The Ultimate Driving Mixtape*


I’m pretty sure there’s something wrong with my mental state. I’m off in the head.

For the past month and a half, my girlfriend has been in the hospital and I’ve managed to visit her three or four times a week. This is a bit of an inconvenience as she’s about an hour drive away**.

So last week I took a vacation day… to drive two hours in the other direction and take an introduction to solar energy systems and design class in the southern part of the state. It wasn’t until I was cruising back on the highway that I realized this isn’t something most people do. In fact, most people would probably say I’m in desperate need of a psychiatrist.

And after I finish installing these solar panels and save on my electric bill I’ll make an appointment.

The insane part is that I actually enjoy the drive. Southern Ohio/Northern West Virginia is filled with beautiful scenery. It was a gorgeous day, and I got to enjoy it in my own way.

The best part is that my new*^ car has one of those newfangled ‘radio’ contraptions so I was able to listen to music the whole way. When I needed a break from the Creedence CD I brought along I was able to scan through the stations and usually land on something descent that made time pass a little quicker.

This got me thinking “what would be on the ultimate driving playlist?” And because one of my hobbies is blogging I had to turn it into something.

Granted, most of this is low hanging fruit, but give me a break; I’ve been doing a lot of driving lately.


Tom Cochran “Life is a Highway”

The Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter”

The Carpenters “Superstar”

 

Beastie Boys “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”

AC/DC “Highway to Hell”

Elton John “Tiny Dancer”

 

 

Meat Loaf “Bat Out Of Hell”

Heart “Barracuda”

 

Jimi Hendrix “All Along The Watchtower”

Red Hot Chili Peppers “Soul 2 Squeeze”

Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody”

 

So I know all of your typing fingers are burning up right now to tell me which I missed. And that’s great! I purposely left enough space on this virtual disc for a little feedback. That’s what comments are for.

Have at ‘er!


 

* I’m sure someone has already done this post in a different way, but now it’s my turn!

**But she’s totally worth it.

*^Actually, it’s a year older than my previous vehicle, but the owner took much better care of it so it’s like a new car.

 

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The Best Guitarists


guitarist-on-stageI really enjoy “Best of…” lists. And I never shy away from the chance to do one for my blog. This one is rather difficult to pull off though. I mean, how do you compare Jimi Hendrix and George Harrison? They’re both great guitarists, but it’s like comparing your favorite burger to your favorite doughnut.

I’m going to try anyway.

I do realize I could just call this “My Personal Favorite Guitar Players,” but I worry that would take away all the controversy and I really enjoy when people comment about how I forget someone. Just rest assured that I did a lot of research into my personal preferences to compile this list. It was very scientific.

 

Johnny Ramone (The Ramones) – He may not have been the most skilled palyer, but not many musicians have had the impact he did. Before Johnny no one played guitar solely with fast down picking. After him, an entire genre of music that did nothing else was born.

Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, Solo) – He’s definitely not a traditional soloist, but he stands out in a crowd.

Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains, Solo) – I’m sure being the primary songwriter for his band forces him to look at the guitar in a different manner than someone who composes as part of a group. His solos always feel like they belong in the song and were written to make it just a little better.

Dimebag Darrell (Pantera, Damageplan) – One of the best guitar solos of all time starts at 3:50

 

Randy Rhoads (Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne) – A Randy Rhoads solo disc would have been awesome wouldn’t it? He was amazing at writing these great instrumental songs – but within the songs that he was playing with Ozzy.

Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman (Megadeth 1990-99) I’m not sure who was doing what in the band at the time. I’m not that interested really, but I know they made one helluva team.

John 5 (Solo, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Two) – So far there’s only been one guitarist able to maintain my interest throughout an album and/or live show by just playing his guitar. I should probably check out Vai or Satriani sometime to see how they compare, but I’m pretty sure Mr. 5 will always be my favorite shredder.

George Harrison (The Beatles, Solo) – He’s definitely not the flashiest or speediest musician on this list, but he always seemed to know the right notes to play. Come on, could you imagine Mick Mars doing a solo on “Helter Skelter”? Or Steve Vai doing “Hey Bulldog”? Or Type O Negative doing a Beatles melody. (You don’t have to here)

Photo Courtesy of Aces High Photography LLC

Photo Courtesy of Aces High Photography LLC

Jimi Hendrix (Solo, Band of Gypsys) – It really doesn’t seem right to include Hendrix on this list. He doesn’t come off as a guitar player to me. He really just sang through the instrument and like it was a part of his body. His voice and gyrating hips were his instrument, the guitar was just an extension of his body.

Dave Gilmour (Pink Floyd, Solo) – “Dave Gilmore can do more with one note than most guitar players can do with the entire fret board” (That’s a quote I read from Dave Mustaine in an old issue of guitar world. Never have truer words been spoken.

 

 

For more of these lists check out:

The Best Bassists

The Best Drummers

Lemmy Resumes Roadie Duties for Hendrix


Lemmy               The Afterlife- Upon his recent passing, Motorhead leader Lemmy Kilmister was surprised by the lack of viable employment to be found in the great hereafter.

“I got up here and they told me I had to find a job,” said the recently deceased bassist/singer of the popular metal group. “Well shit, The only job I ever really had was playing in bands and as it turns out not too many people are into Motorhead around here. We appealed to a lot of the younger crowd and I guess not many of our fans have died yet.”

It was during an ill fated Motordead show with former band mate Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor at CBGB’s that Kilmister ran into his former employer Jimi Hendrix, who was all too happy to offer him a job.

“Yeah man, I’ve been up here for a while playing with all sorts of different cats and keeping everything groovy, but I’ve been getting real tired of some of these cats who move my amps around. You know in heaven we have some pretty awesome gear and I don’t want just any asshole carrying my stuff around. You’d think they only let good people in here, but you’d be surprised.”

heavenly Jimi HendrixKilmister was all to happy for the gig. “It was great to see my old mate again. He remembered me from the huge warts on me face. Now I’ve got all the money I need to buy afterlife whiskey and cigarettes. They’re not cheap up here, mate.”

Occasionally the pair will get together for jam sessions which have produced great versions of “Louie Louie” and “Wild Thing.” They plan to form a proper super group once they find a permanent drummer.

“We were really hoping to get Ginger Baker,” said Hendrix. “But unfortunately he hasn’t died yet. We’re hoping for him to croak soon. That cat really doesn’t look like he has much time left.”

The group plans to release their debut album on Eric Clapton’s Bushbranch Records just as soon as the former Cream drummer kicks the bucket.

You’re Too Young To Remember Them


There are things I hate to hear. “You have to work this weekend,” is one of them. “Is it in yet?” is another.

But the thing I hate to hear more than anything else is “You’re too young to remember that band.”

Sure, I was born in 1983 so I never had the chance of listening to John Lennon, John Bonham, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Robert Johnson or a plethora of other musicians with ‘J’ names while they were still alive; but we still have recording technology.

No, I'm not going to play Slayer. Stop yelling that.

No, I’m not going to play Slayer. Stop yelling that.

Every time someone says “You’re too young to know that band,” I want to explain to them how a CD works. But I don’t really know how a CD works… something about a laser and don’t get scratches on the silver side. But there were still cassette tapes before them. And reel to reels, vinyl records, 8 tracks and Dictaphones.

As of this writing the oldest person in the world was born in 1898. That’s 21 years after Thomas Edison patented the Phonograph Cylinder. So ever that 116 year old Japanese woman can’t look down on the second oldest person and say “You’re too young to remember that.”

I’m sure there are some artists who never got to record, but thanks to technology I can enjoy music from Gene Ammons (1925-1974), Django Reinhardt (1910-1953) and even Eve 6 (1995-2004, 2007- Present)

So don’t tell me I’m to young to have heard Led Zeppelin or Dr. Hook you old drunk!

The Top Covers


Have you ever noticed that Rock differs from Blues and Jazz in that it’s considered really uncool to do cover songs. It’s all the Beatles fault I guess. Ever since they started writing and performing their own material it’s been despicable to perform music written by others even if your own compositions are total shit (even when compared to the total shit written by Ringo Star).

Well, here are a few artists I’m glad defied conventional wisdom and chose to be themselves… by being someone else

The Beatles – Twist & Shout (Bert Russell) Before they revolutionized pop by writing their own superb material the fab four were not above recording the definitive version of this early rock masterpiece.

Ray Charles – Eleanor Rigby (Lennon/McCartney) I never cared much for the original. Too many strings and not enough of a beat. Charles solves both problems with an infusion of soul.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Seek and Destroy (Iggy Pop) I never cared much for the Stooges. Maybe that’s because I heard this amped up version of their best known song before I heard Iggy Pop’s tired recording.

Sinead O’Connor Nothing Compared 2 U (Prince) Go on, tell me you don’t love this song.

Guns N Roses – Live and Let Die (Paul McCartney/Linda McCartney) While Paul did have a few good songs he was never my favorite Beatle. This is the only solo song of his I can say I care for, but even with it being coupled with a cool Bond flick I prefer the hard rocking GNR version.

Nirvana – Turnaround (M. Mothersbaugh/G. Casale) Nirvana did some fine covers in their short time, but this is one of my favorites from them. Probably because it’s not blown out of proportion as much as those on Unplugged and comes from an album half the fans don’t know exists.

Fear Factory – School (Cobain) Of all the Nirvana covers by metal bands (Machine Head, Otep) this is the one that seems the most natural. Fear Factory’s blazing drums match up perfectly with the buzz-saw guitar riff.

Marilyn Manson – Sweet Dreams (Stewart) They took a new wave hit that sounded like it was played by a computer and turned it into a goth rock anthem.

Devo – Satisfaction (Jagger/Richards) They took a rock anthem and turned it into a new wave hit that sounds like it was played by a computer.

Rage Against The Machine – Maggie’s Farm (Bob Dylan) The thing about this song is that when Dylan sings it I’m not convinced he won’t work on Maggie’s Farm again someday. But when Zach de la Rocha sings it you know he’s not gonna work on Maggie’s Farm no more.

Joe Cocker – With A Little Help From My Friends (Lennon/McCartney) For the longest time I thought this was just the theme song for The Wonder Years. Then I found myself surprised to find out it was a Beatles song and that Cocker’s version is much better.

Jimi Hendrix – All Along The Watchtower (Bob Dylan) What can I say about this one?