Fanatic5 - Family Passions
Rock Music History, Groups, Albums
Fanatic5 - Family Passions
Eastern Pennsylvania Railroads
Western Pennsylvania Railroads
Southern Railroads
Buffalo Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad / Western Maryland Railway
Dedicated to My Grandfather (NYC)
Lehigh Valley Railroad
Railroad Definitions & Terms
Baseball Ballparks & Memorabilia
Athletic Leagues, College, High School
Rock Music History, Groups, Albums
Music, FM Radio and the 1960's
Jam Bands & the Fillmores
Jazz Fusion
Album Reviews
Brewery History
Former Breweries (New York & Pennsylvania)
Beer Types & Definitions
Collectibles, Travel & Other Interests
Favorite Movies
Favorite Television Shows
Family Memories
In My Father's Memory

 

"Music feeds my passions in life. It is my connection to the past, a comfort in the present and a hope for the future. Music is what I can depend on when nothing else in life is trustworthy, a way to escape the physical world and express my emotions. Music is the magic that keeps the world believing when faith fails. Despite adversity, music drives me forward, creating a unique entity in a world that forces conformity. Music is the language of my soul and my life." (GD)

 

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48 years ago, we were mesmerized in front of our "b&w" television sets...Sunday, February 9, 1964 (8 pm). The Beatles made their first American debut on the Ed Sullivan Show.
 
An estimated 73 million Americans watched as they performed All My Loving, Till There Was You, She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There and I Want To Hold Your Hand. The Beatles pioneered and changed music forever...

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Classic Rock to Psychedelic to Progressive Rock, with a little bit of Jazz, Blues and Country thrown in..... 
 
1965 through the early 1970's produced many of the greatest rock bands in history. The music had a message, created by talented musicians not absorbed in commercial success. This movement created the "Underground" scene, portrayed through FM radio stations popping up around the country.
 
The importance of this music has stood the test of time.....
 

Psychedelic music draws its inspiration from the experience of mind-altering drugs. Characteristic features of the style include modal melodies, lengthy instrumental solos, esoteric lyrics and "trippy" special effects such as reversed, distorted, delayed and phased sounds.

The first use of the word "psychedelic" in a rock music context is usually credited to the 13th Floor Elevators, and the earliest known appearance in their 1966 album "The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators." The psychedelic sound itself had been around a year earlier in the live music of Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd and Donovan. The sound reached its maximum popularity in 1967.

Progressive Rock is an ambitious, eclectic and often grandiose style of rock music which arose in the late 1960's principally in England, reaching the peak of its popularity in the early 1970's, but continuing as a musical form to this day. Progressive rock was largely a European movement which derived most of its influences from classical music and jazz fusion. Artists sought to move away from the limitations of radio formatted rock and "progress" to the point that it could achieve the sophistication of jazz or classical music. It is admired by fans for its complexity, requiring a high level of musical virtuosity to perform. Groups such as Ten Years After, King Crimson, Jethro Tull and Yes epitomized this style.

Famous Rock Posters (1967-1968)
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Most "Forgotten" Bands:
 
Blodwyn Pig
Savoy Brown
Armageddon
Spirit
Captain Beyond
Renaissance
Hello People
Gentle Giant
Caravan
Aorta
Mahogany Rush
IF
Colosseum
Nektar
Pearls Before Swine
Seatrain
Steamhammer
Fairport Convention
Wishbone Ash
The Flock
Taste
Blue Cheer
Chilliwack
Atomic Rooster
Free
Rhinoceros
Spooky Tooth
 

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Rhinoceros (1968)

Rhinoceros was a "supergroup" with roots based in a set of musicians collected by Elektra Records. Despite the fact that the band could not live up to expectations raised by Elektra Records, the band's contributions to rock music deserve more credit than published. It did not help matters that the band's manager declined an invitation to appear at Woodstock. The band's self-titled debut was impressive, thanks in part to producer Paul Rothchild, who also worked with the Doors. The band was the brainchild of Rothchild and Frazier Mohawk, a producer who helped craft Buffalo Springfield. Rothchild and Mohawk first auditioned about a dozen musicians in the autumn of 1967, including Alan Gerber and guitarist Doug Hastings. Two months later, the group added vocalist John Finley (previously with the Checkmates) and former Iron Butterfly guitarist Danny Weis.
 
Before the year ended, the band would add keyboard player Michael Fonfara, a former bandmate of Finley's from the Checkmates and bassist Jerry Penrod from Iron Butterfly. The band, by now calling itself Rhinoceros, went to work on its own debut album about four months later in 1968. At this time, the band would add drummer Billy Mundi (Mothers of Invention). By June, the group played live for the first time at the West Hollywood "Whiskey A Go-Go." Rhinoceros then played New York's "Café Au-Go-Go" three months later. In between the band's East and West Coast debuts, Rhinoceros also toured with several acts, including Taj Mahal and Love. While in New York, the band also performed a free Central Park concert that drew approximately 12,000 people and featured Wind in the Willows, Traffic and Spooky Tooth. Performances followed in Canada, but before 1971 was over, the band called it quits.

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Traffic was formed by Steve Winwood, Chris Wood, Jim Capaldi and Dave Mason in 1967, shortly after Winwood left the Spencer Davis Group. The band created a sound out of blues, folk, jazz and psychedelia. Their debut album Mr. Fantasy was released in December 1967, displaying a mystical "Celtic" symbol.

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"Wheel of Fortune" Traffic Symbol

 
Along with the Beatles and other groups from the British invasion of the early 1960's, came the Yardbirds. One of the most influential rock/blues bands ever, they produced some of the greatest guitarists (Clapton, Beck, Page) and future groups of our times. Guided by the superlative vocals and harmonica work of Keith Relf, the Yardbirds have solidified their place in music history.

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The Yardbirds (circa 1965)

 
. . . and then came the Supergroups

 
The Yardbirds were pioneers in almost every guitar innovation of the 1960's, including fuzz tone, feedback, distortion and amplification. They were one of the first bands to put an emphasis on complex lead guitar parts.
 
A young guitarist by the name of Eric Clapton emerged in 1963, soon becoming famous for his solos that would set him apart from most of his British peers. In March 1965, Eric Clapton played his last show with the Yardbirds, leaving the band for John Mayall's Blues Breakers.
 
Clapton left the Blues Breakers in mid 1966 and immediately formed Cream, one of the earliest "power trios" with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker (formerly of the Graham Bond Organisation). After only three years, the band announced their "farewell tour" which consisted of 22 shows in the United States and two final concerts at the Royal Albert Hall on November 26, 1968.
 
In 2004, it was officially announced that Cream would finally reunite for a series of four shows in 2005 (May 2, 3, 5, 6) in London at the Royal Albert Hall, the venue of their final concerts in 1968. Subsequent concert dates took place in New York at Madison Square Garden (October 24, 25, 26). After nearly 37 years, the well anticipated "reunion" tour was the best show ever promoted to date!

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Cream 2005 Reunion Tour

 
The progressive rock "Power Trio" (guitar, bass, drums) was a format unleashed in the 1960's, often embarking on long, improvised jams that would highlight the talent of each individual musician. Popular bands such as Cream, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Rush, Grand Funk Railroad, Blue Cheer and Robin Trower, have left their legacy on rock music.

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However, the James Gang, featuring Joe Walsh (guitar, keyboards), founding member Jim Fox (drums) and Tom Kriss (bass, later replaced by Dale Peters), was a prominent force between 1969 and 1971. I remember Pete Townshend once claiming that Walsh was the greatest guitar player alive. Listen to Joe's artistic guitar work on Lost Woman, Stop or The Bomber for a true appreciation of his innovative rhythm playing and creative riffs. A very underrated band!

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The Hammond has a unique drawbar system of additive timbre synthesis. A note on the organ consists of the fundamental and harmonics, or multiples of that frequency. The fundamental and up to eight harmonics are controlled by means of drawbars and preset keys or buttons. In addition, models have a "percussive" mode which causes a fast-transient "ping" of certain harmonics. This sound, in conjunction with the famous Hammond "key click" caused by the mechanical contacts, is the sound made famous by Keith Emerson during his earlier days with The Nice and later with Emerson, Lake and Palmer. The addition of a guitar-type distortion to the organ's output and vibrato/tremolo introduced by the Leslie cabinets, completed the progressive organ sound, used by Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman, Tony Banks and Brian Auger, to name but a few.

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Keith Emerson (ELP)

ELP Tickets (Toronto, 1977)
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Emerson, Lake and Palmer were one of rock's earliest "supergroups" formed from members of three successful bands, The Nice, King Crimson and Atomic Rooster.
 
On April 4, 1970, Britain's New Musical Express ran the headline: "Keith Emerson and Greg Lake to form new group." The band's early rehearsals were done at Island Studios (London) in June, with initial recordings in July. 
 
ELP's sound was dominated by the Hammond organ and Moog synthesizer, with compositions heavily influenced by classical music, jazz and progressive rock.
 

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Bob Moog & Keith Emerson

Robert Moog (1934-2005) was a pioneer in electronic music and inventor of the "Moog" (rhymes with vogue) synthesizer, which changed the course of popular music. Originally produced in Trumansburg (NY) from 1963 to 1971, Moog sold his controlling interest to Musonics, Inc. and moved the company to Buffalo (NY).

In 1969, Emerson added the "Moog" synthesizer to his array of keyboards. While other artists such as the Beatles (Abbey Road) and the Rolling Stones used the "Moog" in studio recordings, Emerson was the first artist to tour with the new instrument. In 1969, Dick Hyman released a visionary LP called the "The Electric Eclectics" featuring an early improvisation rock/jazz piece called "The Minotaur."

 

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The Byrds started as Jim (Roger) McGuinn, David Crosby, Gene Clark, Michael Clarke & Chris Hillman in Los Angeles during 1964.

A band bridging the gap between the "message driven" lyrics of Bob Dylan and the melodic pop of the Beatles, the Byrds released four LP's between 1965-1967 including Mr. Tambourine Man, Turn! Turn! Turn!, Fifth Dimension and Younger Than Yesterday before major changes took place in 1968. From 1969-1972, McGuinn was the only original member of the band which now included guitarist Clarence White, bassist Skip Battin and drummer Gene Parsons. This version of the Byrds recorded several albums, including the double album Untitled, which featured a concert favorite and extended jam of "Eight Miles High."

"Crimson flames tied through my years
Rollin high and mighty trapped
Countless violent flaming roads
Using ideas as my map
We'll meet on edges soon said I
Proud 'neath heated brow
Ah but I was so much older then
I'm younger than that now..."
Dylan (My Back Pages)

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Roger McGuinn's 12-String Rickenbacker

 
Ten Greatest Guitarists (in no order):

Jeff Beck

Eric Clapton

Alvin Lee

Jimi Hendrix

Jimmy Page

Jerry Garcia

Kim Simmonds

Robin Trower

Frank Marino

John Cipollina

 

Ten Greatest Keyboardists (in no order):

Keith Emerson

Brian Auger

Rick Wakeman

Tony Banks

Billy Payne

Nicky Hopkins

Garth Hudson

Steve Winwood

Jon Lord

Jerry Corbetta

 

Ten Greatest Drummers (in no order):

Carl Palmer

Bobby Caldwell

Ginger Baker

Aynsley Dunbar

Neil Peart

Jon Hiseman

John Bonham

Richie Hayward

Carmine Appice

Billy Bruford

 

Ten Greatest Vocalists (in no order):

Roger Daltry

Greg Lake

Mike Harrison

Jon Anderson

Annie Haslam

Grace Slick

Jim Morrison

Paul Rodgers

Justin Haywood

Eric Burden

 

Ten Greatest Bassists (in no order):

Lee Dorman

Greg Lake

Geddy Lee

Jack Bruce

Phil Lesh

Chris Squire

John Entwistle

Jack Casady

Tim Bogert

Mel Schacher

 

Ten Greatest Instrumentalists (in no order):

Dick Morrisey (Sax, Flute)

Richard Greene (Violin) 

Ian Anderson (Flute, String Instruments)

Jerry Goodman (Violin)

Keith Relf (Harmonica, Vocals) 

Donald Fagen (Keyboards) 

David LaFlamme (Violin) 

John Mayall (Mouth Harp, String Instruments) 

Andy Kulberg (Flute)

Jean-Luc Ponty (Violin)

 

Ten Greatest Lyricists/Songwriters (in no order):

John Lennon/Paul McCartney

Bob Dylan

Peter Sinfield

Buddy Buie

James Taylor

Jim Roberts

Betty Thatcher

Robbie Robertson

Gordon Lightfoot

Joni Mitchell

 

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Grace Slick "The Queen"

 
 
Most Influential LP's (1965-1975):
 
1965
  • The Byrds "Turn, Turn, Turn"
  • The Yardbirds "Having a Rave Up"

1966

  • Blues Project "Projections"
  • Buffalo Springfield "Buffalo Springfield"
  • Cream "Fresh Cream"
  • Blues Magoos "Psychedelic Lollipop"

1967

  • Moody Blues "Day of Future Passed"
  • The Electric Prunes "I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night"

1968

  • Quicksilver Messenger Service "Happy Trails"
  • Iron Butterfly "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida"
  • Jefferson Airplane "Crown of Creation"
  • The Band "Music from Big Pink"
  • Jimi Hendrix Experience "Electric Ladyland"

1969

  • John Mayall "The Turning Point"
  • Blind Faith "Blind Faith"
  • It's a Beautiful Day "It's a Beautiful Day"
  • Led Zeppelin "Led Zeppelin"
  • Fairport Convention "Liege & Lief" 
  • King Crimson "In the Court of the Crimson King"
  • Rolling Stones "Let it Bleed"
  • Beatles "Abbey Road"
  • James Gang "Yer' Album"
  • Grateful Dead "Live/Dead" 
  • Crosby, Stills & Nash "Crosby, Stills & Nash"

1970

  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer "Emerson, Lake & Palmer"
  • Spirit "Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus"
  • The Doors "L.A. Woman"
  • Seatrain "Seatrain"
  • Colosseum "The Grass is Greener"

1971

  • The Who "Who's Next"
  • Savoy Brown "Street Corner Talking"
  • Yes "The Yes Album"
  • Traffic "Low Sparks of High Heeled Boys"

1972

  • Captain Beyond "Captain Beyond"
  • Jethro Tull "Thick as a Brick"

1973

  • Pink Floyd "Dark Side of the Moon"
  • Genesis "Selling England by the Pound"

1974

  • Bob Dylan "Blood on the Tracks"
  • Little Feat "Feats Don't Fail Me Now"

1975

  • Jeff Beck "Blow by Blow"
  • Renaissance "Scheherazade and Other Stories"
  • Armageddon "Armageddon"
  • Joni Mitchell "The Hissing of Summer Lawns"

 

The Start of fusion?

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The jazz/rock/blues band "If" was a very popular and innovative British group, created in 1969 by founding members and "Melody Maker" jazz poll winners Dave Quincy, Dick Morrissey and Terry Smith. Most jazz music relied on "open-ended" jamming to familiar, standard tunes. By the late 1960's, progressive rock bands were proving more adventurous than their jazz counterparts. The birth of jazz/rock/blues was sparked by the success of American pioneers Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago Transit Authority. "If" used strong sax and guitar arrangements, backed by singer J.W. Hodkinson.

"If" released several albums which produced a true fusion between rock and jazz. The group's first album titled If offered several outstanding songs, including the album's showpiece jazz instrumental called "What Did I Say About the Box, Jack?" This track builds to several internal climaxes and features a fantastic Dave Quincy flute solo, a fiery guitar riff and a concluding slice of tenor sax virtuosity. Bassist Jim Richardson provides the hook at the beginning and end of this number, while John Mealing's organ provides the foundation for the musicians to soar. A young Dennis Elliott (later a member of Foreigner) provided the drum work. Subsequent releases were titled If2, If3 and Waterfall.
 
 

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As "Southern Rock" bands emerged on the music scene during the 1970's, the Allman Brothers Band and the Atlanta Rhythm Section offered the most notable rock styles. ARS evolved from the 1960's group "The Classics IV" famous for several hits including Stormy, Spooky and Traces. The foremost years for ARS were 1973 through 1981, recording their finest LP's Champagne Jam, Underdog and their outstanding double-live Are You Ready. During their peak years, band members were Ronnie Hammond (vocals), Barry Bailey and J.R. Cobb (guitars), Paul Goddard (bass), Dean Daughtry (keyboards) and Robert Nix (drums), along with renowned producer/songwriter Buddy Buie.
 
 

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Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell is one of the most gifted and influential songwriters of our time. Her melodious tunes support poetic and often personal lyrics, making her one of the most authentic and copied artists of our generation. Joni's music originally was considered folk, but progressed toward jazz during the 1970's. Her collaboration with saxophonist Tom Scott (L.A. Express) produced the popular Court and Spark. Other significant releases include Hissing Of Summer Lawns and Hejira.

 

"I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs and ideas into my brain. Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music."

George Eliot

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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