Drummers named White

29 05 2009

Answer: He was a member of the Plastic Ono Band (John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton and Klaus Voorman)  and the band Yes and has played with a number of famous rockers including George Harrison, Joe Cocker, Ginger Baker and The Ventures.

Question: Who is Alan White?


Second from left.

Answer: He was the drummer of Oasis who replaced Tony McCarroll and was with the band from 1995 to 2004.

Question: Who is Alan White?


Answer: He was a seasonsed session drummer who, to the chagrin of the Ringo Starr and his fellow Beatles, was tapped by George Martin to record “Love Me Do” for single release.

Question: Who is Andy White?


Answer: He is the older brother of Alan White (Oasis) and has been the longtime drummer for Paul Weller, going back to his Style Council days.  He has also played with The Who.

Question: Who is Steve White?


Answer: She is the drummer of the White Stripes and was married to Jack White from 1996 to 2000.

Question: Who is Detroit’s own Meg White?



What they really meant

27 05 2009

If you’ve paid any attention to Beatles history at all, you’ve heard at least something about the so-called “Paul is dead” rumor that broke here in Detroit in 1969.  You can read about that anywhere. I’m not terribly interested in most of the “clues” other than for their comedic value.

I am interested, though, in other little signs and symbols that the Beatles put out there that hinted, probably unintentionally, at what was going on in their real lives.  One of those signs was found on Abbey Road and was a supposed clue of Paul’s death.   The “Paul is dead” nuts like to point out that Sir Paul was in black, barefoot and walking out of step with the other Beatles on the cover of Abbey Road.  Indeed he was.

abbeyroad frontcover

On the back of the album sleeve the band name is written in tile letters on a wall above the name of the famous road.  Interestingly, there’s a crack right in the middle of the “S” in the name.

abbeyroad backcover

Were these images intentional messages placed there by the Beatles?  Probably not.  But the symbolism, to me, is still quite stunning.

In August 1969, when the band posed for what may be the most famous album cover in rock history, an iconic image if there ever was one, the band was all but done.  Just a little over a month later, John announced to the group that he wanted a “divorce” and was leaving the band.  Other than one recording session in early 1970 attended by George, Paul and Ringo, the Beatles recording career together was effectively over.

If the way in which the Beatles were dressed was suggestive of some kind of funeral procession or a death, it wasn’t Paul’s death but the band’s death.

While recording Abbey Road, the Beatles were at each others’ throats over business matters.  John, George and Ringo had all decided Allen Klein should be the band’s manager.  Paul held out for his father-in-law, Lee Eastman, or anyone but Klein.  The fighting over this issue is legendary.  The image on cover of Paul being “out of step” with John, Ringo and George is quite profound.  He was, indeed, out of step with the direction in which the other three wanted to take the Beatles’ business dealings.   The crack running through the band name on the back of the album sleeve was just another hint at what had happened to the group.

Symbolism in music, art and literature, in my view, often gets overstated.  Sometimes a word or an image has no meaning deeper than what you hear, read or see on the surface.  As Freud might have said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”   But if we are going to look for deeper meanings, I don’t think those on the Abbey Road album sleeve are much of a stretch.  Certainly they jibe with what was happening with the band at the time the album was made and released.

Video Flashback: “In the Mood,” Robert Plant

25 05 2009

I was a little too young to know much about Led Zeppelin.  Sure, I had heard of them as a kid, but my parents weren’t fans and we didn’t have rock n’ roll radio on too much.  My mom played a lot of Linda Ronstadt, some Eric Clapton and Olivia Newton-John, together with a mish-mash of oldies and country.

Because of that, I didn’t have much of an idea of who Robert Plant was when this song came around.  I heard the song a bunch on top 40 radio and loved it.  In fact, it was one of the songs I recorded from the radio and listened to over and over.  It wasn’t until I went to my mom’s best friend’s house and we turned on MTV that I learned of the then former career of Mr. Plant.  My mom’s friend’s younger brother, about 6 years older than me, made my “cousin” and I sit still while he watched this video.  He told us who Robert was and that “Zeppelin rules!”

This is another song that I haven’t heard in years.  It has simply dropped out of the radio station.  I’m not sure why it doesn’t get played much anymore.  It beats the crap out of most of Steve Winwood’s solo work and that still finds its way onto radio.


Memorial Day

22 05 2009

Enjoy this Memorial Day holiday.  At the risk of sounding preachy, don’t forget those men and women who sacrificed their lives for us in the United States.  Here’s a tribute to them.

War is always awful.  Sometimes there’s just simply no justifiable reason for it.  Remember that men and women die in stupid (lack of a better word) wars, too.  I am a fairly conservative guy and consider myself an unabashed patriot.  But I understand that there are times when we should question why we are involved in the wars and military actions our country sometimes fights.  Much of any sort of anti-war sentiment that I might have is motivated by my desire that members of our armed services not die in vain, needless conflicts.  In something of a protest of those types of tragedies, I offer this.

Disco Mac

20 05 2009

Somewhere in the late 70s, I lost track of what the Beatles, as individuals were doing.  Come to think of it, other than some of Paul’s mega-hits on the radio, I don’t think I knew much about their solo careers.   There’s no doubt that albums like Back to the Egg went unnoticed by me.

It wasn’t until I went to college in the late 80’s that I discovered much of McCartney’s back catalog of solo and Wings stuff.  I bought Back to the Egg on the advice of a good friend and fellow Beatles freak.  One of the first songs I really took to was “Arrow Through Me.”  It’s groove sounded perfect for unwinding with a cool autumn breeze blowing through the window and the lights low (not necessarily romantic, just relaxing.)  It’s never too late to discover old stuff.

Fast forward another 20 years and tonight, for the first time, I saw the video for “Arrow Through Me.”  I never knew there was a video for it. 

Here she is

17 05 2009

For the last month or so I’ve been meaning to post pictures of my most recent instrument purchase.  She’s a 1997 Epiphone Accu-Bass.

Supposedly she has a plywood body, but she has really, really good sustain.  Sometimes I can get the growl I want but I think she sounds better in the mids.  Her action is good and she’s pretty easy to play for a 34″ scale bass.  I haven’t weighed her, but she’s a tad heavy when strapped and over my shoulder.  I suppose that will just take some getting used to.

For $300 out the door I got the bass and an 80 watt Kustom amp.  The bass is definitely worth all of $150, which is what the pawn shop guy was asking for her.  I s’pose I paid full price for the bass but saved some money on the amp.

Hopefully when the NHL playoffs end — I’m loving watching them this year — I’ll be able to get back to more playing.  I feel like I’m missing out on quality time with my new girl. (That’s a joke)





The Hockey Song

14 05 2009

My Detroit Red Wings are in the Stanley Cup playoffs again.  Tonight they play the Anaheim Ducks in game 7 of the Western Conference semi-finals.  It’s do or die for the Wings and I’ll be cheering for them loudly and proudly.

This is a great time of year, especially here in Detroit.  We are spoiled because the Red Wings go to the playoffs every year.  Hockey’s not nearly as exciting during the regular season.  But playoff hockey can’t be beat.

In honor of the Red Wings and the sport of hockey, I’m putting up “The Hockey Song.”  Enjoy.