Today would have been the 81st birthday of the Man In Black. Johnny was one of the few artists in history to transcend all boundaries. He was rockabilly. He was folk. He was blues. He was country. He was a rebel. He was a badass. He was a junkie. He was a man of God. He was a legend. That’s why he’s probably the most influential artist of the 20th century. Continue reading
Today’s the birthday of the father of rock ‘n’ roll. Amazingly, he still plays live one Wednesday night a month at Blueberry Hill, a local club in his hometown of St. Louis. Every show sells out. And why wouldn’t it? My brother and I took a road trip to St. Louis in ’06 to see him. It was just after his 80th birthday and he was great. Even at 80, Continue reading
Today would’ve been the 64th birthday of one of the most underrated and most influential guitarists of all-time, Johnny Ramone. He wasn’t technical and didn’t play the great solos like Hendrix or Page, but his rhythm playing and his rapid up and down picking style influenced as many young guitarists as anybody. Continue reading
Today is the 53rd birthday of one of the greatest all around guitarists ever, Brian Setzer. He’s the modern day Chet Atkins—can play any style, any genre, and make it sound effortless. He’s the only musician I can think of that has single-handedly resurrected two different forms of music (3 if you count Christmas music!). In the early 80s he formed the Stray Cats and brought back rockabilly. Then in the 90s he started up the Brian Setzer Orchestra and brought swing/jump blues back to the mainstream. He also has, in my opinion, the coolest guitar and hair in music!
Also, I have to see him live sometime! He’s the last musician on my must-see-live list that I haven’t yet!
Yesterday was Joan Jett’s birthday. I just saw the “I Love Rock N Roll” video for the first time and it’s as cool as the song is, so I have to share. Cheers to the most bad-ass rock chick ever to pick up an axe!
Pop the cork, Mick Jagger turns 68 today. One of the greatest performers ever to live. I saw the Stones a few years back and he’s still hitting all the notes and running around the entire show like he was in his 20′s. Awesome thing to see.
The greatest songwriter in the history of the world turns 70 today. Besides being the greatest songwriter/poet in the history of popular music, Dylan is one cool dude. Everything about him is cool. He comes off as a sarcastic, sly, witty, cool dude, who seems slightly egotistical but not in the annoying/conceited way (ex., Sean Penn). And at the same time, he writes off some of his accomplishments as nothing much more than coincidences. He’s cool, in a James Dean + Dirty Harry + Conan O’Brien kind of way.
Coolness example 1: When he started out he moved from Minnesota to New York, changed his name from Robert Zimmerman to Bob Dylan, and created this whole fake back story of himself that involved gypsies and the circus. Awesome.
Coolness example 2: In the mid-60s everyone was reading and dissecting every little thing he said, wrote, wore, or did, and he would just dismiss it with, “eh, it’s not really that big of deal, I just happened to be wearing that shirt,” and “there’s no real reason to those lyrics, they’re just words.” That’s a cool dude.
Even though Dylan’s voice has gotten a bit rough over the years, his songwriting is still as good as ever. He’s the man. Long live coolness. Long live Bobby D.
Yesterday was the birthday of Social D’s frontman, Mike Ness. Here’s a very cool cover of a Dylan classic.