Tag Archives: Eric Clapton

Music on the Inside

20 Jun

The other night, we saw The Rolling Stones at LP Field, the home of the Tennessee Titans. Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis know that I am a music lover and am a big fan of concerts. However, I learned something about myself at this one. I do not like stadium shows. Seeing an iconic band like The Rolling Stones is great, but football stadiums are not conducive to a good show.

First, the weather has an impact. It was miserably hot and affected my ability to enjoy to music. However, other kinds of weather can mess it up. Rain. Thunder. Lightning. Anyway, the heat was unbearable.

Second, there are no good seats. Unless you are in front of the stage or have some sort of VIP pass, there is no good place to watch a concert in a football stadium. You are always far from the stage. That means you can hear a live concert, but you cannot necessarily see a live concert.

All of this means that I am a fan of indoor concerts. Good seats are actually good seats. Even bad seats are close enough to see something. People can feel like they are part of an event rather than being on the outskirts of one.

On top of that, indoor concerts are climate controlled. I saw Jimmy Buffett in an arena while it was storming outside. It rained enough to flood Nashville over the next several days.

Bringing up Jimmy Buffett makes me think of something else. His concerts are known as outdoor parties under the sun. I have seen him outside. I have seen him inside. The indoor shows were better.

The same goes for The Rolling Stones. I saw them in an arena and in a stadium. The arena show was better. They may not have performed better, but it was a better experience.

A few months ago, we saw Kenny Chesney in concert. It was an awesome show and a lot better than the time we saw him in a stadium.

Bottom line, football stadiums are not designed for concerts and the best ones are in smaller indoor buildings. However, I do not want to disparage the band. The Rolling Stones are great, and it is hard to believe they can perform at that level at their ages. They are a Hall of Fame band, and I want to end this post on a positive note. Since they are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I thought it would be interesting to see how many members I have seen in concert.Rock Hall

I guess it can be done by their year of induction.

1986

The Everly Brothers

Elvis Presley

1987

Bo Diddley

B.B. King

1988

Bob Dylan

Diana Ross

1989

The Rolling Stones

1990

Simon and Garfunkel

The Who

1992

Johnny Cash (I did not actually see him perform, but I met him in a bookstore.)

1993

John Fogerty

1994

Elton John

Rod Stewart

1995

Al Green

Robert Plant

1996

Pink Floyd

1997

Crosby, Stills and Nash

Parliament-Funkadelic

1998

Eagles

Fleetwood Mac

Santana

1999

Del Shannon

Bruce Springsteen

2000

Eric Clapton

Earth, Wind and Fire

James Taylor

2001

Aerosmith

Steely Dan

2002

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

2003

AC/DC

2004

Prince

Bob Seger

Steve Winwood

ZZ Top

2005

Buddy Guy

U2

2006

Ozzy Osbourne

Lynyrd Skynyrd

2008

Leonard Cohen

John Mellencamp

2009

Metallica

2011

Alice Cooper

Neil Diamond

2012

Axl Rose

2014

John Oates

Kiss

They are all Hall of Famers, and I can guarantee they all put on better shows indoors.

My iPod Has Issues – Heading to Hilton Head

16 Oct

It has been a busy week, and I have not been able to spend as much time blogging as I would like. The posts have been few and far between. That trend is going to continue because we are heading to Hilton Head, South Carolina over the weekend. Certainly, there will be some good stuff to write about when we return.Hilton Head

In the meantime, here are some selections from the old iPod.

“Ole Slewfoot” by BR-549

“I Won’t Mention It Again” by Ray Price

“Hello Darlin'” by Conway Twitty

“Good Times” by Chic

“In the Still of the Night” by The Five Satins

“Sweet Sixteen” by Big Joe Turner

“Miss You” by The Rolling Stones

“Baby Get Lost” by B.B. King

“You Left a Long, Long Time Ago” by Willie Nelson

“Heartbeat” by Red 7

“Children Go Where I Send Thee” by The Fairfield Four

“Steamroller Blues” by Elvis Presley

“Jezzebella” by Vintage Trouble

“I Ain’t the One” by Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter

“Baby Let’s Play House” by Arthur Gunter

“Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton

“Too Close” by Clair Marlo

“Sirius” by The Alan Parsons Project

“Fat Albert Theme” by Dig

“Enter Sandman” by Metallica

As a famous general once said, “I shall return.”

The Test of Rock

26 Mar

This semester, I am teaching United States: 1941 to the Present, and we cover the stuff that you would probably expect – presidents, the Cold War, the hot wars, Civil Rights, space. Heck, you name it, and we talk about it. However, I decided to mix in something else this semester as a prelude to something that I would like to do in the future. Amidst all of the topics of the 20th Century, we are interweaving Rock n’ Roll.

That’s right. I am the Jack Black of our university. I think that’s pretty good for someone who can only play the radio.

As we made our way through the 1950s, we went over the beginnings of Rock n’ Roll and some of the people who got it started. We haven’t talked much about it since, but the students have been reading a book, Rock: Music, Culture and Business, that covers the genre through seven decades. Tomorrow, they get to take a test. The Test of Rock.

Joan Jett - The Crush of my High School Existence

Joan Jett – The Crush of my High School Existence

It has been tougher to make out than I thought it would be. There’s just too much stuff that I want to put in the test. Each time I turn a page I find something else that would make a great question. In case the students are reading this, I won’t write about the questions I came up with. Just know that it could have been the biggest test that I have ever made.

Part of this inspiration comes from this past Friday night when I saw Eric Clapton in concert.

Slow Hand

Slow Hand

I have seen him before and written about that in “Listeria – Guitar Gods Edition“. This show was better than that show. Wait, this performance was better than that performance. The last show was better because I was on the 20th row. This time I had to watch the screens to get a good view.

Anyway, Clapton was at the top of his game. He played songs that everyone wanted to hear along with Blues numbers. He also played a pre-Rock song called “Good Night, Irene” that is covered in the book that the class is reading. The bad part about the concert? He didn’t play “Layla“, which disappointed everyone, and he didn’t play “Badge” which disappointed me.

So, it seems that I have surrounded myself with Rock music, and there is nothing wrong with that. I wonder if there will be a question about Eric Clapton on the test.

Listeria – Guitar Gods Edition

23 Aug

As you know from previous posts about important people in history and great places in New Mexico, I am a sucker for lists. Whenever I see a book of lists, an irresistible force draws me toward it. The other day I was killing time at the bookstore when a list jumped out at me. It was Rolling Stone: 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. To paraphrase Julius Caesar – I grabbed. I scanned. I bought.

It is an interesting list and begins with Jimi Hendrix, who most people consider the greatest guitarist of them all. Everyone knows how great he is, but few may know that Hendrix honed his craft in the clubs along Jefferson Street in Nashville. There are a lot of great guitarists, at least 100 according to Rolling Stone, but he is the one that I would have headlining my personal music festival.

As I looked through the list, I realized that I have seen several of them in person, and that gave me an idea for the Listeria series. Of the 100 greatest guitarists of Rolling Stone, these are the ones that I have seen perform live. The number is where they are ranked on the list.

2. Eric Clapton – I saw Clapton a few years ago. Granted, these aren’t his best years, but he can still play better than anyone I have ever seen. Plus, I had awesome seats.

4. Keith Richards – The Rolling Stones concert was where I learned that seats far away may not be a bad thing when seeing older acts.

6. B.B. King – I have seen “Blues Boy” several times. The first time I took a stripper as my date. Don’t ask. The last time he told stories more than he played.

10. Pete Townshend – Actually, I am fudging a bit on this one. The Who are coming to Nashville in December, and the tickets have already been purchased.

14. David Gilmour – I saw Pink Floyd in the 1990s, and the concert remains fresh in my mind. That’s despite the fact that my mind was kind of cloudy that night.

16. Derek Trucks – This one was an accident. A friend and I were trying to find something to do and decided to check out the Exit/In, a music hall in Nashville. Derek Trucks was playing. It was like a spiritual experience.

19. James Burton – He played at the concert honoring the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. The old band played as Elvis sang on-screen. A concert by a dead man was better than most concerts I have seen by living people. I don’t remember it, but I also saw Burton when I saw Elvis as a kid.

23. Buddy Guy – He performed at the Ryman Auditorium and cussed a woman on the front row for requesting a song. He said that he was playing for everyone and not just her. Afterwards, he gave her an autograph and a guitar pick.

24. Angus Young – AC/DC is one of my all time favorite bands, and I have seen them more times than I can remember. Young is what makes them go, and the crowd goes wild when he struts across the stage.

27. Bo Diddley – There used to be a music festival in Nashville called River Stages. Diddley played in front of the courthouse as we sat in the parking lot.

32. Billy Gibbons – How genius are the beards of ZZ Top? It’s just like the makeup of KISS. No one ever sees them age.

33. Prince – When he brought out the purple guitar and played “Purple Rain”, the crowd went bananas.

38. The Edge – U2 played in Nashville last summer. Bono ran around in a leather suit in sweltering heat, but I sensed that The Edge was the heartbeat of the band.

54. Joe Walsh – He has had success with The James Gang and on his own, but I saw him with The Eagles. The dueling guitars of “Hotel California” may be the best thing I have ever heard.

65. Slash – I wish I could see him with Guns n’ Roses, but, apparently, that is never going to happen. Instead, I have seen him with Velvet Revolver and on his own. I keep hearing that his mom is from Tennessee, but I am not certain about that.

77. Willie Nelson – He is one of the greats of country music. Ironically, he had to leave Nashville to make it.

84. Joe Perry – Aerosmith puts on a great show. When thinking about rock pairings, not many rank higher than Perry and Steven Tyler.

87. James Hetfield – Once, I was in front of the stage at a Metallica concert and was ready to rock. Then, one of my students came out to work security and stood right in front of me. I didn’t get to do much, but I got a bunch of guitar picks.

93. Paul Simon – Luckily, Simon and Garfunkel was not a wild concert. Before it started, the new president of our university came in and sat right behind me. It was the calmest I have ever been at a concert, and he is still our president.

100. Lindsey Buckingham – Seeing Fleetwood Mac was on the list of things I needed to do. I was disappointed in Stevie Nicks, who I have always had a crush on, because she was wearing orthopedic shoes. However, Buckingham seemed like he hadn’t missed a beat.

Guitar Gods – I have seen several of them, but I really wish I could play like them.

Badge of Imagery

2 Jul

One of my favorite songs is Badge by Cream. When I saw Eric Clapton in concert, this was the song I most wanted him to play. Luckily, he played it before bringing his special guest, Vince Gill, on stage. Vince is the Nashville equivalent of bird shit. You see him everywhere. Anyway, Clapton played Badge, and I was lost in the guitars riffs and the words.

I was so inspired by Clapton’s performance that I wrote a short story based on the words. I’ve thought about posting excerpts from the story, but it is kind of dark. All of this is weird because I have no idea what the song is about. The lyrics sound nonsensical, but I reckon a lot of songs do. No matter. I know what I visualize when I hear the song. As I did with Somewhere Down the Crazy River, I have decided to visualize Badge in blogosphere form.

Thinkin’ ’bout the times you drove in my car.

Thinkin’ that I might have drove you too far.

And, I’m thinkin’ ’bout the love that you laid on my table.

I told you not to wander ’round in the dark.

I told you ’bout the swans, that they live in the park.

Then, I told you ’bout our kid, now he’s married to Mabel.

Yes, I told you that the light goes up and down.

Don’t you notice how the wheel goes ’round?

And, you better pick yourself up from the ground

Before they bring the curtain down.

Yes, before they bring the curtain down.

Talkin’ ’bout a girl that looks quite like you.

She didn’t have time to wait in the queue.

She cried away her life since she fell off the cradle.

Guess what. After all of that, the song still doesn’t make any sense.