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Posts tagged “Keith Richards

Country is the NEW Rock!

“Music is a language that doesn’t speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions, and if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.” Keith Richards

Though, I haven’t read anything on the subject and I am no expert, I have lived a long time. And, I’ve been listening to music for the majority of that time. I also experienced the 1960s British Invasion, a phenomenon called ‘The Beatles,’ and the hard rock and roll era of the 1970s. Of course, I survived Disco, Grunge, Rap, and

Country

                       Country music rocks!

other various music genres, but the one I’m most fascinated with right now is….COUNTRY! Not the ‘my wife left me, the dog died, and my truck broke down’ kind of country, but the new country of today! I realize that diehard classic country fans hate the new stuff, but I don’t…and neither do a WHOLE LOT of other people! And, here’s my assessment on why, besides the fact that it is a whole lot less depressing!  Rock and roll has faded away and there isn’t much to take it’s place. The days of the classic rock craze is gone, and there’s a huge empty space to be filled. And, guess who filling it. Yep, new country! There’s a new generation of country rockers, who were raised on their parents’ rock and roll. If you listen carefully to their songs, you will hear references to many of the greats! Some, like Eric Church and Keith Urban have songs titled, “Springsteen” and “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” after their rock idols. There are some crazy great rockin’ guitarists in country music right now, namely Brad Paisley, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban. And, the bad boys of country – Eric Church, the Brothers Osborne, Chris Stapleton – have become very popular, very quickly. Brothers Osborne seems to me to be filling the shoes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Eric Church marches to his own drummer, reminding me of Curt Cobain or maybe even a young Bruce Springsteen. Chris Stapleton seems like someone you wouldn’t want to mess with in a dark alley or even the light of day. But man, can he shred a guitar!

Eric

                   Eric Church

Having been a rock and roll loving girl all my life, and moving to Nashville a few years back, my curiosity peaked, my eyes opened wide, and my ‘analytical’ skills sharpened. I work for two different concert venues, and when I’m not working, I’m usually at a show. I’m in it, around it, consumed by it. And, I pay attention. Sadly, there are very few genuine rock and roll bands coming up in the ranks. No one has come close to filling the shoes of Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, or the Who. As far as I’m concerned, great rock basically ended with Metallica, Nirvana and Pearl Jam, and now there’s a wide open space to be filled. My question is…why isn’t anyone filling it? Where are the young rockers hiding? Why isn’t anyone forming new quality rock bands? I’m truly baffled! If anyone is paying attention, they would see that there is a huge gap in the rock and roll world that needs to be filled! The Black Keys tried to. So did Linkin Park, Imagine Dragons, and Green Day. But, they haven’t come close to reaching the heights of their predecessors! But, country music has! They are

LZep

                    Led Zeppelin

skyrocketing to fame and put Nashville on the world map. It is now the “IT” city, growing in tourism and population. I live and work in this town, and I see the tens of thousands of people that come visit it every single weekend, drop a fat pile of cash in the bars and music venues, all in the name of new country. In my lifetime, I’ve seen this craziness happen twice before. When the British Invasion came to America, and again when hard rock exploded onto the scene in the 1960s and ’70s. I feel we’ve been cruising along for a decade or two with whatever music happens to be the ‘flavor of the day,’ with a hit or two here or there. But, it sure seems obvious to me that the current popularity of country music is the biggest musical explosion we’ve had since Elvis, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones. So, buckle your seatbelts and hold on to your seats! My prediction is that this decade will go down in musical history! Just watch and see…

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” ― Bob Marley

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Happiness is a Rolling Stones Concert (aka. I Need Stones to Keep Me Happy!)

The Rolling Stones w/ Mick Taylor

               The Rolling Stones w/ Mick Taylor

***Little did I realize, a few months back when I wrote about my friend, Barb winning a trip to New York to see the Rolling Stones (http://www.rollingstones.com,) that it would be a precursor to ‘the best night of my life!’ At that time (Nov-Dec. ’12,) we diehard Stones fans were chomping at the bit, wondering when/if/where our beloved band was ever going to tour again. We figured it had to be soon, if ever, since it was their 50th anniversary together as a band…and a unique time in rock & roll history! Monumentous! Exciting!

As much as I hate to admit it, I can’t recall where I was when I heard they were actually going to do it – the Stones would be touring! I’m sure I mustn’t have been driving in my car, or I surely would’ve crashed! I know it wasn’t from someone else, because I am always the first of my friends to hear about important musical news like this. I’m thinking it must’ve been on the internet, Facebook, or somewhere where I could’ve seen it “hot off the press.” Being a lifelong concert goer, and Stones fan, I’m signed up for all sorts of music news, so I undoubtedly received some email notification that announced the tour. And, I was ECSTATIC! I immediately contacted my three kids and told them to clear their calendars on the night the Stones were coming to our town! It had been a wish of mine to take them to see the greatest rock band in the world, if they ever toured again. And now, that time had come!

Ticket sales were only about a month after the big announcement, so things happened fast. By the grace of god, all four of us were available on Sunday, May 5, 2013 to see the boys in Oakland, California! But, buying tickets was another story. I feared being seated in the boondocks and barely being able to see the stage. Being one of their oldest and most devoted fans, I felt I should have a seat in the front row with my name engraved on it. But phooey, I didn’t. So, it was going to be a mad frenzy online, along with thousands of other nutty fans, jumping into the lottery fan pool. Ugh… But, lo and behold (and by the grace of something!) my daughter informed me that, because she was a Citibank cardholder, (https://online.citibank.com/US/Welcome.c) she had access to presale tickets! Praise the Gods of Rock & Roll!! We’d get first crack at them!

The morning of the sale, “Dot” (daughter) and I were on the phone in front of our computers – me at home, her at work. She had four co-workers ready to go when the clock struck 10:00am, and the first to get in would grab four tickets. Studying the seat map of the arena, we discussed sections and prices, all the while I was researching anything and everything I could about the upcoming show. At the last minute, I miraculously came across a posting somewhere by a British fan who had seen the Stones in England. He clearly wrote, “pay the extra money and buy tickets in the Tongue Pit – it’s the only place to be!” I suddenly became possessed by the Concert Devil, and told Dot to

Tongue Pit-Oakland, CA

                       Tongue Pit-Oakland, CA

“go for it! Buy in the Tongue Pit!” I didn’t care about the price – I was going for the big time! This was the single most historic event for this concert lover, and it was never going to happen again! So, that’s exactly what we did. Dot got into site first and by 10:03 we had four tickets in the tongue pit to see the ROLLING STONES!! My joke is that “I spent my next 42 paychecks” on tickets…but I didn’t regret it for a second! We were seeing the Stones!!!

The first time I saw the Rolling Stones was as a teenager in 1974 at the Cow Palace in San Francisco; and then again in 1977 at a ‘Day on the Green’ in Oakland; then again, and again, etc, etc. If a little birdie whispered in my ear back then that in 2013 I would be going to see them with my three grown kids, I would’ve bet my right arm, left leg, a trillion bucks, and all my future children on the impossibility of that ever happening. Glad I never made that bet, because I would’ve lost big time!!

To prepare the kids (all in their 20s, so not really ‘kids’ at all,) I researched the playlists from the “50 & Counting” concerts that took place last December, took an educated guess that they’d be the same or similar, and burned them each a copy. It ended up to be a wise decision, because that’s exactly what happened (give or take a song or three…) and they were all very familiar with the songs that night, singing along, jumping around, and basically enthralled like their mother!

MAY 5, 2013: THE ROLLING STONES IN CONCERT AT ORACLE ARENA IN OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA!! Decked out in Stones wear, we were off to the arena via BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit,) having to arrive between 5:00-6:00pm in order to get wristbands, VIP goodie bags*, and early entrance on to the floor. We went from one line to another to another, and after about an hour of this, were finally let loose inside the arena and down to the floor. I had informed the kids exactly where we would be standing “Follow me!” – a little to the right of center and as close to Keith Richards as humanly possible. And, that’s exactly what we did! It ends up that the only people between us and the stage were the camera man and the security dude. Excellent! Next, it was more waiting, talking to people around us, drinking beers, getting some food, killing time-all while the rest of the huge crowd of fans entered the arena. As showtime approached, the buzz in the tongue pit increased. The place was becoming electified…and we were excited. Then, the lights went dark…and, because I had heard that in previous concerts there was a drumline that started the show, I was expecting it tonight. But no! The stage lights lit up, a voice announced, “Ladies and Gentlemen…the Rolling Stones!” and there they were, larger than life, right in front of us – MICK, KEITH, RONNIE, CHARLIE & the rest of the band! They were so close (well, Mick and Keith were) that I could see their eyes, their wrinkles, their teeth!! Unreal! One of the first things that happened (that I’m sure no one else in the entire place noticed) was, after their first song (“Get Off of My Cloud”) Keith walked over to Ronnie Wood and wiped his nose with the back of his hand. They smiled at each other, like brothers and best friends, and went right into the next song. I was so excited I was jumping up and down like a little girl, a Rolling Stones cheerleader! Throughout the night, Keith and Ronnie both saw me (I’m sure

Keith's pick

                    Keith’s pick

Mick did, too) and acknowledged me with smiles, a wave, and I swear Keith did a solo for me (I know, it sounds crazy, but…) because he was right in front of me, we locked eyes, then he looked down at his guitar during his little solo, and then looked back up at me and mouthed something!! Of course, I couldn’t hear it or read his lips, but he smiled at me and I gave him two thumbs up! What a thrill!! And, many times during the show, he walked to the edge of the stage, right over to us, and tossed out a guitar pick each time. My youngest kid caught the first one and handed it right over to me. Atta girl! The woman next to her offered her $1000.00 for it! “You’ll have to ask my mom,” was her response. The woman asked me, but of course I refused. “I’m sorry, but I could never part with this” I told her. The next one he flung bounced onto the floor near my eldest child (Dot,) who reached down and grabbed it, as did the guy standing next to her. They got into a little tug-o-war and my kid won. But, knowing we already had one, and seeing the disappointment on the man’s face, she said, “You really want this, don’t you?” “I really do!” he told her, so she gave it to him. Atta girl… Pick #3 was thrown during the very last song, (“Satisfaction”) bounced off some hands and fell to the floor. A few people scrambled around looking, but couldn’t find it. It stayed there until after the show, when the woman who offered us money for our first pick, her friend, me and my youngest all were looking through the litter, spilled beer, and other trash for the pick that we all knew was there. And, sure enough, the young one (my kid, again) with the good eyesight found it – her second KR pick of the night!! But, being the kind kid that she is, she handed it over to the woman who so desperately wanted it. The woman gave her a huge hug, got all choked up, and her friend said, “She’s going to love you forever for that!!”

All in all, it was a wonderful night! Seeing the Stones up close and personal, getting looks, smiles, picks from them, etc. was more than I could’ve ever wanted! Being there with my kids, who loved the show as much as I did, was priceless!! When it was over, they all came up to me and thanked me for the “best night ever”, “the best concert” they had ever seen! We were walking on clouds! The Stones put on a fantastic show, beyond all expectations, and we were flying high!

During each of their shows on this “50 & Counting” tour, the guys invited a special guest to join them onstage for a

"Gimme Shelter" w/ Lisa Fischer

                        “Gimme Shelter” w/ Lisa Fischer

song. Besides Mick Taylor, who was the special guest on the whole tour, some of the others were Taj Mahal, Aaron Neville, Gwen Stefani, John Mayer, Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Bonnie Raitt, Gary Clark, Jr., etc. Our night featured Tom Waits singing “Little Red Rooster.” Of course, every night also featured Lisa Fischer* on vocals for “Gimme Shelter,” and man, did she belt it out!! Oh, we also had the San Jose State choir join the boys for “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” The whole show was amazing, surreal, unreal, and historic!! In the following days I was both riding high with exhiliaration, and so sad that it was over. To think that, after a lifetime of The Stones, this might be it…fini…the end of an era. But, even if it was, it stands out as one of the best nights of my life…and, I could’ve repeated it over and over a hundred more times! The Rolling Stones, on stage after fifty years together!! I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!!

**In our goodie bags (canvas bags with the Stones logo) were a nice wool blanket with the Rolling Stones “50 Years & Counting” logo in black, red and white; a very nice hard back book called “50 & Counting…The Rolling Stones Live,” and a lanyard with a laminated “50 & Counting”  logo.

***Lisa Fischer is featured in the movie “20 Feet From Stardom” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWyUJcA8Zfo) and has been touring with the Rolling Stones since 1989.