Tales of Rock: Man Accidentally Trips On LSD For 9 Hours After Cleaning A Classic Synthesizer

Eliot Curtis accidentally tripped on LSD while fixing a vintage Buchla Model 100. He was tasked to repair a piece of history, but he didn’t expect to begin seeing history and time in front of him as tripped on acid. With his experience, he added another story to the history of the synthesizer, and it’s probably a good idea to making cleaning old equipment with gloves on a standard procedure.

The Buchla Model 100 was invented in the 1960s by Don Buchla of Berkeley. He completely immersed himself in counterculture, and in 1966, his synthesizers were put on a school bus converted to play music. The iconic bus of counterculture, Furthur, was purchased by Ken Kesey, an advocate for using acid. Among their crew was Owsley Stanley, a sound engineer and manufacturer of a potent strain of LSD. While these links can explain how the drug could’ve gotten on the synthesizer, it’s still unclear exactly how the LSD got on this specific one.

Curtis, the Broadcast Operations Manager for KPIX Televsion, was tasked with repairing the vintage analog music modular instrument they found in a closet at Cal State University East Bay’s music department. It was acquired by two music professors who taught in the university during the 1960s. During his repair, Curtis found something stuck under one of the knobs, and it appeared to be a crystal. He sprayed cleaning solvent on the residue to dissolve it a little bit, then he dislodged it from the knob to continue cleaning the area.

45 minutes later, Curtis began to feel strange tingling sensations. He speculated that he was tripping on LSD but thought that’s probably just his imagination. His original inkling, however, was true. His unexpected LSD trip lasted around nine hours.

Authorities later confirmed that residues of LSD were present on the instrument. According to reports, the place the synthesizer was stored made it possible for the LSD to remain potent. The machine was resting in a cool, dark place, so the drug’s potency was preserved so well that it was possible for the residue to be ingested through the skin. With his unexpected trip, Curtis learned a lot more about the 1960s counterculture than he could have ever imagined.

 

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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.

 

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Tales of Rock: The Most Metal Album Led Zeppelin Recorded

When you look for the origins of heavy metal music, you’ll always find Led Zeppelin as part of the conversation. For all the sweet acoustic ballads and experimentation the band did over the years, the constant on every album was music that got heavy and very loud.

Just ask Geezer Butler, the bass player of metal pioneer Black Sabbath. “Zeppelin paved the way for us,” Butler said. “They were the heaviest thing, up until we came along. They very much started the genre.”

On Zeppelin’s first album, you got several different types of heavy. On “Dazed and Confused,” it was the ominous type that became so popular later. Then there was “Communication Breakdown,” which looked ahead to both metal and punk thrashing.

Led Zeppelin II got even heavier, and the band never shied away from the thunder on subsequent albums. But with Presence, the record that featured almost none of the keyboards and acoustic stylings of the other albums, Zeppelin had its most metal moment.

‘Presence’ contained the metal assault of ‘Achilles Last Stand’ and ‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine.’

Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and Jimmy Page perform live onstage in 1972. | Robert Knight Archive/Redferns

You don’t find tunes like “That’s the Way” or even “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You” on Presence. In fact, you don’t find John Paul Jones on keyboard at all. Jimmy Page, who wrote the majority of the album’s material with Robert Plant, mostly kept his acoustic guitars in their cases, too.

By this point in the band’s life (late 1975), Led Zeppelin had already delivered masterpieces like “Stairway to Heaven” and “Kashmir.” They’d also closed the book on heavy blues interpretations with “In My time of Dying.”

With “Achilles Last Stand,” you got what the title promised: a seasoned warrior not leaving the battlefield before thrashing almost everyone in sight. It was a full metal attack.

Between Jones’s heavy bass, Page’s crushing riff, and the thunder of John Bonham’s drums, there was no mistaking “Achilles” for anything short of metal. Plant’s vocals are the only thing you could describe as subdued here, and by the end he too gets loud.

Then there was the unbridled assault of “Nobody’s Fault But Mine.” On this tune, Plant joins the party in style with full-throated wailing and a sinister harmonica part. Bonham’s vicious drumming on these tunes heavily influenced drummers like Metallica’s Lars Ulrich (see: “One”).

The first record from ‘Physical Graffiti’ is also among Zeppelin’s heaviest offerings.

Led Zeppelin appears at the West Coast premiere for their concert film ‘The Song Remains the Same,’ Hollywood, October 21, 1976. | Frank Edwards/Fotos international/Getty Images

Led Zeppelin didn’t go all-metal for a reason: They considered their music far bigger than that. They never wanted to thought of as one-dimensional. You get a good look at the band’s philosophy on Physical Graffiti, the group’s only double album.

Five of the six tracks go straight at the listener, with Page and Bonham going in for the kill on every song. The exception is “Houses of the Holy,” which obviously came from sessions for the previous album. Had you replaced that “The Wanton Song,” it would be as heavy as Zep ever got.

Of course, the second disc from Physical Graffiti dulled the blow considerably with its acoustic tunes and “Boogie With Stu.” That was the point. And even with monster rockers like “Custard Pie,” the funkiness of Bonham’s drumming stands out.

Put it this way: Led Zeppelin went metal on several occasions (especially on Presence), and metal never got that good again.

 

 

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Tales of Rock: All The Cultural References In The Song ‘American Pie,’ Explained

I love writing this column every Sunday! Enjoy!

Eight minutes long, starting with “A long, long time ago,” Don McLean’s “American Pie” is a slice of cultural history. Since the song’s release, fans have been obsessed with answering one question: what is “American Pie” about?

“That song didn’t just happen,” McLean said of his 1971 hit, which was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and named a Song of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America. The classic folk-rock anthem, known for its expansive lyrics, is filled with cultural references related to American life in the 1950s and 1960s.

“I saw the implication of America going bye-bye, since by 1971 we were a horribly divided country with tremendous anger being directed at the government over… Vietnam,” McLean said in Alan Howard’s book The Don McLean Story, hinting at the song’s larger meaning: the disintegration of the American ideal McLean romanticized in his youth.

McLean’s ambiguous writing style lends itself to all types of interpretation, and that is how he wanted it. “People ask me if I left the lyrics open to ambiguity. Of course I did,” he said. “I wanted to make a whole series of complex statements. The lyrics had to do with the state of society at the time.”

McLean officially verified only one reference in the song: that Buddy Holly was a key influence in his life. As McLean put it, “I can say that Buddy was a huge part of my childhood dream. Long before I decided how I would use music or what kind of artist I would be, Buddy was there.”

Fans have pulled apart and analyzed the rest of the “American Pie” lyrics and references through context clues, research, and finding historical parallels to the decades that inspired the creation of McLean’s ballad.

‘Bye, Bye Miss American Pie’

Some fans believe the “American Pie” in the famous first line of McLean’s chorus refers to the name of the plane Buddy Holly perished on, but according to the federal Civil Aeronautics Board incident report about the aircraft’s demise, the plane didn’t have a name.

Jim Fann, creator of the Understanding American Pie website, argues the line has a potential two-fold meaning: a nod to the phrase “as American as apple pie” and an allusion to the Miss America beauty queen. The phrase “evokes a simpler time in American life when these icons held more meaning,” Fann said.

‘Drove My Chevy To The Levee But The Levee Was Dry’

McLean imbues his all-American song with all-American iconography, like the Chevy automobile or truck. The dried levee (which rhymes with Chevy) adds a sense of barrenness to the current landscape in the song.

Also, an advertisement for Chevrolet in 1953 featured a jingle sung by Dinah Shore that includes a reference to a levee.

‘Singin’ This’ll Be The Day’

This line likely refers to Buddy Holly’s song “That’ll Be the Day.”

Holly, along with singers the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens, and pilot Roger Peterson, perished in a plane incident February 3, 1959. Their small aircraft went down on a snowy late night after a concert in Clear Lake, IA.

‘A Long, Long Time Ago’

McLean released the song in 1971, but “American Pie” focuses on the 1950s, thus the exposition.

‘But February Made Me Shiver’

This is the first reference in “American Pie” (before the chorus) to Buddy Holly’s demise on February 3, 1959. He hopped on a plane after playing a show in Iowa, and never made it to his next stop: Minnesota. Instead, the plane’s remains were found in an Iowa cornfield, where all the passengers, including the pilot, perished.

It’s believed the plane flew into a blizzard and the inexperienced pilot lost control.

‘With Every Paper I’d Deliver / Bad News On The Doorstep / I Couldn’t Take One More Step’

McLean apparently worked as a newspaper delivery boy. And on February 3, 1959, the “bad news” was Buddy Holly’s demise, on the cover of every paper (the afternoon version) that McLean distributed.

‘When I Read About His Widowed Bride’

Buddy Holly was married to his young wife, Maria Elena Santiago-Holly, for only six months when he perished.

His widowed, pregnant new bride was so traumatized by the news of his demise that she had a miscarriage.

 

‘The Day The Music Died’

Buddy Holly was not the only musician who perished in the plane incident. He was on a 24-day, 24-city tour with the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens. The Big Bopper was known for his song “Chantilly Lace,” and Valens for “La Bamba.”

The loss of all three rock musicians in the same incident was seen as a tragedy, and in McLean’s mind, marked the end of a musical era that would never be reclaimed.

‘Did You Write The Book Of Love?’

“The Book of Love” is a famous doo-wop song by The Monotones, a group from Newark, NJ. The song was released in 1958, topping pop and R&B charts. It must have left an impression on young McLean. As the lyrics to the song go:

I wonder, wonder who, mmbadoo-ooh, who
Who wrote the book of love

The track actually made it to Woodstock 1969, where it was covered by Sha Na Na.

‘If The Bible Tells You So?’

“The Bible Tells Me So” was a gospel pop adaptation of the Sunday school song “Jesus Loves Me” written by Dale Evans in 1955 and recorded by a handful of singers the same year.

Versions from Nick Noble and Don Cornell were especially popular, soaring high on Billboard charts.

‘You Both Kicked Off Your Shoes’

This is likely a reference to sock hops, beloved teenage dance parties in the ’40s and ’50s that involved playing popular music in gymnasiums or community halls. Sock hops coincided with the rise of rock ‘n’ roll as the ’50s progressed.

Participants were told to take their shoes off to protect the varnish on dance floors.

‘With A Pink Carnation And A Pickup Truck’

In 1957, Marty Robbins released the heartbreak song “A White Sport Coat (And a Pink Carnation)” about a young man “all dressed up for the dance” and “all alone in romance.”

‘And Moss Grows Fat On A Rolling Stone’

A year after Bob Dylan released “Like a Rolling Stone” in 1965, he was involved in a strange motorcycle incident that made him lie low for a year or two at the height of his career. He’d just transformed himself from a folk singer to an electric guitar-playing rock musician, which caused a lot of controversy within the American music scene.

Some fans believe McLean’s intention with this line in “American Pie” is to highlight the evolution of music between the ’50s and early ’70s while also pushing the action of the song into the ’60s.

‘When The Jester Sang For The King And Queen’

According to one fan theory, Bob Dylan is the jester, Pete Seeger is the king, and Joan Baez is the queen. All three were influential and politically motivated folk singers in early ’60s, and it’s not a stretch to suggest their music influenced McLean’s own folksy sound. Dylan, Seeger, and Baez were all on stage together at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963, where they sang Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” in unison.

Another theory is that the king and queen refer to President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jackie Kennedy.

‘In A Coat He Borrowed From James Dean’

This line could be another reference to Bob Dylan.

On the cover of his 1963 album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, Dylan wears a red windbreaker similar to the one worn by James Dean in the film Rebel Without a Cause.

‘And While The King Was Looking Down’

If the king is Pete Seeger, the godfather of folk, this could be a reference to him looking down upon the way Bob Dylan experimented with music in the 1960s.

‘The Jester Stole His Thorny Crown’

Bob Dylan the jester became the king, taking the crown when he won hearts with his brand of folksy rock ‘n’ roll.

Who did he take the crown from? Some people believe it’s Elvis, the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Others stick with Pete Seeger.

‘The Courtroom Was Adjourned / No Verdict Was Returned’

Returning to the JFK theory, after he was slain in 1963 , the man accused of the slaying, Lee Harvey Oswald, was himself slain.

Therefore, “no verdict was returned” because no trial actually occurred.

‘And While Lennon Read A Book On Marx’

While some fans think McLean is singing about Communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, the more popular theory is that he’s singing about the Beatles becoming more political with their music as tensions soared in the ’60s. The Beatles, adored by American youth, were deemed inappropriate by older generations who thought their music was too rowdy.

As their sound evolved, the Beatles released songs like “Revolution” in 1968, whose message is in line with the Communist philosophies of German writer Karl Marx, known for The Communist Manifesto.

’The Quartet Practiced In The Park’

The quartet is likely the Beatles: Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.

‘And We Sang Dirges In The Dark’

A dirge is a funereal song of mourning, and there were plenty of lives to mourn in the ’60s: President John F. KennedyMartin Luther King Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy among them.

The line could also refer to the Vietnam conflict; many drafted service members sent overseas never made it back home.

‘Helter Skelter In A Summer Swelter’

“Helter Skelter” is a song the Beatles released in 1968, a year of political and social turmoil in the United States.

The next August, “in a summer swelter,” followers of Charles Manson brutally slayed five people, including the actress Sharon Tate, who was eight months pregnant at the time.

‘The Birds Flew Off From A Fallout Shelter’

Some fans speculate this is an allusion to the ’60s rock band The Byrds. A fallout shelter is a euphemism for a treatment center, which one of the band members checked into after being caught with illicit substances.

‘Eight Miles High And Falling Fast’

Eight Miles High is the title of a 1966 album by The Byrds, considered one of the first real trippy records.

The groundbreaking sound of the album was influenced by plenty of experimentation with illicit substances, particularly acid.

‘It Landed Foul On The Grass’

Grass. Herb. Dope. Pot. Doobie. All of these slang words refer to one thing, a certain illicit (and some consider foul-smelling) substance favored in the ’60s counterculture on display in “American Pie”: weed.

‘With The Jester On The Sidelines In A Cast’

Fans believe this is another homage to Bob Dylan’s 1966 motorcycle incident.

‘While Sergeants Played A Marching Tune’

The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967, and this is likely an allusion to that significant album.

With this release, the Beatles amped up their innovative approach to rock music, including sitars and sound collages.

‘ ‘Cause The Players Tried To Take The Field / The Marching Band Refused To Yield’

Fans see this as a remark about the protest movement that seemed to peak in the late ’60s and early ’70s, from Chicago to Kent State.

Young people demonstrated en masse against prejudice, military conflicts, and economic injustice.

‘Oh, And There We Were, All In One Place’

McLean could be making a statement about the unifying power of the Woodstock 1969 festival in Bethel, NY, which brought together more than 400,000 people in one weekend.

Many of the most well-known rock musicians of the time performed, including Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. The festival is viewed as the height of American hippie culture.

‘Jack Be Nimble, Jack Be Quick / Jack Flash Sat On A Candlestick’

This line could be a mash-up between the “Jack Be Nimble” nursery rhyme and the 1969 song “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” by the Rolling Stones, released on their album Live’r Than You’ll Ever Be.

Fans think this is an insult to the Stones for not coming up with a good comeback to the Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. According to their theory, “Jack” is Mick Jagger.

‘Cause Fire Is The Devil’s Only Friend’

According to one theory, the “Devil” could be Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, representing rebellion and estrangement, and the pull away from a more innocent time perceived earlier in music and the world.

‘No Angel Born In Hell / Could Break That Satan’s Spell’

“No angel born in Hell” could refer to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, which instigated a riot at the 1969 Altamont Free Concert in California.

The Hells Angels agreed to provide security during a performance by the Rolling Stones, and an 18-year-old black man perished at the hands of a member of the motorcycle group. The events of the day are considered by some to be the day the “free love” movement ended.

‘I Met A Girl Who Sang The Blues’

The “girl” could be Janis Joplin, the rock singer with a singular bluesy voice who perished from taking illicit substances in 1970.

Her hits “Piece of My Heart” and “Me and Bobby McGee” were considered anthems for the hippie generation.

‘I Went Down To The Sacred Store / Where I’d Heard The Music Years Before / But The Man There Said The Music Wouldn’t Play’

McLean is possibly bemoaning the loss of interest in ’50s music at record stores.

When he released the song in 1971, perhaps he was suggesting no one cared about music from this bygone era anymore.

‘And In The Streets The Children Screamed’

This line could be an allusion to all the turmoil that occurred in the years leading up to the song’s creation.

Thousands of young people across the country were involved in various protest movements, which led to confrontations with law enforcement or other groups.

‘And The Three Men I Admire Most / The Father, Son, And The Holy Ghost’

McLean was apparently raised Catholic, so bringing religion in at the end of the song makes sense.

The sacred holy trinity, however, catches “the last train for the coast,” likely a sign McLean believes America lost its moral foundation in 1959.

 

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

If you like Bon Scott era AC/DC, then you’ll love this band.

I recommend the album, One Vice at a Time

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krokus_(band)

 

 

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Buckethead — One of the Best, Fastest and Weirdest Guitarists on the Planet

The prolific guitarist released his very first live album, “Live from Bucketheadland,” last year

Talk about truth in advertising: When Brian Patrick Carroll was 19 and already an accomplished guitarist, he stuck a Kentucky Fried Chicken tub on his noggin, slapped an emotionless white mask over his face to shield his identity, looked in a mirror and said, “Buckethead.”

Thus was born one of the most inventive and uniquely talented guitar shredders, a player who routinely shifts between Funk, Metal, Prog, Blues, Ambient, Bluegrass and experimental Art Rock and has been cited by numerous publications and august organizations as among the best, fastest and weirdest guitarists on the planet.

At age 12, Carroll began taking guitar lessons from an elderly neighbor but didn’t take the craft seriously until his family moved to Claremont, California, which led to private lessons from a variety of gifted teachers, including former Mr. Big/Racer X guitarist Paul Gilbert. As his playing improved, he documented his performance and songwriting progress by recording home demos. According to Buckethead lore, his alter ego emerged after being inspired by Halloween 4 to buy a blank mask, à la Michael Myers, and a KFC dinner that same evening.

After playing in a couple of bands, Carroll adopted his Buckethead persona and entered a song in a Guitar Player magazine competition, earning an honorable mention. In 1991, the 21-year-old was invited to contribute to avant guitarist Derek Bailey’s Company, resulting in his appearance on the collective’s Company 91 album. The following year, Buckethead’s profile rose exponentially; he released his debut album, Bucketheadland, early in the year, and formed Praxis with Bill Laswell and Bootsy Collins, among others, dropping their acclaimed debut, Transmutation (Mutatis Mutandis), later in 1992.

Over the subsequent three decades, Buckethead has provided music for film and video game soundtracks and aligned himself with a number of band projects (including Colonel Claypool’s Bucket of Bernie Brains, Thanatopsis and many more) and fascinating collaborations (including one with actor Viggo Mortensen).

Perhaps no collaboration has been more visible than his four-year stint with Guns N’ Roses, which included his invaluable contributions to the much-delayed Chinese Democracy album. In 2010, Buckethead withdrew from the remainder of his band projects and began pouring all of his time and attention into his solo recordings.

Since his 1992 debut, Buckethead has released over 30 studio albums and, beginning with the cessation of his band activities, close to 300 albums as a part of his Buckethead Pike series (in 2014, he released a Pike album every six days for the entire year).

In 2012, Buckethead largely retired from touring, but returned to the road in 2016, alternating between completely solo shows and trio gigs with longtime bandmates Dan Monti on bass and Bryan “Brain” Mantia on drums. Last year, Buckethead released his very first live album, Live from Bucketheadland, on vinyl.

In the long, strange history of Rock, few have been around longer, done anything stranger or approached the prolific diversity of the man with the KFC chapeau.

 

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

Formation and name change[edit]

Sheavy formed in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada in 1993, and originally performed under the name Green Machine. In 1994, the band discovered there was another band in the United States with the same name, so a decision was made to rename the band Sheavy. The band’s repertoire originally consisted of a sampling of Kyuss covers and an assortment of originals that would eventually make their way onto the Reproduction E.P.Slaves To Fashion, and ultimately Blue Sky Mind. A three-song 7″ vinyl record was recorded in early 1995 at Jolly Roger Studios in St. John’s. The band regularly performed in and around St. John’s for the first few years at small clubs and venues such as The Loft, Sam Shades; Junctions and the LSPU Hall.

Record deal[edit]

The band recorded and mixed their debut album Blue Sky Mind over a single weekend during the summer of 1995. Later that summer, the band’s bass player Paul Gruchy amicably left the band to focus on completing his university studies. There were about 1000 copies of the album released early in 1996, at which time Keith Foley also stepped in to complete the Sheavy line-up as the band’s bassist. Although the audio quality of Blue Sky Mind was low, the original master tapes later revealed a much-higher audio quality existed. On the strength and popularity of the recording, however, Rise Above Records in the U.K. signed the band to a three-album deal. The band now had more resources available and were better prepared for work on the second studio album.

The Electric Sleep[edit]

The Electric Sleep was recorded in St. John’s in the summer of 1997. Recording Engineer Don Ellis helped the band capture the simple, powerful sound they’d been searching for. The result was an album one British reviewer deemed “the best Black Sabbath album in 25 years.” Black Sabbath comparisons were nothing new for the band, but for every review filled with praise another came along that maintained they were little more than clones. The album’s doomy title track could even be found on the web described as a lost Sabbath track. After a short tour of the U.K. and an invitation to play the Dynamo Open Air Festival in the Netherlands, the band headed back to the studio.

Sheavy lineups
1993(as Green Machine)
1994–1995
1996–2004
2004–2005
2005–2008
2008–2009
2009–2012
2012–Present
  • Steve Hennessey – vocals
  • Evan Chaulker – guitar
  • Jason Williams – drums
  • Glenn Tizzard – bass

Celestial Hi-Fi[edit]

Recorded in the summer of 1999, in the workshop of Ren Squires’ parents home, Celestial Hi-Fi, showcased the diversity of the Sheavy sound. The delicate nuances of “Persona” gave way to the doom of “Tales From The Afterburner,” while tracks like “What’s Up Mr. Zero” and “Strange Gods Strange Altars” illustrated the band’s ability to throw hooks into the mix. Reviews of the album were generally positive.

Synchronized[edit]

In October 2001, the band converged on Keith’s new home in EdmontonAlberta to write and rehearse for what would become the Synchronized sessions. Recorded in November 2001, with former Black Sabbath Producer/Engineer Mike Butcher at the helm, Synchronized once again saw the band diversify its sound with the addition of synthesizer, piano and drum loops. Despite, and perhaps because of the addition of Butcher, the album has been described as the band’s least Sabbath-like release and nothing less than a sincere tribute to ’70s rock. Written largely in the studio due to time constraints, the album’s rock-solid production showcased a raw power unseen on the Sheavy’s previous releases.

In September 2004, the band reunited in St. John’s to begin writing songs for a new album. Due to a number of outside obligations, consummate band leader and drummer Ren Squires stepped quietly out of the spotlight. Kevin Dominic, a long-time friend of the band, was brought in to keep the rock n’ roll machine running. By November the band emerged with 11 new tracks. Over the next month, with the help of friend and Producer Rick Hollett, the band tracked Republic? above a Duckworth Street club called The Republic. Billy Anderson mixed Republic? in San Francisco, California, and the album was released on Rise Above Records in 2005.

In 2006, the band travelled to Europe for a two-week tour, which included a number of countries and festivals.

The Machine That Won the War[edit]

On March 3, 2007, Sheavy filmed a live performance at the Holy Heart of Mary High School auditorium in their hometown of St. John’s. This performance was released as a DVD that accompanied the CD. The band recorded the studio album via analog instead of digital, and vocalist Steve Hennessey acted as the producer. The CD booklet features panels of artwork by a number of Newfoundland musicians and friends connected to the band, including two panels by Sheavy’s original bassist Paul Gruchy. Each panel is directly inspired by, and corresponds to each track on the album.

Following that release, both Tommy Boland and Kevin Dominic amicably parted ways with the band. Evan Chaulker, who had previously toured with Sheavy, was brought in on guitar, and Jason Williams joined the band on drums.

The Golden Age of Daredevils/Disfigurine – Present[edit]

In April 2009, original guitarist Dan Moore resigned from the band and announced his decision to the band’s Facebook fan group – both via email. The band enlisted guitarist Chris White on guitar and premiered the new guitarist and new material at local St. John’s venue Distortion in October 2009. Recording began on a forthcoming album, Disfigurine, roughly around the same period. Prior to its completion, though, the band took up the RPM challenge, which invites musicians to record a whole album of music, 10 songs or 35 minutes. The end result was an album entitled ‘The Golden Age of Daredevils’ which was released in late May 2010 and included songs written by the new lineup as well as material written by Dan Moore prior to his departure. The album ‘Disfigurine’ was later released in August 2010. Featuring a more metal style and some of the longest songs the band had ever written, Disfigurine pointed to a number of stylistic changes for the band.

The band played a handful of shows in the St. John’s area between late 2010 and 2012 but song writing continued at a steady pace. Citing personal and family commitments bassist Keith Foley and guitarist Chris White parted ways with the band in the spring of 2012. In order to keep the song writing process rolling Steve asked local St. John’s guitar players Barry Peters and Glenn Tizzard (bass) to get together to jam and write. While Tizzard was able to join the band on a full-time basis, Peters helped to write and record but was unable to fully come on board due to out of province work commitments.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Demos/EPs[edit]

  • The Reproduction E.P. Cassette (1994)
  • Slaves to Fashion Cassette (1995)
  • Untitled 3-song 7″ EP (1995 Mag Wheel Records)
  • Born Too Late split CD with Church of Misery (1997 Game Two Records)

Compilations appearances[edit]

Video[edit]

  • Republic? at the Masonic Temple DVD (2005)

Live at Holy Heart bonus DVD in the deluxe “Machine that won the war”

 

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Tales of Rock – Sable Starr

More Evil Rock n Roll Debauchery! What a disgusting tale…

Sable Starr
Sable starr.jpg

Sable Starr, taken in 1973 at Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco
Born Sabel Hay Shields
August 15, 1957
Palos VerdesLos AngelesCalifornia, U.S.
Died April 18, 2009 (aged 51)
RenoWashoe County, Nevada, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation Rock and rollgroupie
Children 2

Sable Starr (nee Sabel Hay Shields; August 15, 1957 – April 18, 2009[1]) was a noted American groupie, often described as the “queen of the groupie scene” in Los Angeles during the early 1970s. She admitted during an interview published in the June 1973 edition of Star Magazine that she was closely acquainted with Iggy PopMick JaggerRod StewartAlice CooperDavid Bowie, and Marc Bolan.[2]

Life as a groupie

Starr first attended concerts around Los Angeles with older friends who had dropped out of school in late 1968. She lost her virginity at age 12 with Spirit guitarist Randy California after a gig at Topanga, California.[3] She had a younger sister, Corel Shields (born 1959), who was involved with Iggy Pop at age 11.[4] Pop later immortalized his involvement with Starr herself in the 1996 song “Look Away.”

I slept with Sable when she was 13,

Her parents were too rich to do anything,
She rocked her way around L.A.,

‘Til a New York Doll carried her away…

Starr became one of the first “baby groupies” who in the early 1970s frequented the Rainbow Bar and Grill, the Whiskey A Go Go, and Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco; these were trendy nightclubs on West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. The girls were named as such because of their young age. She got started after a friend invited her to the Whiskey A Go Go at the age of 14.[5] Starr later described herself at that period as having been “nuts to begin with. I always liked getting into trouble”.[5] She had considered herself unattractive, so she had a nose job when she was 15.[5] During the time Starr was a groupie, she continued to live at home with her family and attended Palos Verdes High School to placate her parents.[6][7]

BAND AIDES: SABLE STARR AND LORI MATTIX!

In 1973 she gave a candid interview for the short-lived Los Angeles-based Star Magazine, and boasted to the journalist that she considered herself to be “the best” of all the local groupies.[6] She also claimed that she was closely acquainted with some of rock music’s leading musicians such as Jeff BeckDavid BowieMick JaggerRod StewartMarc Bolan, and Alice Cooper, adding that her favorite rock star acquaintance was Led Zeppelin‘s lead singer, Robert Plant.[2] When asked how she attracted the attention of the musicians, she maintained it was because of the outrageous glam rock clothing she habitually wore.[8] She was often photographed alongside well-known rock musicians; these photos appeared in American rock magazines such as Creem and Rock Scene.

Sable Starr has Left the Scene 1958-2009: LAist

Starr admitted to having gotten into fights with rival groupies and she allegedly had a confrontation with Bianca Jagger, who at the time was married to Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. According to Starr, she knocked on Bianca’s hotel room and when the latter opened the door she was told “in a few four-letter words to ‘get lost'”.[2] Her closest friends in Los Angeles were fellow groupies Shray Mecham and “Queenie”.[9] Model Bebe Buell described Starr as having been one of the two top Los Angeles groupies of the era, adding that “every rock star who came to Los Angeles wanted to meet her”.[5]

The extraordinary life of Sable "Queen of Groupies" Starr

She ran away from home when she was 16 after meeting Johnny Thunders, guitarist in the glam rock band the New York Dolls.[10] She went to live with him in New York City. Their relationship didn’t last, mainly due to his violent jealousy and drug addiction.[11] He had wanted to marry her after she became pregnant with his child, but she refused and instead had an abortion.[12] Tired of the physical abuse Thunders often inflicted upon her, and unable to adjust to the New York lifestyle, Starr moved back to Los Angeles. She claimed that “He [Thunders] tried to destroy my personality. After I was with him, I just wasn’t Sable Starr anymore. He really destroyed the Sable Starr thing”.[12] She made frequent visits to New York where she had an affair with Richard Hell, befriended Nancy Spungen, and participated in the local burgeoning punk rock scene. By the early 1980s, she was no longer part of the groupie milieu.[11]

BAND AIDES: SABLE STARR AND LORI MATTIX!

Later years and death

She later moved to Reno, Nevada. She became a table game dealer at Carson Valley Inn in Minden until shortly before her death.

Starr died at her home in Nevada on April 18, 2009 of brain cancer at the age of 51.

 

 

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Tales of Rock: Why April 24th Matters in Rock History

It’s April 24th and here are some reasons why this day matters in classic rock history:

In 1969, Paul McCartney publicly denied rumors that he was dead.

In 1996, Stone Temple Pilots bassist Robert DeLeo made an announcement that singer Scott Weiland was in drug rehab and unable to perform at their upcoming shows.

In 1992, David Bowie married supermodel Iman at a ceremony in Switzerland.

In 2000, Limp Bizkit announced the details of their 24-date Back to Basics tour which would include a set from rappers Cypress Hill.

In 1976, Paul McCartney had his fifth number one album after The Beatles when Wings’s Wings at the Speed of Sound topped the chart.

In 1990, Roger Waters’s road crew found an unexploded World War II bomb while constructing the set for The Wall concert in Germany.

In 1976, Paul and Linda McCartney spent the evening with John Lennon at his New York apartment and watched Saturday Night Live. During the show, SNL producer Lorne Michaels made an offer asking The Beatles to come to the studio and play three songs live. The pair considered taking a cab to the studio but decided they were too tired. It was the final time they were together.

And in 2003, four fans sued Creed claiming singer Scott Stapp was so “intoxicated and/or medicated that he was unable to sing the lyrics of a single Creed song” at a recent show in Chicago.

And that’s what happened today in rock history.

 

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Who Do I Look Like?

We just finished a gig at The Troubadour. I put my guitar in it’s case and locked it in the back room behind the stage. The band sort of spread out through the club as if they needed to go network, but we were all there for the obvious. Sex, drugs, booze and Rock and Roll.

I run into this gorgeous blonde. Like a baby Farrah Fawcett.

“I like that song you played about the bombshell. Who’s that about?”

“Farrah. I wrote it when I was sixteen. I love Farrah.”

The earliest warning sign should have been her next opening line. Jabbing me with her finger, she pointed at her own face and said: “Who do I look like?” I had no idea. The answer she was looking for apparently, was Heather Locklear.

A few hours later and we’re walking back to her place. It’s beginning to spit with rain.

Things started fine. Pretty much like most tipsy post show hook ups back then. As things began to escalate, she made an excuse to go to the bathroom. It took a few minutes to decide on the appropriate level of nakedness to be in on her return but after 10 minutes I thought I should probably check if she’s Okay.

When I got to the bathroom, the door was locked. The light, on. I knocked: no answer. I returned to the bedroom, put some clothes back on. Looked out the window. The rain was now torrential. Home was 20 minutes away. Do I call a taxi? Faced with an impossible situation, I took an incredibly ungentlemanly decision.

“Hope you’re okay. Unlock the door and I’ll get you some water.” I wrote it on a piece of paper found on the girl’s desk, slipped it under the bathroom door and waited a few minutes. When the door stayed locked, I went to her room, got into bed and fell asleep.

A few hours later I’m awakened by the door opening. It’s her. I make a move to get up but she pins me down with a surprising level of strength, strips completely and the most excruciating 20 minutes of my life began. To this day I’ve never met anyone else who has a “don’t touch me with your hands or mouth below my waist” policy. It was bizarre and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. It was just a bronco cowgirl ride to the finish.

When it was over, I got up to leave but she grabbed my arm and said no. She pulled me back into bed, only to roll over and go back to sleep within minutes. Awkwardly, I lay there a bit longer, trying to figure out whether it was worth staying. Eventually I tried to leave again. This time she said no but I ignored her. Besides, it had stopped raining now.

As an act of goodwill I wrote my phone number on a pad on her desk. She asked what I was doing and then laughed when I told her.

Two weeks later, my band is back at the Troubadour. I’m out back having a smoke out back chatting to some friends when over my shoulder I hear it again.

“Who do I look like?”

Poor guy.

 

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