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Roger Reis

Ian_AndersonOn Halloween eve, a group of traveling musicians graced the ears of concert goers at the Rialto Square Theater (15 E. Van Buren ~ Joliet, ILL. 60432). Five men took the stage just after 8:00 P.M. to entertain a full house. Ian Anderson and crew came out quietly and started to play “Life’s A Long Song.” It was a memorable time.

One lone spotlight came on and shined on the main attraction as he strummed away on his half sized acoustic to open up the night. During the entire relaxed sit down performance there wasn’t one bad note played by anyone in the group. It was a flawless evening of music.

Ian Anderson, obviously the person everyone came to see, was having an incredible performance as usual. His guitar playing was just as smooth as ever. He switched from guitar to singing to flute and jumped back again. Sometimes he did it all within a single song. He is a real showman. At one point he put on his spectacles and read a story to the audience that had been initially done by Jethro Tull on Passion Play. “The Story of the Hare Who Lost His Spectacles” was definitely the highlight of the evening hands down. This may have been the first time the reading had taken place since 1973 and it was long overdue. As Ian usually won’t play much from Passion Play, this came as a shock to most of the true fans. The place was filled with smiles from ear to ear.  

The songs selected were aimed at more of the true fans. This show was for the people that had been listening to Jethro Tull for decades. Classic pieces such as “Up To Me,” “Nursie,” and “Budapest” were amongst the songs played, but newer pieces were played as well.

A new song called “Hare in the Wine Cup” is an unreleased ditty about a rabbit that had taken up residence in Ian’s backyard while on tour. Before he had the chance to get home to see it, one of his pets, a terrier, had gotten a hold of poor Mr. Rabbit and there wasn’t much left of him after that. As the song was introduced, Ian explained, that this song was all that they had to remember the little guy with.

A few other works that were heard were “Wondering Again” Bach’s “Prelude in C Major” and another new one called “A Change of Horses.” He also dedicated a song to the previous bass player, Dave Pegg. He explained that Dave enjoyed a drink from time to time and was known to turn blue from excessive drinking. He then introduced the song “In the Grip of Stronger Stuff.”

Everyone waited for the most popular song in the Jethro Tull library to come out. They waited to hear the six note introduction to that song. The group threw everyone off at first when they did “Aqualung” in a completely unique melancholy sounding arrangement. The song was done very much like a Quentin Tarantino movie. The middle came first, then the beginning, and finally came to an end. Some fans seemed to be turned off, but the true fans who have heard this song so many times before, found it to be refreshing. They had taken the song completely apart and put it back together and made a different song out of it. This was no longer the heavy classic rock song that everyone knew so well, but it had become a new work that gave a new feeling to “sitting on a park bench.”

Ian toured again without Martin Barre and Doane Perry, but in those spots were some very worthy and capable musicians. On drums was James Duncan who played with finesse all evening long. Not once did he hit the drums with over exerted force and nor did he have to. The amazing dynamics of this well seasoned professional was a delight to hear. He had very large shoes to fill and did so without a problem at all.

Florian Opahle filled the stage left position on guitar. A few people were asking were Martin was; that they missed Martin. Once Florian played his classical guitar piece in a flamenco style, the crowd welcomed the young six string master with applause as he ripped through quick guitar riffs effortlessly. A little later in the show he had another solo, this time on electric. He nailed a piece by JS Bach and in the middle he put in a Van Halen signature tapping piece as well. He definitely gained the hearts of everyone in the room.

Amazing performances of ebony and ivory were done by Mr. John O’Hara. This incredible musician provided the delicate classical piano sounds, the amazing Hammond B-3 power, and all the sounds and patches needed to make this show perfect. He tore up “Thick as a Brick” and the opening of “Locomotive Breath.” His capabilities were incredible. When the applause came he was motionless in acknowledging the audience. He knew what he did was good and didn’t need to ham it up for the crowd.

Dave Goodier provided the deep notes during the evening that were both heard and felt. The bottom end was the perfect accent to everything being played. During “Bouree” he stepped up to play a middle solo part. He was just phenomenal in everything that he did. Dave also became a multi-instrumentalist during “Thick as a Brick.” He went back and forth during the beginning of the song playing bass with mallets in his hands and teeth to quickly taking the mallets to trigger the notes on a glockenspiel. Everything he did was beautiful.

Ian made mention to the fact that his flutes from time to time wind up in some strange places. As this one legged rock flautist has been the influence to all other flautists since he picked up the instrument, it is truly amazing how far his influence goes. Like let’s say outer space? He made the announcement that one of his flutes made it into the hands of an astronaut that was going to be doing a tour of duty on the International Space Station. She would be bringing the flute with her into outer space. It is amazing how many people this man has touched with his music. He made a further announcement that if you should see a long silver thing floating through space; it may be that the rest of the crew got tired of listening to it being played.

The show may have been the best Ian Anderson show ever. The crowd had their ears graced by music provided by the five outstanding men on stage. As the flawless evening came to close it left concert goers happy and smiling. Over two hours into the show, it ended way too soon. The group of traveling musicians disappeared into the night hopefully to return again. We will be looking for them to return.

"Before Elvis there was nothing." – John Lennon

Elvis1

Over one billion albums sold! No solo artist has ever reached the popularity status of Elvis Presley. The power that was in his voice, the friendliness in his show, and the complete musical package was just a masterful presentation. Many have tried to duplicate his style and presence within their show without much success. No one has ever been able to duplicate him accurately, until now. The Ultimate Elvis Tribute was a powerful depiction of the King of rock n’ roll; what a phenomenal show it was to see.

Four different Elvis performers took turns singing through a chronological presentation of the greatest performer that ever lived. From the early breakout days to the beginning of the 1970’s, every performer did just an awesome job vocally and within their show, they brought you back to the live Elvis experience. For the people who never saw a live show from Presley, this is the show to see. There is a little bit of every era of the King.    

The Early Years

Victor Trevino Jr. started the show in the role of young Elvis. The band backed him up performing the rockabilly style hits from over a half century ago. The band came in kickin’ the music out with the hallow body guitar, standup bass, and small drum kit. In the back was a piano player tickling away at the ivories. Trevino sang songs like “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” and “Hound Dog.” He stole a lot of the ladies hearts when he sang “Love Me Tender.” Women were lined up in front of the stage to get kisses in between vocal lines, waiting for the young King. He performed a fantastic replication of the early era of rock n’ roll music. After his opening songs he came back and pulled off the more difficult “G.I. Blues” without a flaw. He was just awesome.

The Hollywood Years

Kevin Mills came out and took the stage for the movie star-post army era. He brought out one of the most popular songs, “Blue Hawaii.” The background singers/dancers took it to the next level and just knocked the audience over. There was a storm of music coming from the stage and it was attributed to hurricane Mills blowing straight off of the island of Hawaii. He performed some of the more mature debonair songs from the popular movie career. Unbelievable!

Kevin had a co-performer for some of the songs. Lori Russo came out and performed as Ann Margret and she was amazing. The girl on stage was Ann Margret. She looked so much like her, danced, and spoke like the incredible entertainer. She was a carbon copy of Margret within every move she made and truly has the voice of an angel. Together they sang “The Lady Loves Me” with absolute grace as they became one for the song. They absolutely had to do the song “C’mon Everybody.” The crowd chair danced - snapping their fingers, clapping their hands, and turning their heads to the left and the right. They performed the Ray Charles hit “What’d I Say” from the movie Viva Las Vegas. Of course, they did the upbeat title track from that movie as well. Lori Russo and Kevin Mills gave the crowd their monies worth, but the show wasn’t over yet.

The ’68 Comeback Special

Leo Days came out in a black leather suit looking like he could take on the world. The fitting song, “T-r-o-u-b-l-e” was chosen for the attitude being presented. His was just monstrous performer within everything he did. The voice came through your very soul and connected to your musical being in a way that could have only been done by the King. Smiles were on the faces amongst the concert-goers, from ear to ear, during the awesome Elvis classic “One Night.” He sat at the front of the stage with the rest of the band singing his heart out, just like they did in 1968. He also performed “Jailhouse Rock” and a perfect version of “Are you lonesome tonight.” The middle monologue was so much like the record and there was no lip-syncing being done. This man was really that talented.

Vegas and the Early 1970’s

Bill Cherry slid across the stage in sequined jumpsuit and cape for the final jaw dropping performances. His amazing voice bellowed through the auditorium with every note. His impersonation was done so naturally. During one of the most popular songs of that era, “Suspicious Minds” Cherry had a chance to shine and that’s exactly what he did. He handed out scarves to the ladies in the audience and some women went nuts for them as if Presley was on the stage in front of them. One lady tried tugging at a scarf around his neck before he had the chance to hand it over. Two other ladies were both snatching at the same one in front of the stage before they regained their sense of reality. Bill Cherry’s best performance was during the patriotic classic “An American Trilogy.” Often considered one of the best tributes to America, this song had veterans standing and saluting the stage. The incredible set of pipes brought down the house and unfortunately was leading everyone to the end of the show.  

During the entire show, Elvis Presley sang his heart out for the audience at The Horseshoe Casino. This was not a bunch of bad impersonators, but a group of well trained professionals that brought the best music ever made to the stage. The unbelievable voices of all four men, the awesome band, and the backup singers brought the works of Elvis alive once again. They were all fantastic.

Trevino, Mills, Days, and Cherry combined their efforts into one show that well represented Elvis Presley, The King of rock n’ roll. Each one of the performers had a well rehearsed and well scripted part, becoming the greatest icon of the twentieth century. Elvis may have left the building forever, but his music lives on with great impersonators like these four gentlemen. As each one gives their all to perform, the King is looking down upon them. After seeing this show, he must be smiling with delight. They did his songs such justice. He would be proud.  

Hammond, Indiana’s Horseshoe Casino is the place to be to have a good time and see some of the best musical performers. The Venue, an auditorium inside the casino, was the setting for one of the best impersonation acts to come about in a long time. The Prince Experience came in presenting all the best works of Prince bringing you back into the 1980’s for a walk down memory lane. What an impressive show!

 

Gabriel Sanchez was in the lead spot impersonating one of the most fabulous entertainers to ever exist. His ability made you feel like you were actually watching Prince. He sang the parts with perfection, dancing in a way that impeccably mimicked the pop music icon. His strut across the stage, the voice, and everything within his appearance made you believe that ‘the artist formerly known as’ was right in front of you. “It’s Prince!” a young lady shouted. And she was right.

 

Sanchez danced on the stage in erotic movements that kept the interest of the ladies in the room as he performed exactly like his royal badness. Awesome musical ability was being displayed for the show and was completely beyond belief. The musicianship in everything he did was overwhelming. The guitar work that he pulled off was a strong duplication of the multi-instrumentalist. The authentic reproduction of Prince was done to perfection right down to his signature guitar. He wasn’t just an awesome performer covering someone else’s music. Gabriel Sanchez actually becomes the man that developed the Minneapolis sound.

 

Some of the songs that were played were: “1999,” “When Dove’s Cry,” “Raspberry Beret,” and “Little Red Corvette.” Definitely the smoothest and coolest musical spot of the show was during “Purple Rain.” The band came in nice and slow during the intro, gradually moving forward into the body of the song. What a monumental performance.

 

The show was not limited to just Prince Songs. A video clip played from the smash hit movie Purple Rain. When the clip had finished, out walked a classy gentleman, David “Mor-ess Day” Gonzalez. He came out in the roll of Morris Day and stole the show for two songs, “Jungle Love” and “The Bird.” It was an amazing time. He had the look, the sly dance, and the voice down pat. Nobody was there to bring this guy his mirror and from the reaction of the women in the room, he didn’t need it either. Oh EE Oh EE Oh!

 

Gabriel sat down behind the drums for the song “The Glamorous Life” as one of the background singers, Jennifer Shafer, took the lead for the role of Sheila E. The vocalist that had been hiding in the back came forward and sounded like the real McCoy. The voice was so close to the original cut it was amazing. She has such an awesome vocal ability and tone.

 

During the pop masterpiece, drummer Junior Gamaz, stepped to the front of the stage while his kit was kept warm for him. At the front of the stage was a set of timbales. He proceeded to nail the Latin percussion parts within the song. Then, without stopping, Junior and Gabriel switched spots on drums without missing a beat. They were simultaneously playing the six piece kit as Gamaz regained his throne. Gabriel may have been Prince, but Junior Gamaz was the king of the kit.    

 

During the entire show Gamaz held down the clock with precision. His hard hits and flash was so perfect for this group. When it came time for his drum solo it wasn’t like any other show boating that has been seen by other drummers. His original technique was refreshing to see and was quite clear that this man has rehearsed. There was a drum trigger that he would hit to get other sounds and accompaniment during his outing of becoming one with the audience. The drum rolls would run around the kit with such finesse captivating the onlookers.

 

The other half of the dynamic duo of background singers, Tracy Sparks, came forward to sing a duet with Gabriel. The song “Nothing Compares 2 U” was done flawlessly. During the entire show, Tracy’s voice could be heard, but she finally had her moment to shine. It was really a shame to not hear this angelic voice more in the lead.

 

The sax player, Peter Neumer, was a tremendous feature of the show. The solos were incredible to hear. The prolific player created some of the best sounds of the evening and kept hitting high notes that made everyone smile. This player was no amateur. A seasoned professional could only pull off the parts he played. He was amazing in everything he did. The show would not have been the same without him.

 

G Money filled in the bottom end on bass with funky lines that you could feel within your soul. Amazing slapping techniques came from the mighty hands of this bassist that helped to move the feet of the concert goers. The ace of the thick gauged strings definitely did more than hold the root of the chord; he rose to the level of supremacy.

 

Andrew “Droopy” Walker brought his guitar skills forward and it was sweet. The man brought his six string out to play and he tore it up. Unbelievable guitar parts were strummed, picked, plucked, and flaunted so effortlessly. He played the parts so well leaving a lasting impression for everyone that paid the price of admission for the show.  

 

Mitch “the doctor” Cooper played the ebony and ivory keys providing the perfect sounds on every ditty that was duplicated. His fingers ran up and down the boards quickly. Nothing was less than superb when he played and he was on fire. The sounds obtained were just like the original recordings. One word describes Mitch. Fantastic!

 

All of the incredible performers during this show pulled together their talents and made everyone believe they had just seen Prince. Gabriel Sanchez played the part so well it could’ve fooled the biggest fans. This is definitely a must see show if you are now or ever have been a fan of Prince.

 

As the show came to a close in Hammond, everyone wanted to hear more music from The Prince Experience. The impersonators took you for a trip back to the 1980’s for a ride amongst hit songs. Gabriel Sanchez led the audience and the pack of musicians on a triumphant journey through these magical numbers. He danced with the ladies in the audience, charming his way through the performance. This was truly the place to be.  

And now, folks, my story has ended. I think it is time I should quit. If any of you feel offended, stick your head in a barrel of ???
 
 
It takes time to become a legend; this is not something that can happen overnight. It takes years, a lot of hard work, and developing a name within your field of expertise to reach this level of appreciation. To be legendary you have to touch millions of people with what you have accomplished and be admired deeply for what you have done. Fans have to live, eat, and sleep with you on their mind. In 1970, Barret Hansen created a radio character and brought to life his alter ego of Doctor Demento. Over forty years later, the radio personality still exists after being enjoyed and loved by so many of his listeners. He is truly a radio legend.
 
The show idea began with one crazy song, “Transfusion” by Nervous Norvus and the comment that Hansen had to be “demented”. The D.J. began his transformation into the Doctor and the command soon came to “Wind up your radios!” The funny off the wall pieces attracted kids, the old memories brought in adult listeners, and his personality warmed the hearts of everyone.
 
In 1974, the comedy radio show went into syndication and the word started to spread quickly about the crazy radio disc jockey. The listeners tuned in to hear songs played like “Der Fuehrer’s Face” and “They’re Coming to Take Me Away”. The success of the show spawned out to approximately two hundred radio stations during the peak of its popularity.  No other D.J. would play hysterical novelty songs and comical skits like “Last Will and Temperament (Boot to the Head)” and “Kinko the Clown”.     
 
He didn’t just spin vinyl from his vast collection of records. The good doctor played the funniest stuff around. He brought laughter and happiness into your home. The show usually aired on FM radio on Sunday nights. Listeners would stay up late to hear each funny presentation, only to drag themselves into school or work on Monday morning half asleep. For the next week, the fans would be wondering what would be in the funny five countdown during the next broadcast. 
 
Without the existence of this Doctor, a lot of songs and rare comedy bits that appeared on his show would not have been as popular as what they became. No one else was playing these comical creations. Certain artists, such as Frank Zappa, “Weird Al” Yankovic, and Spike Jones, were made public to a lot of listeners. 
 
Dr_DementoMany listeners had never heard the incredible works by Frank Zappa. Doctor Demento was responsible for exposing him to so many new fans. An awesome song of Frank’s that was featured on the show was “Titties and Beer”. Sometimes when the song was played it was called “Bleep and Beer” because of censorship regulations and the funny parts had to be cut out. Demento has his view on Zappa. He stated that he was “Such a prolific artist and a workaholic.” He wasn’t only just a comical musician, but “also had so many serious pieces” that were wonderful. Frank was probably best known for his song “Valley Girl” that featured his daughter, Moon Unit. Zappa’s commercial success was long overdue, but not necessarily his best work. Many other songs had a certain comical intelligence that was recognized by Doctor Demento.   
 
The musical career of “Weird Al” Yankovic may never have taken off it weren’t for the airing of his musical masterpieces by Hansen. “Weird Al” Yankovic came on his show several times. One of the most memorable times, Yankovic had just released “Another One Rides the Bus”. This song “was the best thing he had done up to that point”, according to the Doctor. He played the song live in the studio for the show. “Weird Al” was always one of Demento’s favorites. Hansen explained that Al has been able to maintain a certain amount of popularity over the years; he kept coming out with something new and hot almost every year since 1980.
 
Between Spike Jones and “Weird Al” Yankovic they had become the most played artists on the show, with Al also being the most requested. Musical artists and comedians sent in a bunch of material that was good and if Hansen liked it, he would play it for his listeners. He enjoyed Monty Python a lot and Ray Stevens as well as numerous others. He was one of the first DJ’s to play the Sex Pistols and probably the first person outside of Ohio to play Devo.
 
Comedians and actors came on the show as guests as well. George Carlin’s appearances are ones that sometimes were surprisingly serious with his conversation. John Cleese was on the air live when the movie A Fish Called Wanda came out. “It was a lot of fun,” recalls Demento. He came on to promote his new movie, but the topic of Monty Python ended up monopolizing most of the conversation.
 
Over the years, Demento played the song “Shaving Cream” by Benny Bell quite frequently. Demento himself would actually sing the song live on the air. Many different versions of the lyrics were performed and he sang it several dozen times. He recorded two commercially released versions of the song, but never recorded anything else. He commented stating that he was just a “One trick Pony”.
 
Demento released compilation records and CDs including Dr. Demento 25th Anniversary Collection which sold over 500,000 copies, causing it to go gold by RIAA standards. The very best of Doctor Demento is coming out soon as he continues to stay busy. In 2009, all the hard work paid off for Hansen. He had been inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame which was a well deserved honor. The man and his show had been a part of so many lives over the years. Not many disc jockeys have been loved by so many fans on a nationwide basis. When he finally received the recognition for what he had accomplished, it was long overdue.   
 
As times changed the creation of rap music came along. He tried to keep the show up to date with the ever changing music styles being presented over the years. Demento has an open mind about all types of music. He played some rap music even though some of the classic rock stations he was aired on despised rap. Even Demento didn’t enjoy rap as much as other genres, but he was keeping up with the times. His heart for music was more with the Delta blues and bluegrass, but he tailored his show for everyone, not just himself. 
 
Different syndication carriers brought the Doctor Demento show across the airwaves over the years. Westwood One was this first and undoubtedly the one that brought him the most success. Later, On The Radio Broadcasting took over syndication and then finally he changed to Talonian Productions which was handled by Barret Hansen himself. The show started to lose listeners, advertisers, and money with the ever changing times of radio. In 2007, Hansen stated "unless the show's financial situation changes soon, I will be unable to continue the show much longer." Sadly, in 2010, the Doctor Demento show finally decided to discontinue syndication. The show will run until the end of the month, in Amarillo, Texas, on the last station that carries the show. At that point, Doctor Demento will say “Goodbye to radio”.   
 
As luck would have it, the show will continue on Demento’s website, www.drdemento.com, so that the comical door, leading to the land of dementia, remains open. The genius D.J. who plays the crazy novelty songs and comedy skits still can be heard. A lot of the past shows can always be listened to on the website in the archives as well. Certain shows cannot be posted due to copy right laws, but a lot of the great gems are still there for the listening pleasure.
 
When asked about getting back into a syndication deal the response was “Nothing is impossible.” There wasn’t a lot of positive enthusiasm about it, but at least his show can still be heard when driving down the information highway. A lot of those old songs aren’t being played by anyone anymore, but Hansen. To release the old shows on CD, he would have to license every song which isn’t impossible, but appearing to be unlikely. There can be a lot of headaches with the copy right laws. 
 
The legend of Doctor Demento created by Barret Hansen moves on from radio. The Doctor will still be on the internet playing all of the funny songs, comical bits, and rare recordings. The legendary man continues onward with his show, providing side splitting humor to put a smile on the face of listeners. He still ends each show reminding listeners to “Stay demented!" For Barret Hansen, a.k.a. Doctor Demento, is there any other way?

Monday, 30 August 2010 19:31

Ian Anderson: A Humble Musical Deity

Legendary musicians come around once in a blue moon, bringing joy to their fans, giving them a new deity to worship. Some of these musical artists have actually been thought of in God like status. We put them on pedestals, raising them up high, and will imitate them as we sing to our favorite songs that have been handed down by our idols. We dance around the room in the same choreography as we try to escape reality if only for three and a half minutes. Ian Anderson is no exception. He has been classified as a genius for his great musical achievements and left his mark in musical history.

 

 

The man, the myth, and the legend of Ian Anderson has been holding the reigns of the band Jethro Tull since 1968. Every bit of the way he has been pushing the instrumentalists hard, driving them into some unbelievable acrobats of musical performance. Along the way he perfected a certain style of playing the flute that was developed originally by Roland Kirk. Sort of a way of playing, singing, and humming into the mouthpiece at times to create a unique sound that can be soothing. Ian took it one step further, all while he standing on one leg. As time moved on, he has become a hell of a showman and developed into a tremendous flautist and musician.

 

 

Since the beginning of Jethro Tull there have been a lot of members in the band, really a lot more than other bands that have been around as long as this one has. There are misconceptions that that Ian Anderson is really hard to get along with, but that is just not the case. There have been a lot of factors as to why musicians didn’t stick around. Certain past members wanted to move in a different direction musically and left for all sorts of other reasons. Ian explains, “Where I was on pretty good terms with everyone, the other members may not have gotten along well with other members in the band. There were no major conflicts or anything like that.” Explaining further with a bit of a chuckle, “If you got all the ex-members of Jethro Tull together, no one is going to die.”

 

 

Certain members of the 1970’s lineup will probably be missed the most by the fans and Ian Anderson. Jeffrey Hammond has been a lifelong friend of Ian’s. When Hammond joined the band, he made it clear that he would only stay long enough to make enough money to pursue his passion of being a painter and artist. John Evans and Barrie Barlow both left to pursue other ventures and also will be missed by their fans and friends. Some of the past members from that time were given opportunities to rejoin their former band mates, but it never panned out.

 

 

Next to Ian’s side for most of the journey has been the guitar sensation of Martin Barre. Ian was asked if he would ever tour under the name of Jethro Tull without Martin. He replied, “Playing a show without him is not something we would normally do. Had to do it a couple of times.” Ian explained that recently Martin was opening a bottle of wine and gashed his finger on one hand. He played a show with some considerable amount of pain. During the concert his stitches began to open up and caused him to bleed quite a bit. Ian’s guitar player from his solo project, Florian Opahle, caught a flight and filled in a few shows for the injured Barre. Martin recovered and returned to his spot missing only a few shows. Although Florian is an incredible guitarist, the stage left spot is missing a familiar face when Martin is not there. It just isn’t the same for the fans or for Ian not to have this mighty guitarist ripping away on the guitar du jour. Jethro Tull without Martin? It should never happen other than in these extreme situations.

 

 

Over the years there have been all sorts of talks about a feud between Ian Anderson and Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin. When asked if they ever buried the hatchet, Ian clears up this nonsense that there “Never really was a hatchet.” A reporter made a bigger deal over something Ian had commented on in the early days, that with his lyrics and the music of Led Zeppelin it would make a really good rock band. The media ran with it and it turned into a large scaled war between the two bands in the newspapers. None of which was true other than the original comment. Ian really didn’t realize at the time that he had actually in a way insulted Robert Plant’s lyric writing, which was not intentional in any way.

 

 

Before Plant had joined Led Zeppelin, he actually sat in with Jethro Tull in the early days at a show. He came out and performed with the band for a song or two in the front man position, giving the young Plant a little bit of a chance to show off his skills. Ian left the stage and let Plant perform. “I was quite jealous of his skills,” Ian humbly admits. “He is a great performer and a great guy.”

 

 

During an early tour, Tull and Zeppelin toured together, with Tull as the supporting act. Ian proclaims that he was quite impressed with Led Zeppelin and that they were “Just amazing. Best rock and roll band in the world.” All of Tull seemed to get along well with everyone in the Zeppelin camp. Ian shared, that Jimmy Page was one of the first guys to have a Polaroid camera. He would take pictures and then show off what he had done the night before.

 

Anderson holds that he was a bit more reserved than that. “I was a bit of a loner and wasn’t into the sex, drugs, and rock n roll. I’ve never felt obliged to be pushed into it. Wasn’t a difficult decision. Wasn’t into unbridled sex. Not something I enjoyed. Saw people around doing drugs and suffering from it. Listened to Charlie Parker and knew his lifestyle killed him. I never could be convinced that recreational drugs are ok. Some people have addictive behavior. Always feared I was one of those people.” Ian spent some time drinking beer. He smoked cigarettes for about 30 years and finally stopped. He really never would have been able to last for over forty years if he had been involved in the drug scene that went on within the hippie culture of the Sixties.

 

 

Tony Iommi briefly was one of the few guitarists Tull got with after Mick Abrahams had left. Tony played as an opening act for Tull with the musicians that eventually became Black Sabbath. Ian went to Tony and said let’s get together, run through a few songs with no strings attached. Tull’s music didn’t suit Iommi’s playing style. When Tony lost his fingertips he had to create a playing style all his own. He tailored his playing to his disability which just really didn’t quite work for Jethro Tull.

 

Tony did sit in on the performance for the Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus where he played air guitar for Tull. They didn’t have the instruments plugged in for the show. All the musicians were just miming their parts. Ian sang over a backing track while the rest of the guys acted like they were playing. It was how things were done for some performances back then. Iommi was really quite ashamed of the fact that he wasn’t really playing. He had his hair pulled down in front of his face so you couldn’t see him.

 

 

Jethro Tull has played a few thousand concerts with a number of acts. They were an opening act, the headlining act, and every act in between. Some of their supporting acts they really liked and went on to be a big success such as; Yes, Mountain, Whitesnake, and the Eagles. Others bands just dropped by the wayside and were never heard from again. Tull also shared the stage with Hendrix during a few concerts leading up to The Isle of Wight. Ian recalls that Jimi “was overcome with issues he couldn’t control. He wasn’t able to tune his guitar. The audience was so noisy he couldn’t hear above the crowd and he wasn’t enjoying it.” Ian also mentioned “wished I would have played with Zappa. Never had a chance to meet him and then he was gone.”

 

Over the years Tull has played shows in places that just didn’t turn out to their liking. They were the first band to play at Shea Stadium after the Beatles and “it was just a terrible gig. Horrible place to play with the planes flying over, cueing up to land at LaGuardia.” They had a lot of the same issues that the Beatles had. Just a horrible sound system and couldn’t hear themselves or anything that they played.

 

 

More recently shows had come about where they also had shows they didn't enjoy. They played in Schpandau, Berlin in Germany at a place where a lot of bad things happened years ago. It was one of those places that you could feel the bad vibes of every horrible thing that has happened there bouncing off the walls. Ian proclaims “when you are playing those places you are using the music to help sanitize the place” and what better music to use.

 

 

Ian and the several different incarnations of Jethro Tull have written and recorded a large variety of music over the years. Some of his favorites are, “A lot of the songs as what the audience likes and looks for.” The songs “Aqualung” and “Locomotive Breathe” are still welcome pieces even after he has probably played them a few thousand times. He will bring out the occasional obscure song, but won’t do just a bunch of them in one show. Usually doing a song that is only going to impress the biggest of Tull Fans, the rest of the audience may not take it too well. He is there to play to the audience as an entirety, not just the one or two fans that want to hear songs like “Jack-A-Lynn,” “Back-Door Angels,” or something from The Chateau D'Isaster Tapes.

 

 

Certain works like A Passion Play they won’t go back and revisit. It’s not an album that they like as much as others. Musically it doesn’t separate out into sections like Thick as a Brick does. They brought it out in 1973 when it was written and played it a bit then, but never really came back to it. Ian stated that he “Still pulls it out every couple of years and gives it a listen.”

 

 

On the next U.S. tour Ian performs solo and will be bringing along some great new material. He will be pulling out some classics as well and making a nice mix of things. “Feel quite proud about some things I wrote when I was 23 or 24 years old,” songs that dealt with some of the worldly issues that they deal with now. It is amazing how subjects from songs stay a hot topic for years to come. Certain things that were happening thirty years ago are still happening today and still are the main news stories. These were the topics that started political discussions and wars throughout the past. Ian is hardly a clairvoyant man, but one who wrote passionately about some issues that were important to him and the issues really never went away.

 

 

The theaters selected for the upcoming shows are some of the smaller, off the beaten path places. These are the places that remind Ian of when he first started in music and was trying to get a break. These establishments will be graced with the magnificent runs on the flute. The halls will echo with the sounds of classical, folk, blues, and several other different types of music that has been blended into the vast Jethro Tull musical catalog.

 

 

Ian offers his advice to musicians starting out which is some of the same advice he received when starting out, “Don’t give up your day job. Applies even more today where everybody and his dog wants to be a rock star. With all the myspace pages, there are millions of people trying to make it.” There are some great people out there today and there is a bunch of stuff out there that is just bad. It’s a very competitive market and if you haven’t made it by the time you are thirty, your chances grow even more slim.

 

 

How long will Jethro Tull go on? “As long as it is possible and desirable,” says Ian. Doing the lengthy tours can be exhausting and tiresome, but they plan on going on. Most likely they will be doing half as many shows as done in the previous years so they can spend time with their families. They are deserving of some leisure time. As Ian and the boys decide to trim it down a bit, we the fans must remember that he deserves his free time after devoting most of his life to work for us. He has supplied some unbelievable works of art for our enjoyment. Rest assured, Ian won't be spending his time playing golf.

 

 

This legendary musical deity has been a one band man, entertaining his fans since 1968, and deserves to take a bow. Ian Anderson is a phenomenal musician and has made a huge influence on musicians around the world. As he calls the band down to the stage, he stands on his pedestal, on one leg, and looks down at all the friends he has made. Millions of people can’t be wrong about the man. He has produced nothing, but magical music.

Wednesday, 04 August 2010 14:13

Woods Bash 2010! Randy does it again!

The sky down poured all night long and into the morning leading up to the show. Skittish people afraid they would melt started to proclaim that the out door party would be cancelled. As luck would have it for the second year in a row the sky cleared up and the sun peaked out. The ground started to dry up and mother nature allowed Woods Bash 2010 to go on as planned. Big Randy put together a great show as always. The entertainment consisted of four incredible bands that played throughout the day. This was a true party!!

 

First band up was the new group out of the O’Hare area of Chicago called Ballistic. This group warmed up the place in style. Performing mostly cover songs from the classic rock genre, the band played their set of songs to wake the crowd up, and that is exactly what they did. The songs “Crossroads” and “Sunshine of Your Love” were definite highlights for the lunchtime crowd. The crunchy guitars, sweet vocals, and in sync rhythm section was a great start to the party. They finished up with an original song called “Red Ducati” that was the best performance of their set and it blended into an extra long jam of Nugent’s “Stranglehold.” They were fun.

 

Rhino 39 took the second spot with a vengeance. This group was a solid head bangers band every step of the way. Performing a song from Metallica seemed to be an easy task for such a rock solid band. The bass player and drummer paved the road for the rest of the group to follow. The grooves were deep and heavy old school metal. They brought out a Drowning Pool song with a little count off, getting the crowd to be involved with the show. “One, Nothing wrong with me – Two, Nothing wrong with me.” As the opening line “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor” started the song, concert goers were carrying a devilish grin. Once Rhino started in with Pantera’s “Walk” most heavy metal enthusiasts couldn’t contain themselves any longer.

 

Rising Up Angry out of Florida had some issues and showed up late so their set was cut short. This highly professional band came in and performed a short set blowing the woods apart. Louder than the previous two bands, this group was over powering the vocalist and PA on every move. They band was so powerful and was just amazing. What bleed through on the vocals was incredible as well, but could barely be heard. They were just a high energy band; they were super tight and never made a mistake musically. It would be suggested to see this band in a setting with a PA that can keep up with their enormous sound levels. It might be nice to actually hear them with vocals. Oh yeah, they were that loud!

 

The AC~DC tribute band Problem Child was undoubtedly the best band of Woods Bash 2010 and had the most seasoned musicians of the party. This group came in sounding just like the group from down under with all the power and the show of the heavy rocking band. The boys jammed a bunch of the old classics from this band and a few of the “B Side” songs as well. They played the songs “T.N.T.,” “Whole Lotta Rosie,” and “Sin City” imitating one of the most popular bands in the world. The guitar player came out dressed like Angus Young playing solos note for note just like the master. The vocalist did a great job of putting on a show when he climbed on the roof of the pavilion. Problem Child was definitely as close as you could possibly get to being AC~DC without actually being the real McCoy. They were just awesome and definitely the main event!!

   

The show went on with no rain and no one melted. The crowd came and had a great time listening to all the bands that played for their pleasure. Big Randy and his crew put together a party and led the masses to it. What kind of fun will 2011 bring? Winter Bash and Woods Bash of 2011 will be great, but it will be hard to top 2010. This was one for the record books.

103346-ringo_starr_617_409

The Venue at Horseshoe Casino had a very special guest recently. “Oh what’s his name” played a show with a group of very worthy musicians performing some rock hits while the crowd chair danced the night away. Ringo Starr (A.K.A. Billy Shears) and his All Star Band was just an absolute joy to see. The former drummer of ‘Rory Storm and The Hurricanes’ and that other group he was with has been a band leader for the last four decades.

 

The band started to play “It Don’t Come Easy” and out walked the main attraction, Mr. Richard Starkey. This 1971 single got people pumped up and ready for the evening. The song referring to the breakup of The Beatles delighted everyone. The night started on a high note and never came down.

 

As the night continued, Ringo and the boys pressed on with great songs such as; “I Wanna Be Your Man” and “Photograph.” The crowd had a sing along with the well known song that children still sing today like it was a nursery rhyme, “Yellow Submarine.” His baritone vocals in the song and comical bridge make this just a wonderful ditty for people of all ages.

 

The band would play a few of Ringo’s songs and then he would take a backseat during parts of this show while the other members of the band stepped forward and took the lead. Each member of the All Star Band came to the center of the stage for two songs of their own.

 

Guitarist Rick Derringer played his fingers down to the bone on every guitar piece during the night. During his presentation the first song he played was “Hang on Sloopy” from his days with the McCoy’s. He did the original version with parts of the song that never made it to the record. As he talked during the middle of the song explaining how the record company had cut out a verse, he proclaimed, “I’m here tonight to set the record straight.” For his second song he made the most obvious choice, “Rock and Roll, Hoochie-Koo.” During this song Rick was just on fire. He ended the song with a flashy guitar solo that included fast runs and tapping that would make the 1980’s guitar shredders look on with amazement. One of the most under-rated guitar players in the world had taken the lead role in this band.

 

Wally Palmar from the Romantics completed the guitar rhythms and some great background vocals for this group. He played a variety of different guitars, but it was quite obvious that he was in some way influenced by the Beatles. At some points he was playing a Rickenbacker guitar and his amp of choice was a Vox. He impressed the crowd with an updated version of “Talking In Your Sleep.” For the people in the audience the show kept rocking out when he did the jam “What I Like About You.” His amazing abilities and sweet vocals were definitely a tremendous addition to this band.

 

The bass playing done by Richard Page from Mr. Mister was a complete shock. This man really knows his way around the lower register of the music staff. His expertise was provided on every piece, but when he presented his number one singles to the audience no one was sorry to hear them. The songs “Kyrie” and “Broken Wings” were a nice fit within the other songs chosen for the concert performance. His vocal and musical contributions were very well received.

 

Gregg Bissonette filled out the night on drums completing the rhythm section. On most of the songs Ringo played alongside him, but Gregg was definitely the main drummer for the evening. He held the rhythms and kept them tight. His timing could not have been knocked off beat with a wrecking ball. His dynamic range on the drums was perfect and he knows how to hit hard or with finesse.

 

Gary Wright filled out the band on some great keyboards and vocals as well as the rest of the band. One of the most memorable moments or the concert was when he stepped up to the front of the stage for his first number and sang “Dream Weaver.” The song that had been played on every classic rock station for years was being played before the eyes of the concert goers and most of them couldn’t believe how flawless it was. There was no lip syncing being done during this performance; this man was just that good. When it came time for his next song “Love is Alive” his performance was just impeccable as well. Two smooth songs with a crooner of a voice that has remained polished over the years.

 

One of the jam band masters Edgar Winter had his time during the show as well. His first song he did was the awesome riff jam “Free Ride.” The song rocked just like the record! His contribution was complete when he played one of the coolest instrumental jams ever, the song “Frankenstein.” The man made an impressive jump from keyboards, to drums, to sax and back again. He was the very first keyboard player to put a strap on a keyboard and walk around the stage with it. He stated during the show, “I got tired of being stuck behind a piano.” This night would not have been the same without hearing this awesome man play everything that he did. Winter is truly one of the greatest musicians to ever take a stage.

 

The night continued on passing the torch from Ringo to the band and then back to Ringo again. The mix of songs from the 1960’s to the present was just a great combination of music for everyone. Ringo did a few songs from his new album Y Not. “The Other Side of Liverpool” was a great song to bring out for the night. It fit the classic Ringo writing style and was accepted by the crowd that didn’t know the new material.

 

Another song that was done was “Act Naturally” which he explained it was almost a biographical song, making fun of himself. He played a great piece from the early days called “Back off Boogaloo” that was sang around the room. He then introduced a song that he described as not going over well the previous nights before and he wasn’t sure if he was going to continue to play it. He asked the audience to be the judge. They then started in singing the opening line “Billy Shears” to one of his most popular songs “With a Little Help from My Friends.” The place went nuts!

 

At the end of the night as Ringo takes his bows the band went into a few choruses of “Give Peace a Chance” which sent chills up and down the spines of the members of the audience. Everyone throughout the room could almost feel the presence of John Lennon. Goose bumps were everywhere!

 

Ringo gave his goodbyes, the band continued on with a few more bars, and then it was over. Billy Shears and the All Star Band galloped off into the sunset to the next town. What a fantastic evening as “Oh what’s his name” got by with a little help with his friends.  

Tuesday, 22 June 2010 19:28

The old rockers ~ Jethro Tull at Ravinia

The lights went out and the band took their place on the stage. There was no opening introduction and it wasn’t necessary. The packed house cheered and waited for the band to start. When the stage lights came up, the band immediately jumped in with “Nothing is Easy,” and the crowd went wild. Everyone in the place was grinning from ear to ear as Jethro Tull started up their show. It was a fantastic night for music.

 

Now with over forty years as a successful touring band, performing shows in five different decades, this bluesy progressive rock band has impressed the hell out of millions. Sunday night at Ravinia was no exception what so ever. Five men took the stage with a job to do; to entertain the audience and that is exactly what they did.

 

The up scaled outdoor theater was a great setting for Tull to perform some of their great hits as “Thick as a Brick,” and “Aqualung” that everyone would expect to hear in their concert. They also dug down deep and pulled out some “B” side material that impressed the true fans. One of the big surprises of the evening was “Farm on the Freeway.” It was a very nice piece from the album Crest of the Knave.

 

Ian Anderson throughout the show played tough flute pieces as he danced around the stage. He performed his signature step for brief moments, standing on one leg, kicking through the air with his unique version of an Irish jig. His playing as a flautist has changed over the years from his beginning comical days into a highly sophisticated musician. His runs have become fluent as they flow so wonderfully within every piece of music. He kept the crowd’s attention as he hammed it up on stage doing his best to gain the award of entertainer of the year. Most of the fans that attended would gladly present him with a trophy.

 

Martin “Lancelot” Barre is still one of the most under-rated guitarists to ever pick up a six string. His ability during the entire show was mighty powerful from every note that he played. His solo capabilities are far past what most other guitar players can do and he has the ability to play rhythms that most musicians can only dream about. The intricate display on stage was superb and scary that someone could become so much a part of his musical instrument. For the guitarist who has influenced so many players over the years, hats off to you. 

 

Doane Perry kept the meter going during the concert never missing a beat. This rock band would not be the same without this man behind the drum kit. His triumphant displays come across so effortlessly showing his talent within everything that he plays. His precise engagement with percussion instruments is a delight to see and hear. His drum fills at this show were so amazing, in sync, and to the point. The dynamic range of Doane is unbelievable for the fan and by your average four-four timing drummer. His elevated playing skills have far passed what other drummers have done in Tull and live he has been doing it for over twenty-five years.

 

John O’Hara had a solid keyboard performance during the show on each and every song. One of most important parts of Jethro Tull music had become their keyboard player even though they didn’t even have one when they first started out. They have gone through so many keyboardists over the years and this guy had to duplicate what so many competent musicians have done before him. He pulled off everything without even appearing to sweat. His musical knowledge was apparent as he pulled off the classical runs during the opening to “Locomotive Breathe” and the middle jam in “Thick as a Brick.” He proved that he is more than capable of doing his job as a member of this band and he fits in well.

 

David Goodier provided the low tones that were felt deep down within your body and soul. Approximately a half dozen bass players have taken the stage with this band since 1968 and none of the previous ones may be in the same league. The master of the low end showed his skills during “Bouree” as he displayed sweet bass parts. His quick and finesse like attack kept everyone supplied with the most pristine bass lines within a live setting that anyone could possibly ever imagine. He was sporting a monster of a six string bass that sounded as good as it looked.

 

The night consisted of songs being played such as “Beggar’s Farm” and “A New Day Yesterday.” The sound mix of the group, as always, was just a clear and perfect presentation of music. For the awesome display the band played their fingers to the bone. Ian presented the audience with two giant balloons that he balanaced on his head during “Locomotive Breathe” before throwing them into the crowd. The balloons were knocked around above the crowd like a giant beach ball. Their final song played and Tull put on another tremendous show that could go down in the record books. One of the balloons popped as the fans grabbed for a piece of the souvenir and two small children got the other one to take home. Their final song played and Tull put on another tremendous show that could go down in the record books. Ian and the rest of the band said, “Bye – bye! Bye – bye!” The lights came up and “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong played through the theater giving everyone their walking music.

 

Ravinia was an excellent setting for this concert to take place. Jethro Tull had a beautiful setting to display their music. The band as always played some of the most difficult music done by any band that ever existed. They came, they played, and they conquered their fans. They brewed the songs of love and hatred as the crowd hummed along and kept on going. It was truly a magical evening.

Saturday night at Harrah’s Casino in Joliet, Illinois can be a very special place to go, but when they have a musical act playing it’s even better. One of the best traveling bands around played a fabulous show for their audience. Creedence Clearwater Revisited took the stage entertaining fans of all ages and everyone had a great time.

Doug “Cosmo” Clifford and Stu Cook revisited their music with some very worthy musicians. The group jammed for the evening playing such hits as; “Born on the Bayou,” “Down on the Corner,” “Fortunate Son,” “Suzie Q,” and everything else including the kitchen sink. If classic rock radio was a part of your life, you knew every single song played by this fantastic band.

The Band:

 Clifford and Cook were the rhythm section canvas for CCR allowing the hired guns to help complete these classic works of art. For over fifty years since these two met they have been entertaining audiences as a super tight group and were very lucky to have been able to reach the success they accomplished.

Tapping away at the drums with the clock like beat was Doug Clifford. His kit may be small, but he didn’t need much else to put on fantastic show with the amount of talent that he has. His experience was apparent throughout the night and he never lost the beat. He was flawless.

Stu Cook provided the bottom end and occasionally went low with his five stringed earth mover. The smooth tones were amplified through an Aguilar amp head and a matching set of SWR four-ten cabinets. He played with precision and was in a synchronized locked with “Cosmo” all night long.

The big man at the front of the stage was John Tristao. His lead vocal capabilities sounded just like the original vinyl pressings. Tristao played some great rhythm guitar and sang Creedence songs with perfection. He acted like a real life cartoon character with his crazy antics on stage and obscure facial expressions. He is a true entertainer and a great front-man for the band.

Guitar virtuoso Tal Morris absolutely screamed on guitar solos through every single song. CCR never sounded so good! Some of the solos stuck pretty close to the studio recordings, but most were embellished on and he added a new and improved twist to the old classics. His tone was sweet music to the ears.

Steve Gunner filled out the group’s sound with vocals, guitar, keyboards, and some small percussion instruments. Although he was in the role of a utility man, everything he added was very well done. This “Jack of all trades” hit some high notes as a backing vocalist, played some tight rhythm guitar, and keyboard accents that were very rich. The songs may not have sounded complete without his musical presence.  

The main set ended with a few of the most popular songs being played back to back, including “Bad Moon Rising” and “Proud Mary.” The group took their break from the stage and received their applause for a job well done. They returned to the stage for the encore busting out some more ditties for the fired up crowd. Amongst the CCR hits played during their commanded return was also the Little Richard song “Good Golly Miss Molly.” The show came and went so fast, delighting your ears with their hits, and then they were gone.

The new CCR was absolutely awesome to see and a tremendous way to spend a Saturday night. The group revisited every single hit including “Midnight Special.” The crowd had a lot of energy and a lot of fun dancing in the aisles. The traveling band was having their fun dancing and playing on stage. Creedence Clearwater Revisited is the real McCoy. These genuine rock music icons were a delight to see live and would be suggested to anyone. Their show is a must see!!

Creedence Clearwater Revival was responsible for several hit songs during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. They had songs that were full of energy, power, and became great party standards for years to come. The band broke up almost forty years ago and their music will live on forever. The band all went their own ways leaving behind a legacy of songs within their library that most musicians would only dream of. Some of the great songs such as; “Proud Mary,” “Bad Moon Rising,” and “Midnight Special” would become classic rock favorites around the world.

In 1995, Stu Cook and Doug “Cosmo” Clifford joined forces and decided to start playing the old songs once again. As they decided to revisit the music they called the new endeavor Creedence Clearwater Revisited. “We actually could’ve used the original name, but what we were doing was revisiting the music,” says Stu. The new name really makes more sense.

They never really had any intention of playing for the public, but a friend of theirs wanted to promote a couple of concerts. They got talked into it, but didn't know how well it would go over. Their initial plans would be to do some parties and special occasions to have some fun at it playing the songs that they both loved. Their performances were really very well received and the band soon was in demand again right where they left off.

The new group found some incredible musicians to fill the vacant shoes of the original members. John Tristao, Steve Gunner, and Tal Morris round out this now five piece group in style. Tristao has an amazing set of pipes that are filled with warmth. Gunner jumps in on guitar and keyboards wherever needed with style and grace. Morris completes the band duplicating the tricky guitar licks.

The band now is playing in halls, arenas, and doing festivals with an audience ranging from a few thousand upward to approximately fifty thousand. The group keeps playing the old hits and is having a great time at it. You won’t hear any new music at these shows as, “To add to it would just add confusion. To be honest, I’ve just been too busy to be a creative writer,” says Cook.

“We were all lucky with CCR. We worked hard, got incredibly successful very fast, and the music made a huge impact. The songs were easy for other people to learn and play. The music was kept alive by other musicians and in motion pictures. It was a huge dose of luck and classic rock radio helped too.”

The new CCR has lasted longer than the original version and now does about seventy-five shows per year. When asked how long do you think you can keep going, Stu replied, “No telling. We are all having fun. Unless there is some major health issues, we are going to keep going.” They are really enjoying what they are doing and what musician wouldn’t.

Stu has been a musician since grammar school when he started out on trumpet and then guitar. Eventually he found his place on bass guitar over forty-five years ago. Now playing some top of the line and custom basses, this man thumps out the old bass lines of classic rock history through a 750 watt amp with a matching pair of SWR cabinets. The bottom end of the group now has a new and improved sound.

Both Cook and Clifford are both very happy with their success with Creedence Clearwater Revisited. They both just turned sixty-five years old and they celebrated their birthdays playing the music that they always loved playing. Over four decades later Stu was asked if there was anything that he would change. He replied, “No. I don’t look in the rear view mirror.”

One of their most memorable moments since they reformed was in Argentina. They were getting ready to play in Buenos Aires and the audience was already one of the loudest crowds imaginable before they started to play. The audience continued on when the band hit the stage and when a band is in that kind of a position, “You never want to leave,” says Stu. These guys are and always will be classic rock icons to many.

The old CCR went through their break up and had their issues. Stu Cook does not hold bad grudges against his former band mate and former friend John Fogerty. He was asked if he would get on stage again with John and stated, “Sure why not. I’d get on stage with anyone. The stage is not a place to air your laundry.” As with Stu he doesn’t have bitter blood toward John, but the group reuniting with him is highly unlikely.

Although the group came from the old hippy days of peace love and lots of drugs, “We were never known as a band that was known for our position with drugs. We drank some beers, a nip of Jack Daniels,” but that was basically it. If they had been heavily involved with drugs Creedence might not have turned out to be as popular as they were.

Stu offers his advice to younger musicians starting out, “Practice hard. Make sure you want to be a musician. It’s a tough life. It’s not well rewarded unless you are lucky. You need to be prepared to be discouraged and disappointed.”

The band moves along now in its current form playing a lot of sold out shows. They released a live multi platinum compilation called, Recollection. Their continued success into the next generation has taken a lot of people by surprise including Stu Cook and Doug Clifford. As they catch a ride on their musical highway, you might be lucky to see this traveling band live. There is no time like the present and Creedence Clearwater Revisited is just phenomenal.

Catch CCR live June 12th at Harrah's Casino in Joliet. 

Page 5 of 7

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