothing malicious or harmful and Mark Stein of Vanilla Fudge filmed the whole thing. After the story was published by the media a large collection of rumors began to circulate, but many were exaggerated. The band received bad press so they stopped talking about the event.

In 1973, Led Zeppelin returned to the Edgewater and the band was officially banned from the hotel after it was discovered that they had caught some 30 mudsharks and left them under beds, in closets, elevators, hallways, bathtubs, and all over their rooms. They threw stuff out the windows into Elliott Bay, including beds, TVs, mattresses, lamps, drapes, and glassware. Since that time Robert Plant has been welcomed back to the Edgewater. The mudshark incident remains one of the most popular rock stories from the 1960s.

Here’s a version of this song I’ve never heard before. It’s a rough mix. Interesting imagery by Brandy and Coke.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 8am EST.

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly

%d bloggers like this: