One of our favorite sites, Space.com or "Dobb's Folly" as it is known around here, offers up a nice photo essay of this years Quadrantid Meteor Shower along with a little science about meteor showers in general and the yearly Quadrantid Meteor Shower in particular.
The following photo by Robert Porto taken in the Canary Islands will link you to the entire piece.
Conceived by German jazz publicist Joachim-Ernst Berendt, The American Folk Blues Festival was an annual fall tour of Europe by American blues musicians.
Jazz having become very popular in Europe, and with rock and roll just beginning to gain a foothold there, the fact that both genres drew influences from the blues caused Berendt to think that European audiences would jump at the chance to see live performances by American blues artists.
Promoters Horst Lippmann and Fritz Rau brought Berendt’s idea to fruition by entering into a relationship with the great Willie Dixon that would enable them to book the greatest and most influential of America’s blues musicians.
The first festival was held in 1962.
It continued mostly annually until 1972.
After an eight year hiatus it was revived in 1980 and ran until 1985.
During the course of these tours, Lippman and Rau were able to arrange very high quality, live in the studio performances by these great artists for German television.
One of which follows here.
Famed German poster artist Gunther Kieser did the poster art and show bills for the 1964 tour from which the following performance was taken.
Click on the poster to link up to Amazon’s offering of Reelin in the Years Productions’ DVD collection of these historic performances.
Here’s the great Chester Burnett, also know as Howlin' Wolf on vocals and accoustic guitar, the equally great Hubert Sumlin on the electric guitar, Sunnyland Slim on piano, along with Willie Dixon (who you never see) playing bass, with an introduction from what appears to be a fairly well buzzed Mae Mercer.
Shake for Me.
It seems we've just completed our second unpaid product endorsement.
If you are a Detroiter of a certain age, you have very distinct memories of hustling home after school to catch your favorite musical group lip sync their newest hit on Detroit's version of American Bandstand, Swingin' Time hosted by WKNR then CKLW disk jockey Robin Seymour.
They were all there as all of Motowns greats appeared, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, The Amboy Dukes, Question Mark and the Mysterians, Parliment, The Stooges and I'm pretty sure the MC5 along with most of the national acts that came through town.
Dick Clark was wishing his show was so cool.
Long before the Silver Bullet Band was even a glimmer in Bob Seger's eye there was Bob Seger and the LastHeard and then the Bob Seger System.
This is a very young Bob Seger on vocals and cheesy organ, Pep Perrine on drums, Dan Honaker on bass and I'm pretty sure that's Carl Lagassa on guitar, performing what is in my opinion one of the greatest stories in the history of Rock and Roll and Bob Seeger's first local hit record.
A couple of the minions hail from Southern California.
You may not be aware of this but for Southern Californians of a certain age, when it comes to Halloween there is only one band and only one tune that truly satisfies.
That band being Oingo Boingo and the tune, Dead Man's Party
So ... from 1985, here's Danny Elfman on guitar and vocals, Steve Bartek playing an exceptionally tasty lead guitar, John Hernandez on drums, John Avila on the bass synth, Michael Bacich (I think) on keyboards, and the horn section of Leon Schneiderman and Sam (Sluggo) Phipps on saxaphones with Dale Turner on the trumpet.
I also thought I knew between two people who it was that would call and explain it to me in no uncertain terms how it is that Pearly Gates could not possibly be the most famed guitar in the history of Rock and Roll when it was indeed Brownie that sold at auction in 1999 for what was then a record price of $450,000 and Blackie that subsequently shattered and still holds the record for the highest selling guitar of all time, having also sold at auction, this time in 2004 for $959,000.
I was so sure ..... I had it typed in advance.
I simply left a space open just up ahead a bit in order to insert the name.
As it happened I only had it about half right as it turned out that it came via email from our good friend Richie (don't call me Dickie) V. a better than average non pro picker and a for sure Strat guy rather than a D. brother.
So, ok Rich, I was layin' for ya.
This is Brownie.
Fender Stratocasters sound nothing like Gibson Les Pauls, as they use mostly different woods, different body types (sollid vs chambered), pickup construction/configuration, set up, the list goes on and on.
To most people they're all guitars, but to a picker (which as previously disclosed I am not) the one is nothing like the other.
And that's before you get into the charactor of individual guitars as different pieces of wood from the same tree will display differing personalities.
As mentioned in the Gibson post, for me it's Tush that best defines that crunchy Gibson humbuckin' thing.
And it's Eric Clapton and Brownie's Layla that comes to mind when I think about that sweet, reedy Fender single coil sound.
And while I couldn't find any early 1970's Derek and the Dominoes performances of Layla, I did find this little treasure.
Live in the studio, this is Eric Clapton and Brownie along with three of the finest sidemen/hired guns in all of popular music, Bobby Whitlock on piano and vocals, Carl Radle on bass, and Jim Gordon on drums, together with Johnny Cash and the magnificently coiffed Carl Perkins.
Derek and the Dominoes.
It's Too Late and Matchbox.
This is Blackie.
To quote Eric Clapton from the book The Stratocaster Chronicles,
"My first Strat was Brownie, and I played it for years and years, a wonderful guitar. Then I was in Nashville at a store called Sho-Bud, as I recall, and they had a whole rack of old '50s Strats in the back, going second-hand. They were so out of fashion you could pick up a perfectly genuine Strat for two hundred or three hundred dollars — even less! So I bought all of them. I gave one to Steve Winwood, one to George Harrison, and one to Pete Townshend, and kept a few for myself. I liked the idea of a black body, but the black one I had was in bad condition, so I took apart the ones I kept and assembled different pieces to make Blackie, which is a hybrid, a mongrel."
Among Clapton and Blackie's hit records were were Lay Down Sally, Cocaine and I Shot the Sheriff.
Here's Eric Clapton and Blackie along with Tim Renwick on guitar, Duck Dunn on bass, Chris Stainton on keyboards, Jamie Oldaker on Drums, Shaun Murphy and Marcy Levy singing backup.
Just to make things clear, Clapton recorded Layla with Brownie, but is playing it here with Blackie.