Archive | July, 2008

Teen Who Just Discovered Led Zeppelin Starting To Piss Off Friends

Mark Campa, 16, who has listened to and talked about Led Zeppelin almost exclusively since discovering the ’70s rock group over the summer, is “really starting to piss off” his friends, sources reported Monday.

“I’ve got nothing against Zep—they’re awesome,” said James Savich, 16, a longtime friend of Campa’s. “But Mark acts like he’s the first person ever to really get into them when he’s, like, the 59 billionth.”

Campa was first exposed to the band in June when older brother Bryan returned from college and started playing Led Zeppelin II while lifting weights in the garage. After one listen, Campa was reportedly hooked, buying his own copy and playing it incessantly for weeks. read more

Sex Pistols Singer Johnny Rotten: ‘Praise Allah’

Sex Pistols singer Johnny Rotten was booed by fans on the final night of EXIT Festival, after encouraging the crowd to “Praise Allah”.

In a bizarre and misjudged gaff midway through their Sunday night set, the ageing rocker asked the crowd: “So who thinks America should still be in Iraq?”

The question was met by boos and jeers, prompting Rotten to wave his arms in mock Muslim prayer chanting, “Praise Allah, Praise Allah” repeatedly.

The main stage crowd were initially taken aback by the mystifying gesture, before boos began echoing around the crowd.

Realising his mistake, Rotten then changed his chanting to “Praise Serbia, Praise Serbia” before quickly launching into another song. read more

The Top 20 Most Influential Rock Producers

A salute to the record producer, who frequently goes unnoticed by the public, and who is often the primary creative force behind a record (along with the engineer, but that’s a separate article).

I tried to find a list on the internet of greatest producers, a top-10 or top-100 and found none; top guitarist lists are a dime a dozen. But think of some of rock’s most well-known records; Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Pet Sounds, “Be My Baby”, Nevermind, Remain In Light, Licensed to Ill, Dark Side of the Moon, et. al. In each case, the production is as much of the story as the performance, in some cases a lot more so.

In the nutshell, a producer’s job is to get the best performances out of his musicians as possible, to oversee the mixing and ensure integrity of sound, to augment the recording with additional musicians, sound effects, special effects, and vocals. Many good producers were also good musicians, and could serve as an additional bandmember, as Brian Eno did with Talking Heads, or Jim O’Rourke with Sonic Youth. Others, like Phil Spector, Jimmy Miller, Rick Rubin, and Chris Thomas have generally stayed behind the controls instead of in front of them. read more

Where Gibson Guitars Are Custom Made

At the Gibson custom factory in Nashville, Tenn., the famous guitar manufacturer makes its most expensive and exclusive instruments, including an ongoing series of limited-edition replicas of historic Les Paul instruments.

As part of Road Trip 2008, CNET News.com reporter Daniel Terdiman visited the custom factory and got a rare look at how guitars are built with the express cooperation of rock stars like Jimmy Page and Johnny Winter. (The public can visit the company’s regular factories in Memphis and Nashville, but not the custom facility.) … read more

10 Great Singles Bands

Lots of bands have attained one-hit-wonder status, but it’s a rare thing for a group to churn out hit singles time and time again. Though their glory days are far behind them, the following bands remain heroes to classic-rock radio and to manufacturers of 45-rpm records.

Forget the mascara, the guillotines, and the boa constrictor. What made the Alice Cooper Group a great band wasn’t the theatrics but rather the anthemic energy packed into their radio fare. Even the band’s lesser-played hits―“Caught in a Dream” and “Be My Lover,” for instance―boast some of the most glorious garage-pop riffs ever caught on tape. read more