50 Rocks: Part One – Fire and Four Strings

50 Rocks: Part One – Fire and Four Strings

I’ve always wanted to be a rock star. Go figure. Like any red-blooded pre-teenage male in 1978, I used to air-guitar with my friend Mike Delahanty to the antics of KISS Alive II – complete with fireballs made from hairspray and lighters. [1] I envisioned myself shredding guitar like Eddie Van Halen by way of George Thorogood before a horde of shrieking fans [2], and memorized the contents of liner notes as if mere familiarity could imbue me with the power of rock gods. Unlike lots of kids, I actually tried to manifest those dreams through work. In addition to my devotion Read more »

Art, Temperament, Sabbath, and Tull

Art, Temperament, Sabbath, and Tull

Been on a Jethro Tull kick today, listening to a playlist that spans from their first album This Was up to Leaves to Branches in the early ’90s. And that got me thinking, for some odd reason, about the contrast between Ian Anderson’s humanistic artist side and his longtime reputation as a standoffish egotistical control freak – a side of Anderson that inadvertently created heavy metal as we know it. Anderson’s musical chops are indisputable. Likewise is his phenomenal compositional genius, an inspired work-ethic revealed when you consider that the band’s prime included 10 more or less classic studio albums Read more »