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Jimmy Buffett

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Jimmy Buffett

Jimmy Buffett performing, January 2008
Background information
Birth name James William Buffett, Jr.
Born December 25, 1946 (1946-12-25) (age 64)
Pascagoula, Mississippi, U.S.
Origin Mobile, Alabama, U.S.
Genres Gulf and western
Soft rock
Beach music
Trop rock
Easy listening
Country Music
Occupations Singer-songwriter, author, restaurant and bar owner, minor league baseball team owner
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1968–present
Labels Barnaby
Associated acts Alan Jackson, Jeremy Colvin, Glenn Frey, Eagles
Website Official Web Site

Jimmy Buffett aboard USS Harry S Truman, January 2008

James William “Jimmy” Buffett, Jr. (born December 25, 1946) is a singer, songwriter, author, businessman, and movie producer. He is best known for his music, which often portrays an “island escapism” lifestyle. Together with his Coral Reefer Band, Buffett’s musical hits include “Margaritaville” (No. 234 on RIAA’s list of “Songs of the Century“), and “Come Monday“. He has a devoted base of fans known as “Parrotheads

Aside from his career in music, Buffett is also a best-selling writer and is involved in two restaurant chains named after two of his best known songs, “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Margaritaville“. He owns the Margaritaville Cafe restaurant chain and co-developed the Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant concept with OSI Restaurant Partners (parent of Outback Steakhouse), which operates the chain under a licensing agreement with Buffett.



[edit] Personal life

Buffett spent part of his childhood in Mobile, Alabama.[1] As a boy in grade school, he attended St. Ignatius School. He later lived in Fairhope, Alabama, mentioned by Buffett as his “Home Town” during a 2001 concert. He graduated from high school from McGill Institute for Boys (now McGill-Toolen Catholic High School) in 1964. He began playing guitar during his college years at Pearl River Community College, Auburn University and The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where he received a bachelor’s degree in history in 1969. He was initiated into the fraternity Kappa Sigma (ΚΣ) at the University of Southern Mississippi. After graduating from college, Buffett worked as a correspondent for Billboard magazine in Nashville, breaking the news of the separation of Flatt and Scruggs.

Buffett married Margie Washichek in 1969 and divorced in 1972. Buffett and his second wife Jane (Jane Slagsvol) have two daughters, Savannah Jane and Sarah Delaney, and an adopted son, Cameron Marley, and reside in Palm Beach, Florida. They were separated in the early 1980s; however, they reconciled in 1991. Buffett also owns a home in St Barts, a Caribbean island where he lived on and off in the early 1980s while he was part-owner of the Autour de Rocher hotel and restaurant. An avid pilot, Buffett’s flagship, a Dassault Falcon 900 aircraft with identifier N908JB often accompanies him while on tour and travels throughout the world.

His father, James William Buffett, Sr. passed away in 2003 at the age of 80.

[edit] Music

Buffett began his musical career in Nashville, Tennessee during the late 1960s as a country artist and recorded his first album, the folk rock Down to Earth, in 1970. During this time Buffett could be frequently found busking for tourists in New Orleans. Country music singer Jerry Jeff Walker took him to Key West on a busking expedition. Buffett then moved to Key West and began establishing the easy-going beach bum persona for which he is known. Following this move, Buffett combined country, folk, and pop music with coastal as well as tropical lyrical themes for a sound sometimes called “gulf and western”. Today, he is a regular visitor to the Caribbean island of Saint Barts and other islands where he gets inspiration for many of his songs and some of the characters in his books.

Buffett’s third album was the 1973 A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean. Living & Dying in 3/4 Time and A1A both followed in 1974, Havana Daydreamin’ appeared in 1976, followed by 1977’s Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, which featured the breakthrough hit song “Margaritaville“.

With the untimely death of friend and mentor Jim Croce in September 1973, ABC Dunhill tapped Buffett to fill his space. Earlier, Buffett had visited Croce’s farm in Pennsylvania and met with Croce in Florida (see Jimmy Buffett “The Man from Margaritaville Revealed” – Steve Eng page 144 and “Jimmy Buffett Scrap Book” by Mark Humphrey page 120)

During the 1980s, Buffett made far more money off his tours than albums and became known as a popular concert draw. He released a series of albums during the following twenty years, primarily to his devoted audience, and also branched into writing and merchandising. In 1985, Buffett opened a “Margaritaville” retail store in Key West and then in 1987, the Margaritaville Cafe was opened. During the 1980s Buffett played at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. He briefly changed the name of the band from “Coral Reefers” to the “Coral Reef Band” to suit the HLS&R’s request as they thought “Reefers” was a drug related reference. HLS&R is a charity event that provides student grants to children and young adults that compete in agriculture contests (FFA).

Two of the more out-of-character albums were Christmas Island (album), a collection of Christmas songs, and Parakeets, a collection of Buffett songs sung by children and containing “cleaned-up” lyrics (like “a cold root beer” instead of “a cold draft beer”).

In 1997, Buffett collaborated with novelist Herman Wouk to create a short-lived musical based on Wouk’s novel, Don’t Stop the Carnival. Broadway showed little interest in the play, (following the failure of Paul Simon’s The Capeman) and it only ran for six weeks in Miami. He released an album of songs from the musical in 1998.

In August 2000 Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band played on the White House lawn for then President Bill Clinton.

In 2003, he partnered in a partial duet with Alan Jackson for the song “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere”, a number one hit on the country charts. This song won the 2003 Country Music Association Award for Vocal Event of the Year.[2] This was Buffett’s first award of any kind for his music in his 30 year career.

Buffett’s album, License to Chill, released on July 13, 2004, sold 238,600 copies in its first week of release according to Nielsen SoundScan. With this, Buffett topped the U.S. pop albums chart for the first time in his three-decade career.

Buffett continues to tour throughout the year although he has shifted recently to a more relaxed schedule of around 20–30 dates, and rarely on back-to-back nights, preferring to play only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, thus the title of his 1999 live album Buffett Live — Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays. Purchasing tickets is difficult with most of his concerts selling out in minutes.

In the summer of 2005 Buffett teamed up with Sirius radio and introduced channel 31: Radio Margaritaville, and as of November 2008 is also on XM radio channel 55. Until this point Radio Margaritaville was solely an online channel. The channel broadcasts from the Margaritaville restaurant at Universal CityWalk in Orlando, Florida. The channel is still available online at and as a reduced quality buffer on the WunderRadio app for the iPhone.

In August 2006, he released the album Take The Weather With You. The song “Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On” on this album refers to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. Also on the album he pays tribute to Merle Haggard with his rendition of “Silver Wings” and covers, with Mark Knopfler playing on the track, “Whoop De Doo.”

Of the over 30 albums Jimmy Buffett has released, as of October 2007, he has 8 Gold Albums and 9 Platinum or Multi Platinum Albums.[3] In 2003 Buffett won his first ever Country Music Award (CMA) for his song “It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere” with Alan Jackson, and was nominated again in 2007 for the CMA Event of the Year Award for his song “Hey Good Lookin” which featured Alan Jackson and George Strait.

On December 8, 2009, Jimmy Buffett released his 28th studio album entitled Buffet Hotel.

On April 20, 2010, a double CD of performances recorded during the 2008 and 2009 tours called encores was released exclusively at Walmart, and

[edit] Writing

Jimmy Buffett at the Miami Book Fair International of 1989

Buffett has written three #1 best sellers. Tales from Margaritaville and Where Is Joe Merchant? both spent over seven months on The New York Times Best Seller fiction list. His book A Pirate Looks At Fifty went straight to No. 1 on the New York Times Best Seller non-fiction list, making him one of eight authors in that list’s history to have reached No. 1 on both the fiction and non-fiction lists. The seven other authors who have accomplished this are Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, William Styron, Irving Wallace, Dr. Seuss, Mitch Albom and Glenn Beck.

Buffett also co-wrote two children’s books, The Jolly Mon and Trouble Dolls, with his eldest daughter, Savannah Jane Buffett. The original hard cover release of The Jolly Mon included a cassette tape recording of him and Savannah Jane reading the story accompanied by an original score written by Michael Utley.

Buffett’s novel A Salty Piece of Land, was released on November 30, 2004, and the first edition of the book included a CD single of the song “A Salty Piece Of Land”, which was recorded for License to Chill. The book was a New York Times best seller soon after its release.

Buffett’s latest title, Swine Not?, was released May 13, 2008.

Buffett is currently writing a follow-up to his autobiography A Pirate Looks at Fifty, which he says may take up to ten years to write and complete.

Jimmy Buffett quotation on Himank/BRO signboard in the Nubra Valley, Ladakh, Northern India.JPG

Buffett is one of several popular ‘philosophers’ whose quotations appear on the road signs of Project HIMANK in the Ladakh region of Northern India.

[edit] Film and television

Buffett wrote the soundtrack for, co-produced and acted in the 2006 film Hoot, directed by Wil Shriner and based on the book by Carl Hiaasen, which focuses on issues important to Buffett, such as conservation. The film was not a critical or commercial success. Among his other film music credits are the theme song to the short-lived 1993 CBS television series Johnny Bago; “Turning Around” for the 1985 film Summer Rental starring John Candy; “I Don’t Know (Spicoli’s Theme)” for the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High; “Hello, Texas” for the 1980 John Travolta film Urban Cowboy; and “If I Have To Eat Someone (It Might As Well Be You) for the animated film FernGully: The Last Rainforest, which was sung in the film by rap artist Tone Loc.

In addition, Buffett has made several cameo appearances, including in Repo Man, Hook, Cobb, Hoot, Congo, and From the Earth to the Moon. He also made cameo appearances as himself in Rancho Deluxe (for which he also wrote the music) and in FM.[4] Buffett reportedly was offered a cameo role in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, but declined the offer.[5] In 1997, Buffett collaborated with novelist Herman Wouk on a musical production based on Wouk’s 1965 novel Don’t Stop the Carnival. In the South Park episode “Tonsil Trouble“, an animated version of Buffett (but not voiced by Buffett) was seen singing “AIDSburger in Paradise” and “CureBurger in Paradise”.

[edit] Business ventures

Buffett has taken advantage of his name and the fan following for his music to launch several business ventures, usually with a tropical theme. He owns or licenses the Margaritaville Cafe and Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant chains. As a baseball fan, he was part-owner of two minor league teams: the Fort Myers Miracle and the Madison Black Wolf. Between his restaurants, album sales, and tours, he earns an estimated $100 million a year.

In 1993, he launched Margaritaville Records, with distribution through MCA Records. His MCA record deal ended with the release of 1996’s Christmas Island and he took Margaritaville Records over to Chris Blackwell’s Island Records for a two record deal, 1998’s Don’t Stop The Carnival and 1999’s Beach House On The Moon. In the fall of 1999, he started up Mailboat Records to release live albums. He partnered up with RCA Records for distribution in 2005 and 2006 for the two studio albums License To Chill and Take The Weather With You.

In 2006, Buffett launched a cooperative project with the Anheuser-Busch brewing company to produce his own beer under the Margaritaville Brewing label called Land Shark Lager.[6] In May 2009, Miami Dolphins majority owner Stephen Ross and Jimmy Buffett announced that the home stadium of the Miami Dolphins would be renamed LandShark Stadium for the 2009 season.[7]

Another Margaritaville Casino was slated to be opening in Atlantic City, New Jersey but has been put on hold indefinitely.[8] Buffett has also licensed Margaritaville Tequila, Margaritaville Shrimp and Margaritaville Footwear.

From May 8, 2009 through January 5, 2010 Sun Life Stadium (formerly Dolphin Stadium) in Miami was named Landshark Stadium pursuant to an eight-month naming rights deal.[9][10] Buffett also wrote new lyrics for the team to his 1979 song “Fins“, which is played during Dolphins home games.[11]

[edit] Charity work

Buffett has been involved in many charity efforts. In 1981 the Save the Manatee Club was founded by Buffett and former Florida governor Bob Graham.[12] Save the Manatee Club is the world’s leading manatee protection organization.[13] West Indian Manatee In 1989, legislation was passed in Florida that introduced the “Save the Manatee” license plate, and earmarked funding for the Save the Manatee Club. One of the two manatees trained to interact with researchers at Mote Marine Laboratory is named Buffett after the singer.

The “Singing for Change” foundation was initially funded by proceeds from Buffett’s 1995 concert tour, and provides grants to local charities in three main areas: children and family causes, environmental causes, and causes for disenfranchised groups.[14][15]

On November 23, 2004, Buffett raised substantial money at his “Surviving the Storm” Hurricane Relief Concert in Orlando, Florida to provide relief for hurricane victims in Florida, Alabama and the Caribbean affected by the four major hurricanes that year.[16]

Buffett performed in Hong Kong on January 18, 2008 for a concert that raised US$63,000 for the Foreign Correspondents’ Club Charity Fund. This was his first concert in Hong Kong and it sold out within weeks. Not only did Buffett perform for free, but he also paid for the concertgoers’ tequila and beer.[17]

On July 11, 2010, Buffett, a Gulf Coast native, put on a free concert on the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama. The concert was Buffett’s response to the BP oil disaster in the Gulf. The concert was aired on CMT television. The 35,000 free tickets were given away within minutes to help draw people back to Alabama’s beaches. Buffett played several popular songs including “Fins”, “Son of a Son of a Sailor”, “A Pirate Looks at Forty” and a modified version of “Margaritaville” where the lyrics were changed in the chorus to “now I know, it’s all BP’s fault.” The concert featured Jesse Winchester and Allen Toussaint.

In addition, many Parrothead club activities are focused on charity work, although Buffett is not directly involved with them.

[edit] Controversy

The earliest controversy with Buffett was his recording of “God’s Own Drunk” found on the album Living and Dying in ¾ Time. In 1983 the son of the late entertainer Lord Buckley sued Buffett for $11 million for copyright infringement claiming that Buffett took parts of the monologue from Buckley’s A Tribute to Buckley and claimed it as his own work in “God’s Own Drunk”. The suit also alleged that Buffett’s “blasphemous” rendition presented to the public a distorted impression of Lord Buckley.[18] They got an injunction against Buffett which prevented him from performing the song until the lawsuit was settled or resolved. So, in 1986 when Buffett would get to the part of his show where he would normally perform “God’s Own Drunk,” he would say that he still isn’t allowed to play it because of the lawsuit and instead played a song he wrote called “The Lawyer and the Asshole” in which he accuses Buckley’s son and lawyers as being greedy and tells them to “kiss his ass.”

On October 6, 2006, it was reported that Buffett had been detained by French custom officials in Saint Tropez for allegedly carrying over 100 pills of ecstasy.[19][20][21] Buffett’s luggage was searched after his Dassault Falcon 900 private jet landed at Toulon-Hyères International Airport. He paid a fine of $300 and was released. A spokesperson for Buffett stated the pills in question were prescription drugs, but declined to name the drug or the health problem for which he was being treated. Buffett released a statement that the “ecstasy” was in fact, a Vitamin B supplement known as Foltx.[22]

This was not the first time Buffett had been assumed to be carrying drugs. In January 1996 his Grumman HU-16 airplane nicknamed “Hemisphere Dancer” was shot at by Jamaican police who believed the craft to be smuggling marijuana. The aircraft sustained minimal damage. The plane had been carrying Buffett as well as U2‘s Bono, and Island Records producer Chris Blackwell, and co-pilot Bill Dindy. They were not on board at the time. The Jamaican government acknowledged the mistake and apologized to Buffett who penned the song “Jamaica Mistaica” for his Banana Wind album based on the experience. The plane from the incident is now at Orlando City Walk’s Margaritaville.

On February 4, 2001, he was ejected from the American Airlines Arena in Miami during a Miami Heat/New York Knicks basketball game for cursing. After the game, referee Joe Forte said that he ordered him moved during the fourth quarter because “there was a little boy sitting next to him and a lady sitting by him. He used some words he knows he shouldn’t have used.” Forte apparently didn’t know who Buffett was, and censured Heat coach Pat Riley because he thought Riley – who was trying to explain to him who Buffett was – was insulting him by asking if he’d ever been a “Parrothead”, the nickname for Buffett fans.[23] Buffett didn’t comment immediately after the incident, but discussed it with Matt Lauer on The Today Show three days later.

Jimmy Buffett was paid $250,000 to perform a private show for ex-Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski. This show was part of a multiple day event held to celebrate Kozlowskis’ girlfriend and her birthday. Video footage of this performance is included in a CNBC television series known as “American Greed.”[24]

[edit] Concerts and tours

[edit] Setlist structure

Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band are famous for their concerts. Most shows consist of 26–30 songs and two separate encores.

With the exception of Fruitcakes ’94[25] and License to Chill ’04,[26]Come Monday” is played during the first set of the show. Usually, after 12 to 14 songs, a 20-minute intermission is taken while a video plays for the fans.

The first part of the second set usually consists of slower songs. There has never been a tour where “A Pirate Looks at Forty” hasn’t been played during the second set.

The first encore usually consists of two songs. After the first song, Buffett introduces the band, and then they segue into the second song. The second encore usually consists of a single acoustic ballad. “A Pirate Looks at Forty” is a typical closer at shows, however, Buffett sometimes takes the opportunity to choose a more obscure song to perform such as:”He Went to Paris“, “Changing Channels“, “Defying Gravity“,[disambiguation needed]Nautical Wheelers“, “Survive”, “Tin Cup Chalice“, “Twelve Volt Man“, or “Distantly in Love

Jimmy Buffett performs during the Summerzcool Tour in June 2009.

Fins“, mostly performed during the first encore in recent years, is always preluded by the Jaws theme as a teaser, which gets the fans pumped. Buffett calls out to the Parrotheads, or “land-sharks”, to get their “fins up”! The fans raise their hands in the air, in the manner of a dorsal fin, and wave it left and right. “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes” usually has a video of local parrotheads in the arena/venue parking lot playing over its performance. “Why Don’t We Get Drunk” is sometimes performed in a different style (Tiki Time ’03 Hawaiian style, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays ’00 performed karaoke style, Banana Wind Tour ’96 audience members selected to perform, and Jimmy Jump Up ’90 performed sing-along style). “One Particular Harbour” is played for women and men wearing hula-skirts. “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” is performed with Mac McAnally taking Alan Jackson‘s place.

The band will also often throw in references to and skits about the actual venue they’re playing to please home town fans. As an example, when Buffett and the Coral Reefers performed at Fenway Park, Boston, in September 2004, they added a performance of “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” featuring Dr. Charles Steinberg on organ, segued “Why Don’t We Get Drunk” into Red Sox favorite “Sweet Caroline“, and attempted to reverse the Curse of the Bambino (some even claim they were successful, as the Red Sox won their first World Series in over 80 years a few weeks later). Similarly, when playing the Shepherd’s Bush Empire in 2009 (Buffett’s first London gig for 29 years), the setlist included Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London“, a cover that Buffett recorded on the soundtrack to Hoot. Buffett also performed two Beatles songs that he had been playing throughout the Summerzcool tour: “Yellow Submarine” and “Rocky Raccoon“.

Buffett will sometimes kick the tour off with an obscure opening cover song. A Salty Piece of Land ’05 opened with Little Feat‘s “Time Loves a Hero[27] in South Carolina, and Bama Breeze ’07 opened with Willie Nelson‘s “On the Road Again” for the majority of the 2007 tour. When a heavy thunderstorm descended on the Nissan Pavilion in Bristow, VA, on June 28, 2007, Jimmy began his show by riding a tricycle on stage and opening the show with “Singin’ in the Rain“.

On January 26, 2011, Jimmy Buffett fell off the stage during his Sydney concert and was rushed to hospital for a head injury. During the show’s finale, he crashed into a large opening in front of the stage and suffered a gash on his head. An audience member said Buffett appeared unconscious for about five to ten minutes after the fall before paramedics arrived at the scene.

[edit] “The Big 8” and standard songs

Before 2003, songs played at every Buffett show were known as the Big 8. With the success of the Alan Jackson duet “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere”, and the rising popularity of “One Particular Harbour“, the list of songs played at every show went from 8 to 10. The “Big 8” were:

  1. Margaritaville
  2. Come Monday
  3. Fins
  4. Volcano
  5. “A Pirate Looks At Forty”
  6. Cheeseburger in Paradise
  7. Why Don’t We Get Drunk” — Only played occasionally, as of 2007
  8. Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes

Since “Why Don’t We Get Drunk” has been knocked off the standards list, there are only nine songs played at almost every show in recent years. However, neither Buffett nor the Coral Reefers have ever used the term “Big 9” for the new line-up.

This list doesn’t necessarily mean that those songs have been played at every show. “A Pirate Looks at Forty” was not played during the George, Washington ’92 show.[28] “Cheeseburger in Paradise” was excluded from two setlists during the 1998 tour.[29] “One Particular Harbour” was left out of 11 shows during the 1997 tour,[30] not to mention every show during the 1988 & 1989 tour.[31] “Why Don’t We Get Drunk” wasn’t played at all during the Bama Breeze tour, and has since only returned to be played on an occasional basis. “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes” did not appear during the opening Tiki Time ’03 show in Houston.[32] “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” was omitted from first of the two Irvine shows in 2006.[33]

Other notable songs that are played at almost all shows, but have been dropped on occasion, are “Son of a Son of a Sailor“, Van Morrison‘s “Brown Eyed Girl” and Crosby, Stills and Nash’s “Southern Cross“. However, it’s not unusual for these three songs to be dropped from a show, therefore they aren’t considered a standard.

[edit] List of tours

  • 1994: Fruitcakes Tour
  • 1995: Domino College Tour
  • 1996: Banana Wind Tour
  • 1997: Havana Daydreamin’ Tour
  • 1998: Don’t Stop The Carnival Tour
  • 1999: Beach House On The Moon Tour
  • 2000: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays Tour
  • 2001: A Beach Odyssey Tour
  • 2002: Far Side of the World Tour
  • 2003: Tiki Time Tour
  • 2004: License To Chill Tour
  • 2005: A Salty Piece Of Land Tour
  • 2006: Party At The End Of The World Tour
  • 2007: Bama Breeze Tour
  • 2008: Year of Still Here Tour
  • 2009: Summerzcool Tour
  • 2010: Under The Big Top Tour
  • 2011: Welcome to Fin Land[34]

[edit] “Gulf and western” style

Gulf and western is a term used to describe the music of Buffett and other similar sounding performers.[35][36][37][38][39] The name derives from elements in Buffett’s early music including musical influence from country and western, along with folk music and lyrical themes from the Gulf of Mexico coast. A critic described Buffett’s music as a combination of “tropical languor with country funkiness into what some [have] called the Key West sound, or Gulf-and-western.”[40] The term is a play on the name of the former megacorporation Gulf+Western (now part of National Amusements).

Other performers identified as gulf and western are often deliberately derivative of Buffett’s musical style and some are tribute bands or, in the case of Greg “Fingers” Taylor, a former member of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band.[41] They can be heard on Buffett’s online Radio Margaritaville and on the compilation album series Thongs in the Key of Life.

[edit] Discography

[edit] Tour issues

On 26 January 2011 (Australia Day), Buffet was performing a concert in Australia at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion and fell off the stage after an encore.[42] Coincidentally, one of Australia’s leading trauma surgeons was at the concert and close to the stage; Dr Gordian Fulde treated Buffet at the scene then at St Vincent’s Hospital Emergency centre. Fulde has said, “I thought he’d broken his neck.” “I heard the clunk of his head on a metal ledge, he has a deep gash on his scalp, which is all right now.” “But at first I thought – this guy is going to be a spinal injury.”[43] Another concert-goer said, “He just went over to the edge of the stage, like he had numerous times through the night, just to wave, and people were throwing stuffed toys and things at him. And he just took one step too many and just disappeared in a flash. He didn’t have time to put his arms out to save himself or anything, he just dropped.”[43] He was released from the hospital the next day.[44]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Eng, S.: Jimmy Buffett: The Man from Margaritaville Revealed, page 39. St. Martin’s Press, 1996.
  2. ^
  3. ^ [1] RIAA Gold and Platinum Albums database. Retrieved October 18, 2007.
  4. ^ IMDB entry for Jimmy Buffett, accessed 6/4/07.
  5. ^ IMDB entry for Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, accessed 11/4/07.
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^
  8. ^ “Trump Sells an Atlantic City Casino”. The New York Times. 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ About SMC at
  13. ^ “Navigate with Care manatees are There”, accessed 6/4/07.
  14. ^ “Singing For Change Foundation: Jimmy Buffet [sic] Helps the Community” accessed 6/4/07.
  15. ^ Singing for Change areas of interest.
  16. ^ “Jimmy Buffett ‘Surviving the Storm’ – Hurricane Benefit'” accessed 6/4/07.
  17. ^ “Jimmy Buffett Concert Hong Kong concert organizers apologize to Buffett fans”.
  18. ^ “Jimmy Buffett Sued Over Song” Miami Herald August 30, 1983: 1A
  19. ^ Elizabeth Goodman (10/6/06). “Jimmy Buffett’s Stash Rivals Willie Nelson’s”. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  20. ^ “Jimmy Buffett busted for drugs”. October 6, 2006. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  21. ^ “Buffett Caught with Club Drug”. New York Post. October 6, 2006. Retrieved 2008-03-30. [dead link]
  22. ^ Jimmy Buffett (October 6, 2006). “What happened? A message from Jimmy Buffett…”. Archived from the original on 2007-03-11. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  23. ^ “Singer Buffett ejected from Knicks and Heat contest”. Retrieved 2007-08-25. 
  24. ^ CNBC (October 4, 2008). “American Greed”. NBC.—tycos-kozlowski#x-0,vepisode,1,0. Retrieved 2010-10-26. 
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ Alanna Nash. “Margaritaville Madness.” Entertainment Weekly. 13 July 1990. Retrieved on 25 July 2009. “Buffett, 43, who crafts a sunny variant of calypso, salsa, country, and Memphis soul described as ‘yacht rock’ or ‘gulf and western’…”
  36. ^ “Jimmy Buffett” at the Mississippi Writers Page. 5 August 2007. Retrieved on 25 July 2009. “…he began to mix country, folk, and pop music styles with tropical and coastal lyrical themes to create a musical sound sometimes called ‘gulf and western.'”
  37. ^ Lori Hoffman. “Booming Buffettville.” Atlantic City Weekly. 21 August 2008. Retrieved on 25 July 2009. “[Buffett’s] music is described as having a ‘gulf and western’ sound.”
  38. ^ Mark Humphrey with Harris Lewine. The Jimmy Buffett Scrap Book. Citadel Press, 2000. p. 68. ISBN 978-0-8065-2099-5. “[ Jerry Jeff Walker said] ‘I am responsible for all that island junk he does so well — that golf-Gulf-and-Western thing.'”
  39. ^ Music Achievers: Jimmy Buffett at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved on 25 July 2009. “Refers to his style of music as ‘Gulf and Western.'”
  40. ^ *Harrington, Richard. “Jimmy Buffett: Oh, the Stories He Can Tell.” Washington Post 17 December 1989, G1. Cited in Dawn S. Bowen. “Lookin’ for Margaritaville: Place and Imagination in Jimmy Buffett’s Songs.” Journal of Cultural Geography. Spring/Summer 1997. Vol. 16, Issue 2. p. 99. Retrieved 10 April 2007.
  41. ^ Jim Morris website
  42. ^ Jimmy Buffett Falls From Stage
  43. ^ a b Singer Jimmy Buffett falls off stage in Sydney, 27 January 2011, ABC News Online, accessed 27 January 2011
  44. ^ Jimmy Buffett doing well after stage fall, 27 January 2011, ABC News Online, accessed 28 January 2011

[edit] External links

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[hide]v · d · eJimmy Buffett
Coral Reefer Band
Studio albums
Live albums
Sound board live albums
Live in Auburn, WA · Live in Las Vegas, NV · Live in Mansfield, MA · Live in Cincinnati, OH · Live in Hawaii · Live at Fenway Park · Live in Anguilla
Compilation albums
Down to Earth/High Cumberland Jubilee compilations · Greatest hits compilations: Songs You Know by Heart · Boats, Beaches, Bars & Ballads (box set) · A Pirate’s Treasure · All the Great Hits · The Great Jimmy Buffett · Biloxi · Great American Summer Fun with Jimmy Buffett (EP) · Calaloo (EP) · Meet Me in Margaritaville: The Ultimate Collection
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Van Halen

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Van Halen

Current Van Halen Line-up David Lee Roth, Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen, and Alex Van Halen
Background information
Origin Pasadena, California, United States
Genres Hard rock, Heavy metal, Pop metal
Years active 1972–present
Labels Warner Bros. Records
Associated acts Montrose, The Other Half, Chickenfoot, Mad Anthony Xpress, Extreme
Website Official website
David Lee Roth
Eddie Van Halen
Wolfgang Van Halen
Alex Van Halen
Past members
Michael Anthony
Sammy Hagar
Gary Cherone
Mark Stone

Van Halen is an American hard rock band formed in Pasadena, California, in 1972. It has enjoyed success since the release of its debut album, Van Halen, (1978). As of 2007 Van Halen has sold 80 million albums worldwide[1] and has had the most #1 hits on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. During the 1980s they also had more Billboard Hot 100 hits than any other hard rock or heavy metal band. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, Van Halen is the 19th best-selling band/artist of all time with sales of over 56 million albums in the U.S. alone,[2] and is one of five rock bands that have had two albums sell more than 10 million copies in the U.S.[3] In 1999, the RIAA certified their debut album diamond for ten million in U.S. sales.

In addition to being recognized for success, the band is known for the drama surrounding the exits of former members. The multiple exits of both lead singers, David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar, were surrounded in controversy and mass press coverage with various contrasting press statements between the former singers and the band. Following their 2004 concert tour the band was on a hiatus from the public until September 2006, when new bassist Wolfgang Van Halen‘s place was confirmed and Roth reunion rumors began to re-surface coinciding with the band’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction on March 12, 2007.[4] After years of speculation, Van Halen began a tour with Roth in late 2007 across North America and continued into 2008. An album was proposed to follow.[5] Along with this, a live tour DVD was announced at their May 13, 2008, concert at the Izod Center that would contain recordings from several performances on that tour. Since the band concluded the reunion tour in July 2008, no official news from the band has been forthcoming. In August 2010, Warner Bros. Records issued a press release indicating that a new studio album and tour are planned for 2011.[6]



[edit] History

[edit] David Lee Roth era (1974–1985)

Born in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Eddie Van Halen and Alex Van Halen, are the sons of Jan Van Halen, who arranged for them to have music lessons. The Van Halen brothers started playing music together in the 1960s when Eddie played classical piano and later drums, and Alex played the guitar. Secretly, while Eddie would deliver newspapers on his paper route, Alex would sneak over and play on Eddie’s drumset. Eventually Eddie found out about Alex playing his drum set and was so frustrated that he told Alex, “OK, I’ll go play your guitar.”[7]

In 1972 the Van Halen brothers formed a band called “Mammoth” which featured Eddie as lead vocalist/guitarist, Alex on drums, and Mark Stone on bass. They initially rented a sound system from David Lee Roth but decided to save money by letting him join as lead vocalist even though his previous audition(s) had been unsuccessful.[8] By 1974 the band decided to replace Stone, so Michael Anthony, bassist and lead vocalist from local band “Snake” was auditioned. Following an all-night jam session, he was hired for bass and backing vocals.[8]

The band later changed its name to Genesis, then discovered the name “Genesis” already was being used. So in 1974 “Genesis” officially changed its name to “Van Halen”. According to Roth,[9] this was his brainchild. He felt it was a name that had power, like Santana. They played backyard parties and on a flatbed truck at Hamilton Park. Van Halen played clubs in Pasadena and Hollywood to growing audiences, increasing their popularity through self promotion: before each gig they would pass out fliers at local high schools. This soon built them a major following.[8] Later that year, the band got its first break when it was hired to play at Gazzarri’s, a formerly famous but down-at-the-heels night club on the Sunset Strip which closed in 1996.

Earlier, they had auditioned for the owner, Bill Gazzarri, but he claimed they were “too loud”, and would not hire them. But their new managers, Mark Algorri and Mario Miranda, who had coincidentally taken over Gazzarri’s hiring, did the deal. Shortly afterwards, with their managers they recorded their first demo tape at the now defunct Cherokee Ranch Studios in Northridge where Steely Dan recently had completed an album. Van Halen became a staple of the Los Angeles music scene during the mid-1970s, playing at well-known clubs like the Whisky a Go Go.[10]

According to a January 4, 1977, L.A. Times article entitled HOMEGROWN PUNK by Robert Hilburn,[11] Rodney Bingenheimer saw Van Halen at the Gazzarri club in the summer of 1976, so he took Gene Simmons of Kiss to see Van Halen. Gene Simmons then produced a Van Halen demo tape with recording beginning at the Village Recorder studios in Los Angeles and finished with overdubs at the Electric Lady Studios in New York.[7] Simmons wanted to change the band’s name to “Daddy Longlegs”, but the band stuck with Van Halen. Simmons then opted out of further involvement after taking the demo to Kiss management and being told that “they had no chance of making it” and that he wouldn’t take them.[12]

In mid-1977 Mo Ostin and Ted Templeman of Warner Brothers Records saw Van Halen perform at the Starwood in Hollywood. Although the audience was small, the two were so impressed with Van Halen that within a week they offered the band a recording contract.[13] The group recorded their debut album at Sunset Sound Recorders studio in mid September to early October 1977, recording guitar parts for one week and then recording vocals for two additional weeks. All of the tracks were laid down with little over-dubbing or double tracking. Minor mistakes were purposely left on the record and a simple musical set-up was used to give the record a live feel. During this time they continued to play various venues in Southern California, including some notable concerts at the Pasadena Convention Center produced by their promoter and impresario, Steve Tortomasi, himself a fixture in the local rock and roll scene.

Upon its release, Van Halen reached #19 on the Billboard pop music charts, one of rock’s most commercially successful debuts.[14] It is a highly regarded heavy metal and hard rock album.[15] The album included songs now regarded as Van Halen classics, like “Runnin’ with the Devil” and the guitar solo “Eruption”, which showcased Eddie’s use of a technique known as ‘finger-tapping’. The band toured for nearly a year, opening for Black Sabbath and establishing a reputation for their performances. The band’s chemistry owed much to Eddie Van Halen’s technical guitar wizardry and David Lee Roth’s flamboyant antics, which later turned them into rivals. They returned to the studio in 1978 for Van Halen II, similar in style to their debut. This album yielded the band’s first hit single, “Dance the Night Away“.

Picture in 1983 for “Circus” magazine.

Over the next few years, the band alternated album releases and touring (see Van Halen concert tours). Their Women and Children First album was released in 1980 and further cemented Van Halen’s status. But in 1981, during the recording of the Fair Warning album, tensions rose. Eddie’s desire for more serious and complex songs was at odds with Roth’s poppy style. Although Roth (and producer Templeman) acquiesced to Eddie’s wishes, Fair Warning was a commercial disappointment, with no hits. In later interviews Eddie would reveal that he was drinking heavily and using cocaine during the production of Fair Warning.

Diver Down performed better. The band then earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest-paid single appearance of a band: $1.5 million for a 90-minute set at the 1983 US Festival.[citation needed] Despite this return to form, Roth and Eddie’s differences continued, and this caused friction with other band members. According to bassist Billy Sheehan, after his band Talas completed a tour with Van Halen, he was approached by Eddie Van Halen to replace Michael Anthony. The reasons for this were never clear to Sheehan because nothing came out of it.[16] During this time Eddie and Alex Van Halen contributed the score and instrumental songs to the movie “The Wild Life” starring Eric Stoltz. The score was heavy on the keyboards similar to the sound used on the previous two albums and much more like the sound coming in the upcoming album 1984.

Van Halen’s next album, 1984 (released on January 9, 1984) was their commercial pinnacle. Recorded at Eddie Van Halen’s newly-built 5150 Studios, the album featured keyboards, which had only been used sporadically on previous albums. The lead single, “Jump“, featured a synthesizer hook and anthemic lyrics, and became the band’s first and only #1 pop hit, garnering them a Grammy nomination.[17] Other singles included “Panama” (#13 U.S.) , “I’ll Wait” (also #13 U.S.), and “Hot for Teacher“. Many of the songs had popular music videos on MTV. 1984 was praised by critics[18][19][20] and fans alike,[21][22] peaking at #2 on the Billboard charts behind Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

The album, however, was also a breaking point for the band. In the midst of the 1984 Tour the artistic and personal tensions among the musicians reached a fever pitch. Reasons for the breakup vary based on the band member interviewed, but were rooted in control of the band’s sound and image. Roth was upset about Eddie playing music outside of Van Halen without checking with the band, and his alleged drug abuse that allegedly prevented the band from viable practices. Eddie was sick of Roth’s flamboyant behavior and stage persona. Roth was also having a successful solo career with a hit song and EP (a remake of The Beach Boys classic “California Girls” (#3 U.S.) and the old standard “Just a Gigolo” (#12 U.S.). Roth was also offered a movie deal from Warner Brothers (which was later withdrawn).

[edit] Sammy Hagar era (1985–1996)

Eddie invited Patty Smyth of Scandal to replace Roth but she refused. Eddie was then introduced by way of a mutual auto mechanic to Sammy Hagar, formerly of 1970s band Montrose, and at that time a solo artist coming off a very successful year (his 1984 album VOA had yielded the hit single “I Can’t Drive 55“). Hagar agreed to join and also serve as a rhythm guitarist on stage to add to the Van Halen sound. The 1986 Van Halen album 5150 was a hit, becoming the band’s first #1 album on the Billboard charts, driven by the keyboard-dominated singles “Why Can’t This Be Love” (#3 U.S.), “Dreams“, and “Love Walks In” (Top 30 U.S.). To further introduce the new era for the band, a new Van Halen logo was put on the cover. The new logo retained elements of the original, but now the lines extending from either side of ‘VH’ wrapped around and formed a ring.

Following the release of the 5150 album, a tour was launched to support it across North America. Named the 1986 Tour, the title was a homage[citation needed] to the previous 1984 Tour in support of the 1984 album. The band proved[citation needed] touring with Hagar was as successful as with Roth, and footage was released on VHS and DVD as Live Without a Net. In the tour Hagar wanted to minimize the use of pre-Hagar Van Halen songs in the set[citation needed], other than the band’s best known classics. This was a trend that continued, with the expanding repertoire of Hagar-era songs slowly whittling away at the number of Roth-era songs on the set list.

The Van Halen logo used to signify change when Sammy Hagar joined the band

Although the four studio albums produced during this period reached #1 on the Billboard pop music charts and 17 singles breached the top 12 of the mainstream rock tracks chart, overall sales showed a marked decline with each release selling less than its predecessor. During that era, one single, 1988’s “When It’s Love“, reached the Top Five, peaking at #5. In addition, Van Halen was nominated for two Grammy Awards, winning the 1992 Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal award for the album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. Van Halen continued to enjoy success throughout the mid-90s. In 1995, Van Halen supported Bon Jovi on their European Summer stadium tour.

During the recording of songs for the film Twister, escalating tension between Hagar and the Van Halen brothers boiled over[citation needed] and Hagar departed on Father’s Day, 1996. The band had recorded a song, “Humans Being“, for which Eddie claimed he had to write all the lyrics since Hagar’s were “too cheesy”[citation needed]. This upset Hagar[citation needed], and when they were to record a second song for the soundtrack, Hagar was in Hawaii. He wasn’t keen on doing soundtrack work[citation needed] since it would make the music hard to obtain for fans, ‘abusing’ them, so the second track the band were due to record became an Eddie/Alex instrumental, “Respect the Wind“.

The band was also working on a compilation album, which Hagar was not keen on since he felt it was not what fans wanted, nor was it something the band needed to release. This led to conflicts with Hagar and the group’s new manager, Ray Danniels (Ed Leffler’s replacement and Alex Van Halen‘s former brother-in-law), even though it was former manager Ed Leffler who renewed their contract with Warner Bros. Records and added in the Best Of album option years before. Reluctant to work on compilation album songs before a new album came out, the band fell out, leaving the management siding with Eddie and Alex. Hagar also had concerns over comparisons on an album which featured both his work and Roth’s.

Hagar claimed that he was fired; Van Halen claimed that he quit. Most accounts confirm that Hagar technically quit, but only upon finding that Van Halen had secretly been recording with their longtime rival David Lee Roth. The media storm surrounding the dramatic exit of Hagar helped[citation needed] him immediately restart his solo career. However, the publicity did not help Van Halen[citation needed], serving to highlight the vacant lead singer spot.

[edit] A temporary reunion with Roth (1996)

David Lee Roth called Eddie to discuss what tracks would be included on a planned Van Halen compilation (work on which actually began before Hagar’s departure). They got along well, and Eddie invited him up to his house/studio. Shortly afterwards, David Lee Roth re-entered the studio with the band and producer Glen Ballard. Two songs from those sessions were added to the band’s Greatest Hits album and released as singles to promote it.

David Lee Roth with Van Halen at the MTV Video Music Awards 1996

In September, Van Halen was asked to present an award at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards. They agreed, and on September 4, 1996, the four original members of Van Halen made their first public appearance together in over eleven years. This helped to bring the compilation to #1 on the US album charts. However, unknown to Roth, Eddie and Alex were still auditioning other singers.[citation needed]

The band’s appearance on the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards fueled reunion speculation. Several weeks after the awards show, it was discovered Roth was out of Van Halen again. Roth released a statement in which he apologized to the media and the fans, stating that he was an unwitting participant in a Van Halen publicity stunt by them and manager Ray Danniels. The next day, Eddie and Alex released their own statement, claiming they were completely honest with Roth and never suggested he was guaranteed to be the next lead singer.[23]

Eddie Van Halen would later explain (in regard to the MTV Video Music Awards appearance) that he had initially been embarrassed by Roth’s antics while on camera behind Beck, who was giving an acceptance speech for the award that Van Halen had presented to him. Immediately following this, the band had been taken to a backstage press conference, in which Roth was uncooperative, refusing to answer press questions about the details of the new project and instead simply drawing attention to himself. Following another cold exchange, the two almost came to blows, thereby shattering any chance of a full-scale reunion.[24]

[edit] Gary Cherone era (1996–1999)

Van Halen’s next lead singer was Gary Cherone, frontman of the then defunct Boston-based band Extreme. The result was Van Halen III. Many songs were longer and more ethereal. It was a notable contrast from their previous material, with more focus on ballads than traditional rock songs (“How Many Say I”, with Eddie on vocals). Sales were poor by the band’s standards, only reaching Gold certification, despite the album peaking at #4 on the US charts. Van Halen III did produce a hit however, “Without You”, and additionally the song “Fire in the Hole” appeared on the Lethal Weapon 4 soundtrack. The album was followed by a tour. The III Tour saw Van Halen playing in new countries, including first ever visits to Australia and New Zealand.

Shortly afterwards, Van Halen returned to the studio. In early 1999, they started work on a new album, Working titles of songs included “Left for Dead,” “River Wide,” “Say Uncle,” “You Wear it Well,” “More Than Yesterday,” “I Don’t Miss You…Much,” “Love Divine,” and “From Here, Where Do We Go?”[citation needed]. Van Halen’s new album was left unfinished when Cherone left amicably in November 1999.[citation needed] Citing musical differences, it is likely III’s sales and critical reception had a big impact. None of the material from this album has ever been released, and in fact the band has released no new material at all (aside from three new songs included on the 2004 Best of Both Worlds compilation) in the years since.

Touring with Cherone had proven disappointing in terms of attendance. Eddie would admit that “the powers that be” (Warner Bros.) had forced his hand in parting with Cherone. Unlike the previous two singers, there was no bad blood and Cherone remained in contact with Van Halen. As when Hagar left, speculation resumed on a Roth reunion.

[edit] Hiatus from public (1999–2003)

Eddie recovered from his hip surgery in November 1999, but from 2000 to early 2004 no official statements were made by Van Halen and no music was released. However, information about members past and present trickled in. The Van Halen brothers continued writing at 5150 studios, Gary Cherone recorded an album and toured with new band Tribe of Judah. One of the songs that Cherone had written for the scrapped second album with Van Halen entitled “Left For Dead”, would see its lyrics set to a completely new musical arrangement with Tribe of Judah. Meanwhile, Hagar and Roth continued their solo careers.

In 2000, the band worked with David Lee Roth, reported by Slawterhouse, at 5150, writing new music before falling out again. Eddie kept quiet, but made a rare appearance at the Los Angeles Police Department charity golf tournament during May 2001. Any band progress would have been interrupted on October 15, 2001, when Eddie and his wife of 21 years, actress Valerie Bertinelli, separated (though the couple would not file for divorce until December 8, 2005). In November 2001, Anthony claimed Roth had been working with the band again for a few months, but lawyers had shut it down. Strangely, Anthony later denied this. The band was also dropped from Warner Bros. Records, which had first signed them in 1978. More positively, Eddie underwent treatment for cancer and announced his recovery on Van Halen’s website in May 2002.

Eddie’s only live performances during this period were joining Mountain to play “Never in My Life” in August 2002 and a private audience jam at NAMM January 2003. This took place at the Peavey booth (Peavey produced Eddie’s signature “Wolfgang” model guitar). Word quickly spread through the NAMM show that Eddie was to play at the Peavey booth, attracting a large amount of people. Eddie showed up late and drunk. When he finally appeared he was incoherent. Shortly after this, Peavey lost its license to produce the “official” Van Halen guitar, and Fender, which had purchased Charvel-Jackson, was awarded the license, but the guitar produced was a copy of Eddie’s earlier Strat-style guitars.

In the summer of 2002, David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar teamed up in the Song For Song, the Heavyweight Champs of Rock and Roll tour (also known as the ‘Sans-Halen’ or ‘Sam & Dave’ Tour). The joint tour headlining both former lead singers attracted media and audience fascination because it seemed more improbable than even a Van Halen tour with Roth or Hagar could be. The tour drew large crowds and featured no opening acts, Roth and Hagar alternating opening as the first act during the tour. In an interview, Roth contrasted his personality with Hagar’s, saying, “He’s the kind of guy you go out with to split a bottle with a friend. I’m the kind of guy you go out with if you want to split your friend with a bottle.” Michael Anthony guested with Hagar’s band, The Waboritas, numerous times and sometimes even sang lead vocals. During performances, Hagar would tease Anthony by asking, “Do the brothers know you’re here?”. Anthony never played with Roth. Gary Cherone appeared on occasion. Hagar released a live album (Hallelujah), featuring vocals by Mike and Gary, and a documentary DVD, Long Road to Cabo, about touring with Roth. Next, Hagar joined with Joe Satriani and Journey guitarist Neal Schon to form a side project, Planet Us, along with Michael Anthony and Deen Castronovo (also of Journey) on drums. The band recorded just two songs and played live a few times before dissolving when Hagar and Anthony rejoined Van Halen. While the two lead singers promoted the tour and publicly claimed mutual respect, rumors of bitter acrimony and mutual loathing between the two singers swirled. The allegations were later supported in back stage video, which showed Roth and Hagar camps maintaining strict separation.

On July 4, 2004, Roth performed with the Boston Pops at Boston’s annual Pops Goes the Fourth celebration. Hagar remained active, releasing five albums and creating his own merchandising brand Cabo Wabo, which lends its name to his line of tequila, as well as his franchise of cantinas. He reunited with Montrose in 2003 and 2005 for a few performances and maintained contact with Michael Anthony, often playing with him. With Van Halen inactive, Anthony worked on merchandising projects such as his signature Yamaha bass and set up a website.[25] He became involved with the annual music industry NAMM Show.

[edit] Reunion with Hagar (2003–2005)

Van Halen during their 2004 reunion period, left to right: Michael Anthony, Sammy Hagar, Eddie Van Halen

During January 2003, the VHND (Van Halen News Desk) website reported that Sammy Hagar was working with the Van Halens. No official confirmation came for an extended period of time. In late March 2004, Van Halen and Sammy Hagar announced that Hagar would reunite with the band for a new compilation release and a Summer concert tour of the USA.

In July 2004, Van Halen released a new 2-CD compilation featuring three new songs with Hagar: “It’s About Time”, “Up For Breakfast”, and “Learning to See”. These songs were newly written by the Van Halen brothers and Sammy Hagar. The songs were credited to Hagar/Van Halen/Van Halen, which was unusual since normally the entire lineup (which also included Michael Anthony) would be credited. However, the performance was credited to the entire band. Michael Anthony would later reveal in interviews that Eddie Van Halen had in fact not wanted him to be a part of the reunion and for this reason Anthony had not been allowed to perform in the sessions (explaining his lack of a songwriting credit), with Eddie playing the bass parts himself instead. Though it was the only new album since the band’s first Greatest Hits, no songs with Gary Cherone from Van Halen III were included. It was certified platinum in the USA in August 2004.

The Summer 2004 tour grossed almost US$55 million, and Pollstar listed Van Halen in the top 10 grossing tours of 2004. Reviews of the tour however from professional reviewers proved to be mixed. On some shows, Eddie’s son Wolfgang came onstage and played guitar with his father during 316 a song dedicated to his son, taking its name from his birthday. During the later stages of the tour, stories of Eddie being drunk began to surface along with fan shot video footage of poor playing. At the end of the band’s final show of the tour, in Tucson, Eddie smashed one of his guitars at the end of the show.

After the tour, things broke down. At first Hagar stated he had yet to decide what he would be doing with Van Halen, although he was still an official member of the band. Soon after, however, both Hagar and Anthony admitted that Eddie had problems with alcohol during the tour that affected everyone involved. Hagar stated that he was “done with Van Halen” and wished that everyone would have “taken it more seriously”. Despite this, Eddie later described himself as ‘satisfied’ with the tour.

After the tour ended, Hagar returned to his solo band The Waboritas, and Anthony appeared with him on tour occasionally. The band quickly faded from view after Hagar left again. In December 2005 Michael Anthony revealed in an interview with Mark & Brian that he had not talked with the Van Halens and was unsure of their plans. Since then, Hagar and Anthony have formed the supergroup Chickenfoot, featuring Joe Satriani on guitar and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith on drums and have finished touring in support of their first album and DVD with plans on another album and tour slated for mid-late 2011.

[edit] Reunion with Roth (2006–Present)

Rumors of a David Lee Roth reunion re-emerged and on January 3, 2006, Roth explained during an interview that he spoke to Alex Van Halen the previous week and a reunion was “inevitable”.[26] However, he also said that Eddie Van Halen was “off in his own little world” recently. When asked if any problems occurred with Sammy Hagar during the 2004 tour Eddie Van Halen answered, “Sammy is Sammy, and for the most part that’s just fine”. Roth persisted with suggestions of a reunion,[27] saying. “People want the reunion,” and “No one will pay respect to what any of us do [musically] until we get the reunion out of the way.” In May 2006, he told, “There’s contact between the two camps.”

On June 3, Michael Anthony began a successful tour with Hagar billed as “The Other Half” (a reference to them being half of Van Halen with the other half being Eddie/Alex), with Anthony singing lead vocals sometimes. Meanwhile, on June 19 the Van Halen brothers jumped onstage with Kenny Chesney at The Home Depot Center performing “Jump” and “You Really Got Me“. This unusual performance was their first onstage since the 2004 tour. This was followed by another Eddie Van Halen performance on July 19, 2006, at the House of Petals in Los Angeles, playing new material. He followed this with an announcement on July 27, 2006, that some of his new music would be released on the soundtrack for the pornography film Sacred Sin.

In March 2006, Michael Anthony spoke to Japanese rock magazine Burrn!,[28] claiming the brothers did not want him on the 2004 reunion tour, although Hagar did (and would not play without Anthony), but he had to agree to reduced royalties and end absolutely all association with the band after the tour in terms of rights to using the name to promote himself.[29] It was in this same interview he admitted he was not involved in the new songs on Best of Both Worlds and only recorded three tracks for III.

On September 8, 2006, Howard Stern‘s Eddie Van Halen live interview broke the band’s long silence. Eddie said he was willing to reunite with Roth and revealed a solo album in the works. Michael Anthony’s departure was confirmed with Eddie’s son, Wolfgang, taking his role. Wolfgang had played guitar alongside his father on some 2004 concerts. When queried about The Other Half tour, Eddie said Anthony could “do what he wants” now. This shocked and offended many fans.[30] In November, Eddie’s spokesperson, Janie Liszewski, claimed the Van Halen family was writing/rehearsing for a Summer 2007 tour, which Billboard magazine’s website shortly confirmed. However, the Van Halen website remained in the state it had been in since the Hagar reunion.[31]

On December 11, 2006, Eddie Van Halen stated to Guitar World magazine that David Lee Roth had been directly invited to rejoin the band.[32] However, on December 28, Roth announced that he had not talked to Eddie in two years, and a reunion with Van Halen could result in a “Jerry Springer style fight”.[33]

In January 2007, Van Halen was announced as one of that year’s inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Van Halen brothers, Anthony, Hagar, and Roth were to be inducted.[34] Billboard announced on January 24, 2007 that Van Halen would reunite with David Lee Roth for a US tour .[35] This was confirmed shortly after on the official Van Halen website.[36]

The Van Halen News Desk announced on February 15, 2007, that a Van Halen “Best Of (1978–1984)”, a single-disc compilation of Van Halen’s David Lee Roth era, would be released by April 3. Shortly after, information arrived in a flood. Various sources claimed the tour was shut down as was the new “Best Of” CD.[37][38] On March 8, 2007 Eddie announced on Van Halen’s website that he was in rehab. Along with the announcement, a change was made to the website. The logo at the top of the page changed to the original Van Halen log from their 1978 debut album.

Van Halen – San Antonio, TX 01/24/2008

As the band’s Hall of Fame induction drew near, media focus shifted to that. Velvet Revolver would induct the band and speak on their behalf. On March 12, 2007, the band was inducted at a ceremony held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Anthony and Hagar were the only inductees in attendance (ironically, both ex-members). Velvet Revolver played “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love”, and Anthony and Hagar performed “Why Can’t This Be Love” with Paul Shaffer. At a post-induction press conference, Hagar said he would love to work with Van Halen again but that the Van Halens should tour with Roth first.

On April 21, 2007, Eddie Van Halen served as an Honorary Race Official for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. He looked fit and well, better than he had on the last tour, and on May 24 posted a note to the Van Halen website confirming that he had exited rehab successfully.[39]

After nearly 10 months of speculation and numerous rumors, Van Halen (and David Lee Roth separately via his own website[40] Roth claimed in the press release that, “the idea is that this will continue on and on and on” and also that a world tour and new album were in the works.

Press reaction to the reunion was largely warm, but the re-designed website sparked controversy when Michael Anthony was removed from images of old album artwork.[41] The album covers were reverted to normal a day later without a word. The Fall 2007 tour was originally 25 dates, but was extended into 2008 with a second leg.

Van Halen started their new tour on September 27, 2007, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Playing to sellout crowds, the tour generated positive reviews.[42] Amid rumors of Eddie being back in rehab, multiple dates of the tour were postponed. The official reason was the need for medical procedures to be run on Eddie.[43]

On March 5, 2008, World Entertainment Weekly to CBS News reported that the reason behind the tour stoppage was due to Eddie Van Halen needing to reenter rehab. The report also indicated that it was a “furious backstage bust-up in Florida with his 17-year-old son and bandmate Wolfgang” which motivated Eddie to seek help once again.[44]

In response to rumors about Eddie Van Halen being back in rehab Valerie Bertinelli said that “he is not in rehab.” She did not, however, say if he had recently been in rehab, stating only that he wasn’t currently.[45] Wolfgang Van Halen also stated that his father was not in rehab during the 2008 Kids Choice Awards, but did not say if he had recently been in rehab: only that he wasn’t in rehab now. Eventually, the tour started back up April 17 at the Reno Events Center in Nevada.

The tour ended on June 2, 2008, at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, MI. During the show Roth stated multiple times that this would not be their final show and that they would “see everyone next time.” This show also was a special occasion being that the sign in front on the arena had been re done so it read “VAN HALEN ARENA” instead of the “VAN ANDEL ARENA” which is its actual name. According to the Van Halen News Desk, the reunion tour with Roth was the highest grossing in the band’s history, raking in almost 93 million dollars.

[edit] Recent news (2009-present)

In an interview with Guitar World, posted on 2008/11/12, about the making of his upcoming new EVH Wolfgang guitar from Fender, Eddie Van Halen had this to say regarding the subject of new Van Halen music: “I’ll be making music ’til the day I die. I’ve done all kinds of stuff, and more is coming. I can’t tell you exactly when right now. Wolfgang is in the 12th grade and he needs to graduate first. Then I’m getting married in June. We’ll pick it up after that.”[46]

Eddie Van Halen underwent surgery on his left hand in 2009, following some treatment for arthritis as he felt pain in his fingers during the 2007 tour.[47]

In May 2010 in an interview with Glide Magazine Dweezil Zappa commented that Eddie had played him “new stuff from his record”. It was not clear from the interview if the music was intended for a new Van Halen record.[48]

In August 2010 Warner/Chappell Music extended its administration agreements with Van Halen (specifically Edward and Alex Van Halen). Under the agreement, Warner/Chappell will continue to administer their catalog of works. This press release also stated that the group is currently in the studio recording an album with Roth, that is due for release in 2011.[49]

On January 17, 2011, Van Halen entered the Henson Studio C (formerly A&M) with producer John Shanks. Shanks posted on his Twitter account that he was in the studio with the band and posted a picture of one of Eddie Van Halen’s signature amps.[50]

In a recent interview with Sammy Hagar, he says he’s heard through the grapevine that the recording sessions “aren’t going so well. They’ve already fired one producer, and Eddie and Dave can’t be in the same room together. If they can’t be in the same room how can they make a record?”. Sammy claims his new book might help light some fire for Van Halen to “swallow their pride” and make another record for their fans. [51]

However, the Van Halen News Desk stated that everything is going great and that Van Halen are nearing completion on the new album. It will be (if it is ever released) the first full length Van Halen album since 1998’s Van Halen III. It will also be the first Van Halen album to feature Eddie’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen, on the bass in place of the band’s original bassist Michael Anthony. This will also be the first album to feature David Lee Roth on vocals in 27 years, and the first new material with Roth in 15 years, since the band released two new songs with Roth on the Best Of Volume I.

[edit] Contract riders

Van Halen had a notable effect on the modern rock music tour with their use of the concert technical contract rider. They were one of the first bands to use contract riders to specify a “wish list”, a practice now used throughout the music industry. Van Halen pioneered this because they had extensive requirements including power availability and stage construction details. The band’s demands were not limited to technical issues; their now-infamous rider specified that a bowl of M&M’s, with all of the brown M&M’s removed, was to be placed in their dressing room.[52] According to David Lee Roth, this was listed in the technical portion of the contract not because the band wanted to make capricious demands of the venue, but rather as a test of whether the venue had actually read and honored the terms of the contract, as it contained other requirements involving legitimate safety concerns.[53] On earlier tours, inadequate compliance by local organizers to the safety requirements of the rider had placed members of Van Halen’s road crew in danger which was occasionally life-threatening. Because of these incidents, the band developed the M&M’s demand as a means of checking whether the venue was properly honoring the terms of the contract to their satisfaction. Subsequently, if the bowl was missing, or if there were brown M&M’s present, they had reason to suspect that the venue might not have honored legitimate technical and safety concerns within the contract. As a result, the band would be within their rights to inspect the technical side of the performance prior to going on stage, and/or request the venue redo their work properly.[54]

[edit] Guitar Hero: Van Halen

A new Guitar Hero game based on Van Halen was released December 22, 2009. Players are able to play as David Lee Roth for vocals, Eddie Van Halen for guitar, Alex Van Halen for drums, and Wolfgang Van Halen for bass. The game also contains guest acts, such as Alter Bridge, Blink-182, Deep Purple, Killswitch Engage, The Offspring, Queen, Tenacious D and Weezer.

[edit] Band members

For more details on this topic, see List of Van Halen band members.

[edit] Current members

[edit] Timeline

[edit] Former members

[edit] Discography

Main article: Van Halen discography
Studio albums

[edit] See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Van Halen

[edit] References

  • Macdonald, Bruno (2006). Dimery, Robert. ed. 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Quintet Publishing Limited. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Press Release Announcing 2004 Van Halen Concert Tour
  2. ^ “2005 statistics from the RIAA”.
  3. ^ Christie, Ian (2009) Everybody Wants Some: The Van Halen Saga. “When Van Halen reached RIAA diamond certification in August 1996, marking over ten million copies sold, Van Halen became one of five rock bands with two albums selling over ten million, joining The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Def Leppard.”
  4. ^ “2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Profile”.
  5. ^ “Van Halen, with Roth, to begin reunion tour”. CNN. August 14, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
  6. ^ – Van Halen Album, Tour Expected In 2011?
  7. ^ a b Everybody Wants Some: The Van Halen Saga by Ian Christie, ISBN 9780470039106
  8. ^ a b c “Eddie van Halen”. Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
  9. ^ Crazy from the Heat by David Lee Roth
  10. ^ Eddie Van Halen. Guitar Player. January 2000. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  11. ^ “Whiskey Articles”. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  12. ^ Van Halen: The Early Years movie
  13. ^ Obrecht, Jas. “A Legend is Born Eddie Van Halen’s First Interview”. Musician’s Friend. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  14. ^ 1970s 100 Best-Selling Albums according to industry sales
  15. ^ Rolling Stone Top 500 Greatest Albums Ever Made
  16. ^ Billy Sheehan interview Accessed September 28, 2007[dead link]
  17. ^ “Van Halen Bio”. Yuddy. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  18. ^ “1984 – Van Halen”. Retrieved 08-17 2007. 
  19. ^ “Van Halen”. Retrieved 08-17 2007. 
  20. ^ “Van Halen: 1984”. Retrieved 08-17 2007. 
  21. ^ “Van Halen”. Retrieved 08-17 2007. 
  22. ^ “Van Halen favorite album and song”. Archived from the original on December 21, 2007. Retrieved 08-17 2007. 
  23. ^ Open letter from David Lee Roth about the band’s appearance on the MTV Video Music Awards
  24. ^ YouTube – VAN HALEN VS. DAVID LEE ROTH 1996[dead link]
  25. ^ “Mad Anthony’s Cafe”. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  26. ^ Pittsburgh Tribune Review article with David Lee Roth
  27. ^ “New York Daily News article”. October 1, 2010.
  28. ^ “Burrn! magazine interview paraphrase”.
  29. ^ “Fired Van Halen Bassist: “I Found Out on the Internet””.
  30. ^ “Eddie Van Halen Goes Bananas on Howard Stern: The Full Highlights”. Retrieved 1-14 2008. 
  31. ^ “Eddie Van Halen Taps Teenage Son As New Bassist”.
  32. ^ “EDDIE VAN HALEN: The Ball Is In DAVE LEE ROTH’s Court”.
  33. ^ “Van Halen’s Hot for Combat”.
  34. ^ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Backs New Members Ben Sisario, Jan. 8, 2007, The New York Times, “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Backs New Members”
  35. ^ “Exclusive: Van Halen Reuniting With Roth For Tour”. Retrieved 1-14 2008. 
  36. ^ “Van Halen Press Release”. Retrieved 1-14 2008. 
  37. ^ Boucher, Geoff (February 23, 2007). “Van Halen’s road plans have taken a rocky turn”. Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 2, 2007.,1,5348898.story. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  38. ^ Up for Discussion Jump to Forums. “Van Halen Tour On Hold But Still In The Works”. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  39. ^ Sources: Van Halen Tour To Be Announced Next Week[dead link]
  40. ^ “announced on August 13, 2007, that the band will be going on a tour of North America beginning on September 27.”. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  41. ^ “Van Halen’s Official Site Places Wolfgang In Time Machine”. Archived from the original on September 26, 2007.,-michael-anthony-is-being-chucked-down-the-memory-hole/van-halens-official-site-places-wolfgang-in-time-machine-289397.php. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  42. ^ Hicks, Brian (September 28, 2007). “Reunited Van Halen proves they still have what it takes”. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  43. ^ Kaufman, Gil (March 3, 2008). “Van Halen Postpone Tour Dates Due To Eddie’s Unspecified ‘Medical Tests'”. MTV News. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  44. ^ “World Entertainment News Eddie Van Halen Back In Rehab? March 5, 2008”.
  45. ^ “Transworld News – Valerie Bertinelli Interview March 13, 2008”.
  46. ^ “Eddie Van Halen Talks About His New EVH Wolfgang Guitar”. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  47. ^ “Van Halen’s Hand Surgery a Success”. 2009-07-24. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  48. ^ May 20, 2010 (2010-05-20). “Dweezil Zappa – The Next Phase of Zappa Plays Zappa”. Glide Magazine. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  49. ^ “Blabbermouth.Net – Warner/Chappell Extends Agreement With Van Halen”. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  50. ^ VAN HALEN Officially Working With Producer JOHN SHANKS. Blabbermouth, January 21, 2011
  51. ^
  52. ^ “Van Halen 1982 Backstage Rider”. The Smoking Gun. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  53. ^ From “Crazy from the Heat”, David Lee Roth’s autobiography
  54. ^ “Brown Out”. 17 May 2007. Retrieved 2009-12-08. 
  55. ^ “The Van Halen Encyclopedia”. Retrieved 2011-03-14. 
  56. ^ “BLABBERMOUTH.NET – EDDIE VAN HALEN: Highlights Of ‘Howard Stern’ Interview Posted Online”. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 

[edit] External links

[show]v · d · eVan Halen
David Lee Roth · Eddie Van Halen · Wolfgang Van Halen · Alex Van Halen
Michael Anthony · Sammy Hagar · Gary Cherone · Mark Stone
Studio albums
Live albums
Videos and DVDs
Concert tours
Van Halen World Tour (1978) · World Vacation Tour (1979) · World Invasion “Party ’til You Die Tour” Tour (1980) · Fair Warning Tour (1981) · Hide Your Sheep Tour (1982–1983) · 1984 Tour (1984) · Monsters of Rock Tour 1984 (1984) · 1986 Tour (1986) · Monsters of Rock Tour 1988 (1988) · OU812 Tour (1988–1989) · For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge Tour (1991–1992) · Right Here Right Now Tour (1993) · The Balance “Ambulance” Tour (1995) · III Tour (1998) · Van Halen Summer Tour 2004 (2004) · Van Halen 2007–2008 Tour (2007-08)
Related articles
[show]v · d · eVan Halen singles discography
Van Halen
Van Halen II
Women and Children First
Fair Warning
So This Is Love?” · “Unchained
Diver Down
Jump” · “I’ll Wait” · “Panama” · “Hot for Teacher
For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
Poundcake” · “Runaround” · “Top of the World” · “Right Now
Live: Right Here, Right Now
Jump” (live) · “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (live)
Twister soundtrack
Best of Volume I
Van Halen III
[show]v·d·eList of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees2007


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Charles Sisto Malatesta 3/30/11

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Talking Heads

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For other uses, see Talking Heads (disambiguation).
Talking Heads

Talking Heads performing at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, Canada on May 13, 1978
Background information
Origin New York City, New York,
United States
Genres New Wave, post-punk, art rock
Years active 1974–1991, 2002
Labels Sire, Warner Music, EMI
Associated acts Tom Tom Club, The Modern Lovers, Brian Eno, Bernie Worrell
Past members
David Byrne (vocals, guitar)
Chris Frantz (drums, percussion)
Tina Weymouth (bass guitar)
Jerry Harrison (guitar, keyboards)

Talking Heads was an American rock band formed in 1974 in New York City[1] and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison. Auxiliary musicians also regularly made appearances in concert and on the group’s albums.

The New Wave musical style of Talking Heads combined elements of punk rock, avant-garde, pop, funk, world music and art rock. Frontman and songwriter David Byrne contributed whimsical, esoteric lyrics to the band’s songs, and emphasized their showmanship through various multimedia projects and performances. Critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine describes Talking Heads as being “one of the most critically acclaimed bands of the ’80s, while managing to earn several pop hits.”[2]

In 2002, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Four of the band’s albums appeared on Rolling Stone magazine’s 2003 list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and the Channel 4 100 Greatest Albums poll listed one album (Fear of Music) at number seventy-six.



[edit] History

[edit] 1974–1977: First years

Talking Heads at Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto in 1978

David Byrne, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth were alumni of the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. There Byrne and Frantz formed a band called “The Artistics” in 1974.[3] Weymouth was Frantz’s girlfriend and often provided the band with transportation. The Artistics dissolved within a year, and the three moved to New York, eventually sharing an apartment. Unable to find a bass player in New York City, Frantz encouraged Weymouth to learn to play bass by listening to Suzi Quatro albums.[4] They played their first gig as “Talking Heads” opening for the Ramones at CBGB on June 8, 1975.[1]

In a later interview, Weymouth recalled how the group chose the name Talking Heads: “A friend had found the name in the TV Guide, which explained the term used by TV studios to describe a head-and-shoulder shot of a person talking as ‘all content, no action.’ It fit.”[5]

Later in 1975, the trio recorded a series of demos for CBS, but the band was not signed to the label. They quickly drew a following and were signed to Sire Records in 1977. The group released their first single, “Love → Building on Fire” in February of that year. In March 1977, they added Jerry Harrison (guitar, keyboards, vocals), formerly of Jonathan Richman‘s band The Modern Lovers.

Their first album, Talking Heads: 77, which did not contain the earlier single, was released soon thereafter.

[edit] 1978–1982

Tina Weymouth on bass in Minneapolis, MN Photo: Michael Markos

It was with their second album, 1978’s More Songs About Buildings and Food that the band began its long-term collaboration with producer Brian Eno, who had previously worked with Roxy Music, David Bowie and Robert Fripp; the title of Eno’s 1977 song “King’s Lead Hat” is an anagram of the band’s name. Eno’s unusual style meshed well with the group’s artistic sensibilities, and they began to explore an increasingly diverse range of musical directions. This recording also established the band’s long term recording studio relationship with the famous Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas. “Psycho Killer“, from the debut album, had been a minor hit. However, with the help of a Saturday Night Live appearance in February 1979,[6] it was More Songs… cover of Al Green‘s “Take Me to the River” that broke Talking Heads into general public consciousness.

The experimentation continued with 1979’s Fear of Music, which flirted with the darker stylings of post-punk rock. The single “Life During Wartime” produced the catchphrase, “This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco.”[citation needed]

1980’s Remain in Light, heavily influenced by the afrobeat of Nigerian bandleader Fela Kuti, to whose music Eno had introduced the band, explored African polyrhythms, foreshadowing Byrne’s later interest in world music. In order to perform these more complex arrangements the band toured with an expanded group, first at the Heatwave festival in August, and later in their concert film Stop Making Sense. During this period, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz also formed a commercially successful splinter group, the hip-hop influenced Tom Tom Club, and Harrison released his first solo record. Likewise, Byrne – in collaboration with Eno – released My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, which incorporated world music, ‘found’ sounds, and included a number of other prominent international and post-punk musicians. All were released by Sire.

The Remain in Light album’s lead single, “Once in a Lifetime“, became a Top 20 hit in the UK but initially failed to make an impression upon its release in the band’s own country. But it grew into a popular standard over the next few years on the strength of its music video.

After releasing four albums in barely four years, the group went into hiatus and nearly three years passed before their next release, although Frantz and Weymouth continued to record with the Tom Tom Club. In the meantime, Talking Heads released a live album, The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads, toured the United States and Europe as an eight-piece group, and parted ways with Eno, who went on to produce albums with U2.

[edit] 1983–1991

1983 saw the release of Speaking in Tongues, a commercial breakthrough that produced the band’s only American Top 10 hit, “Burning Down the House“. Once again, a striking video was inescapable owing to its heavy rotation on MTV. The following tour was documented in Jonathan Demme‘s Stop Making Sense, which generated another live album of the same name. The Speaking in Tongues tour was their last.

Three more albums followed: 1985’s Little Creatures (which featured the hit singles “And She Was” and “Road to Nowhere“), 1986’s True Stories (Talking Heads covering all the soundtrack songs of Byrne’s musical comedy film, in which the band also appeared), and 1988’s Naked. The sound of Little Creatures and True Stories was much more American pop-rock, while Naked showed heavy African influence with polyrhythmic styles like those seen on Remain in Light. During that time the group was falling increasingly under David Byrne’s control, and after Naked the band went on “hiatus”.

It took until 1991 for an official announcement to be made that Talking Heads had broken up. A brief reunion occurred, however, later that year for “Sax and Violins,” an original single that appeared on the soundtrack to Wim WendersUntil the End of the World. Only Byrne and Harrison appear in the song’s video, however, lending doubt to Frantz and Weymouth’s participation on the track. During this breakup period, Byrne continued his solo career, releasing Rei Momo in 1989 and The Forest in 1991. This period also saw a revived flourish from both Tom Tom Club (Boom Boom Chi Boom Boom and Dark Sneak Love Action) and Harrison (the Casual Gods album/band).

[edit] 1992–present: Post break-up

Despite David Byrne’s lack of interest in another album, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz, and Jerry Harrison reunited for a one-off album called No Talking, Just Head under the name The Heads in 1996. The album featured a number of vocalists, representing some of the most distinctive voices of ’80s and ’90s alternative rock, including Debbie Harry of Blondie, Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde, Andy Partridge of XTC, Gordon Gano of Violent Femmes, Michael Hutchence of INXS, Ed Kowalczyk of Live, Shaun Ryder of Happy Mondays, Richard Hell, and Maria McKee. The album was accompanied by a tour which featured Johnette Napolitano as the vocalist. Byrne took legal action against the rest of the band because of “The Heads” abbreviation—something he saw as “a pretty obvious attempt to cash in on the Talking Heads name.”[7]

Byrne has continued his solo career, while Harrison has become a producer of some note – the latter’s résumé includes the Violent FemmesThe Blind Leading the Naked, the Fine Young CannibalsThe Raw and the Cooked, General Public‘s Rub It Better, Crash Test DummiesGod Shuffled His Feet, Live‘s Throwing Copper, No Doubt‘s song “New” from Return of Saturn, and most recently work by The Black and White Years and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

Frantz and Weymouth, who were married in 1977, had been recording on the side as Tom Tom Club since 1981. Tom Tom Club’s self-titled debut album sold almost as well as Talking Heads themselves, leading to the band appearing in Stop Making Sense. They achieved several pop/rap hits during the dance-club cultural boom era of the early 1980s, particularly in the UK, where they still enjoy a strong fan following today. Their best-known single, “Genius of Love“, has been sampled numerous times, notably on old school hip hop classic “It’s Nasty (Genius of Love)” by Grandmaster Flash and on Mariah Carey‘s 1995 hit “Fantasy“. They also have produced several artists, including Happy Mondays and Ziggy Marley. The Tom Tom Club continue to record and tour intermittently, although commercial releases have become sporadic since 1991.

The band played “Life During Wartime”, “Psycho Killer” and “Burning Down the House” together on March 18, 2002, at the ceremony of their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. However, reuniting for a concert tour is unlikely. David Byrne states: “We did have a lot of bad blood go down. That’s one reason, and another is that musically we’re just miles apart.”[8] Weymouth has been critical of David Byrne, describing him as “a man incapable of returning friendship”[8] and that he doesn’t “love” her, Frantz, and Harrison.[9]

[edit] Discography

Talking Heads’ debut album Talking Heads: 77.

[edit] Influence

Talking Heads have been cited as influences by many artists, including Kate Bush,[10] Sarah Blasko,[citation needed] and Bell X1.[11] The band Radiohead took their name from the Talking Heads’ song “Radio Head” from the 1986 album True Stories.[12][13]

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b Talking Heads Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, retrieved November 23, 2008
  2. ^ Talking Heads biography at allmusic
  3. ^ Gittins, Ian, Talking Heads: Once in a Lifetime : the Stories Behind Every Song, Hal Leonard Corporation, 2004, p.140 ISBN 0-634-08033-4, 9780634080333
  4. ^ Tina Talks Heads, Tom Toms, and How to Succeed at Bass Without Really Trying Gregory Isola, Bass Player, retrieved November 23, 2008
  5. ^ Weymouth, Tina (1992). In Sand in the Vaseline (p. 12) [CD liner notes]. New York: Sire Records Company
  6. ^ SNL Transcripts, February 10, 1979 (performances of “Take Me to the River” and “Artists Only”), accessed 2010-11-07.
  7. ^ Levine, Robert (June 26, 1997). “Byrne-ing Down the House”. Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 31, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b Blackman, Guy (February 6, 2005). “Byrning down the house”. The Age. Retrieved 3 October 2009. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Kate Bush – Reaching Out – Interviews and articles, Gaffaweb
  11. ^ Matthew Magee (2003-07-27). “Clear as a Bell X1”. Sunday Tribune. Retrieved 2011-03-04. 
  12. ^ About Radiohead, biography 1992–1995
  13. ^ David Byrne interviews Thom Yorke for Wired (November 11, 2007)]

[edit] Further reading

  • David Bowman, This Must Be the Place: The Adventures of Talking Heads in the Twentieth Century (New York: HarperCollins, 2001). ISBN 0-380-97846-6.
  • David Gans, Talking Heads (New York: Avon Books, 1985). ISBN 0-380-89954-X.
  • Krista Reese, The Name of This Book is Talking Heads (London: Proteus Books, 1982). ISBN 0-86276-057-7.

[edit] External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Talking Heads
Wikinews has related news: Musician David Byrne sues Florida governor over campaign song
[hide]v · d · eTalking Heads
David Byrne · Chris Frantz · Jerry Harrison · Tina Weymouth
Studio albums
Talking Heads: 77 (1977) · More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978) · Fear of Music (1979) · Remain in Light (1980) · Speaking in Tongues (1983) · Little Creatures (1985) · True Stories (1986) · Naked (1988)
Live albums
Love → Building on Fire” ·Uh-Oh, Love Comes to Town” ·Psycho Killer” ·Pulled Up” ·Take Me to the River” ·Life During Wartime” ·I Zimbra” · “Cities” · “Crosseyed and Painless” ·Once in a Lifetime” ·Houses in Motion” (Remix) ·Life During Wartime” (Live) ·Burning Down the House” ·This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” ·Slippery People” (Live) · “Girlfriend is Better” (Live) ·The Lady Don’t Mind” ·Road to Nowhere” ·And She Was” ·Once in a Lifetime” (Live) ·This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” (Live) ·Wild Wild Life” ·Love for Sale” · “Hey Now” · “Radio Head” ·Blind” ·(Nothing But) Flowers” ·Sax and Violins” ·Lifetime Piling Up
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Charles Sisto Malatesta 3/30/11

Charles Sisto Malatesta 3/30/11

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The Hooters

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Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2009)

The Hooters

The Hooters in 2007
Background information
Origin Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Genres Rock
Years active 1980–1995
Labels Eighty Percent
Sony BMG
Associated acts Cyndi Lauper
Eric Bazilian (1980–1995, 2001–present)
Rob Hyman (1980–1995, 2001–present)
David Uosikkinen (1980–1995, 2001–present)
John Lilley (1983–1995, 2001–present)
Fran Smith Jr. (1987–1995, 2001–present)
Past members
Bob King (1980)
Bobby Woods (1980–1982)
John Kuzma (1980–1982)
Rob Miller (1983–1984)
Andy King (1984–1987)
Mindy Jostyn (1991–1993)

The Hooters are an American rock band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. By combining a mix of rock and roll, reggae, ska and folk music, The Hooters first gained major commercial success in the United States in the mid 1980s due to heavy radio and MTV airplay of several songs including “All You Zombies,” “Day By Day,” “And We Danced” and “Where Do The Children Go.” Their popularity resulted in the band opening the Philadelphia portion of the Live Aid benefit concert in 1985.

During the late 1980s and 1990s, The Hooters found significant commercial success internationally, especially in Europe, where they played at The Wall Concert in Berlin in 1990, before they went on hiatus in 1995.

Since reuniting in 2001, The Hooters have staged successful tours in Europe and 2007 saw the release of their first album of new material since 1993, Time Stand Still.



[edit] Career

[edit] Early years (1980–1984)

The Hooters were formed in 1980 and played their first show on July 4 of that year. They took their name from a nickname for the melodica, a type of keyboard harmonica which is German in origin and made by Hohner. Two of the members, Eric Bazilian and Rob Hyman, had originally met in 1971 at the University of Pennsylvania and had played in a band in the late 1970s, based in Philadelphia, called Baby Grand, which also featured local singer, David Kagan. Baby Grand released two albums on Arista Records. In addition, producer/friend of the band Rick Chertoff also had a significant role during these album sessions, and he would later produce several Hooters albums as well.

During the 1980s, The Hooters played on the Philadelphia club scene, boosted by airplay on WMMR, the major rock radio station in Philadelphia at the time. They soon became a huge success along their native East Coast, playing everything from clubs to high schools, while appearing on local television shows. The original versions of “Man in the Street“, “Fightin’ on the Same Side“, “Rescue Me“, and “All You Zombies” were released as singles in this time period.

On September 25, 1982, The Hooters opened for one of The Who‘s farewell tour concert shows at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia on a bill that also included The Clash and Santana. After this, the group separated after two exhausting years of playing practically every club and high school on the East Coast. Hyman and his girlfriend, Betsy Berlin (of the Plastic Fantastic record shops), had been managing and booking the band during this period, which had begun to cut too deeply into Hyman’s writing and rehearsal time.

In 1983 Bazilian and Hyman got together to write once again and decided to give the band one more try. Steve Mountain, owner of several of the clubs in Philly where they played, was approached to manage the band and he agreed. And the band’s booking was taken over by others, leaving Hyman and Bazilian to concentrate solely on the music.

Besides Bazilian and Hyman, only drummer David Uosikkinen was retained from the original grouping. John Kuzma (guitar) and Bobby Woods (bass) had already joined another group, Youth Camp. They were replaced by John Lilley (guitar, backing vocals) and Rob Miller (bass, backing vocals), two former members from another local popular group, Robert Hazard and the Heroes.

In 1983 The Hooters began working at last on their very first album. The result, Amore, was released on the independent label Antenna and sold over 100,000 copies. Amore included songs like “All You Zombies“, “Hanging On A Heartbeat”, “Fightin’ On The Same Side” and “Blood From A Stone”, all of which would reappear in different versions on later albums. Although a studio album, Amore captured the same energy and spirit that made The Hooters admired for their live performances.

That same year, Bazilian and Hyman were asked to write, arrange and play on the debut album of a relatively unknown singer named Cyndi Lauper, She’s So Unusual, who was being produced by their former bandmate from Baby Grand, Rick Chertoff. Hyman co-wrote the song “Time After Time”, which would go on to hit Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart and was subsequently nominated for a Grammy Award for Song of the Year.

After the immense popularity of Cyndi Lauper’s debut, The Hooters presence, as performers and as songwriters, was significantly boosted. On July 26, 1984, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia, Columbia Records signed them to their first major recording contract.

Just before the band were about to make the leap to the big time, Rob Miller was seriously injured in an automobile accident and was replaced by Andy King, from a rival Philly band, Jack of Diamonds.

[edit] Mainstream success (1985–1989)

The Hooters’ 1985 Columbia Records debut album, Nervous Night, achieved platinum status around the world, selling in excess of 2 million copies and included Billboard Top 40 hits “Day By Day” (No. 18), “And We Danced” (No. 21) and “Where Do The Children Go” that featured accompanying vocals from Patty Smyth (No. 38). There was also a drastically different version of the live crowd favorite “All You Zombies” that was now laden with a dramatic keyboard arrangement. This song also made the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at #58. Rolling Stone named The Hooters the Best New Band of the Year.

On July 13, 1985 they were the opening band at the Philadelphia Live Aid benefit concert, gaining international recognition for the first time. Their first major overseas tour came later that year when they played throughout Australia.

On May 18, 1986, The Hooters participated in “America Rocks”, the concert portion of the 1986 Kodak Liberty Ride Festival that celebrated the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The three-hour concert was broadcast via satellite to 100 cities and also featured The Neville Brothers, Huey Lewis and the News, and Hall & Oates.

On June 15, 1986 The Hooters participated in A Conspiracy of Hope, a benefit concert on behalf of Amnesty International, at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

On September 5, 1986 The Hooters appeared on the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards, where they were nominated in the category of Best New Artist in a Video for “And We Danced.” They performed two songs on the show, “And We Danced” and “Nervous Night.”

At Billboards 8th Annual Video Music Conference on November 22, 1986, The Hooters won two awards: Best Concert Performance for the “Where Do the Children Go” video and Best Longform Program for the full length Nervous Night home video. They also placed in five categories in Billboard’s Top 100 of 1986: Top Pop Artist, No. 41; Top Pop Album, No. 23; Top Pop Album Artists/Groups, No. 16; Top Pop Album Artists based on one album, No. 27; and Top Pop Singles Artists based on three singles, No. 3.

In 1987 The Hooters experienced their first major commercial success in Europe. After heavy airplay in the United Kingdom, “Satellite,” from the album One Way Home, became a hit single, reaching No. 22, with the band performing on the popular British television show Top of the Pops on December 3, where they would meet one of their musical idols, Paul McCartney. “Satellite” was also featured on an episode of the television show Miami Vice titled “Amen…Send Money,” which first aired on October 2, 1987.[1] On the tour supporting One Way Home, Fran Smith Jr.(bass, backing vocals) was brought in to replace Andy King.

On November 24, 1987, Thanksgiving night, The Hooters headlined the Spectrum in Philadelphia for the first time. The show was broadcast live on MTV and the Westwood One radio network simultaneously, the first time the two networks had ever joined forces in producing a concert for one artist.

1989 saw their final release for Columbia Records. Zig Zag introduced a politically-oriented theme, with Peter, Paul and Mary providing background vocals for an updated version of the 1960s folk song 500 Miles, which became an international hit that led the way to another international success for the band.

[edit] International success (1990–1995)

As the 1990s dawned, The Hooters’ success in the United States began to wane, while their popularity overseas, especially in Europe, reached new heights.

Following a show at The Town & Country Club in London, England in March 1988, the band had met Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, who told them that he was a big fan of theirs. This eventually led to their appearance in Waters’ staging of The Wall Concert at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin on July 21, 1990, with Sinéad O’Connor in “Mother” and three former members of The Band (Rick Danko, Levon Helm, and Garth Hudson) providing backing vocals.

Violinist/guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Mindy Jostyn (formerly with Joe Jackson, Billy Joel and others) joined the group for a short period during 1991-1993.

1993 saw their debut album for MCA Records, Out Of Body. While not a commercial success in the United States, the album found a large audience in Europe, especially in Sweden and Germany.

The Hooters Live, recorded over two nights in Germany in December 1993, was released in Europe and Asia in 1994, but never saw a release in the United States.

The Hooters continued to tour throughout Europe until 1995 before deciding to take a hiatus to pursue individual projects.

[edit] Hiatus (1995–2001)

For several years the members of The Hooters were active in a variety of fields, both in and outside of music.

Guitarist Eric Bazilian became recognized internationally for being a songwriter, session musician, arranger and producer for numerous artists throughout the United States and Europe. In 1995, he played all those roles for Joan Osborne‘s debut album Relish, which was nominated for six Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year for the No. 4 Billboard hit “One of Us,” which Bazilian single-handedly wrote. He also released two solo albums: The Optimist in 2000 and A Very Dull Boy in 2002.

Keyboard player Rob Hyman built his own recording studio, Elmstreet Studios, in suburban Philadelphia, while also contributing to numerous musical artists as a songwriter, session musician, arranger and producer, among them being Joan Osborne and Ricky Martin.

Drummer David Uosikkinen, having moved to San Diego, California, launched an independent record label, Moskeeto Records, while also working as a drummer for various artists including Patty Smyth, Cyndi Lauper, Rod Stewart and Alice Cooper. In 1999, he joined a group of technology experts who created an online music portal,, which subsequently contributed to a change in the music industry’s distribution and consumer listening habits.

Guitarist John Lilley started his own landscape gardening business, Avantgardeners, in the Philadelphia area.

Bass player Fran Smith Jr. joined the original Broadway cast members as Paul McCartney in Beatlemania. He also played the part of Carlo Cannoli in Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding, the longest running Off Broadway theatre comedy. From his own recording studio, he produced numerous artists, including Joe Piscopo and Flo & Eddie of The Turtles, as well as local artists and bands. In 1995, he released a solo album, For No Apparent Reason.

[edit] Reunited (2001–present)

Except for a small reunion heard on the concept album Largo (which featured appearances by all the members except for Lilley) in 1998, The Hooters did not play together again until November 21, 2001, when they performed at the Wachovia Spectrum in Philadelphia for a one off show to celebrate disc jockey Pierre Robert‘s 20th anniversary at local rock radio station WMMR, the first major station to ever play The Hooters back in the early 1980s.

2003 saw a full-time reunion of The Hooters in Germany where they completed a successful 17-city tour. The success of the tour prompted two further tours in 2004 and 2005 where they premiered new unreleased songs and played in additional countries, including Switzerland and Sweden.

On May 11, 2004 The Hooters were presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Philadelphia Music Awards.[2]

November 2005 marked the appearance of The Hooters on VH1 Classic‘s concert series Decades Live Rock as guests of Cyndi Lauper where they performed “And We Danced” and “All You Zombies.”

June 2006 finally saw The Hooters play their first official shows in the United States in over a decade. Over the course of three nights they performed three shows: a homecoming show at Philadelphia’s Electric Factory on June 16; a show at The Borgata in Atlantic City, New Jersey on June 17; and finally, an outdoor show at Hubbard Park in Rob Hyman‘s hometown of Meriden, Connecticut on June 18.

Following these shows, The Hooters entered Hyman’s Elmstreet Studios to record their first album of new material since 1993. Time Stand Still was released in September 2007, preceded by a tour of Europe from June through August, with shows in Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

In November 2007 The Hooters returned to Europe for a short tour of Switzerland and Germany, including a show filmed for television in Basel, Switzerland as part the AVO Concerts Series. They then played two shows in their hometown of Philadelphia at the Electric Factory during Thanksgiving week on Wednesday, November 21 and Friday, November 23, with the latter show broadcast by radio station WXPN in 85 markets.

On February 28 and March 1, 2008 The Hooters once again entered Elmstreet Studios to begin work on a new album. Accompanied by Ann Marie Calhoun on violin, the band recorded acoustic rearrangements of 12 of their previously released songs, which resulted in a double-disc set, along with the band’s concerts the previous year at Philadelphia’s Electric Factory. The album, Both Sides Live, was released in November 2008.

March 2008 saw The Hooters embark on a series of shows in the United States in support of ‘Time Stand Still’, which saw a Stateside release the previous month, including at B.B. King’s Blues Club and Grill in New York City on Thursday, March 6, and The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia on Saturday, March 29.

In July 2008, The Hooters launched a European summer tour, playing shows in Norway, Sweden, Germany and Switzerland.

On November 26, 2008, The Hooters returned to the Electric Factory in Philadelphia for their traditional Thanksgiving show, supported by Tommy Conwell.

On October 23, 2009, in one of the last concerts at the Wachovia Spectrum, Philadelphia area musicians The Hooters, Todd Rundgren and Hall & Oates headlined a concert titled “Last Call”.

On December 8, 2010, the band’s original bassist, Bobby Woods, died from a heart attack at the age of 59.[3]

[edit] Band members

[edit] Present

  • Eric Bazilian (1980–1995, 2001–present): lead vocals, guitars, mandolin, harmonica, saxophone
  • Rob Hyman (1980–1995, 2001–present): lead vocals, keyboards, accordion, melodica
  • David Uosikkinen (1980–1995, 2001–present): drums, percussion
  • John Lilley (1983–1995, 2001–present): guitar, mandolin, dobro, keyboards, vocals
  • Fran Smith Jr. (1987–1995, 2001–present): bass guitar, vocals

[edit] Past

  • Bobby Woods (1980–1982) (deceased): bass guitar
  • John Kuzma (1980–1982): guitar
  • Adam Blatt (1982–1983): drums, percussion, background vocals
  • Rob Miller (1983–1984): bass guitar, background vocals
  • Andy King (1984–1987): bass guitar, background vocals
  • Mindy Jostyn (1991–1993) (deceased): violin, guitar, harmonica, background vocals

[edit] Discography

[edit] Studio albums

Year Album details Peak chart Positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
1983 Amore

1985 Nervous Night

  • Released: April 26, 1985
  • Label: Columbia
12 46
  • US: 2× Multi-Platinum[9]
1987 One Way Home

  • Released: July 1987
  • Label: Columbia
27 12 15 14
1989 Zig Zag

  • Released: October 26, 1989
  • Label: Columbia
115 13 12 73
1993 Out of Body

  • Released: May 11, 1993
  • Label: MCA
13 12 67
2007 Time Stand Still

  • Released: September 14, 2007
  • Label: Neo/Sony BMG(EUR)
    Megaforce/MRI Associated (US)
“—” denotes releases that did not chart.

[edit] Live albums

Year Album Peak chart Positions
1994 The Hooters Live 25 46
2008 Both Sides Live

[edit] Selected compilations

Year Album Peak chart Positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
1992 Greatest Hits 21
1994 Greatest Hits Vol.2 33  
1996 Hooterization: A Retrospective 6


  • A^ It was a certification according to old criteria. Until September 24, 1999, Gold album was certified for sales of 250,000 and Platinum album for sales of 500,000 by International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, Germany (IFPI, Musik Industrie).[16]
  • B^ In Norway, this compilation was issued under the alternative title The Best of the Hooters.[17]

[edit] Singles

Year Song Billboard Hot 100 Mainstream Rock Tracks UK Singles Chart[18] Album
1985 “And We Danced” 21 3 Nervous Night
All You Zombies 58 11
1986 “Where Do the Children Go” 38 34
“Day by Day” 18 3
1987 “Satellite” 61 13 22 One Way Home
Johnny B 61 3
1988 “Karla with a K” 81
1989 “500 Miles” 97 20 Zig Zag
1990 “Brother, Don’t You Walk Away” 37

[edit] Video releases

[edit] See also

Libertybell alone small.jpg Philadelphia portal

[edit] References

  1. ^ “Blog Archive » Amen… Send Money”. Miami Vice Chronicles. 1987-10-02. Retrieved 2010-05-09. 
  2. ^ “Live Music | Music”. Philadelphia Weekly. 2004-05-05.–live-music. Retrieved 2010-05-09. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ “allmusic ((( The Hooters > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))”. Billboard 200. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c “ – Discography Hooters”. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b “ Hooters discography”. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  7. ^ “フーターズのCDアルバムランキング、フーターズのプロフィールならオリコン芸能人事典-ORICON STYLE” (in Japanese). Original Confidence. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b c “Discographie Hooters –”. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  9. ^ RIAA – Gold & Platinum “(Searching results by albums entitled “Nervous Night”)”. RIAA – Gold & Platinum. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  10. ^ RIAA – Gold & Platinum “(Searching results by albums entitled “Nervous Night”)”. RIAA – Gold & Platinum. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  11. ^ フーターズ-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック “Highest position and charting weeks of Zig Zag by the Hooters” (in Japanese). Oricon Style. フーターズ-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  12. ^ a b c “IFPI Sweden, Guld & Platina År 1987-1998”. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  13. ^ フーターズ-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック “Highest position and charting weeks of Out of Body by the Hooters” (in Japanese). Oricon Style. フーターズ-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  14. ^ “Gold/Platin–Datenbank [Gold/Platinum Database]” (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  15. ^ “IFPI Norsk platebransje”. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  16. ^ “Richtlinien für die Verleihung von Gold/Platin Schallplatten und Awards”. IFPI Germany. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  17. ^ “Hooters, The – The Best Of The Hooters (CD, Album) at Discogs”. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  18. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 259. ISBN 1-904994-10-5

[edit] External links

[hide]v · d · eThe Hooters
Eric Bazilian · Rob Hyman · David Uosikkinen · John Lilley · Fran Smith Jr.
Bobby Woods · John Kuzma · Rob Miller · Andy King · Mindy Jostyn
Studio albums
Live albums
Video releases

Personal tools




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Charles Sisto Malatesta 3/30/11

Charles Sisto Malatesta 3/30/11

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Public Enemy (group)

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This article contains weasel words, vague phrasing that often accompanies biased or unverifiable information. Such statements should be clarified or removed. (March 2009)

Public Enemy

Public Enemy performing at the Bilbao Urban Musikaldia, Vista Alegre bullring on October 8, 2006
Background information
Also known as PE!
Origin Roosevelt, New York, U.S.
Genres Hip hop, political hip hop, hardcore hip hop, rap rock
Years active 1986–present
Labels Def Jam/Columbia/Play It Again Sam
Chuck D
Flavor Flav
Professor Griff
DJ Lord
The S1W
Past members
Terminator X
Sister Souljah

Public Enemy is an American hip hop group consisting of Chuck D; Flavor Flav; Professor Griff and his S1W group; DJ Lord; Hype man Daniel Mcgowan, who replaced Terminator X in 1999; and bassist Brian Hardgroove.[1] Formed on Long Island, New York in 1982, Public Enemy are known for their politically charged lyrics and criticism of the American media, with an active interest in the frustrations and concerns of the African American community.

In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Public Enemy[2] number forty-four on its list of the Immortals: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.[3] Acclaimed Music ranks them the 29th most recommended musical act of all time and the highest hip-hop group.[4] The group was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2007.[5]



[edit] History

[edit] Formation and early years (1982-1986)

Developing his talents as an MC with Flavor Flav while delivering furniture for his father’s business, Chuck D (Carlton Douglas Ridenhour) and Spectrum City, as the group was called, released the record “Check Out the Radio,” backed by “Lies,” a social commentary—both of which would influence RUSH Productions’ Run-D.M.C. and Beastie Boys.

Chuck D put out a tape to promote WBAU (the radio station where he was working at the time) and to fend off a local MC who wanted to battle him. He called the tape Public Enemy #1 because he felt like he was being persecuted by people in the local scene. This was the first reference to the notion of a public enemy in any of Chuck D’s songs. The single was created by Chuck D with a contribution by Flavor Flav, though this was before the group Public Enemy was officially assembled.

Around 1986, Bill Stephney, the former Program Director at WBAU, was approached by Sam Mulderrig and offered a position with the label. Stephney accepted, and his first assignment was to help fledgling producer Rick Rubin sign Chuck D, whose song “Public Enemy Number One” Rubin had heard from Andre “Doctor Dré” Brown. According to the book The History of Rap Music by Cookie Lommel, “Stephney thought it was time to mesh the hard-hitting style of Run DMC with politics that addressed black youth. Chuck recruited Spectrum City, which included Hank Shocklee, his brother Keith Shocklee, and Eric “Vietnam” Sadler, collectively known as the Bomb Squad, to be his production team and added another Spectrum City partner, Professor Griff, to become the group’s Minister of Information. With the addition of Flavor Flav and another local mobile DJ named Terminator X, the group Public Enemy was born.”

According to Chuck, The S1W, which stands for Security of the First World, “represents that the black man can be just as intelligent as he is strong. It stands for the fact that we’re not third-world people, we’re first-world people; we’re the original people [of the earth].”[6]

Public Enemy started out as opening acts for the Beastie Boys during the latter’s Licensed to Ill popularity, and in 1987 released their debut album Yo! Bum Rush The Show. Although critically acclaimed, the album became Def Jam’s worst-selling album at the time.[citation needed]

However, over the next few years Public Enemy released It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Fear of a Black Planet, and Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black. In addition to ushering in the golden age of hip hop, during this time, Public Enemy reached the height of their popularity, adulation, and controversy. The group then separated from Def Jam and has since been independently producing, marketing, and publishing their music.

[edit] Mainstream success (1987-1994)

Their debut album, Yo! Bum Rush the Show, was released in 1987 to critical acclaim. The album was the group’s first step toward stardom. The group released the album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back in 1988, which performed better in the charts than their previous release, and included the hit single “Don’t Believe the Hype” in addition to “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos“. Nation of Millions… was voted Album of the Year by The Village Voice Pazz and Jop Poll, the first hip hop album to be ranked number one by predominantly rock critics in a major periodical. It is also ranked the 17th best album of all time (and best album of the 1980s) by Acclaimed Music.[4]

In 1989, the group returned to the studio to record Fear of a Black Planet, which continued their politically charged themes. The album was supposed to be released in late 1989,[7] but was pushed back to April 1990. The title song “Fear of a Black Planet” addresses the fear some white people have of black and white relationships. It was the most successful of any of their albums and, in 2005, was selected for preservation in the Library of Congress. It included the singles “Welcome To The Terrodome”, “911 Is a Joke“, which criticized emergency response units for taking longer to arrive at emergencies in the black community than those in the white community, and “Fight the Power“.[8] “Fight the Power” is regarded as one of the most popular and influential songs in hip hop history. It was the theme song of Spike Lee‘s Do The Right Thing. It was ranked the 80th best song of all time by Acclaimed Music.[4] The song voices disgust for considering Elvis Presley and John Wayne standard American icons.

The group’s next release, Apocalypse ’91…The Enemy Strikes Black, continued this trend, with songs like “Can’t Truss It”, which addressed the history of slavery and how the black community can fight back against oppression; “I Don’t Wanna be Called Yo Nigga“, a track addresses on how the urban culture uses the word nigga outside of its usual derogatory context. The album also included the controversial song and video “By the Time I Get to Arizona,” which chronicled the black community’s frustration that some US states did not recognize Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as a national holiday. The video featured members of Public Enemy taking out their frustrations on politicians in the states not recognizing the holiday.

In 1992, the group was one of the first rap acts to perform at the Reading Festival, in England, headlining the second day of the three day festival.

[edit] Legacy

Public Enemy at Vegoose in 2007. From left: DJ Lord, Chuck D, and Flavor Flav.

Terminator X’s innovative scratching tricks can be heard on the song “Rebel Without a Pause,” and “Shut Em Down”. The Bomb Squad offered up a web of innovative samples and beats. Critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine declared that PE “brought in elements of free jazz, hard funk, even musique concrète, via [its] producing team the Bomb Squad, creating a dense, ferocious sound unlike anything that came before.”[9][10]

Public Enemy made contributions to the hip-hop world with political, social and cultural consciousness; which infused itself into skilled and poetic rhymes, using raucous sound collages as a foundation. Public Enemy developed a strong pro-Black political stance. Before PE, politically motivated hip-hop was defined to a few tracks by Ice-T, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and KRS-One. Other politically motivated opinions were shared by prototypical artists Gil Scott-Heron and the Last Poets. PE was a revolutionary hip-hop act, basing an entire image around a specified political stance. With the successes of Public Enemy, many hip-hop artists began to celebrate Afrocentric themes, such as Kool Moe Dee, Gang Starr, X Clan, Eric B. & Rakim, Queen Latifah, the Jungle Brothers, and A Tribe Called Quest. In the 1991 movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day, John Connor (Edward Furlong) wears a Public Enemy t-shirt throughout the entire movie, exhibiting PE’s influence in mainstream venues.

Public Enemy was one of the first hip-hop groups to do well internationally. PE changed the Internet’s music distribution capability by being one of the first groups to release MP3-only albums,[11] a format virtually unknown at the time.

Public Enemy helped to create and define “Rap metal” by collaborating with New York Thrash metal outfit Anthrax in 1991. The single “Bring The Noise” was a mix of semi-militant black power lyrics, grinding guitars, and sporadic humor. The two bands, cemented by a mutual respect and the personal friendship between Chuck D and Anthrax’s Scott Ian, introduced a hitherto alien genre to rock fans, and the two seemingly disparate groups toured together. Flavor Flav’s pronouncement on stage that “They said this tour would never happen” (as heard on Anthrax’s Live: The Island Years CD) has become a legendary comment in both rock and hip-hop circles. Metal guitarists Vernon Reid (of Living Colour) contributed to Public Enemy’s recordings, and PE sampled Slayer’s “Angel of Death” half-time riff on “She Watch Channel Zero.”

Members of the Bomb Squad produced or remixed works for other acts, like Bell Biv DeVoe, Ice Cube, Vanessa Williams, Sinéad O’Connor, Blue Magic, Peter Gabriel, L.L. Cool J, Paula Abdul, Jasmine Guy, Jody Watley, Eric B & Rakim, Third Bass, Big Daddy Kane, EPMD, and Chaka Khan. According to Chuck D, “We had tight dealings with MCA Records and were talking about taking three guys that were left over from New Edition and coming up with an album for them. The three happened to be Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe, later to become Bell Biv DeVoe. Ralph Tresvant had been slated to do a solo album for years, Bobby Brown had left New Edition and experienced some solo success beginning in 1988, and Johnny Gill had just been recruited to come in, but [he] had come off a solo career and could always go back to that. At MCA, Hiram Hicks, who was their manager, and Louil Silas, who was running the show, were like, ‘Yo, these kids were left out in the cold. Can y’all come up with something for them?’ It was a task that Hank, Keith, Eric, and I took on to try to put some kind of hip-hop-flavored R&B shit down for them. Subsequently, what happened in the four weeks of December [1989] was that the Bomb Squad knocked out a large piece of the production and arrangement on Bell Biv DeVoe‘s three-million selling album Poison. In January [1990], they knocked out Fear of a Black Planet in four weeks, and PE knocked out Ice Cube‘s album AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted in four to five weeks in February.”[12] They have also produced local talent such as Son of Bazerk, Young Black Teenagers, Kings of Pressure, and True Mathematics—and gave producer Kip Collins his start in the business.

Poet and Hip-Hop artist Saul Williams uses a sample from Public Enemy’s “Welcome to the Terrordome” in his song “Tr[n]igger” on the Niggy Tardust album. He also used a line from the song in his poem, amethyst rocks.

Public Enemy’s brand of politically & socially conscious hip hop has been a direct influence on new hip hop artists such as The Cornel West theory.

The Manic Street Preachers track “Repeat (Stars And Stripes)” is a remix of the band’s own anti-monarchy tirade by Public Enemy production team The Bomb Squad of whom James Dean Bradfield and Richey Edwards were big fans. The song samples “Countdown to Armageddon” from It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. The band had previously sampled Public Enemy on their 1991 single Motown Junk.

American punk rock band NOFX references Public Enemy in their song “Franco Unamerican”, stating “I’m watching Michael Moore expose the awful truth/I’m listening to Public Enemy and Reagan Youth.”

The influence of the band goes largely beyond hip-hop as the group was cited by artists as diverse as Autechre (selected in the All Tomorrow’s Parties (music festival) in 2003, Nirvana (It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back being cited by Kurt Cobain among his favorite albums), Nine Inch Nails (mentioned the band in Pretty Hate Machine credits), Björk (included Rebel Without a Pause in her The Breezeblock Mix in July 2007), Tricky (did a cover of Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos and appears in Do You Wanna Go Our Way ??? video), Prodigy (included Public Enemy No. 1 in The Dirtchamber Sessions Volume One), Ben Harper, Underground Resistance (cited by both Mad Mike and Jeff Mills), Orlando Voorn, M.I.A., Amon Tobin, Mathew Jonson and Aphex Twin (Welcome To The Terrordome being the first track played after the introduction at the Coachella festival in April 2008).

The groups last album to date is How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul?. Public Enemy’s single from the album was “Harder Than You Think“. “Though the group has faded, the repercussions of Public Enemy are felt to this day. Public Enemy showed that hip-hop was not, as Alan Light says, “just a silly novelty, a fleeting fad.”

[edit] Pop culture

Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” plays a central role in Spike Lee’s 1989 film “Do the Right Thing.” In addition to opening the film with the actors dancing to the song, Character “Radio Raheem” carries his beat-box everywhere listening to the same song, prompting one character to ask if he ever listens to anything else. Radio Raheem acts surprised and explains “It’s Public Enemy!” The song “Power of Equality” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers makes a reference, saying, “I got tapes I got CDs, I got my Public Enemy.” John Connor in the 1991 movie Terminator 2: Judgement Day wore a Public Enemy t-shirt for the majority of the film.

[edit] Criticism

In 1989, in an interview with Public Enemy for the Washington Times, the interviewing journalist, David Mills, lifted some quotations from a UK magazine in which the band were asked their opinion on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Professor Griff’s comments apparently sympathized with the Palestinians and was accused of anti-Semitism. According to Rap Attack 2, he suggested that “Jews are responsible for the majority of the wickedness in the world” (p. 177). (In turn a quote from The International Jew) Shortly after, Ridenhour expressed an apology on his behalf.[13] In an attempt to defuse the situation, Ridenhour first fired Griffin. He later rejoined the group in the album Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age. In the late 1990s, he rejoined the band, and Ridenhour and Griffin took on a side project, the rap rock outfit Confrontation Camp.

In his 2009 book, entitled Analytixz,[14] Griff criticized his 1989 statement: “to say the Jews are responsible for the majority of wickedness that went on around the globe I would have to know about the majority of wickedness that went on around the globe, which is impossible… I’m not the best knower. Then, not only knowing that, I would have to know who is at the crux of all of the problems in the world and then blame Jewish people, which is not correct.” Griff also said that not only were his words taken out of context, but that the recording has never been released to the public for an unbiased listen.

The controversy and apologies on behalf of Griff spurred Chuck D to reference the negative press they were receiving. In 1990, Public Enemy issued the single “Welcome to the Terrordome”, which contains the lyrics: “Crucifixion ain’t no fiction / So-called chosen frozen / Apologies made to whoever pleases / Still they got me like Jesus”. These lyrics have been cited by some in the media as anti-Semitic, making supposed references to the the concept of the “chosen people” with the lyric “so-called chosen” and Jewish deicide with the last line.[15]

In a letter to the editor, Leo Haber alludes to criticism by New York Times writer Peter Watrous of the group’s supposed “homophobia“.[16]

Reviewers John Alroy and David Wilson said that Fear of a Black Planet contained “homophobic babbling” which challenged politically correct thinking.[17]

Zoe Williams defended Public Enemy against charges of homophobia:

  • If you look at the seminal black artists at the start of hip-hop, Public Enemy and Niggaz With Attitude, you won’t actually find much homophobia. The only recorded homophobic lyric in Public Enemy’s canon was: “Man to man/ I don’t know if they can/ From what I know/ The parts don’t fit”[18]

Public Enemy have also been supporters of Nation of Islam Supreme Minister Louis Farrakhan,[19][20] who has been controversial for his commentary which is often interpreted as being black nationalist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic.[21]

[edit] Band members

[edit] Former members

  • Terminator X (Norman Rogers) – DJ, producer, Big Casper (Tracy Walker), Brother James (James Norman), Brother Roger, The Interrorgator (Shawn K Carter), Crunch
  • * The Bomb Squad
      • Hank Shocklee (James Henry Boxley III)
      • Keith Shocklee (Keith Boxley)
      • Eric “Vietnam” Sadler
      • Gary G-Wiz (Gary Rinaldo)
      • Kerwin “Sleek” Young
      • Professor Griff (Richard Griffin)
      • Johnny “Juice” Rosado

[edit] Discography

[edit] Further reading

  • Young Rick- cofounder/ cowriter of lyrics*Chuck D with Yusuf Jah, Chuck D: Lyrics of a Rap Revolutionary, Off Da Books, 2007 ISBN 0-974-94841-1
  • Chuck D with Yusuf Jah, Fight the Power, Delacorte Press, 1997 ISBN 0-385-31868-5
  • Fuck You Heroes, Glen E. Friedman Photographs 1976-1991, Burning Flags Press, 1994, ISBN 0-9641916-0-1

[edit] References

  1. ^ “Brian Hardgroove is the bass player and band leader for Public Enemy, and now calls New Mexico home.” New Mexico Music Commission
  2. ^ “Public Enemy”. Adam Yauch. Rolling Stone Issue 946. Rolling Stone.
  3. ^ “The Immortals: The First Fifty”. Rolling Stone Issue 946. Rolling Stone.
  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^Long Island Music Hall of Fame
  6. ^ Chuck D. and Yusuf Jah, Fight the Power, p. 82)
  7. ^ Spin Magazine
  8. ^ Fight The Power Named Best Hip Hop Song, AOL Music Canada
  9. ^ allmusic ((( It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back > Overview )))
  10. ^ Guitar Player Magazine – Fight The Presets
  11. ^ Dubois, Keir. “Public Enemy and MP3“. Transcriptions Project, December, 1999. Retrieved on March 17, 2007.
  12. ^ Fight The Power, pp. 236-237
  13. ^ Pareles, Jon. “Public Enemy Rap Group Reorganizes After Anti-Semitic Comments”, The New York Times, 11 August 1989.
  14. ^ Professor Griff. Analytixz: 20 Years of Conversations and Enter-views with Public Enemy’s Minister of Information. Atlanta: RATHSI Publishing, 2009, p. 12.
  15. ^ Christgau, Robert. Jesus, Jews, and the Jackass Theory: Public Enemy
  16. ^ Letter to the Editor: “PUBLIC ENEMY; Strong Adjectives”, The New York Times, 13 May 1990.
  17. ^ “Public Enemy”, Wilson & Alroy’s Record Reviews.
  18. ^ Williams, Zoe. “Hiphopophobia”, The Guardian, 29 April 2003.
  19. ^[dead link]
  20. ^ Pareles, Jon. “Rap Group Disbands Under Fire”, The New York Times, 29 June 1989.
  21. ^ Bierbauer, Charles (17 October 1995), “Million Man March: Its goal more widely accepted than its leader”, CNN, 

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Charles Sisto Malatesta 3/30/11

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Page and Plant

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Page and Plant

Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, 1998.
Background information
Origin London, England, United Kingdom
Genres Hard rock, folk rock, symphonic rock, world music, blues rock
Years active 1994–1998, 2001
Labels Atlantic Records (US)
Fontana Records
Mercury Records
Associated acts Led Zeppelin, Coverdale and Page, Strange Sensation
Jimmy Page
Robert Plant
Charlie Jones
Michael Lee
Ed Shearmur

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, both formerly of English rock band Led Zeppelin, recorded and toured in the mid-1990s under the title Page and Plant. The pair re-united in 1994 and, after recording a highly successful first album, they embarked on a world tour. They then recorded a second album, followed by another world tour, before disbanding at the end of 1998. They later briefly reunited in 2001.



[edit] History

The initial plans for a reunion were made in 1993, with discussions between the two of collaborating emerging from casual small talk and then an invitation to perform on MTV Unplugged. Music producer Bill Curbishley, who had been managing Plant since the 1980s and who assumed management of Page in 1994, was integral in the reuniting of Page and Plant. Despite failed attempts by others to reunite the pair, Curbishley was able to persuade the previously reluctant Plant into working with Page again.[1] In an interview he gave in 2004, Page recounted the background:

I was going to play in Japan with David, the only time we played live, and I had a call from Robert’s management to pop in and see Robert in Boston on the way to LA to rehearse. Robert said, “I’ve been approached by MTV to do an Unplugged and I’d really like to do it with you, so I said OK. It gave us a chance to revisit some numbers and use that same picture with a very, very different frame.[2]

Plant’s recollection of the reunion was as follows:

By that time I didn’t feel like I was even a rock singer anymore … Then I was approached by MTV to do an Unplugged session. But I knew that I couldn’t be seen to be holding the flag for the Zeppelin legacy on TV. Then mysteriously Jimmy turned up at a gig I was playing in Boston and it was like those difficult last days of Led Zep had vanished. We had this understanding again without doing or saying anything. We talked about the MTV thing and decided to see where we could take it.[3]

Led Zeppelin’s main songwriters reformed on April 17, 1994 as a part of the Alexis Korner Memorial Concert at Buxton, England. On August 25 and August 26, they taped performances in London, Wales, and Morocco with Egyptian and Moroccan orchestration of several Led Zeppelin tunes along with four new songs. The performances aired on October 12, and were so successful commercially and artistically that the two coordinated a tour which kicked off in February 1995. The Unplugged performance was released as an album in November 1994 as No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded.

Their tour took them across the world with a lineup including Charlie Jones playing bass and percussion, Michael Lee on drums, Porl Thompson performing guitar and banjo, Najma Akhtar providing backup vocals, Jim Sutherland on mandolin and bodhrán, Nigel Eaton hurdy gurdy, and Ed Shearmur playing Hammond organ with orchestral arrangements. Page:

It was heroic to take something like that around the world, because it was using two orchestras: one Western, one Arab orchestra, with a hurdy-gurdy. It was great going around the world to turn people on to sounds they hadn’t heard. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, but it was worth it.[2]

Afterwards, the two artists entered the studio with engineer Steve Albini to record Walking into Clarksdale, an album composed of entirely new material. The album was not as commercially successful as Unledded had been, and after a supporting tour the Page/Plant reunion slowly dissolved, with both members going on to perform with other side projects. As Page explained:

There could have been a follow-up [to Walking into Clarksdale]. I certainly had about a dozen numbers written for a third album. Robert heard them and said that some of them were really good, but he just wanted to go in another direction. That’s fair enough.[4]

In an interview he gave to Uncut magazine in 2005 Plant recounted:

We had some good songs [on Walking into Clarksdale], but I wasn’t sure about the production. I felt kind of marooned. We were still surrounded by the protective shield of who we were, and it meant we were playing big arenas around the world. And I realised once again there had to be another way… I knew I had to get back to playing clubs and remember what pulse was all about. To say goodbye to those large arenas that I played with Jimmy was a very purposeful move.[3]

They reunited once more in July 2001 for the Montreux Jazz Festival.

[edit] Main staff

[edit] Discography

Year Name
1994 No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded
1997 The Inner Flame: Rainer Ptacek Tribute (collaboration)
1998 Walking into Clarksdale
Year Name
1994 The Battle of Evermore” (promo)
1994 Four Sticks” (promo)
1994 “Gallows Pole”
1994 Kashmir” (promo)
1995 Thank You” (promo)
1995 “Wonderful One”
1998 Most High
1998 “Shining in the Light”
1998 “Sons of Freedom” (promo)
Year Name
2004 No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded

[edit] See also

  • Coverdale & Page

[edit] References

  1. ^ Lewis, Dave and Pallett, Simon (1997) Led Zeppelin: The Concert File, London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-5307-4.
  2. ^ a b Charles Shaar Murray, “The Guv’nors’”, Mojo, August 2004, p. 75.
  3. ^ a b Nigel Williamson, “Good Times…Bad Times”, Uncut, May 2005, p. 64.
  4. ^ “I first met Jimmy on Tolworth Broadway, holding a bag of exotic fish…”, Uncut, January 2009, p. 48.
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Charles Sisto Malatesta 3/30/11

Charles Sisto Malatesta 3/30/11

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The Who

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Who

The Who at a 1975 curtain call. Left to right: Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Keith Moon, Pete Townshend
Background information
Origin Shepherd’s Bush, London, England
Genres Rock, hard rock, art rock, protopunk, power pop[1]
Years active 1964–1982, 1989, 1996–present
Labels UK: Brunswick, Reaction, Track, Polydor
USA: Decca, MCA, Warner Brothers, Universal
Associated acts Plastic Ono Band, Thunderclap Newman, The Small Faces, The Faces, Deep End, Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band, The RD Crusaders
Roger Daltrey
Pete Townshend
Past members
John Entwistle
Keith Moon
Kenney Jones
Doug Sandom

The Who are an English rock band formed in 1964 by Roger Daltrey (vocals), Pete Townshend (guitar), John Entwistle (bass) and Keith Moon (drums). They became known for energetic live performances which often included instrument destruction.[2][3] The Who have sold about 100 million records,[4] and have charted 27 top forty singles in the United Kingdom and United States, as well as 17 top ten albums, with 18 Gold, 12 Platinum and 5 Multi-Platinum album awards in the United States alone.[5]

The Who rose to fame in the UK with a series of top ten hit singles, boosted in part by pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline, beginning in January 1965 with “I Can’t Explain“. The albums My Generation (1965), A Quick One (1966) and The Who Sell Out (1967) followed, with the first two reaching the UK top five. They first hit the US Top 40 in 1967 with “Happy Jack” and hit the top ten later that year with “I Can See for Miles“. Their fame grew with memorable performances at the Monterey Pop,[6] Woodstock[7] and Isle of Wight music festivals. The 1969 release of Tommy was the first in a series of top ten albums in the US, followed by Live at Leeds (1970), Who’s Next (1971), Quadrophenia (1973), The Who by Numbers (1975), Who Are You (1978) and The Kids Are Alright (1979).

Moon died at the age of 32 in 1978, after which the band released two studio albums, the UK and US top five Face Dances (1981) and the US top ten It’s Hard (1982), with drummer Kenney Jones, before disbanding in 1983. They re-formed at events such as Live Aid and for reunion tours such as their 25th anniversary tour (1989) and the Quadrophenia tours of 1996 and 1997. In 2000, the three surviving original members discussed recording an album of new material, but their plans temporarily stalled upon Entwistle’s death at the age of 57 in 2002. Townshend and Daltrey continue to perform as The Who, and in 2006 they released the studio album Endless Wire, which reached the top ten in the UK and US.

The Who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, their first year of eligibility;[7][8] the display describes them as “Prime contenders, in the minds of many, for the title of World’s Greatest Rock Band.”[9] Time magazine wrote in 1979 that “No other group has ever pushed rock so far, or asked so much from it.”[10] Rolling Stone magazine wrote: “Along with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, The Who complete the holy trinity of British rock.”[11] They received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Phonographic Industry in 1988, and from the Grammy Foundation in 2001, for creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording.[12][13] In 2008 surviving members Townshend and Daltrey were honoured at the 31st Annual Kennedy Center Honors.[14] That same year VH1 Rock Honors paid tribute to The Who[15] where Jack Black of Tenacious D called them “the greatest band of all time.”[16]



[edit] History

[edit] 1960s

In the early 1960s, influenced by American R&B and skiffle music, Townshend and Entwistle started a Dixieland jazz band called The Confederates. Townshend played banjo and Entwistle played the French horn, which he had learned to play in his school band. Daltrey met Entwistle walking down the street with a bass guitar slung over his shoulder and asked him to join his band called The Detours, which he had formed the year before. After a few weeks, Entwistle suggested Townshend as an additional guitarist. In those early days The Detours played a variety of music, whilst becoming influenced by American blues and country music, playing mostly rhythm and blues. The line-up consisted of Daltrey as lead guitarist, Townshend on rhythm guitar, Entwistle as the band’s bass guitarist, Doug Sandom on drums, and Colin Dawson as vocalist. With the departure of Dawson, Daltrey moved to performing as lead vocalist, and Townshend, with Entwistle’s encouragement, became sole guitarist. The band sought a recording contract, but were told they needed a better drummer, and it was suggested that they write their own material, with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones as examples. In 1964, Sandom left the group. To fill contractual obligations, the bandmates hired a session drummer for the remainder of their scheduled gigs, while seeking a new permanent drummer. One of those evenings, Keith Moon approached the band about their open position for a drummer, and was given the opportunity to perform after their interval. After accidentally smashing up the drum kit when he sat in, he was invited to join the band.

The Detours changed their name to The Who in February 1964, and, with the arrival of Moon that year, the line-up was complete. However, for a short period in summer 1964, under the management of mod Peter Meaden, they changed their name to The High Numbers, releasing “Zoot Suit/I’m the Face”, a single aimed at appealing to mod fans. The single failed to chart, and the band reverted to The Who. Meaden was replaced as manager by the team of Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp, who saw the band play at the Railway Tavern. Lambert and Stamp paid Meaden, and offered to manage the band. They became popular among the British mods, a 1960s subculture involving cutting-edge fashions, scooters and music genres such as rhythm and blues, soul, and beat music.[17] To highlight their innovative music style, the band created the slogan “Maximum R&B“.[18][19]

The band had a strong local following, but needed an edge to separate them from many other ambitious small bands in the London music scene. In September 1964, during a performance at the Railway Tavern in Harrow and Wealdstone, London, Townshend accidentally broke the head of his guitar through the ceiling. Angered by sniggers from the audience, he smashed the instrument on the stage. He picked up another guitar and continued the show. A large crowd attended the next concert, but Townshend declined to smash another guitar. However, with that first act, the band found a “gimmick” to make a name for themselves. Instead, Moon wrecked his drumkit.[20][21] Instrument destruction became a staple of The Who’s shows for several years.[2] The incident at the Railway Tavern is one of Rolling Stone magazine’s “50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock ‘n’ Roll”.[22]

The band crystallised around Townshend as primary songwriter and creative force. Entwistle also made songwriting contributions, and Moon and Daltrey contributed occasional songs in the 1960s and 1970s.

[edit] Early singles and My Generation

The Who’s first release, and first hit, was January 1965’s “I Can’t Explain“, a record influenced by The Kinks, with whom they shared American producer Shel Talmy. The song was only played in a few markets in the US, notably by DJ Peter C Cavanaugh on WTAC AM 600 in Flint, Michigan.[23] “I Can’t Explain” was a top 10 hit in the UK and was followed by “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere“, a song credited to Townshend and Daltrey.

The debut album My Generation (The Who Sings My Generation in the US) was released the same year. It included “The Kids Are Alright” and the title track “My Generation”, which was one of the first songs with a bass guitar solo. Subsequent hits included the 1966 singles “Substitute“, about a young man who feels like a fraud, “I’m a Boy“, about a boy dressed as a girl, “Happy Jack“, about a mentally disturbed young man, and 1967’s “Pictures of Lily” about a young man fixated on a pin-up poster of a woman given to him by his father. The early singles, all written by Townshend, addressed the themes of sexual tension and teenage angst.

[edit] A Quick One and The Who Sell Out

After hitting the mainstream with blues rock and proto-punk, The Who begun to explore psychedelic and art rock, influenced by The Beatles. Although successful as a singles band, Townshend wanted The Who’s albums unified rather than collections of songs. Townshend removed “I’m a Boy” from an initially projected rock opera, the first sign of which came in the 1966 album A Quick One, which included the storytelling medley “A Quick One While He’s Away”, which they referred to as a mini-opera. The song’s most famous live performance was onstage at The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, where others’ “poor” renditions were rewarded with rotten tomatoes. However, they sailed through with flying colours, as evidenced by the applause.

A Quick One was followed in 1967 by the single “Pictures of Lily” and The Who Sell Out – a concept album like an offshore radio station, complete with humorous jingles and commercials. It included a mini rock opera called “Rael” (whose closing theme ended up on Tommy) and The Who’s biggest US single, “I Can See for Miles“. The Who destroyed equipment at the Monterey Pop Festival that year and repeated the routine on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour with explosive results as Moon detonated his drum kit. Years later, during filming of The Kids Are Alright, Townshend claimed that the event was the start of his tinnitus. The drum kit had been loaded with an excessive amount of explosives after Moon bribed a stage hand. The resulting explosion was much more powerful than had been anticipated by anyone, including Moon himself. Music channel VH1 listed the event at #10 on their list of the 100 Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Moments on Television.

[edit] Tommy

In 1968, The Who headlined the first Schaefer Music Festival in New York City’s Central Park and released the single “Magic Bus“. In December, they took part in The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, performing their mini-opera, “A Quick One While He’s Away”. Also that year, Townshend became the subject of the first Rolling Stone interview. Townshend said he was working on a full-length rock opera.[24] This was Tommy, the first work billed as a rock opera and a landmark in modern music.

During this time the teachings of India’s Meher Baba influenced Townshend’s songwriting, continuing for many years. Baba is credited as “Avatar” on Tommy. In addition to commercial success, Tommy became a critical smash, Life saying, “…for sheer power, invention and brilliance of performance, Tommy outstrips anything which has ever come out of a recording studio,”[25] and Melody Maker declaring, “Surely The Who are now the band against which all others are to be judged.”[14]

The Who performed much of Tommy at the Woodstock Music and Art Festival that year. That, and the ensuing film, catapulted The Who’s popularity in the US. Though the festival became free, the Who demanded to be paid before performing despite banks and roads being closed 2–3 am on Sunday morning and only agreed to play when one of the promoters, Joel Rosenman, came up with a certified check for $11,200 ($70,704 in current dollar terms).[26][27]

It was during the performance of The Who at Woodstock that one of the most notorious events of the concert took place. Yippie leader Abbie Hoffman sat on the stage with concert organiser Michael Lang during The Who’s set. Hoffman had been working the medical tent since the festival’s opening act and was under the influence of LSD. Hoffman had become increasingly determined to publicise the case of John Sinclair, who had been given a 10-year jail sentence for passing two marijuana cigarettes to an undercover narcotics officer. Hoffman jumped up and grabbed a microphone during a brief lull in The Who’s performance of Tommy saying, “I think this is a pile of shit, while John Sinclair rots in prison!” Townshend replied, “Fuck off! Fuck off my fucking stage!”[28] and struck Hoffman with his guitar. Hoffman leaped off the stage and disappeared into the crowd.[29]

[edit] 1970s

[edit] Live at Leeds

Pete Townshend smashing his guitar during a performance with The Who; Ernst-Merck-Halle, Hamburg, August 12, 1972

The group began 1970 by appearing on the BBC’s highly rated review of the sixties music scene Pop Go The Sixties, performing “I Can See For Miles” live on the show broadcast on BBC1, 1 January 1970. In February 1970 The Who recorded Live at Leeds, thought by many critics to be the best live rock album of all time.[30][31][32][33][34][35][36] The album, originally containing mostly the show’s set closing hard rock songs, has been re-released in expanded and remastered versions. These versions remedy technical problems with the original and are expanded with portions of the performance of Tommy, as well as versions of earlier singles and stage banter. A double-disc version contains the entire performance of Tommy. The Leeds University gig was part of the Tommy tour, which not only included gigs in European opera houses but saw The Who become the first rock act at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. In March The Who released the UK top twenty hit “The Seeker“.

[edit] Lifehouse and Who’s Next

The Who performing in Hamburg in 1972

In March 1971, the band began recording the available Lifehouse material, a new Townshend-penned rock opera, with Kit Lambert in New York, and then restarted the sessions with Glyn Johns in April. Selections from the material, with one unrelated song by Entwistle, were released as a traditional studio album, Who’s Next. The album became their most successful album among critics and fans, but terminated the Lifehouse project. Who’s Next reached #4 in the US pop charts and #1 in the UK. Two tracks from the album, “Baba O’Riley” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again“, are cited as pioneering examples of synthesiser use in rock music; both tracks’ keyboard sounds were generated in real time by a Lowrey organ[37] (though in “Won’t Get Fooled Again”, the organ was processed through a VCS3 synthesiser). Synthesizers can be heard elsewhere on the album, in “Bargain”, “Going Mobile”, and “The Song Is Over“. In October The Who released the UK top twenty hit “Let’s See Action”. On 4 November 1971 The Who opened the Rainbow Theatre in London and played for three nights. They also played at the Young Vic in London, performing the Lifehouse set. This has been released on disc 2 of the Who’s Next Deluxe Edition. In 1972 they released the UK top ten and US top twenty single “Join Together” and the UK and US Top Forty “The Relay”.

[edit] Quadrophenia and By Numbers

Who’s Next was followed by Quadrophenia (1973), The Who’s second completed double album rock opera. The story is about a boy named Jimmy, who struggles for self-esteem, with his family and others, and is mentally ill.[38] His story is set against clashes between Mods and Rockers in the early 1960s in the UK, particularly at Brighton. The album became their highest charting cross-Atlantic success, peaking at #2 in the UK and US. The US tour started on 20 November 1973 at the San Francisco, California Cow Palace in Daly City where Moon passed out during “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and, after a break backstage, again in “Magic Bus”. Townshend asked the audience, “Can anyone play the drums? – I mean somebody good.” An audience member, Scot Halpin, filled in for the rest of the show, a jam featuring “Smokestack Lightning”, “Spoonful” and “Naked Eye”.[39]

Moon in 1975

In 1974 The Who released the outtakes album Odds & Sods, which featured several songs from the aborted Lifehouse project. Their 1975 album, The Who by Numbers, had introspective songs, lightened by “Squeeze Box”, another hit single. Some critics considered By Numbers Townshend’s “suicide note.”[40] A movie version of Tommy released that year was directed by Ken Russell, starred Daltrey and earned Townshend an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score. On December 6, 1975 The Who set the record for largest indoor concert at the Pontiac Silverdome, attended by 75,962 people.[41] On May 31, 1976 The Who played at The Valley, the home of Charlton Athletic, in what was listed for more than ten years in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s loudest concert, at over 120 dBs.[25]

[edit] Who Are You and Moon’s death

Daltrey and Townshend, 21 Oct. 1976, Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada

On 18 August 1978, the band released Who Are You. It became their biggest and fastest seller to that date, peaking at #2 in the US, and was certified platinum in the US on 20 September. This success was overshadowed by Keith Moon’s death in his sleep on 7 September after an overdose of Heminevrin – prescribed to combat alcohol withdrawal – a few hours after a party held by Paul McCartney.[42] Kenney Jones, of Small Faces and Faces, joined as Moon’s successor.

On 2 May 1979, The Who returned to the stage with a well-received concert at the Rainbow Theatre in London, followed up over the spring and summer by performances at the Cannes Film Festival in France, in Scotland, at Wembley Stadium in London, in West Germany, at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey and in five dates at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Also in 1979, The Who released a documentary film called The Kids Are Alright and a film version of Quadrophenia, the latter a box office hit in the UK and the former capturing many of the band’s most scintillating moments on stage, including their last performance with Keith Moon. In December, The Who became the third band, after the Beatles and The Band, featured on the cover of Time. The article, written by Jay Cocks, said The Who had “outpaced, outlasted, outlived and outclassed” all of their rock band contemporaries.[10]

[edit] Cincinnati tragedy

A small tour of the United States was marred by tragedy: on 3 December 1979 in Cincinnati, Ohio, a crowd crush at Riverfront Coliseum killed 11 fans and injured 26 others. This was due in part to festival seating – a seating arrangement in which seating is unassigned (non-reserved), so the first to enter the venue get the best of those spots. Additionally, many fans waiting outside mistook the band’s sound check for the actual concert, and attempted to force their way inside. When only a fraction of the arena’s entrance doors were opened, a bottleneck situation ensued, and with so many thousands trying to gain entry, the crush became deadly.

The band was not told until after the show because civic authorities feared crowd problems if the concert was cancelled.[43] The band was deeply shaken upon learning of the incident and requested assistance in subsequent venues for appropriate safety precautions for their following concerts. From the stage the following evening in Buffalo, New York, Daltrey told the crowd that the band had “lost a lot of family last night and this show’s for them.”

The Who in 1980s

[edit] 1980s

[edit] Change and break-up

The band released two studio albums with Jones as drummer, Face Dances (1981) and It’s Hard (1982). Face Dances produced a US top twenty and UK top ten hit with the single “You Better You Bet” and a string of MTV and AOR hits like “Another Tricky Day”. Three videos from the album played on MTV the day it took to the air in August 1981. While both albums sold fairly well and It’s Hard received a five-star review in Rolling Stone, some fans were not receptive to the new sound. “Athena” was a US top thirty hit and “Eminence Front” charted as well and became a favourite. However Townshend’s life was a mess – his marriage had fallen apart due to his drinking and he had become a heroin user, something which shocked his friends due to his previous anti-drug stance. He cleaned up in early 1982, but Daltrey told him he would stop touring if it meant keeping Townshend alive. Shortly after It’s Hard, The Who embarked on their ‘farewell’ tour of the US. It included two shows at Shea Stadium in New York on October 12 & 13 and ended in Toronto on December 17 and which was featured on HBO.[44] Townshend had said he wanted one more tour with The Who before turning it into a studio band. It was the highest grossing tour of the year, with sellout crowds in stadiums and arenas throughout North America.[45]

Townshend spent part of 1983 trying to write material for the studio album still owed to Warner Bros. Records from a contract in 1980. By the end of 1983, however, Townshend declared himself unable to generate material appropriate for The Who and announced his departure from the band in December, wishing Daltrey, Entwistle and Jones all the best if they went on without him. He then focused on solo projects such as: White City: A Novel, The Iron Man (which featured Daltrey and Entwistle and two songs on the album credited to “The Who”), and Psychoderelict, a forerunner to the radio work Lifehouse.

[edit] Reunions

The Who—including Kenney Jones—reformed for a one-off at Bob Geldof‘s Live Aid concert at Wembley. The BBC transmission truck blew a fuse at the beginning of “My Generation”, meaning the picture was lost completely, but the band kept playing. This caused most of the video of “My Generation” and all of “Pinball Wizard” to be missed by the rest of the world, but the audio for “Wizard” and the remaining songs were transmitted via radio. Transmission resumed with “Love, Reign O’er Me” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again”.

In February 1988, the band was honoured with the British Phonographic Industry‘s Lifetime Achievement Award. The Who played a short set at the ceremony (the last time Jones worked with The Who). In 1989, they embarked on a 25th anniversary The Kids Are Alright reunion tour which emphasised songs from Tommy. Simon Phillips played drums with Steve “Boltz” Bolton playing lead guitar, as Townshend relegated himself to acoustic guitar and some electric rhythm guitar in order to minimise damage to his hearing. A horn section and backing singers were also included in order to provide sonic richness while keeping stage volumes far lower than previous tours. Newsweek said, “The Who tour is special because, after the Beatles and the Stones, they’re IT.” There were sellouts throughout North America, including a four-night stand at Giants Stadium.[46] In all, over two million tickets were sold. The tour included Tommy at Radio City Music Hall in New York and at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, with several guest stars at the latter performance. A 2-CD live album Join Together was released in 1990, stalling at #188 in the US. A video of the Universal Amphitheatre show was also released and went platinum in the US.

[edit] 1990s

[edit] Partial reunions

In 1990, their first year of eligibility, The Who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by U2, Bono saying, “More than any other band, The Who are our role models.” The Who’s display at the Rock Hall describes them as prime contenders for the title of “World’s Greatest Rock Band”. Only The Beatles and The Rolling Stones received a similar accolade at the Rock Hall.

In 1991, The Who recorded a cover of Elton John‘s “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” for a salutation album. This was the last time they released any studio work with Entwistle. In 1994 Daltrey turned 50 and celebrated with two concerts at Carnegie Hall. These included guest spots by Entwistle and Townshend. Although all three surviving original members of The Who attended, they did not appear on stage together except for the finale, “Join Together”, with the other guests. Daltrey toured that year with Entwistle and with John “Rabbit” Bundrick on keyboards, Zak Starkey on drums and Simon Townshend filling in for his brother. Pete Townshend allowed Daltrey to call this band The Who, but Daltrey declined. The live album recorded during these concerts, Daltrey Sings Townshend, was not a commercial success. Also in 1994, The Who released the box set Thirty Years of Maximum R&B.

[edit] Quadrophenia revival

In 1996 Townshend, Entwistle and Daltrey performed Quadrophenia with guest stars at a concert in Hyde Park. Starkey was the drummer. The performance was narrated by Phil Daniels who played Jimmy the Mod in the film. Despite technical difficulties the show was a success and led to a six-night residency at Madison Square Garden. Townshend played acoustic guitar exclusively. These shows were not billed as The Who. The success of the Quadrophenia shows led to a US and European tour through 1996 and 1997. Townshend played mostly acoustic guitar, but also electric guitar on select songs. In 1998 VH1 ranked The Who ninth in their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

In late 1999, The Who performed as a five-piece for the first time in concert since 1985, with Bundrick on keyboards and Starkey on drums. The first show took place 29 October 1999 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden. From there, they performed acoustic shows at Neil Young‘s Bridge School Benefit at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California on 30 and 31 October. Next, they played on 12 and 13 November at the House of Blues in Chicago, as a benefit for the Maryville Academy. Finally, two Christmas charity shows on 22 and 23 December at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London. These were the first full-length concerts with Townshend playing electric guitar for the duration of the show since 1982. The 29 October show in Las Vegas was partially on TV as well as the internet and would later see release as the DVD The Vegas Job. Reviews for the shows were good.

[edit] 2000s

[edit] Charity shows and Entwistle’s death

The success of 1999 led to a US tour in 2000 and a UK tour in November. The tour started on 6 June at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York to benefit the Robin Hood Foundation and ended with a charity show on 27 November at the Royal Albert Hall for the Teenage Cancer trust. With good reviews, all three members of The Who discussed a new album.[47] Also that year, VH1 placed The Who eighth in the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. The band, with Zak Starkey on drums, performed at The Concert for New York City on 20 October 2001, during which they played “Who Are You”, “Baba O’Riley”, “Behind Blue Eyes”, and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” for the fire and police departments of New York City. The Who were also honoured with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award that year.[48]

The Who played five shows in England in 2002; in Portsmouth on 27 and 28 January and Watford on 31 January, in preparation for two shows for the Teenage Cancer Trust Benefit at the Albert Hall on 7 and 8 February. These were Entwistle’s last shows with The Who. On 27 June, just before their US tour was due to commence, Entwistle was found dead at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. The cause was a heart attack in which cocaine was a contributing factor.[49] After a brief delay and two cancelled gigs, the tour commenced at the Hollywood Bowl with bassist Pino Palladino as Entwistle’s (now-permanent) replacement. Most shows from the tour were released officially on CD as Encore Series 2002. In September, Q magazine named The Who as one of the “50 Bands to See Before You Die”. In November 2003, The Who landed seven albums in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, more than any other artist with the exceptions of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.

In 2004 The Who released “Old Red Wine” and “Real Good Looking Boy” (with Pino Palladino and Greg Lake, respectively, on bass guitar), as part of a singles anthology (The Who: Then and Now), and went on an 18-date tour playing Japan, Australia, the UK and the US. All shows were released on CD as part of Encore Series 2004. The band also headlined the Isle of Wight Festival.[50] Also that year, Rolling Stone ranked The Who #29 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.[51]

[edit] Endless Wire

The Who on Tour in 2007. On left: Roger Daltrey, on right: Pete Townshend, with Zak Starkey (drums) and John “Rabbit” Bundrick (keyboards)

The Who announced that spring 2005 would see their first studio album in 23 years (tentatively titled WHO2). Townshend continued working on the album, however, and posted a novella called The Boy Who Heard Music on his blog. This developed into a mini-opera called Wire & Glass which formed the kernel for the new Who album, and later a full opera which Townshend presented at Vassar College.

The Who performed on the London stage of the Live 8 concert in July 2005. The Who were also inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame that year. In 2006, The Who were first recipients of the Freddie Mercury Lifetime Achievement Award in Live Music at the Vodafone music awards.[3]

Endless Wire was released on 30 October 2006 (31 October in the US). It was the first full studio album of new material since 1982’s It’s Hard and contained the band’s first mini-opera since “Rael” on 1967’s The Who Sell Out. Endless Wire debuted at #7 on Billboard and #9 in the UK Albums Chart. On the eve of its release (29 October), The Who performed part of the mini-opera and several songs from the new album live as the closing act of the BBC Electric Proms at the Roundhouse in London.

In advance of the album, and to support it, The Who embarked upon their 2006–2007 tour. Shows were released on CD and DVD as part of Encore Series 2006 and 2007. Starkey was invited to join Oasis in April 2006, and The Who in November 2006, but he declined, preferring to split his time between the two. On 24 June 2007, The Who topped the bill at the Glastonbury Festival.

[edit] Amazing Journey

Daltrey and Townshend at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, 26 October 2008

In November 2007, the documentary Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who was released. The documentary includes footage not in earlier documentaries, including film from the 1970 Leeds University appearance and a 1964 performance at the Railway Hotel when they were The High Numbers. Amazing Journey was nominated for a 2009 Grammy Award.

The Who were honoured at the 2008 VH1 Rock Honors in Los Angeles. Taping of the show took place 12 July,[52] followed by a network broadcast on 17 July. That same week, a 12-song best-of collection was released for the music video game Rock Band. The Who performed at the Rock Band party at the Orpheum Theater during the 2008 E3 Media and Business Summit. In October 2008, The Who embarked on a tour of four Japanese cities and nine North American cities. In December, The Who were recognised at the Kennedy Center Honors. After other musical celebrities performed their music, the finale was a surprise chorus of police and rescue first responders who had been touched by The Who’s performance at The Concert for New York City after the shock of 9–11.[53]

An Australia and New Zealand tour was completed in early 2009. In August, Townshend announced on The Who’s website that he is working on a new musical titled Floss which follows the story of an aging rocker known as “Walter”, some songs of which will debut on a new Who album proposed for 2010 or 2011.[54]

[edit] 2010 – Present

The Who performed at the halftime show of Super Bowl XLIV at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on 7 February 2010.[55] They played a medley of “Pinball Wizard“, “Baba O’Riley“, “Who Are You“, “See Me, Feel Me“, and “Won’t Get Fooled Again“.[56]

The Who performed Quadrophenia at the Royal Albert Hall on 30 March 2010 as part of the Teenage Cancer Trust series of 10 gigs. This one-off performance of the rock opera featured guest appearances from Eddie Vedder, lead singer of Pearl Jam, and the lead singer of Kasabian, Tom Meighan.[57]

Townshend told Rolling Stone magazine that the band had planned a tour for early 2010; Townshend later stated this was jeopardised due to the return of his tinnitus. He is experimenting with a new in-ear monitoring system that was recommended to him by fellow rocker Neil Young and his audiologist.[58] The in-ear monitoring system was scheduled to be tested out at the Quadrophenia concert at the Royal Albert Hall on March 30.[59] Most recently, Roger Daltrey has stated that they have acquired new equipment—earpieces and the like—that he and the band are learning to use to enable Townshend to perform. The Who are hoping to hit the road again in 2011, with “a new show,” according to singer Roger Daltrey, or possibly a retooled stage presentation of the group’s 1973 rock opera Quadrophenia.[60]

On 11 October 2010, The Who’s official website announced the release on 15 November 2010 of the Fortieth Anniversary Super-Deluxe Collectors’ Edition of their Live at Leeds album, including the complete 14 February 1970 performance, and a 2-CD set containing the complete performance of 15 February 1970 at the City Hall in Hull, England.[61]

The Who performed in London on January 13, 2011, along with Jeff Beck and Debbie Harry for a ‘killing cancer’ benefit concert.[62]

[edit] Legacy and influence

The Who are one of the most influential rock groups of the 1960s and ’70s,[7] influencing artists from Led Zeppelin to The Clash.[14] Bono of U2 said, “More than any other band, The Who are our role models.”[14] Brian May of Queen said, “They were my inspiration.”[63] Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips said, “I already believed in rock & roll, but seeing The Who really made me feel it. I knew I had to become a musician after that.”[64] Geddy Lee of Rush said, “They were really influential on our band in a big way.”[65] Pearl Jam‘s Eddie Vedder said, “The one thing that disgusts me about The Who is the way they smashed through every door in the uncharted hallway of rock ‘n’ roll without leaving much more than some debris for the rest of us to lay claim to.”[66]

Pete Townshend on stage in 2007

The Who’s Mod genesis inspired Mod revival bands such as The Jam,[67] as well as later bands of the Britpop wave in the mid-1990s, such as Blur[68] and Oasis.[69] The band has also been called “The Godfathers of Punk[70] due to their loud, aggressive approach to rock and the attitude evinced in songs like “My Generation”. Many protopunk and punk rock bands from the MC5[71][72] to The Stooges[73] to the Ramones[74] to Green Day,[75] point to The Who as influence.

The group has been credited with originating the “rock opera[7] and it made one of the first notable concept albums. Following Tommy were David Bowie‘s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis, and Pink Floyd‘s The Wall in the 1970s. Later efforts in the rock opera vein include My Chemical Romance‘s The Black Parade and Green Day’s American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown releases.

In 1967 Townshend coined the term “power pop” to describe The Who’s sixties singles.[76] The guiding lights of the seventies power pop movement, from the Raspberries to Cheap Trick, take inspiration from The Who.[77] The Who’s influence can also be seen in early incorporation of synthesisers,[78] with Who’s Next featuring the instrument prominently.

The Who’s surviving members, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, were given Kennedy Center Honors for their enduring influence on popular culture.[14] The band had an impact on fashion from their earliest days with their embrace of pop art and their groundbreaking use of the now common Union Jack for clothing.[79] Their contributions to rock iconography include the windmill strum, the Marshall Stack and the guitar smash.

All three versions of the American forensic drama CSI (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, and CSI: NY) feature songs written and performed by The Who as theme songs, “Who Are You“, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and “Baba O’Riley” respectively.

[edit] Awards and accolades

Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend in 1976

The Who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990,[80] the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005,[81] and won the first annual Freddie Mercury Lifetime Achievement in Live Music Award in 2006.[3] They received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Phonographic Industry in 1988,[12] and from the Grammy Foundation in 2001,[13] for creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording.

Tommy was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998, “My Generation” in 1999 and Who’s Next in 2007.[82] At the 31st annual awards ceremony on 7 December 2008, Townshend and Daltrey received Kennedy Center Honors; the first rock band to be so honoured.[53] VH1 Rock Honors 2008 paid homage to The Who with tribute performances from Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Flaming Lips, Incubus and Tenacious D. My Generation was selected for preservation in the United States National Recording Registry in 2009.[83]

The Who are ranked #3 on’s “Top 50 Classic Rock Bands”.[84] The Who have seven albums on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, more than any other artist with the exceptions of the Beatles, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen. The Who are ranked #2 on Classic Rock’s “50 Best Live Acts of All Time”.[85] The Who were ranked #9 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists of all time” in 1998[86] and are ranked #13 in 2010.[87]

[edit] Band members

Main article: The Who personnel

[edit] Current members

[edit] Former members

[edit] Current touring members

[edit] Discography

Main article: The Who discography

[edit] Studio albums

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Altham, Keith (20 May 1967). “Lily Isn’t Pornographic, Say Who”. New Musical Express. “Pete Townshend: “Power pop is what we play””. 
  2. ^ a b Vedder, Eddie (15 April 2004). “The Greatest Artists of All Time: The Who”. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 16 May 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c “2006 Vodafone Live Music Awards”. Vodafone. Retrieved 16 May 2008. 
  4. ^ Two Rock Legends, Basking in the VH1 Spotlight. Retrieved on 22 October 2008.
  5. ^ “”. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  6. ^ “Monterey Pop Festival at Britannica Online Encyclopedia”. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  7. ^ a b c d “The Who”. Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16 May 2008. 
  8. ^ “The Who”. The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc.. Retrieved 16 May 2008. 
  9. ^ “MTV”. MTV. 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  10. ^ a b “Time Magazine – ”Rock’s Outer Limits””. 1979-12-17.,9171,920745,00.html. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  11. ^ “The Who bio at Rolling Stone”.;kw=. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  12. ^ a b “BRIT Awards”. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  13. ^ a b “Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards”. 2009-02-08. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  14. ^ a b c d e “The Who Kennedy Center Honors”. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  15. ^ VH1 Rock Honors 2008
  16. ^ VH1 Rock Honors
  17. ^ “BBC”. BBC. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  18. ^ Richard Barnes The Who – Maximum R&B, Plexus Publishing, London 1996, 168 pages, ISBN 085965351X
  19. ^ Christie’s: Original 1964 poster The Who – Maximum R&B, Tuesdays at the Marquee. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  20. ^ “Rock and Roll: A Social History”. 2007-10-16. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  21. ^ “The Marquee Club”. The Marquee Club. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  22. ^ 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock ‘n’ Roll
  23. ^ “Local DJ – A Rock ‘n’ Roll History”. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  24. ^ The Rolling Stone Interview: Pete Townshend
  25. ^ a b The Who. Sanctuary Group, Artist Management. Retrieved on 3 January 2007.
  26. ^ Spitz, Bob (1979). Barefoot In Babylon: The Creation of the Woodstock Music Festival. W.W. Norton & Company. p. 462 ISBN 0-393-30644-5.
  27. ^ 1969 Woodstock Festival Concert – How Woodstock Happened – Pt.5[dead link]
  28. ^ “Woodstock: The Who vs. Abbie Hoffman”. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  29. ^ The Who Cement Their Place in Rock History
  30. ^ “Hope I don’t have a heart attack”. (22 June 2006). Retrieved on 3 January 2007.
  31. ^, The Who: Live at Leeds.
  32. ^ Live at Leeds: Who’s best… The Independent (7 June 2006). Retrieved on 3 January 2007.
  33. ^ Hyden, Steven. (29 January 2003)
  34. ^ 170 Live at Leeds.
  35. ^ The Who: Live at Leeds. BBC – Leeds – Entertainment (18 August 2006). Retrieved on 3 January 2007
  36. ^ Rolling Stone Magazine (1 November 2003). Retrieved on 3 January 2007
  37. ^ “Pete’s Equipment | Lowrey Berkshire Deluxe TBO-1 | Whotabs | Pete Townshend”. 2005-08-27. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  38. ^ “”. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  39. ^ Whiting, Sam (17 October 1996). “WHO’S DRUMMER? Teen got his 15 minutes of fame”. San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 22 February 2008. 
  40. ^ The Who By Numbers liner notes
  41. ^ “Pontiac Silverdome”. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  42. ^ “Keith Moon bio”. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  43. ^, The Who Concert Tragedy Task Force Report
  44. ^
  45. ^ Klemens Jaeger. “The Who Concerts Guide 1982”. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  46. ^ Klemens Jaeger. “The Who Concerts Guide 1989”. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  47. ^ Klemens Jaeger. “The Who Concerts Guide Newspaper Review”. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  48. ^ “List of Grammy Lifetime Awards and the years they were given”. 2009-02-08. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  49. ^ Cocaine ‘killed The Who star’ BBC News
  50. ^ Wolfson, Richard (14 June 2004). “Sheer genius”. Retrieved 7 January 2007. 
  51. ^ “The Immortals: The First Fifty”. Rolling Stone Issue 946 (Rolling Stone Magazine). 24 March 2004. Retrieved 3 January 2007. 
  52. ^ “The Who Gets ‘Rock Honors’ in Los Angeles”. 2008-07-13.,2933,381391,00.html. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  53. ^ a b “Dave Grohl, Chris Cornell Pay Tribute to the Who at Kennedy Center”. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  54. ^ Pete Townshend Writing New Musical, Songs Headed for Who LP
  55. ^ “Long live rock: The Who set to play Super Bowl XLIV halftime”. Retrieved 26 November 2009. 
  56. ^ “The Who Rock Super Bowl XLIV With Explosive Medley of Big Hits”. 7 February 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  57. ^ “QUADROPHENIA AT THE ALBERT”. 2010-04-06. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  58. ^ “The Who’s Future Uncertain as Townshend’s Tinnitus Returns”. Rolling Stone. 18 February 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2010. 
  59. ^ “TCT 2010”. Royal Albert Hall. 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  60. ^ graff, Gary (2010-07-06). “The Who Eyeing Spring 2011 ‘Quadrophenia’ Tour”. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  61. ^ Live At Leeds 40th Anniversary Super-Deluxe Collectors’ Edition
  62. ^ The Who Rocks With Jeff Beck, Debbie Harry Against Cancer
  63. ^ The Life of Brian in Guitar World
  64. ^ Wayne Coyne: “The Who Gave Me No Choice”
  65. ^ Rush’s Geddy Lee talks about ‘I Love You, Man,’ ‘Colbert,’ and their new compilation
  66. ^ Substitute: The Songs of The Who CD liner notes
  67. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. The Jam: Biography. Allmusic.
  68. ^ Azad, Bharat (2007-08-14). “”The”. Guardian. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  69. ^ “Britpop Roots and Influences”. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  70. ^ “The New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll”. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  71. ^ “MC5 Timeline”. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  72. ^ “Wayne Kramer interview”. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  73. ^ The Stooges’ Ron Asheton Remembered
  74. ^ Joey Ramone interview for Entertainment Weekly
  75. ^ “Green Day talks to SPIN”. 2009-05-11. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  76. ^ “rock’sbackpageslibrary”. 2001-05-05. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  77. ^ Dan MacIntosh (2007-08-20). “PopMatters interview with Eric Carmen”. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  78. ^ “Acoustic Sounds Inc”. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  79. ^ “State of the union – use of the British flag by the country’s popular music and fashion industries”. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  80. ^ “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  81. ^ “UK Music Hall of Fame”. 2004-11-11. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  82. ^ “Grammy Hall of Fame”. 2009-02-08. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  83. ^ “Etta James, The Who make National Recording Registry”. 2009-06-09. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  84. ^ Dave White. Top 50 Classic Rock Bands. Retrieved 21 April 2007.
  85. ^ 50 Best Live Acts of All Time (April 2008). Classic Rock Magazine. Retrieved 18 April 2010.
  86. ^ “VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists 1998”. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  87. ^ “VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists 2010”. 2010-08-28. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 

[edit] Further reading

  • Marsh, Dave (1983). Before I Get Old: The Story of The Who. St. Martin’s Press. ISBN 0-312-07155-8.
  • McMichael, Joe and “Irish” Jack Lyons. (1998) The Who: Concert File. Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0711963160.
  • Neill, Andrew; Matthew Kent; Roger Daltrey; and Chris Stamp. (2009) Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere: The Complete Chronicle of the Who 1958-1978. Sterling Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1402766916.

[edit] External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: The Who
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Who
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Charles Sisto Malatesta 3/30/11

Charles Sisto Malatesta 3/30/11

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The Monkees

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For the TV series, see The Monkees (TV series). For the album, see The Monkees (album).
The Monkees

The Monkees, left to right: Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Peter Tork, and Michael Nesmith
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Pop rock, bubblegum
Years active 1966–1971
Labels Colgems, RCA, Arista
Davy Jones
Micky Dolenz
Peter Tork
Past members
Michael Nesmith

The Monkees are an American pop rock group. Assembled in Los Angeles in 1966 by Robert “Bob” Rafelson and Bert Schneider for the American television series The Monkees, which aired from 1966 to 1968, the musical acting quartet was composed of Americans Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork, and Englishman Davy Jones. The band’s music was initially supervised by producer Don Kirshner.

At the time of the group’s formation, its producers saw The Monkees as a Beatles-like band. At the start, the band members provided vocals, and were given some performing and production opportunities, but they eventually fought for and earned the right to collectively supervise all musical output under the band’s name. The group undertook several concert tours, allowing an opportunity to perform as a live band as well as on the TV series. Although the show was canceled in 1968, the band continued releasing records until 1970. The group reached the height of fame from 1966 to 1968, and influenced many future artists. In 1986, the television show and music experienced a revival, which led to a series of reunion tours, and new records featuring various incarnations of the band’s lineup. The group went on to sell 50 million records worldwide.

The Monkees had many international hits which are still heard on pop and oldies stations. These include “I’m a Believer“, “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone“, “Daydream Believer“, “Last Train to Clarksville“, and “Pleasant Valley Sunday“.



[edit] Conception

Aspiring filmmakers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider were inspired by the Beatles’ film A Hard Day’s Night to devise a television series about a rock ‘n’ roll group.[1][2] As “Raybert Productions,” they sold the show to Screen Gems television. Rafelson and Schneider’s original idea was to cast an existing Los Angeles-based folk rock group, the Lovin’ Spoonful. However, the Spoonful were already signed to a record company, which would have denied Screen Gems the right to market music from the show on record. So in September 1965, Daily Variety and The Hollywood Reporter ran an ad to cast the band.

[edit] Developing the music

During the casting process, Don Kirshner, the Screen Gems head of music, was contacted to secure music for the pilot that would become The Monkees. Not getting much interest from his usual stable of Brill Building writers, Kirshner assigned Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart to the project.[3] The duo contributed four demo recordings to the pilot, featuring their own voices.[4]

When The Monkees was picked up as a series, development of the musical side of the project accelerated. ColumbiaScreen Gems and RCA Records entered into a joint venture called Colgems Records primarily to distribute Monkees records.[5] Raybert set up a rehearsal space and rented instruments for the group to practice playing,[5] but it quickly became apparent they would not be in shape in time for the series debut. The producers called upon Don Kirshner to recruit a producer for the Monkees sessions.[6]

Kirshner called on Snuff Garrett, helmer of several hits by Gary Lewis & the Playboys, to produce the initial musical cuts for the show. Garrett, upon meeting the four Monkees in June 1966, decided that Jones would sing lead, a choice that was unpopular with the group. This cool reception led Kirshner to drop Garrett and buy out his contract.[7] Kirshner next allowed Nesmith to produce sessions, provided he did not play on any tracks he produced.[7] Nesmith did, however, start using the other Monkees on his sessions, particularly Tork as a guitarist. Kirshner came back to the enthusiastic Boyce and Hart to be the regular producers, but he brought in one of his top east coast men, Jack Keller, to lend some production experience to the sessions.[4] Boyce and Hart observed quickly that when brought in to the studio together, the four actors would try to crack each other up. Because of this, they would often bring in each singer individually.[8]

According to Nesmith, it was Dolenz’s voice that made the Monkees’s sound distinctive, and even during tension-filled times Nesmith and Tork voluntarily turned over lead vocal duties to Dolenz on their own compositions, such as Tork’s “For Pete’s Sake“, which became the closing title theme for the second season of the TV show.

The Monkees’ first single, “Last Train to Clarksville“, was released in August 1966, just weeks prior to the broadcast and, in conjunction with the first broadcast of the television show on September 12, 1966, on the NBC television network, NBC and Columbia had a major hit on their hands. The first long-playing album, The Monkees, was released in October and shot to the top of the charts.

[edit] From TV to stage

In assigning instruments for purposes of the television show, a dilemma arose as none of the four was an actual drummer. Both Nesmith, a guitarist, and Tork, who could play several stringed and keyboard instruments, declined to give the drum set a try. Jones tested well initially as a novice drummer, but the camera could barely capture him behind the drums because of his short stature. Thus, Dolenz (who only knew how to play the guitar) was assigned to become the drummer. Tork taught Dolenz his first few beats on the drums and the producers hired a teacher for him.[citation needed]

Unlike most television shows of the time, the Monkees episodes were written with many “setups”, requiring frequent breaks to prepare the set and cameras for short bursts of filming. Some of the “bursts” are considered proto-music videos, inasmuch as they were produced to sell the records. Eric Lefcowitz, in The Monkees Tale,[9] pointed out, and Nesmith concurred, that the Monkees were first and foremost a video group. The four actors would spend 12-hour days on the set, many of them waiting for the production crew to do their jobs. Noticing that their instruments were left on the set unplugged, the four decided to turn them on and start playing.[1]

After working on the set all day, the Monkees (usually Dolenz) would be called in to the recording studio to cut vocal tracks. As the Monkees were essential to the recording process, there were few limits on how long they could spend in the recording studio, and the result was an extensive catalogue of unreleased recordings.

[edit] On tour

Pleased with their initial efforts, Columbia (over Kirshner’s objections) planned to send the Monkees out to play live concerts. The massive success of the series and its spin-off records created intense pressure to mount a touring version of the group. Against the initial wishes of the producers, Dolenz, Jones, Nesmith, and Tork went out on the road and made their debut live performance in December 1966 in Hawaii.

The band had no time to rehearse a live performance except between takes on set. They worked on the TV series all day, recorded in the studio at night, and slept very little. The weekends were usually filled with special appearances or filming of special sequences.

These performances were sometimes used during the actual series. The episode “Too Many Girls (Fern and Davy)” opens with a live version of “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” being performed as the scene was shot. One entire episode was filmed featuring live music. The last show of the premiere season, “Monkees on Tour”, was shot in a documentary style by filming a concert in Phoenix, Arizona on January 21, 1967.[10] Bob Rafelson wrote and directed the episode.

In DVD commentary tracks included in the Season One release, Nesmith stated that Tork was better at playing guitar than bass. In Tork’s commentary, he stated that Jones was a good drummer and had the live performance lineups been based solely on playing ability, it should have been Tork on guitar, Nesmith on bass, and Jones on drums, with Dolenz taking the fronting role. The four Monkees performed all the instruments and vocals for most of the live set. The most notable exceptions were during each member’s solo sections where during the December 1966 – May 1967 tour, they were backed by the Candy Store Prophets. During the summer 1967 tour of the United States and the UK (from which the Live 1967 recordings are taken), they were backed by a band called the Sundowners. In 1968, the Monkees toured Australia and Japan.

The results were far better than expected. Wherever they went, the group was greeted by scenes of fan adulation reminiscent of Beatlemania. This gave the singers increased confidence in their fight for control over the musical material chosen for the series.[11]

With Jones sticking primarily to vocals and tambourine (except when filling in on the drums when Dolenz came forward to sing a lead vocal), the Monkees’ live act constituted a classic power trio of electric guitar, electric bass, and drums (except when Tork passed the bass part to Jones or one of the Sundowners in order to take up the banjo or electric keyboards).

Critics of the Monkees observed that they were simply the “prefab four”, a made-for-TV knockoff of the Beatles; the Beatles took it in their stride and welcomed the Monkees when they visited England. John Lennon publicly compared the Monkees’ humor to The Marx Brothers, saying that he “never missed an episode”. George Harrison praised their self-produced musical attempts, saying, “When they get it all sorted out, they might turn out to be the best.” (Tork was later one of the musicians on Harrison’s Wonderwall Music, playing Paul McCartney‘s five-string banjo.)

[edit] Meeting the Beatles

During the time when the Beatles were recording Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Monkees were touring England; the Beatles hosted a party for them. The meeting partially inspired the line in the Monkees’ tune “Randy Scouse Git,” written by Dolenz, which read, “the four kings of EMI are sitting stately on the floor.” Nesmith attended the “A Day in the Life” sessions at Abbey Road Studios; he can be seen in the Beatles’ home movies, including one scene where he is conversing with John Lennon (who called him Monkee Man, and would go on to call the group the “Marx Brothers of Rock”).

Dolenz was also in the studio during a session, which he mentioned while broadcasting for WCBS-FM in New York (incidentally, he interviewed Ringo Starr on his program). Paul McCartney can be seen in the 2002 concert film Back in the U.S. singing “Hey, Hey, We’re The Monkees”, the theme from The Monkees show, while backstage.

[edit] Kirshner and More of the Monkees

The animosity between Kirshner and the Monkees began in the very early stages of the band. The Monkees’ off-screen personalities at the time were much like what became their on-screen image (except for Peter). This included the playful, hyperactive antics that are often seen on screen. Apparently, during an early recording session, the four Monkees were clowning around in the studio. The antics escalated until Micky Dolenz poured a Pepsi on Kirshner’s head; at the time, Dolenz did not know Kirshner by sight.[citation needed]

The Monkees had complained that the producers would not allow them to play their own instruments on their records, or to use their own material. These complaints intensified when Kirshner moved track recording from California to New York, leaving the Monkees out of the musical process until they were called upon to add their vocals to the completed tracks. This campaign eventually forced Don Kirshner to let the group have more participation in the recording process (against his strong objections). This included Nesmith producing his own songs, and band members making instrumental contributions.

Nesmith and Tork were particularly upset when they were on tour in January 1967 and discovered that a second album, More of The Monkees, had been released without their knowledge. The Monkees were annoyed at not having even been told of the release in advance, at having their opinions on the track selection ignored, at Don Kirshner’s self-congratulatory liner notes, and also because of the amateurish-looking cover art, which was merely a composite of pictures of the four taken for a J.C. Penney clothing advertisement. Indeed, the Monkees had not even been given a copy of the album; they had to buy it from a record store.[12]

The climax of the rivalry was an intense argument between Nesmith, Kirshner, and Colgems lawyer Herb Moelis, which took place at the Beverly Hills Hotel in January 1967. Kirshner had presented the group with royalty checks and gold records. Nesmith had responded with an ultimatum, demanding a change in the way the Monkees’ music was chosen and recorded. Moelis reminded Nesmith that he was under contract. The confrontation ended with Nesmith punching a hole in a wall and saying, “That could have been your face!” However, each of the members, including Nesmith, accepted the $250,000 royalty checks, which would be equal to $1,644,500 today.[12]

Kirshner’s dismissal came in early February 1967, when he violated an agreement between Colgems and the Monkees not to release material directly created by the group together with unrelated Kirshner-produced material. Kirshner violated this agreement when he released “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You”, composed and written by Neil Diamond, as a single with “She Hangs Out”, a song recorded in New York with Davy Jones vocals, as the B-side.

Kirshner was reported to have been incensed by the group’s unexpected rebellion, especially when he felt they lacked the musical talent, and were hired for their acting ability alone.[citation needed] This experience led directly to Kirshner’s later venture, The Archies, which was an animated series – the “stars” existed only on animation cels, with music done by studio musicians, and obviously could not seize creative control over the records issued under their name.

Screen Gems held the publishing rights to a wealth of great material, with the Monkees given first crack at many new songs. Their choices were not unerring; the band allegedly turned down “Sugar, Sugar” in 1967, which became one of the biggest hits of 1969 when Kirshner recorded it with studio musicians and released it under the name of The Archies. However, producer and songwriter Jeff Barry, who cowrote “Sugar, Sugar,” denied in the late 90s that the Monkees had been offered the tune, saying it hadn’t even been written at the time.

[edit] Independence

This section is written like a personal reflection or essay and may require cleanup. Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style. (March 2011)

[edit] Headquarters

After the end of their relationship with Kirshner, the Monkees went into ‘Goldstar Studios’ in Hollywood determined to prove to the world that they were a bonafide group, and could play their own instruments. What resulted was Headquarters, with all four Monkees in the studio, now together at the same time, with very few guest musicians. Produced by Chip Douglas and issued in May 1967, the four Monkees wrote and played on much of their own material. Nearly all vocals and instruments on Headquarters were performed by the four Monkees (the exceptions being few, usually by producer Chip Douglas on bass). The album shot to number one, but was quickly eclipsed the following week by a milestone cultural event when The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Following Headquarters, they began what they referred to as “mix mode”[citation needed] where they played their own instruments but also continued to employ session musicians. The Monkees continued using additional musicians (including The Wrecking Crew, Louie Shelton, Glen Campbell, members of the Byrds and the Association, drummer “Fast” Eddie Hoh, Lowell George, Stephen Stills, Buddy Miles and Neil Young) throughout their recording career, especially when the group became temporarily estranged after Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. and recorded some of their songs separately.

The high of Headquarters was short-lived, however. Recording and producing as a group was Tork’s major interest and he hoped that the four would continue working together as a band on future recordings. However, the four did not have enough in common regarding their musical interests. In commentary for the DVD release of the second season of the show, Tork said that Dolenz was “incapable of repeating a triumph”. Having been a musician for one album, Dolenz no longer was interested in being a drummer, and largely gave up playing instruments on Monkees recordings. (Producer Chip Douglas also had identified Dolenz’s drumming as the weak point in the collective musicianship of the quartet, having to splice together multiple takes of Dolenz’s “shaky” drumming for final use.) Nesmith and Jones were also moving in different directions, with Nesmith following his country/folk instincts and Jones reaching for Broadway-style numbers.

The next three albums featured a diverse mixture of musical style influences, including country-rock, folk-rock, psychedelic rock, soul/R&B, guitar rock, Broadway, and English music hall sensibilities. Nesmith’s song-writing was heavily influenced by country music, while Tork contributed the piano introduction to “Daydream Believer” and the banjo part on “You Told Me”, as well as exploring occasional songwriting with the likes of “For Pete’s Sake” (which was used as the closing theme music for the second season of the television series) and “Lady’s Baby”.

[edit] Studio recordings controversy

When the Monkees toured the U.K. in 1967, there was a major controversy over the revelation that the group did not always play all of their own instruments in the studio, although they did play them all while touring (except for the solo segments, which used backing band the Candy Store Prophets). The story made the front pages of several UK and international music papers, with the group derisively dubbed “The Pre-Fab Four”. Nevertheless, they were generally welcomed by many British stars, who realized the group included talented musicians and sympathized with their wish to have more creative control over their music, and the Monkees frequently socialized with the likes of The Beatles, the Spencer Davis Group, and The Who.

Many Monkees fans argued that the controversy unfairly targeted the band, while conveniently ignoring the fact that a number of leading British and American groups (including critical favorites such as the Byrds and the Beach Boys) habitually used session players on their recordings, including many of the very same musicians who performed on records by the Monkees. This commonplace practice had previously passed without comment. However, the Beatles had led a wave of groups who provided most of their own instrumentation on their recordings and wrote most of their own songs. The comic book quality of the Monkees’ television series (where they mimed song performances out of necessity) brought additional scrutiny of their recorded music. But both supporters and critics of the group agree that the producers and Kirshner had the good taste to use some of the best pop songwriters of the period. Neil Diamond, the Boyce-Hart partnership, Jack Keller, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Harry Nilsson, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, and many other highly regarded writers had songs recorded by the Monkees.

In November 1967, the wave of anti-Monkee sentiment was reaching its peak while the Monkees released their fourth album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones Ltd. In liner notes for the 1995 re-release of this album, Nesmith was quoted as saying that after Headquarters, “The press went into a full-scale war against us, talking about how ‘The Monkees are four guys who have no credits, no credibility whatsoever and have been trying to trick us into believing they are a rock band.’ Number one, not only was this not the case; the reverse was true. Number two, for the press to report with genuine alarm that the Monkees were not a real rock band was looney tunes! It was one of the great goofball moments of the media, but it stuck.”

The Monkees went back into the recording studio, largely separately, and produced a large volume of recordings, material that eventually turned up on several albums.

[edit] The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees

In April 1968, The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees was released. Being released after the final season of the television series (the series was canceled in February 1968, although new episodes continued to air each week through the spring), this was the first Monkees album not to hit number one, but it still went gold. The album cover—a quaint collage of items looking like a display in a jumble shop or toy store—was chosen over the Monkees’ objections.

[edit] Beyond television

During the filming of the second season, the band tired of scripts which they deemed monotonous and stale. They had already succeeded in eliminating the laugh track (a then-standard on American sitcoms), with the bulk of Season 2 episodes airing minus the canned chuckles. They proposed switching the format of the series to become more like a variety show, with musical guests and live performances. This desire was partially fulfilled within some second-season episodes, with guest stars like musicians Frank Zappa, Tim Buckley and Charlie Smalls (composer of The Wiz), performing on the show. However, NBC was not interested in eliminating the existing format, and the group (except for Peter) had little desire to continue for a third season. Tork said in DVD commentary that everyone had developed such difficult personalities that the big-name stars invited as guests on the show would invariably leave the experience “hating everybody”.

Screen Gems and NBC went ahead with the existing format anyway, commissioning Monkees writers Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso to create a straight-comedy, no-music half-hour in the Monkees mold; a pilot episode was filmed with the then-popular nightclub act The Pickle Brothers. The pilot had the same energy and pace of The Monkees, but never became a series.

[edit] Head

After The Monkees was cancelled in February 1968, Rafelson directed the four Monkees in a feature film, Head. Schneider was executive producer, and the project was co-written and co-produced by Rafelson with a then relatively unknown Jack Nicholson. Rumors abound that the title was chosen in case a sequel was made. The advertisements would supposedly have read: “From the producers who gave you HEAD.”[13]

Nicholson also assembled the film’s soundtrack album. The film, conceived and edited in a stream of consciousness style, featured oddball cameo appearances by movie stars Victor Mature, Annette Funicello, a young Teri Garr, boxer Sonny Liston, famous stripper Carol Doda, and musician Frank Zappa. It was filmed at Columbia Pictures‘ Screen Gems studios and on location in California, Utah, and The Bahamas between February 19 and May 17, 1968 and premiered in New York City on November 6 of that year (the film later debuted in Hollywood on November 20).

Head was not a commercial success, in part because it was the antithesis of The Monkees television show, intended to comprehensively demolish the group’s carefully groomed public image. Rafelson and Nicholson’s “Ditty Diego-War Chant” (recited at the start of the film by the Monkees), ruthlessly parodies Boyce and Hart‘s “Monkees Theme.” A sparse advertising campaign (with no mention of the Monkees) squelched any chances of the film doing well, and it played only briefly in nearly-empty cinemas.[citation needed] In commentary for the DVD release, Nesmith said that by this time, everyone associated with the Monkees, including the four Monkees, “had gone crazy.” They were each using the platform of the Monkees to push their own disparate career goals, to the detriment of the Monkees project. Indeed, Nesmith said, Head was Rafelson and Nicholson’s intentional effort to “kill” the Monkees, so that they would no longer be bothered with having to deal with the matter.

But they all proved later to have gotten it entirely wrong, for over the intervening years Head has developed a cult following for its innovative style and anarchic humor, and the soundtrack album (long out of print, but re-released by Rhino in the 1980s and now available in an expanded CD version) is counted among their most adventurous recordings. Members of the Monkees, Nesmith in particular, cite Head (the only Monkees album during their initial run not to include any Boyce and Hart compositions) as one of the crowning achievements of the band. The highlights include Nesmith’s “Circle Sky“, an all-out rocker, Tork’s psychedelic “Can You Dig It?” and the Goffin/King composition “Porpoise Song“.

[edit] Early 1969: exit Tork

But tensions within the group were increasing, and Peter Tork, citing exhaustion, quit, by buying out the last 4 years of his Monkees contract at $150,000/year, equal to $898,634 per year today. This was shortly after the band’s Far East tour in December 1968, after completing work on their 1969 NBC television special, Thirty-Three And One-Third Revolutions Per Monkee, which rehashed many of the ideas from Head, only with the Monkees playing a strangely second-string role. In the DVD commentary for the television special, Dolenz noted that after filming was complete, Nesmith gave Tork a gold watch as a going-away present, engraved “From the guys down at work.” (Tork kept the back, but replaced the watch several times in later years.)

The remaining Monkees had decided to pursue their musical interests separately since Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, and Jones Ltd.; they were no longer in the studio together—and planned a future double album (eventually to be reduced to The Monkees Present) on which each Monkee would separately produce one side of a disc.

Reduced to a trio, the remaining members went on to record Instant Replay and The Monkees Present. Throughout 1969, the trio would appear as guests on various television programs such as The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, The Johnny Cash Show, Hollywood Squares, and Laugh-In. The Monkees also had a contractual obligation to appear in several television commercials with Bugs Bunny for Kool-Aid drink mix as well as Post cereal box singles.

In the summer of 1969 the three Monkees embarked on a tour with the backing (soul) band “Sam and the Good-timers”. The concerts for this tour were longer sets than their earlier concert tours: many shows running over two hours. Unfortunately the 1969 Monkees’ tour was not all that successful; some shows were canceled due to poor ticket sales.

[edit] March 1970: exit Nesmith

In March 1970, Nesmith left the group, leaving only Dolenz and Jones to record Changes as the Monkees. By this time, Colgems was hardly putting any effort into the project, and they sent Dolenz and Jones to New York for the Changes sessions, to be produced by Jeff Barry and Andy Kim. In comments for the liner notes of the 1994 re-release of Changes, Jones said that he felt they had been tricked into recording an “Andy Kim album” under the Monkees name. Except for the two singers’ vocal performances, Changes is the only album that fails to win any significant praise from critics looking back 40 years to the Monkees’ recording output. The album spawned the single “Oh My My” which was accompanied by a music film promo (produced/directed by Micky).

After a final 1971 single (“Do It In The Name Of Love” b/w “Lady Jane”), the two remaining Monkees lost the rights to use the name; in several countries, the USA included, the single was not credited to the Monkees but to Dolenz and Jones. The duo continued to tour throughout most of the 1970s.

[edit] Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart – mid 1970s

Due in part to repeats of The Monkees on Saturday mornings and in syndication, The Monkees Greatest Hits charted in 1976. The LP, issued by Arista, who by this time had custody of the Monkees’ master tapes, courtesy of their corporate owner, Screen Gems, was actually a re-packaging of an earlier (1972) compilation LP called Refocus that had been issued by Arista’s previous label imprint, Bell Records, also owned by Screen Gems. Dolenz and Jones took advantage of this, joining ex-Monkees songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart to tour the United States. From 1975 to 1977, as the “Golden Hits of The Monkees” show (“The Guys who Wrote ‘Em and the Guys who Sang ‘Em!”), they successfully performed in smaller venues such as state fairs and amusement parks, as well as making stops in Japan, Thailand and Singapore. They also released an album of new material as Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart. Nesmith had not been interested in a reunion. Tork claimed later that he had not been asked, although a Christmas single (credited to Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones and Peter Tork due to legal reasons) was produced by Chip Douglas and released on his own label in 1976. The single featured Douglas’ and Howard Kaylan’s “Christmas Is My Time Of Year” (originally recorded by a 1960s supergroup, Christmas Spirit), with a B-side of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” (Douglas released a remixed version of the single, with additional overdubbed instruments, in 1986). This was the first (albeit unofficial) Monkees single since 1971. Tork also joined Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart on stage at Disneyland on July 4, 1976, and also joined Dolenz and Jones on stage at the Starwood in Hollywood, California in 1977.

Other semi-reunions occurred between 1970 and 1986. Peter Tork helped arrange a Micky Dolenz single, “Easy on You”/”Oh Someone” in 1971. Tork also recorded some unreleased tracks for Nesmith’s Countryside label during the 1970s, and Dolenz (by then a successful television director in the United Kingdom) directed a segment of Nesmith’s NBC-TV series Television Parts, although the segment in question was not included when the series’ six episodes aired during the summer of 1985.

[edit] Revival

[edit] MTV and Nickelodeon re-ignite Monkee-Mania

Brushed off by critics during their heyday as manufactured and lacking talent, The Monkees experienced a critical and commercial rehabilitation two decades later. A Monkees TV show marathon (“Pleasant Valley Sunday“) was broadcast on February 23, 1986, on the then 5 year old MTV video music channel. In February and March, Tork and Jones played together in Australia. Then in May, Dolenz, Jones, and Tork announced a “20th Anniversary Tour” produced by David Fishof and they began playing North America in June with Dolenz. Their original albums began selling again as Nickelodeon began to run their old series daily. MTV promotion also helped to resurrect a smaller version of Monkeemania, and tour dates grew from smaller to larger venues and became one of the biggest live acts of 1986 and 1987. A new greatest hits collection was issued reaching platinum status.

By now, Nesmith was amenable to a reunion, but forced to sit out most projects because of prior commitments to his bustling ‘Pacific Arts’ video production company. However, he did appear with the band in a 1986 Christmas medley music video for MTV, and appeared on stage with Dolenz, Jones, and Tork at the Greek Theatre, in Los Angeles, on September 7, 1986. In September 1988, the three rejoined to play Australia again, Europe and then North America, with that string of tours ending in September 1989. Mike again returned at the Universal Amphitheatre, Los Angeles, show on July 10, 1989 and took part in a dedication ceremony at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, when the Monkees received a TV star there in 1989.

The sudden revival of the Monkees in 1986 helped move the first official Monkees single since 1971, “That Was Then, This Is Now”, to the #20 position in Billboard Magazine. The success, however, was not without controversy. Davy Jones had declined to sing on the track, recorded along with two other new songs included in a compilation album, Then & Now… The Best of The Monkees. Some copies of the single and album credit the new songs to “the Monkees”, others as “Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork (of the Monkees)”. Reportedly, these recordings were the source of some personal friction between Jones and the others during the 1986 tour; Jones would typically leave the stage when the new songs were performed.

Of note is that the 80s Reunion tours had been the most lucrative venture the three had ever seen in their days as a Monkee, far surpassing the monies they had made in the 1960s. Mike had little financial need to join in Monkees-related projects, mostly as his mother Bette Nesmith Graham was the inventor of Liquid Paper, leaving Nesmith over $25 million, upon her death in the late 70s.

A new album by the touring trio, Pool It! (the Monkees’ 10th), appeared the following year and was a moderate success. From 1986 to 1989, the Monkees would conduct major concert tours in the United States, Australia, Japan and Europe.

[edit] New Monkees

Main article: New Monkees

In 1987, a new television series called New Monkees appeared. Four young musicians were placed in a similar series based on the original show, but “updated” for the 1980s. The show, its accompanying album and the New Monkees themselves all sank without a trace. (Neither Bob Rafelson nor Bert Schneider were involved in the development or production of the series, although it was produced by “Straybert Productions” headed by Steve Blauner, Rafelson and Schneider’s partner in BBS Productions.)

[edit] 1990s reunions

In the 1990s, the Monkees continued to record new material. In 1993, Dolenz and Jones worked together on a television commercial, and another reunion tour was launched with the two of them in 1994. Perhaps the greatest reunion of sorts was released by Rhino Records re-issuing all the original LPs on CD, each of which included between three-six bonus tracks of previously unreleased or alternate takes; the first editions came with collectible trading cards.

Their eleventh album Justus was released in 1996. It was the first since 1968 on which all four original members performed and produced. Justus was produced by the Monkees, all songs were written by one of the four Monkees, and it was recorded using only the four Monkees for all instruments and vocals, which was the inspiration for the album title and spelling (Justus = Just Us).

The trio of Dolenz, Jones, and Tork reunited again for a successful 30th anniversary tour of American amphitheaters in 1996, while Nesmith joined them onstage in Los Angeles to promote the new songs from Justus. For the first time since the brief 1986 reunion, Nesmith returned to the concert stage for a tour of the United Kingdom in 1997, highlighted by two sold-out concerts at Wembley Arena in London. The full quartet also appeared in an ABC television special titled Hey, Hey, It’s the Monkees, which was written and directed by Nesmith and spoofed the original series that had made them famous. Nevertheless, following the UK tour, Nesmith declined to continue future performances with the Monkees, having faced harsh criticism from the British music press for his deteriorating musicianship. Tork noted in DVD commentary that “in 1966, Nesmith had learned a reasonably good version of the famous “Last Train to Clarksville” guitar lick, but in 1996, Mike was no longer able to play it” and so Tork took over the lead guitar parts.

Nesmith’s departure from the tour was acrimonious. Jones was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as complaining that Nesmith “made a new album with us. He toured Great Britain with us. Then all of a sudden, he’s not here. Later, I hear rumors he’s writing a script for our next movie. Oh, really? That’s bloody news to me. He’s always been this aloof, inaccessible person…the fourth part of the jigsaw puzzle that never quite fit in.”[14]

[edit] 2000s reunions

Tork, Jones, and Dolenz toured the United States in 1997, after which the group took another hiatus until 2001 when they once again reunited to tour the United States. However, this tour was also accompanied by public sniping. Dolenz and Jones had announced that they had “fired” Tork for his constant complaining and threatening to quit. Tork himself was quoted as saying that, as well as the fact he wanted to tour with his band Shoe Suede Blues. Most acutely, Tork told WENN News he was troubled by the overindulging of alcohol by other members of the tour crew:

“Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones fired me just before the last two shows of our 35th anniversary tour. I’m both happy and sad over the whole thing. I always loved the work onstage—but I just couldn’t handle the backstage problems. I’d given them 30 days notice that I was leaving so my position is that I resigned first and then they dropped me. Thank God I don’t need the Monkees anymore…I’m a recovering alcoholic and haven’t had a drink in several years. I’m not against people drinking—just when they get mean and abusive. I went on the anniversary tour with the agreement that I didn’t have to put up with drinking and difficult behavior offstage. When things weren’t getting better, I gave the guys notice that I was leaving in 30 days for good.”[15]

Jones and Dolenz went on to tour the United Kingdom in 2002, but Tork declined to participate. Jones and Dolenz toured the United States one more time as a duo in 2002, and then split to concentrate on their own individual projects. With different Monkees citing different reasons, the group chose not to mark their 40th anniversary in 2006.

Over the years, the Monkees have expressed admiration for each other’s talents and contributions. However, the love/hate relationship between the members continues to persist. In a March 2008 interview with the Baltimore Sun, Jones spoke bitterly about his fellow ex-Monkees. When asked about any future reunions, Jones was not optimistic:

“I wouldn’t think so. With keeping myself clean and in good shape, I can’t be responsible for Peter, Mike and Micky and their behavior. I’m not saying they have bad behavior, but it just takes one occasion where somebody has something to say and everybody gets blamed. I can’t be responsible for Peter’s mouth or Mike’s mouth or Micky’s mouth. They have to be able to feel the same way about me. So I’d rather do it myself.”[16][dead link]

Nonetheless, that same month, Jones spotted Tork in the audience at one of his shows in Connecticut, and invited him onstage to perform Nesmith’s “Papa Gene’s Blues” together, with obvious playful affection between them. Jones has admitted via DVD commentary that despite all their differences, for better or worse, the other Monkees are “…the brothers I never had.”[17]

In October 2009, Jones again rejected the idea of any further reunions and, according to Digital Spy, “launched an attack on his former bandmates”:

The singer slammed Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz, accusing guitarist Nesmith of having his head “firmly up his ass”.
Jones told the National Enquirer: “[Nesmith’s] not an entertainer in the sense that Micky, Peter and I are. He has his back to the audience half the time. [He’s] a brilliant businessman [but] as a person, I haven’t got time for him. He’s very aloof and separate.”
The musician also criticised Tork for being too disagreeable to work with and said of Dolenz: “I couldn’t imagine sharing a stage anymore with Micky Dolenz, who doesn’t want to play the drums and wants to play the guitar at the front of the stage.” [18]

[edit] 2010s reunions

A virtual reunion of all four Monkees came about in 2010, when Nick Vernier Band released “Mister Bob (featuring The Monkees)(see: Legacy, 2010).

Despite his earlier statements rejecting any future reunions, Jones stated in an interview in October 2010 that a 2011 reunion tour was a possibility, presumably to mark the band’s 45th anniversary.[19]

On January 29, 2011, at a Davy Jones Band concert at the Star Plaza Theatre, in Merillville, Indiana, it was announced that a Monkees Reunion Tour would be happening this year starting on June 25 at the Star Plaza Theatre.

On February 21, a 45th Anniversary Tour was announced featuring Jones, Dolenz and Tork. It will begin in the United Kingdom in May. Michael Nesmith will not take part in the reunion.

[edit] Rock and Roll Hall of Fame snub

In June 2007, Tork complained to the New York Post that Jann Wenner had blackballed the Monkees from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Tork asserted:

[Wenner] doesn’t care what the rules are and just operates how he sees fit. It is an abuse of power. I don’t know whether the Monkees belong in the Hall of Fame, but it’s pretty clear that we’re not in there because of a personal whim. Jann seems to have taken it harder than everyone else, and now, 40 years later, everybody says, ‘What’s the big deal? Everybody else does it.'[does not play their own instruments] Nobody cares now except him. He feels his moral judgment in 1967 and 1968 is supposed to serve in 2007.

[edit] Band members

  • Davy Jones – vocals, guitars (1966–1971) (1986–1989) (1996–1997) (2001–2002) (2011)
  • Peter Tork – bass, vocals (1966–1969) (1986–1989) (1996–1997) (2001) (2011)
  • Micky Dolenz – drums, vocals (1966–1971) (1986–1989) (1996–1997) (2001–2002) (2011)

[edit] Former members

[edit] Impact and legacy

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The Monkees, selected specifically to appeal to the youth market with their manufactured personae and carefully produced singles, are seen as an original precursor to the modern proliferation of studio and corporation-created bands. But this critical reputation has softened somewhat, with the recognition that the Monkees were neither the first manufactured group nor unusual in this respect. The Monkees also frequently contributed their own songwriting efforts on their albums and saw their musical skills improve. They ultimately became a self-directed group, playing their own instruments and writing many of their own songs.

The Monkees found unlikely fans among musicians of the punk rock period of the mid-1970s. Many of these punk performers had grown up on TV reruns of the series, and sympathized with the anti-industry, anti-Establishment trend of their career. Sex Pistols and Minor Threat both recorded versions of “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” and it was often played live by Toy Love. The Japanese new wave pop group The Plastics recorded a synthesizer and drum-machine version of “Last Train to Clarksville” for their 1979 album Welcome Plastics.

In 1988 Run-D.M.C. recorded “Mary, Mary” on their album Tougher Than Leather. Australian indie-rock bands of the 1980s such as Grooveyard (“All The King’s Horses”), Prince Vlad & the Gargoyle Impalers (“Mary, Mary”, “For Pete’s Sake”, and “Circle Sky“) and The Upbeat and The Mexican Spitfires (“Mary, Mary”) performed Monkees cover versions. Cassandra Wilson had an indie hit with “Last Train to Clarksville” in 1995. The alternative rock group Smash Mouth had a hit with “I’m a Believer” in 2001, and their version was featured in the blockbuster computer-animated movie Shrek. Japanese indie rock band Shonen Knife recorded “Daydream Believer”. Indie group Carter USM recorded “Randy Scouse Git”, which is also called “Alternate Title”. The 1980s psychedelic rock band Bongwater, featuring Ann Magnuson and Mark Kramer, recorded “You Just May Be The One” and “The Porpoise Song”. The Monkees also had a big influence on Paul Westerberg, lead singer/songwriter for The Replacements. “Daydream Believer” and “You Just May Be The One” are staples at his live shows. The British alternative rock band The Wedding Present recorded “Pleasant Valley Sunday” in the early 1990s.

The band’s legacy was strengthened by Rhino Entertainment‘s acquisition of the Monkees’ franchise from Columbia Pictures in the early 1990s. The label has released several Monkees-related projects, including remastered editions of both the original television series and their complete music library, as well as their motion picture Head.

In the 1990s, three of the Monkees had minor roles in the family sitcom Boy Meets World. Tork played Topanga’s father Jedidiah; Jones played Reginald, an old friend from Europe; Dolenz played Gordy, Mr. Matthews’ best friend. In the one episode that the three were in together, they performed “My Girl”.

In 1991, a feature film called Daydream Believer (known as The Girl Who Came Late in some markets) was released in Australia.

In 1995, Jones, Tork & Dolenz appeared in a Pizza Hut Commercial with Beatle Ringo Starr.

Jones, Tork and Dolenz also feature memorably as themselves in The Brady Bunch Movie. Jones is invited by Marcia to appear as the surprise star guest at the high school prom. After a difficult start, he proves a surprise hit with the modern-day audience. Later, the Bradys themselves perform “Keep On Dancing”, a 1960s-style “groovy” song, in the evening’s “Search For A Star” talent contest. Everyone is surprised when they win the award until it is revealed that the judging panel consists of Jones, Tork and Dolenz.

In 2005, eBay used “Daydream Believer” as the theme for a promotional campaign.

In 2006, Evergreen used “Daydream Believer” in their adverts; the lyrics were adapted for the product.

In 2009, Britain’s Got Talent sensation Susan Boyle recorded “Daydream Believer.”

In 2010, Nick Vernier Band created a digital “Monkees reunion” through the release of “Mister Bob (featuring The Monkees)“, a new song produced under license from Rhino Entertainment, containing vocal samples from the band’s recording “Zilch”.

[edit] Notable achievements

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  • Had the top-charting American single of 1967 (“I’m a Believer“). (Billboard number-one for seven weeks) with “Daydream Believer” tied for third.
  • Gave the Jimi Hendrix Experience their first US concert appearances as an opening act in July 1967.[20] It should be noted that Jimi Hendrix‘s heavy psychedelic guitar and sexual overtones did not go over well with the teenage girl audience, During one of the shows, Hendrix gave the audience the finger and quit the tour.
  • Gene Roddenberry was inspired to introduce the character of Chekov in his Star Trek TV series in response to the popularity of Davy Jones, complete with hairstyle and appearance mimicking that of Jones.[21][22]
  • Introduced Tim Buckley to a national audience, via his appearance in the series finale, “Mijacogeo, Or – The Frodis Caper”.
  • Last music artist to win the MTV Friday Night Video Fights by defeating Bon Jovi 51% to 49%.
  • First music artist to win two Emmy Awards.
  • Had seven albums on the Billboard top 200 chart at the same time (six were re-issues during 1986/87).
  • The Monkees are one of the first artists achieving number-one hits in the United States and United Kingdom simultaneously.
  • More of The Monkees spent 70 weeks on the Billboard charts, becoming the 12th biggest selling album of all time (
  • Four number-one albums in a one-year span.[23]
  • Held the number one spot on the Billboard album chart for 31 consecutive weeks, 37 weeks total.[24]
  • Held the record for the longest stay at number one for a debut record album until 1982 when Men At Work’s debut record album Business As Usual broke that record.
  • In 2008, The Monkees were inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.

[edit] Discography

[edit] Comics

There was also “The Monkees” comic published in the United States by Dell Comics, which ran for seventeen issues from 1967 to 1969. In the United Kingdom, a Daily Mirror “Crazy Cartoon Book” featured four comic stories as well as four photos of The Monkees, all in black and white; it was published in 1967.

[edit] Biopic

The VH-1 television movie Daydream Believers: The Monkees’ Story, directed was broadcast in 2000.[25] In 2002, the movie was released on DVD, and featured both commentaries and interviews with Dolenz, Jones and Tork.

[edit] Bibliography

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b Lefcowitz, Eric. Monkees Tale. Berkeley, CA: Last Gasp. pp. 4, 7–8, 10, 26, 66, 76. ISBN 0-867-19378-6
  2. ^ Lefcowitz (1985), pp. 6–7.
  3. ^ Sandoval (2005), p. 27.
  4. ^ a b Sandoval (2005), p. 40.
  5. ^ a b Sandoval (2005), p. 36.
  6. ^ Sandoval (2005), p. 37.
  7. ^ a b Sandoval (2005), p. 39.
  8. ^ Sandoval (2005), p. 46.
  9. ^ [ ISBN 0-86719-338-7 Eric Lefcowitz book (Last Gasp Press)]
  10. ^ Sandoval (2005), p. 84.
  11. ^ Baker (1986), p. 49.
  12. ^ a b Sandoval (2005), p. 80.
  13. ^ Head facts from the Internet Movie database.
  14. ^
  15. ^ “Monkees Split In Bitter Battle”. WENN News. January 3, 2002. Retrieved July 29, 2008. 
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ DVD commenatary, The Monkees, Season One
  18. ^
  19. ^ [2]
  20. ^ Lawrence, Sharon (2005). Jimi Hendrix: The Intimate Story of a Betrayed Musical Legend. New York: Harper. pp. 84. ISBN 006056301X
  21. ^ Source: The Making of Star Trek, by Stephen E. Whitfield and Gene Roddenberry, (c) 1968 Ballantine Books, pp. 249–250.
  22. ^ Source: TV Guide, September 4–10, 1993 p. 20.
  23. ^ Conradt, Stacy. “The Quick 10: 10 Billboard Milestones”. Mental Floss. Retrieved June 8, 2010. 
  24. ^ Whitburn, Joel. “Billboard Chart Records”. Retrieved June 8, 2010. 
  25. ^

[edit] External links

[show]v · d · eThe Monkees
Micky Dolenz · Davy Jones · Michael Nesmith · Peter Tork
Studio albums
Other albums
Related articles
[show]v · d · eMichael Nesmith
Studio albums
As Michael Nesmith
As Michael Nesmith & The Second National Band
Live albums
Related articles
Red Rhodes • The Monkees • Elephant Parts

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Charles Sisto Malatesta 3/30/11

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The Cars

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The Cars

The Cars, 1984. L-R: Benjamin Orr, Greg Hawkes, David Robinson, Ric Ocasek, and Elliot Easton.
Background information
Origin Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Genres Rock
Hard rock
New wave
Pop rock
Years active 1976–1988, 2010–present
Labels Elektra, Rhino, Warner, Concord Music Group
Associated acts Creedence Clearwater Revisited, DMZ, The Modern Lovers, The New Cars, ORR
Ric Ocasek
Greg Hawkes
Elliot Easton
David Robinson
Past members
Benjamin Orr

The Cars are an American rock band that emerged from the early New Wave music scene in the late 1970s. The band consisted of lead singer and rhythm guitarist Ric Ocasek, lead singer and bassist Benjamin Orr, guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes and drummer David Robinson. The band originated from Boston, Massachusetts, and were signed to Elektra Records in 1977.[1]

The Cars were at the forefront in merging 1970s guitar-oriented rock with the new synth-oriented pop that was then becoming popular and which would flower in the early 1980s. The Cars started fresh with their debut album The Cars which went on to go platinum in late 1978, The Cars debut album was called a “genuine rock masterpiece” by allmusic. Probably the most successful and well known song from the album “Just What I Needed“, started as a demo in 1977. The song was sent as a mix tape to a local DJ in the Boston area, who played the song in heavy rotation. This soon caught the attention of other DJ’s, which led to the signing of the band by Elektra Records in 1977. The Cars have mentioned this numerous times including in their “last” interview in June 2000. Robert Palmer, music critic for The New York Times and Rolling Stone, described The Cars’ musical style by saying: “they have taken some important but disparate contemporary trends—punk minimalism, the labyrinthine synthesizer and guitar textures of art rock, the ’50s rockabilly revival and the melodious terseness of power pop—and mixed them into a personal and appealing blend.”[2]

Allmusic reviewer Stephen Thomas Erlewine commented on their style saying “the Cars were nevertheless inspired by proto-punk, garage rock, and bubblegum pop.” He also called them an official rock & roll band.

The band broke up in 1988, and Ocasek has always discouraged talk of a reunion since then, telling one interviewer in 1997 “I’m saying never and you can count on that.”[3] In 2005, Easton and Hawkes joined with Todd Rundgren to form a spin-off band, The New Cars, which performed classic Cars and Rundgren songs alongside new material. On October 21, 2010, the Cars confirmed that they have reunited and are recording their first album in 24 years. Greg Hawkes will fill in on bass for Benjamin Orr, who died in 2000.[4]



[edit] History

[edit] Early years

Before The Cars, the members of the band began coming together in several early forms. Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr met in Columbus, Ohio, where they began performing as a duo, covering rock and roll classics as well as performing their own material. After deciding that Boston would be a better place to break into the music business, Ocasek and Orr relocated there. It was there that they met Greg Hawkes, who had studied at the Berklee School of Music, and the three, along with lead guitarist Jas Goodkind, formed a folk band called Milkwood. They released an album titled How’s the Weather on the Paramount label in 1973 that failed to chart.

After Milkwood, Ocasek and Orr formed the group Richard and the Rabbits, whose name was suggested by Jonathan Richman. They were a local club band for a while. Soon after, Hawkes temporarily left Ocasek and Orr and joined up with groups including Orphan, a soft-rock band, and Martin Mull and His Fabulous Furniture, a musical comedy act in which Mull played a variety of instruments. Ric Ocasek and Ben Orr then performed as an acoustic duo called simply Ocasek and Orr at the Idler coffeehouse in Cambridge. Some of the songs they played became the underlying music in early Cars songs.

Later, Ocasek and Orr teamed up with future Cars guitarist Elliot Easton (who had also studied at Berklee) in the band Cap’n Swing. Cap’n Swing also featured drummer Kevin Robichaud and a jazzy bass player, which clashed with Ocasek’s more rock and roll leanings. Benjamin Orr acted as frontman, did not play an instrument, and sang the bulk of Cap’n Swing’s demos. Ocasek soon got rid of the bass player, the keyboardist, and the drummer and decided to form a band that better fit his style of writing. Kevin Robichaud was replaced by David Robinson. Robinson said that he should really have a regular job instead, and that the Cars would be his last band. Best known for his career with the Modern Lovers, Robinson had also played in DMZ and the Pop! It was Robinson who came up with the name “The Cars,” which led to automobile-related puns. Ocasek said of the name, “It’s so easy to spell; it doesn’t have a ‘z’ on the end; it’s real authentic. It’s pop art, in a sense.”

[edit] Peak years

The band spent the winter of 1976–77 playing throughout New England, developing, honing, and ultimately perfecting the songs that would become their debut album. They shortly thereafter caught the attention of Maxanne Sartori, a local DJ on the Boston radio station WBCN, who began playing their demo of “Just What I Needed“. By virtue of that airplay, the band was signed to Elektra Records. “Just What I Needed” would turn out to be the first single from the band’s debut album, The Cars, released in 1978 and reaching #18 on the Billboard 200. “My Best Friend’s Girl” and “Good Times Roll” soon followed, charting on the Billboard Hot 100. The band commissioned famed Playboy artist Alberto Vargas to design the sexy illustration for the cover of their second album, Candy-O, released in 1979. Hits from that album included “Let’s Go“, “It’s All I Can Do” and “Dangerous Type.”

A more experimental album, Panorama, was released in 1980, charting only one Top 40 hit with “Touch and Go”. Rolling Stone described the album as “an out-and-out drag”. In 1981, the Cars purchased Intermedia Studios in Boston, renaming it Syncro Sound.[5] The only Cars album recorded there was Shake It Up. It was their first album to spawn a top 10 single with the title track, and included another hit “Since You’re Gone”. Following their 1982 tour, the Cars took a short break and went to work on solo projects, with Ocasek and Hawkes both releasing debut albums (Beatitude and Niagara Falls, respectively).

The Cars re-united and released their most successful album, Heartbeat City, in 1984. The first single, “You Might Think“, helped The Cars win Video of the Year at the first MTV Video Music Awards. Other hit singles from the album included “Magic“, “Hello Again“, and “Why Can’t I Have You”. Their most successful single, “Drive“, gained particular notability when it was used in a video of the Ethiopian famine prepared by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and introduced by David Bowie at the 1985 Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium in London[1] (The Cars themselves performed in the Philadelphia Live Aid concert).

The Cars performing at Live Aid.

[edit] Break-up and solo careers

After the resulting period of superstardom and another hit single, “Tonight She Comes“, a #7 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and a #1 hit on the Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart (their last #1), from their Greatest Hits, the Cars took time off again to pursue solo projects. Easton and Orr released their debut albums (Change No Change and The Lace, respectively), while Ocasek released his second solo album, This Side of Paradise. In 1987, the Cars released their last album, Door to Door. It contained their last major international hit, “You Are the Girl“, but the album failed to approach the success of their previous albums. They announced the group’s breakup in February 1988.[1]

In the late 1990s, rumors circulated of a Cars reunion, with no results. However, in 1995 Rhino Records released a 2-CD set Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology, containing all the group’s hits mixed with rarities (demos, non-album b-sides). They followed up with the releases of The Cars: Deluxe Edition (1999), their debut album in 2-CD format, and Complete Greatest Hits. Sadly, Benjamin Orr would die in 2000 of pancreatic cancer, though not before he would appear with his former bandmates one last time for an interview to be shown in a documentary about the group.

Ocasek continues to perform as a solo artist, having released over seven studio albums. Robinson has retired from music and spends most of his time working in his restaurant. In 2005, Easton and Hawkes combined their talents with Todd Rundgren, Prairie Prince (The Tubes, Utopia), and Kasim Sulton (Utopia, Meat Loaf) in a revamped lineup, The New Cars, to perform classic Cars songs along with selections from Rundgren’s solo work and some new original material. Sometime in the mid 1990s, Orr recorded tracks with guitarist John Kalishes for an unreleased follow-up to The Lace. From 1998 until his death in October 2000, he performed with three bands, including his own band “ORR”, The Voices of Classic Rock, and Big People.

In 2008, the band’s first album was released for the video game Rock Band.[6]

[edit] 2010 reunion

In 2010, the founding members of The Cars suggested a reunion when Ric Ocasek, Elliot Easton, Greg Hawkes and David Robinson placed a photo of the four members together in Millbrook Sound Studios, Millbrook, NY on their Facebook page. On October 13, they also posted a snippet of a new song, “Blue Tip,” on their Facebook page.

A picture of Jacknife Lee in the studio was posted on the group’s Facebook page[7] hinting that he is producing the new Cars album.

In October Billboard reported that a new album which may be supported by a tour is being recorded at veteran engineer Paul Orofino’s studio in Millbrook, New York.

David Robinson has mentioned that the working title of the new project is “Sharp Subtle Flavor”, according to Rolling Stone.

A music clip of a new song, called “Sad Song”, was added to their Facebook page on December 7, 2010.

Another clip of a song called “Free” was shared on their Facebook page on January 1, 2011.

The new album, now titled Move Like This, is currently scheduled for release May 10 by Hear Music/Concord Music Group. The album’s first single, “Sad Song”, will be released to radio in March.[8][9]

The official debut video for “Blue Tip” was released February 17, 2011. The video was directed by Roberto Serrini and Eron Otcasek from The Lab NYC and features the four members of the band, and NYC based street artist Joe Iurato.

The single “Sad Song” was released to radio on March 1, 2011 Best Buy will have the exclusive deluxe version of this album.

[edit] Band members

[edit] Current members

  • Ric Ocasek – rhythm guitar, lead and background vocals, synthesizer (1976–1988, 2010–present)
  • Elliot Easton – lead guitar, background vocals (1976–1988, 2010–present)
  • Greg Hawkes – keyboards, synthesizer, percussion, saxophone, bass, background vocals (1976–1988, 2010–present)
  • David Robinson – drums, percussion, background vocals (1976–1988, 2010–present)

[edit] Former member

  • Benjamin Orr – bass guitar, lead and background vocals (1976–1988, died in 2000)

[edit] Discography

Main article: The Cars discography

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b c d Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 154–155. ISBN 1-84195-017-3
  2. ^ Palmer, Robert. “Pop: Cars Merge Styles” The New York Times August 9, 1978: C17
  3. ^ “Life after the Cars” The Cincinnati Post October 11, 1997: 16A
  4. ^ The Cars Reunite for First Album in 23 Years Billboard October 21, 2010
  5. ^ Morse, Steve. “Boston’s Music Scene: A Hotbed of Rock and Roll” Boston Globe June 5, 1981
  6. ^ Linde, Aaron (May 20, 2008). “Cars’ Self-Titled Album Hits Rock Band Next Week”. Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  7. ^ “The Cars”. Facebook.!/photo.php?fbid=430995919928&set=a.430995914928.193453.189146859928. Retrieved March 8, 2011. 
  8. ^ “TAPSheet: Release Notes – 02/02/2011”. Retrieved March 8, 2011. 
  9. ^ “Available for Airplay 3.07-08”. FMQB. Retrieved March 8, 2011. 

[edit] External links

[hide]v · d · eThe Cars
Ric Ocasek · Benjamin Orr · Elliot Easton · Greg Hawkes · David Robinson
Studio albums
Just What I Needed” · “My Best Friend’s Girl” · “Good Times Roll” · “Let’s Go” · “It’s All I Can Do” · “Shake It Up” · “You Might Think” · “Magic” · “Drive” · “Hello Again” · “Tonight She Comes” · “I’m Not the One” · “You Are the Girl” · “Sad Song”
Related articles
The New Cars

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Charles Sisto Malatesta blog 3/30/11

Charles Sisto Malatesta blog 3/30/11

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Led Zeppelin

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For other uses, see Led Zeppelin (disambiguation).
Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin live at Chicago Stadium, January 1975
Background information
Also known as The New Yardbirds, The Nobs
Origin London, England
Genres Rock, hard rock, heavy metal
Years active 1968 (1968)–1980, 1985, 1988, 1995, 2007
Labels Atlantic, Swan Song
Associated acts Page and Plant, The Honeydrippers, The Yardbirds
Past members
Jimmy Page
John Paul Jones
Robert Plant
John Bonham

Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in 1968 that consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, drummer John Bonham and bassist John Paul Jones. With their heavy, guitar-driven blues-rock sound, Led Zeppelin are regularly cited as one of the progenitors of heavy metal[1][2] and hard rock,[3][4] even though the band’s individualistic style drew from many sources and transcends any one music genre.[5][6] Led Zeppelin did not release songs from their albums as singles in the United Kingdom, as they preferred to develop the concept of “album-oriented rock“.[2]

More than 30 years after disbanding following Bonham’s death in 1980, Led Zeppelin continue to be held in high regard for their artistic achievements, commercial success, and broad influence. The band are widely considered to be one of the most successful, innovative and influential bands in the history of rock music. Led Zeppelin have sold over 200 million albums worldwide according to some sources,[7] while other sources state sales of more than 300 million records,[8] including 111.5 million certified units in the United States,[9] making them one of the world’s best-selling music artists of all time, as well as the second best selling band of all time in the United States.[9] They have had all of their original studio albums reach the top 10 of the Billboard album chart in the US, with six reaching the number one spot.[10] Rolling Stone magazine has described Led Zeppelin as “the heaviest band of all time”,[11] “the biggest band of the ’70s”[12] and “unquestionably one of the most enduring bands in rock history”.[1] Similarly, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame described the band in the 1970s as being “as influential in that decade as The Beatles were in the prior one”.[13]

In 2007, the surviving members of Led Zeppelin reunited (along with John Bonham’s son, Jason) for the Ahmet Ertegün Tribute Concert at The O2 Arena in London. The band was honoured with the “Best Live Act” prize for their one-off reunion at MOJO Awards 2008,[14] where they were declared the “greatest rock and roll band of all time.”[15]



[edit] History

[edit] Formation

In 1966, Jimmy Page joined the blues-influenced rock band The Yardbirds to replace bassist Paul Samwell-Smith. Shortly after, Page switched from bass to lead guitar, creating a dual lead-guitar lineup with Jeff Beck. Following the departure of Beck in October 1966, The Yardbirds, who were tired from constant touring and recording, began to wind down.[citation needed] Page wanted to form a supergroup with himself and Beck on guitars, and The Who‘s rhythm section—drummer Keith Moon and bassist John Entwistle.[citation needed] Vocalists Steve Winwood and Steve Marriott were also considered for the project.[16][17] The group never formed, although Page, Beck and Moon did record a song together in 1966, “Beck’s Bolero“, which is featured on Beck’s 1968 album, Truth. The recording session also included bassist-keyboardist John Paul Jones, who told Page that he would be interested in collaborating with him on future projects.[18]

The Yardbirds played their final gig in July 1968 at Luton College of Technology in Bedfordshire, England.[19] They were still committed to performing several concerts in Scandinavia, so drummer Jim McCarty and vocalist Keith Relf authorised Page and bassist Chris Dreja to use the Yardbirds name to fulfill the band’s obligations. Page and Dreja began putting a new line-up together. Page’s first choice for lead singer, Terry Reid, declined the offer, but suggested Robert Plant, a Stourbridge singer of the Band of Joy.[2][20] Plant eventually accepted the position, recommending a drummer, John Bonham from nearby Redditch.[2] When Dreja dropped out of the project to become a photographer (he would later take the photograph that appeared on the back of Led Zeppelin’s debut album), John Paul Jones, at the suggestion of his wife, contacted Page about the vacant position.[21] Being familiar with Jones’ credentials, Page agreed to bring in Jones as the final piece.

The group played together for the first time in a room below a record store on Gerrard Street in London.[22][23] Page suggested that they try playing “Train Kept A-Rollin’“, a rockabilly song popularised by Johnny Burnette that had been given new life by the Yardbirds. “As soon as I heard John Bonham play,” recalled Jones, “I knew this was going to be great… We locked together as a team immediately.”[24] Shortly afterwards, the group played together on the final day of sessions for the P.J. Proby album, Three Week Hero. The album’s song “Jim’s Blues” was the first studio track to feature all four members of the future Led Zeppelin.[16] Proby recalled, “Come the last day we found we had some studio time, so I just asked the band to play while I just came up with the words… They weren’t Led Zeppelin at the time, they were the New Yardbirds and they were going to be my band.”[25]

The band completed the Scandinavian tour as The New Yardbirds, playing together for the first time in front of a live audience at Gladsaxe Teen Clubs in Gladsaxe, Denmark, on 7 September 1968.[26][27] Later that month, the group began recording their first album, which was based upon their live set at the time. The album was recorded and mixed in nine days, with all costs covered by Page himself.[28] After the album’s completion, the band was forced to change their name after Chris Dreja issued a cease and desist letter, stating that Page was only allowed to use the New Yardbirds name for the Scandinavian dates.[29] One account of the band’s naming has it that Keith Moon and John Entwistle, drummer and bassist for The Who, respectively, suggested that a possible supergroup containing themselves, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck would go down like a “lead balloon”, a traditional joke describing disastrous results.[30] The group deliberately dropped the ‘a’ in lead at the suggestion of their manager, Peter Grant, to prevent “thick Americans”[18] from pronouncing it “leed”.[31] The word “balloon” was transformed into “zeppelin”, perhaps an exaggeration of the humor, and to Page the name conjured the perfect combination of heavy and light, combustibility and grace.[30]

Grant also secured for the new band an advance deal of $200,000 from Atlantic Records in November 1968, then the biggest deal of its kind for a new band.[25] Atlantic was a label known for a catalogue of blues, soul and jazz artists, but in the late 1960s it began to take an interest in progressive British rock acts, and signed Led Zeppelin without having ever seen them, largely on the recommendation of singer Dusty Springfield.[23][32] Under the terms of the contract secured by Grant, the band alone would decide when they would release albums and tour, and had final say over the contents and design of each album. They also would decide how to promote each release and which (if any) tracks to release as singles, and formed their own company, Superhype, to handle all publishing rights.[33]

[edit] Early years (1968–70)

The band officially declared they were changing their name to Led Zeppelin on 14 October 1968, and played their first show under the new name at the University of Surrey in Guildford on 25 October.[34] This was followed by a US concert debut on 26 December 1968 before moving on to the west coast for dates in cities including Los Angeles and San Francisco.[35] Led Zeppelin was released in the USA on 12 January 1969, while the tour was underway. It didn’t appear in their native UK until 31 March 1969. The album’s blend of blues, folk and eastern influences with distorted amplification made it one of the pivotal records in the creation of heavy metal music.[2] Plant has commented that it is unfair for people to typecast the band as heavy metal, since about a third of their music was acoustic.[36] On their first album Plant receives no credit for his contributions to the songwriting, a result of his previous association with CBS Records.[37] By 1975, the album had grossed $7,000,000.[38]

Plant and Page performing in Montreux in March 1970. The band would soon retire to the Bron-Yr-Aur cottage in Wales to record Led Zeppelin III.

In their first year, Led Zeppelin managed to complete four US and four UK concert tours, and also released their second album, entitled Led Zeppelin II.[25] Recorded almost entirely on the road at various North American recording studios, the second album was an even greater success and reached the number one chart position in the US and the UK.[39] The band further developed ideas established on their debut album, creating a work which became even more widely acclaimed and arguably more influential.[40] It has been suggested that Led Zeppelin II largely wrote the blueprint for heavy metal bands that followed it.[40][41]

Following the album’s release, Led Zeppelin completed several more tours of the United States. They played initially in clubs and ballrooms, then in larger auditoriums as their popularity grew.[2] Some early Led Zeppelin concerts lasted more than four hours, with expanded, improvised live versions of their song repertoire. Many of these shows have been preserved as Led Zeppelin bootleg recordings. It was also during this period of intensive concert touring that the band developed a reputation for off-stage excess.[42] One alleged example of such extravagance was the shark episode, or red snapper incident, which is said to have taken place at the Edgewater Inn in Seattle, Washington, on 28 July 1969.[18][42]

For the composition of their third album, Led Zeppelin III, Page and Plant retired to Bron-Yr-Aur, a remote cottage in Wales, in 1970.[43] The result was a more acoustic sound which was strongly influenced by folk and Celtic music, and revealed the band’s versatility.[33] The album’s rich acoustic sound initially received mixed reactions, with many critics and fans surprised at the turn taken away from the primarily electric compositions of the first two albums. Over time, its reputation has improved and Led Zeppelin III is now generally praised.[44][45] The album’s opening track, “Immigrant Song“, was released in November 1970 by Atlantic Records as a single against the band’s wishes.[46] It included their only non-album B-side, “Hey Hey What Can I Do“. Even though the band saw their albums as indivisible, whole listening experiences, and their manager, Peter Grant, maintained an aggressive pro-album stance, some singles were released without their consent. The group also increasingly resisted television appearances, enforcing their preference that their fans hear and see them in live concerts.[23][47][48]

[edit] Peak of success (1971–75)

The four symbols on the label and inside sleeve of Led Zeppelin IV, representing Page, Jones, Bonham and Plant.

Led Zeppelin were one of the most commercially successful and influential groups of the 1970s.[49] The band’s popularity in the early years was dwarfed by their mid-seventies successes and it is this period that continues to define them.[18][42] The band’s image also changed as members began to wear elaborate, flamboyant clothing. Led Zeppelin began traveling in a private jet airliner (nicknamed The Starship),[42] rented out entire sections of hotels (including the Continental Hyatt House in Los Angeles, known colloquially as the “Riot House”), and became the subject of many of rock’s most repeated stories of debauchery. One escapade involved John Bonham riding a motorcycle through a rented floor of the Riot House,[42] while another involved the destruction of a room in the Tokyo Hilton, leading to the band being banned from that establishment for life.[23][50] Although Led Zeppelin developed a reputation for trashing their hotel suites and throwing television sets out of the windows, some suggest that these tales have been somewhat exaggerated. Music journalist Chris Welch argues that “[Led Zeppelin’s] travels spawned many stories, but it was a myth that [they] were constantly engaged in acts of wanton destruction and lewd behavior.”[23]

Led Zeppelin’s fourth album was released on 8 November 1971. There was no indication of a title or a band name on the original cover, as the band disdained being labelled as “hyped” and “overrated” by the music press, and in response wanted to prove that the music could sell itself by giving no indication of who they were.[20] The album remained officially untitled and is most commonly referred to as Led Zeppelin IV, though it is variously referred to by the four symbols appearing on the record label, as Four Symbols and The Fourth Album (both titles were used in the Atlantic Records catalogue), Untitled, Zoso, Runes, or IV.[51] Led Zeppelin IV is one of the best-selling albums in history and its massive popularity cemented Led Zeppelin’s superstardom in the 1970s. To date it has sold 23 million copies in the United States.[52] The track “Stairway to Heaven“, although never released as a single, is sometimes quoted as being the most requested,[53] and most played[54] album-oriented rock FM radio song.

Plant and Page perform acoustically in Hamburg in March 1973, just before the release of Led Zeppelin’s fifth album, Houses of the Holy

Led Zeppelin’s next album, Houses of the Holy, was released in 1973. It featured further experimentation, with expanded use of synthesisers and mellotron orchestration. The song “Houses of the Holy” does not appear on its namesake album, even though it was recorded at the same time as other songs that do appear; it eventually made its way onto the 1975 album Physical Graffiti.[18] The orange album cover of Houses of the Holy depicts images of nude children[55] climbing up the Giant’s Causeway (in County Antrim, Northern Ireland). Although the children are not depicted from the front, this was controversial at the time of the album’s release, and in some areas, such as the “Bible Belt” and Spain, the record was banned.[56][57]

The album topped the charts, and Led Zeppelin’s subsequent concert tour of North America in 1973 broke records for attendance, as they consistently filled large auditoriums and stadiums. At Tampa Stadium, Florida, they played to 56,800 fans (breaking the record set by The Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1965), and grossed $309,000.[18] Three sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden in New York were filmed for a motion picture, but the theatrical release of this project (The Song Remains the Same) would be delayed until 1976. Before the final night’s performance, $180,000 of the band’s money from gate receipts was stolen from a safe deposit box at the Drake Hotel.[58] It was never recovered.[59]

In 1974, Led Zeppelin took a break from touring and launched their own record label, Swan Song, named after one of only five Led Zeppelin songs which the band never released commercially (Page later re-worked the song with his band, The Firm, and it appears as “Midnight Moonlight” on their first album). The record label’s logo, based on a drawing called Evening: Fall of Day (1869) by William Rimmer, features a picture of Icarus.[60] The logo can be found on much Led Zeppelin memorabilia, especially t-shirts. In addition to using Swan Song as a vehicle to promote their own albums, the band expanded the label’s roster, signing artists such as Bad Company, The Pretty Things, Maggie Bell, Detective, Dave Edmunds, Midnight Flyer, Sad Café and Wildlife.[2] The label was successful while Led Zeppelin existed, but folded less than three years after they disbanded.[18]

Led Zeppelin perform at Chicago Stadium in January 1975, a few weeks before the release of Physical Graffiti

In 1975 Led Zeppelin released the double album, Physical Graffiti, which was their first release on the Swan Song label. It consisted of fifteen songs, eight of which were recorded at Headley Grange in 1974, the remainder being tracks previously recorded but not released on earlier albums. A review in Rolling Stone magazine referred to Physical Graffiti as Led Zeppelin’s “bid for artistic respectability”, adding that the only competition the band had for the title of ‘World’s Best Rock Band’ were The Rolling Stones and The Who.[61] The album was a massive fiscal and critical success. Shortly after the release of Physical Graffiti, all previous Led Zeppelin albums simultaneously re-entered the top-200 album chart,[18] and the band embarked on another North American tour, again playing to record-breaking crowds. In May 1975, Led Zeppelin played five sold-out nights at the Earls Court Arena in London, at the time the largest arena in Britain.[62]

[edit] Hiatus from touring and return (1975–77)

Following these triumphant Earls Court appearances Led Zeppelin took a holiday and planned a series of outdoor summer concerts in America, scheduled to open with two dates in San Francisco.[47] These plans were thwarted in August 1975 when Robert Plant and his wife Maureen were involved in a serious car crash while on holiday in Rhodes, Greece. Robert suffered a broken ankle and Maureen was badly injured; a blood transfusion saved her life.[18] Unable to tour, Plant headed to the Channel Island of Jersey to spend August and September recuperating, with Bonham and Page in tow. The band then reconvened in Malibu, California. It was during this forced hiatus that much of the material for their next album, Presence, was written.

By this time, Led Zeppelin were the world’s number one rock attraction,[47] having outsold most bands of the time, including The Rolling Stones.[18] Presence, released in March 1976, marked a change in the Led Zeppelin sound towards more straightforward, guitar-based jams, departing from the acoustic ballads and intricate arrangements featured on their previous albums. Though it was a platinum seller, Presence received mixed responses from critics and fans and some said the band’s excesses may have caught up with them.[2][63] The recording of Presence coincided with the beginning of Page’s heroin use, which may have interfered with Led Zeppelin’s later live shows and studio recordings, although Page has denied this.[64]

Plant and Page perform in Chicago in April 1977, during Led Zeppelin’s last-ever North American tour

Plant’s injuries prevented Led Zeppelin from touring in 1976. Instead, the band finally completed the concert film The Song Remains the Same, and the soundtrack album of the film. The recording had taken place during three nights of concerts at Madison Square Garden in July 1973, during the band’s concert tour of North America. The film premiered in New York on 20 October 1976, but was given a lukewarm reception by critics and fans.[2] The film was particularly unsuccessful in the UK, where, after being unwilling to tour since 1975 due to a taxation exile, Led Zeppelin were facing an uphill battle to recapture the public spotlight at home.[65]

In 1977, Led Zeppelin embarked on another major concert tour of North America. Here the band set another attendance record, with 76,229 people attending their Pontiac Silverdome concert on 30 April.[66] It was, according to the Guinness Book of Records, the largest attendance to date for a single act show.[47] Though the tour was financially profitable it was beset with off-stage problems. On 19 April over 70 persons were arrested as about 1,000 ticketless fans tried to gatecrash Cincinnati Riverfront Coliseum for two sold out festival seating concerts while some tried to gain entry by throwing rocks and bottles through glass entrance doors. On 3 June a concert at Tampa Stadium was cut short because of a severe thunderstorm, despite tickets printed with “Rain or Shine”. A riot broke out amongst the audience, resulting in several arrests and injuries.[67]

After a 23 July show[68] at the Days on the Green festival at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California, John Bonham and members of the band’s support staff (including manager Peter Grant and security coordinator John Bindon) were arrested after a member of promoter Bill Graham‘s staff was badly beaten during the band’s performance. A member of the staff had allegedly slapped Grant’s son when he was taking down a dressing room sign. This was seen by John Bonham, who came over and kicked the man. Then, when Grant heard about this, he went into the trailer, along with Bindon and assaulted the man while tour manager Richard Cole stood outside and guarded the trailer.[18][69] The following day’s second Oakland concert[70] would prove to be the band’s final live appearance in the United States. Two days later, as the band checked in at a French Quarter hotel for their 30 July performance at the Louisiana Superdome, news came that Plant’s five year old son, Karac, had died from a stomach virus. The rest of the tour was immediately cancelled, prompting widespread speculation about the band’s future.[2][23]

[edit] Bonham’s death and break-up (1978–80)

November 1978 saw the group recording again, this time at Polar Studios in Stockholm, Sweden. The resultant album was In Through the Out Door, which exhibited a degree of sonic experimentation that again drew mixed reactions from critics. Nevertheless, the band still commanded legions of loyal fans, and the album easily reached number 1 in the UK and the US in just its second week on the Billboard album chart. As a result of this album’s release, Led Zeppelin’s entire catalogue made the Billboard Top 200 between the weeks of 27 October and 3 November 1979.[47]

After the death of Bonham (pictured in 1975) on 24 September 1980, the remaining members of Led Zeppelin decided to disband the group.

In August 1979, after two warm-up shows in Copenhagen, Led Zeppelin headlined two concerts at the Knebworth Music Festival, where crowds of close to 120,000 witnessed the return of the band. Plant was not eager to tour full-time again, and even considered leaving Led Zeppelin. He was persuaded to stay by Peter Grant. A brief, low-key European tour was undertaken in June and July 1980, featuring a stripped-down set without the usual lengthy jams and solos. At one show on 27 June, in Nuremberg, Germany, the concert came to an abrupt halt in the middle of the third song when John Bonham collapsed on stage and was rushed to a hospital.[71] Press speculation arose that Bonham’s problem was caused by an excess of alcohol and drugs, but the band claimed that he had simply overeaten, and they completed the show.[18][72]

On 24 September 1980, John Bonham was picked up by Led Zeppelin assistant Rex King to attend rehearsals at Bray Studios for an upcoming North American tour, the band’s first since 1977, scheduled to commence on 17 October.[23] During the journey Bonham had asked to stop for breakfast, where he downed four quadruple vodkas (450 ml), with a ham roll. After taking a bite of the ham roll he said to his assistant, “Breakfast”. He continued to drink heavily when he arrived at the studio. A halt was called to the rehearsals late in the evening and the band retired to Page’s house—The Old Mill House in Clewer, Windsor. After midnight, Bonham had fallen asleep and was taken to bed and placed on his side. At 1:45 pm the next day Benji LeFevre (who had replaced Richard Cole as Led Zeppelin’s tour manager) and John Paul Jones found him dead.[23] The cause of death was asphyxiation from vomit, and a verdict of accidental death was returned at an inquest held on 27 October.[23] An autopsy found no other drugs in Bonham’s body. Bonham was cremated on 10 October 1980, and his ashes buried at Rushock parish church in Droitwich, Worcestershire.

The planned North American tour was canceled, and despite rumours that Cozy Powell, Carmine Appice, Barriemore Barlow, Simon Kirke or Bev Bevan would join the group as his replacement, the remaining members decided to disband after Bonham’s death. They issued a press statement on 4 December 1980 confirming that the band would not continue without Bonham. The statement said, “We wish it to be known that the loss of our dear friend, and the deep sense of undivided harmony felt by ourselves and our manager, have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were,” and was simply signed “Led Zeppelin”.[23]

[edit] Post-breakup events

[edit] 1980s

The first significant post-Led Zeppelin project was The Honeydrippers, a band formed in 1981 by Robert Plant and featuring Jimmy Page on lead guitar, along with an array of studio musicians and friends of Plant and Page, including Jeff Beck, Paul Shaffer, and Nile Rodgers. Plant intentionally chose to focus the band in a very different direction from Led Zeppelin, playing standards and more R&B style, highlighted by their cover of “Sea of Love“, which peaked at number 3 on the Billboard charts in very early 1985.[73]

Jimmy Page performs at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, 1983

In 1982, the surviving members of the group released a collection of out-takes from various sessions during Led Zeppelin’s career, entitled Coda. It included two tracks taken from the band’s performance at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970, one each from the Led Zeppelin III and Houses of the Holy sessions, and three from the In Through the Out Door sessions. It also featured a 1976 John Bonham drum instrumental with electronic effects added by Jimmy Page, called “Bonzo’s Montreux“.

On 13 July 1985, Page, Plant and Jones reunited for the Live Aid concert at JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, playing a short set featuring drummers Tony Thompson and Phil Collins and bassist Paul Martinez. Collins had contributed to Plant’s first two solo albums while Martinez was a member of Plant’s current solo band. The performance was marred by the lack of rehearsal with the two drummers, Page’s struggles with an out-of-tune Les Paul and poorly functioning monitors, and by Plant’s hoarse voice.[74][75] Page himself has described the performance as “pretty shambolic”[76] and “clearly wasn’t good enough,”[77] while Plant was even harsher, characterising it as an “atrocity”.[74]

The three members reunited again on 14 May 1988, for the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert, with Bonham’s son, Jason Bonham, on drums. The reunion was again compromised by a disjointed performance, particularly by Plant and Page (the two having argued immediately prior to coming on stage about whether to play “Stairway to Heaven”), and by the complete loss of Jones’ keyboards on the live television feed.[75][78] Page later described the performance as “one big disappointment”, and Plant said unambiguously that “the gig was foul”.[78]

[edit] 1990s

The first Led Zeppelin box set, featuring tracks remastered under the supervision of Jimmy Page, introduced the band’s music to many new fans, stimulating a renaissance for Led Zeppelin. This set included four previously unreleased tracks, including the Robert Johnson tribute “Travelling Riverside Blues“. The song peaked at number seven on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart, with the video in heavy rotation on MTV. 1992 saw the release of the “Immigrant Song“/”Hey Hey What Can I Do” (the original B-side) as a CD single in the US. Led Zeppelin Boxed Set 2 was released in 1993; the two box sets together containing all known studio recordings, as well as some rare live tracks.

In 1994, Page and Plant reunited in the form of a 90 minute “UnLedded” MTV project. They later released an album called No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded, which featured some reworked Led Zeppelin songs, and embarked on a world tour the following year. This is said to be the beginning of the inner rift between the band members, as Jones was not even told of the reunion.[21][79] When asked where Jones was, Plant had replied that he was out “parking the car”.[80]

In 1995, Led Zeppelin were inducted into the United States Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—their first year of eligibility—by Aerosmith‘s vocalist, Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry. Jason and Zoe Bonham also attended, representing their late father. At the induction ceremony, the band’s inner rift became apparent when Jones joked upon accepting his award, “Thank you, my friends, for finally remembering my phone number”, causing consternation and awkward looks from Page and Plant.[81] Afterwards, they played a brief set with Tyler and Perry (featuring Jason Bonham on drums), and with Neil Young and Michael Lee replacing Bonham.

In 1997 Atlantic released a single edit of “Whole Lotta Love” in the US and the UK, making it the only Led Zeppelin UK CD single. Additional tracks on this CD-single are “Baby Come On Home” and “Travelling Riverside Blues“. It is the only single the band ever released in the UK. It peaked at number 21.[82] 11 November 1997 saw the release of Led Zeppelin BBC Sessions, the first Led Zeppelin album in fifteen years. The two-disc set included almost all of the band’s recordings for the BBC. Page and Plant released another album called Walking into Clarksdale in 1998, featuring all new material. The album was not as successful as No Quarter, and the band slowly dissolved.

[edit] 2000s

In 2003 two live Led Zeppelin documents were released: the double live album How the West Was Won, and Led Zeppelin DVD, a six-hour chronological set of live footage that became the best-selling music DVD in history.[83] That same year the band received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In November 2005, it was announced that Led Zeppelin and Russian conductor Valery Gergiev were the winners of the 2006 Polar Music Prize. The King of Sweden presented the prize to Plant, Page, and Jones, along with John Bonham’s daughter, in Stockholm in May 2006.[84] In November 2006, Led Zeppelin were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame.[85]

On 27 July 2007, Atlantic/Rhino and Warner Home Video announced three new Led Zeppelin titles to be released in November 2007. First was Mothership on 13 November, a 24-track best-of spanning the band’s career, followed by a reissue of the soundtrack to The Song Remains the Same on 20 November which includes previously unreleased material, and a new DVD.[86] On 15 October 2007, it was reported that Led Zeppelin were expected to announce a new series of agreements that make the band’s songs available as legal digital downloads, first as ringtones through Verizon Wireless then as digital downloads of the band’s eight studio albums and other recordings on 13 November.[87] The offerings were made available through both Verizon Wireless and iTunes. On 8 November 2007, XM Satellite Radio launched XM LED, the network’s first artist-exclusive channel dedicated to Led Zeppelin. On 13 November 2007, Led Zeppelin’s complete works were published on iTunes.

Led Zeppelin performing at the Ahmet Ertegün Tribute Concert in December 2007

On 10 December 2007, Led Zeppelin reunited for the one-off Ahmet Ertegün Tribute Concert, with Jason Bonham taking up his late father’s place on drums. According to Guinness World Records 2009, Led Zeppelin hold the world record for the “Highest Demand for Tickets for One Music Concert” as 20 million requests for the reunion show were rendered online.[88] The concert was to help raise money for the Ahmet Ertegün Education Fund, which pays for university scholarships in the UK, US and Turkey. Music critics praised the band’s performance. Hamish MacBain of NME proclaimed, “What they have done here tonight is proof they can still perform to the level that originally earned them their legendary reputation… We can only hope this isn’t the last we see of them.”[89]

In an interview promoting the release of the Mothership compilation in Tokyo early in 2008, Jimmy Page stated that he was prepared to embark upon a world tour with Led Zeppelin, but due to Robert Plant’s tour commitments with Alison Krauss, such plans would not be announced until at least September.[90] Showing enthusiasm for continued performing, in late spring Page and Jones joined Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and drummer Taylor Hawkins onstage at Wembley Stadium to perform Led Zeppelin tracks “Rock and Roll” and “Ramble On“.[91]

After the BBC reported in late August that Page, Jones and Bonham were recording material which could become a new Led Zeppelin project,[92] rumours of a reunion began to accumulate through the remaining summer.[93][94][95] On 29 September Plant released a statement in which he called reports of a Led Zeppelin reunion “frustrating and ridiculous”. He said he would not be recording or touring with the band, before adding, “I wish Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham nothing but success with any future projects.”[96][97]

Following Plant’s statement, authoritative but divergent views of the possibility of a Led Zeppelin reunion tour the next year were offered by John Paul Jones and promoter Harvey Goldsmith. In late October, Jones confirmed to BBC Radio Devon in Exeter that he, Page, and Bonham were seeking a replacement for Plant. Goldsmith commented on the prospect of a Led Zeppelin reunion, casting doubt on the possibility or wisdom of such a venture: “I think that there is an opportunity for them to go out and present themselves. I don’t think a long rambling tour is the answer as Led Zeppelin.” The Ertegün Concert promoter felt the result of the ongoing plans of Jones, Page, and Bonham would not be “called Led Zeppelin”.[98] A spokesman for Page later confirmed this, telling Rolling Stone that the name Led Zeppelin would not be used due to the absence of Plant.[99] Singers who auditioned for the project included Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge.[100] In January 2009, Page’s manager Robert Mensch stated that the band had “tried out a few singers, but no one worked out, that was it. The whole thing is completely over now. There are absolutely no plans for them to continue.”[101]

[edit] Legacy

 Led Zeppelin T-Shirts and Merchandise

A Led Zeppelin T-shirt

Led Zeppelin are widely considered to be one of the most successful, innovative and influential bands in the history of rock music. Rock critic Mikal Gilmore said, “Led Zeppelin—talented, complex, grasping, beautiful and dangerous—made one of the most enduring bodies of composition and performance in twentieth-century music, despite everything they had to overpower, including themselves.”[102] Led Zeppelin are often cited as one of the key progenitors of heavy metal and hard rock,[3][4][103] influencing bands, from Black Sabbath[104] to Megadeth[105][106]—and Queen[107] to Velvet Revolver.[108] The band have influenced various progressive rock and progressive metal acts,[109] including Rush,[110] Tool[111] and Dream Theater,[112] as well as influencing some early punk and post-punk bands, among them the Ramones[113][114] and The Cult.[115][116] They were also an important influence on the development of alternative rock, as bands adapted elements from the “Zeppelin sound” of the mid-1970s,[117][118] including The Smashing Pumpkins,[119][120] Nirvana,[121] Pearl Jam[122] and Soundgarden.[123] Bands and artists from diverse genres have also acknowledged the influence of Led Zeppelin, such as Madonna,[124] Shakira,[125] Lady Gaga,[126] and Katie Melua.[127]

Led Zeppelin have been credited with a major impact on the nature of the music business, particularly in the development of album-oriented rock (AOR) and stadium rock.[128][129] In 1988 John Kalodner, then-A&R executive of Geffen Records, remarked that “In my opinion, next to the Beatles they’re the most influential band in history. They influence the way music is on records, AOR radio, concerts. They set the standards for the AOR-radio format with ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ having AOR hits without necessarily having Top 40 hits. They’re the ones who did the first real big arena concert shows, consistently selling out and playing stadiums without support. People can do as well as them, but nobody surpasses them.”[130] Andrew Loog Oldham, the former producer and manager of The Rolling Stones, commented on how Led Zeppelin had a major influence on the record business, and the way rock concerts were managed and presented to huge audiences.[131] The band sold over 200 million albums worldwide according to some sources,[132] while other sources state that they have sold in excess of 300 million records,[8] including 111.5 million certified units in the United States.[9] According to the Recording Industry Association of America, Led Zeppelin are the fourth highest selling music act in the US and one of only three acts to earn four or more Diamond albums.[133]

Led Zeppelin also had a significant cultural impact.[134] Jim Miller, editor of Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll, argues “On one level, Led Zeppelin represents the final flowering of the sixties’ psychedelic ethic, which casts rock as passive sensory involvement.”[135] Led Zeppelin were pivotal in the transition of the late sixties rock movement from the central form of mass youth music to its macho, sexual “cock rock” form, as a male form of expression.[49][135][136] The band’s fashion-sense has also been seminal; Simeon Lipman, head of pop culture at Christie’s auction house, has commented that “Led Zeppelin have had a big influence on fashion because the whole aura surrounding them is so cool, and people want a piece of that”.”[137] Led Zeppelin laid the foundation for the big hair of 80s bands such as Mötley Crüe and Skid Row. Other musicians have also adapted elements from Led Zeppelin’s attitude to apparel, jewellery and hair, such as hipster flares and tight band t-shirts of Kings of Leon, shaggy hair, clingy t-shirts and bluesman hair of Jack White of The White Stripes, and Kasabian guitarist Sergio Pizzorno‘s silk scarves, trilbies and side-laced tight jeans.[137]

[edit] Awards and accolades

 Jimmy Page at Mojo Awards 2008.

Led Zeppelin were voted the “best live act” at 2008 MOJO Awards

A few of the awards the band have received include a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005,[138] and the Polar Music Prize in 2006.[139] Led Zeppelin were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995,[140] and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004.[141] The band are ranked number 1 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock[142] and Classic Rock’s “50 Best Live Acts of All Time”.[143] Led Zeppelin remain one of the most bootlegged artists in the history of rock music.[144]

[edit] Discography

[edit] Concert tours

Main article: Led Zeppelin concerts

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ a b “Led Zeppelin Biography”. Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 9 September 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Stephen Thomas Erlewine. “Led Zeppelin Biography”. Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 11 November 2008. 
  3. ^ a b Susan Fast. “Led Zeppelin (British Rock Group)”. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Tim Grierson. “What Is Rock Music? A Brief History of Rock Music”. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  5. ^ John Brackett (2008). “Examining rhythmic and metric practices in Led Zeppelin’s musical style”. Popular Music 27(1): 53–76. 
  6. ^ Peter Buckley (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock (3 ed.). Penguin Books. p. 585. ISBN 1-85828-457-0.
  7. ^ Thorpe, Vanessa (2007-7-29). “Led Zeppelin join the net generation”. Guardian. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  8. ^ a b Sorel-Cameron, Peter (2007-12-09). “Can Led Zeppelin still rock?”. CNN. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 
  9. ^ a b c “Top Selling Artists”. RIAA. Retrieved 8 January 2011. 
  10. ^ “Led Zeppelin Billboard Albums”. Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  11. ^ Led Zeppelin: The Heaviest Band of All Time – Metal, Black Magick and Sex. Rolling Stone. July 28, 2006.
  12. ^ Mikal Gilmore. The Long Shadow of Led Zeppelin. Rolling Stone (1006- August 2006). Retrieved 18 March, 2011. “Savaged by critics, adored by fans, the biggest band of the Seventies took sex, drugs and rock & roll to epic heights before collapsing under the weight of its own heaviness.”
  13. ^ “Led Zeppelin Biography”. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  14. ^ Georgie Rogers (16 June 2008). “MOJO Award Winners”. BBC. Retrieved 8 December 2008. 
  15. ^ “Led Zeppelin Acceptance Speech – MOJO Honours List 2008” (video).
  16. ^ a b Mick Wall (2008), When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography of Led Zeppelin, London: Orion, pp. 13–15, 52.
  17. ^ Mat Snow, “Apocalypse Then”, Q magazine, December 1990, pp. 74–82.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Stephen Davis (1995). Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga (LPC). New York: Berkley Boulevard Books. pp. 32, 44, 64, 190, 225, 277. ISBN 978-0425182130. OCLC 0330438591
  19. ^ Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. p. 1198. ISBN 1843531054
  20. ^ a b Dave Schulps (October 1977). “Interview with Jimmy Page”. Trouser Press. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  21. ^ a b Dominick A. Miserandino (29 November 2000). “Led Zeppelin”. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
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