Jimmy Page is often named as one the best guitarists and Led Zeppelin often appears in the top of Best Bands lists. Led Zeppelin is without a doubt one of the best music groups ever to perform.
In 1966 a 22 year old Jimmy Page joined Jeff Beck’s group The Yardbirds. When Page first joined the group he replaced Paul Samwell-Smith as the bass player, but he soon changed to electric guitar, along with Beck, giving the band a dual guitar sound.
In July of 1968 members of The Yardbirds decided they no longer wanted to perform. Since they had agreed to do several more shows they gave Jimmy Page and Chris Deja, bassist for the Yardbirds, permission to perform under their name to complete the concerts. This is when Robert Plant, John Bonham and John-Paul Jones became part of the line-up. Deja left the band to become a photographer and we had the beginnings of Led Zeppelin who were known as The New Yardbirds at the time.
There are variations on the story of …
Bob Dylan born Robert Allen Zimmerman, began playing the guitar and harmonica as a child. While in high school he formed a rock and roll band called The Golden Chords and began performing at coffeehouses while in college.
He made his mark with folk fans in Greenwich Village, New York in 1961. By the time he appeared at Gerde’s Folk City opening for John Lee Hooker, Dylan already had a following of his own!
Dylan’s first album in 1962 was simply titled, “Bob Dylan”. It received very little interest and only sold around 5,000 copies over it’s first year.
The second album released in May of 1963, proved more successful for Dylan. He’d started to stake his claim as a both a writer and singer. “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” only included two cover songs, the rest were Dylan’s original writings!
The album went to number 22 on the charts, but eventually went platinum. In 2002, the Library of Congress chose 50 recordings to be added to the National Recording Registry, “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” was …
The Beatles led the British Invasion in the mid 1960’s when they stormed America with “Beatlemania”. They altered the sound of rock and roll forever and their influence can still be seen today. But, from almost the beginning the band sparked controversy around the world!
At 17, John Lennon formed his first band “The Black Jacks”, they played a mix of jazz and blues. Later they changed the name to “The Quarry Men”, named after their school-The Quarry Bank Grammar School in Liverpool.
While setting up for a performance in 1957, Lennon met Paul McCartney and he later joined the band. McCartney then only 15, was a self taught, left handed guitar player. McCartney later introduces George Harrison to Lennon and he’s added to the lineup.
In 1960, Stuart Stucliffe joined the band on bass, by then they were ” The Silver Beetles”. More name changes included “Silver Beats” and “Silver Beatles”.
The band finally decided on “The Beatles” in August of 1960. Several stories have been told of the final name came about, in …
The Grateful Dead began their music career as The Warlocks. In 1965, they made their debut performance at Magoo’s pizza house. The Warlocks caught the attention of Ken Kesey in July of 1965, known for his public LSD-fueled parties before the drug became illegal, and he hired them as his house band. These legendary parties later became known as Acid Tests!
Before long it was discovered there was another band with the same name. After several weeks with no success in finding a name everyone could agree on, Jerry Garcia picked up a dictionary and ran across the name Grateful Dead!
The members all moved into a communal home at Ashbury Street in San Francisco, there they became a fixture in the music scene and quickly built a fanbase through the many free concerts they performed.
The band began recording their first demos in 1966 after signing a deal with MGM, but the recording sessions were anything but successful and ended with MGM quickly dropping the band!
The band continued to draw a devoted group …
AC/DC was formed in 1973 by brothers, Malcolm and Angus Young. The two boys weren’t strangers to the music business, their older brother George, was a part of the most successful 60’s band in Australia, The Easybeats.
After both had been members of a few unsuccessful bands, Malcolm decided to form his own band. Malcolm’s vision was a hard rocking band with an image of stack heeled boots and long hair!
The name AC/DC fits so well with the bands electrifying performances. It was suggested by two of the members sister, she’d seen it on a label on the back of a vacuum cleaner. The band did their first performance on New Year’s Eve in 1973, at a small club called Chequers in Sydney, Australia.
Right from the start Angus was determined to make a lasting impression on the fans. He had tried on several costumes before the gig and had decided on the schoolboy uniform that would become his trademark!
The band’s stage presence became almost as popular as their music. Early management had …
Black Sabbath has it’s origins in Aston, Birmingham, England. The original members of the band were Terence “Geezer” Butler, Tony Iommi, Ozzie Osbourne and Bill Ward. In 1968 the band was going by the name Polka Tulk Blues Company. A short time later they changed their name to Earth.
Did you know that Iommi actually left Earth for a short time to go on tour with Jethro Tull?
In the beginning their music was a combination of jazz, blues and rock. Their main fare were cover tunes of songs by Jimi Hendrix, Cream and the like. Ozzie has always said that he was influenced by the Beatles.
The sound and feel of Earth began to change after Geezer Butler started getting interested in occult subjects. In fact, Butler was the one who wrote the song Black Sabbath. According to Butler he wrote the song after he experienced a vision in which there was a black figure in a hood.
In 1969 the group discovered that another local band was using the name Earth. To make …
Within four short years Creedence Clearwater Revival had accumulated more than 13 Top 10 hits. But, that was only the beginning of the timeless legend that is CCR!
They’ve became one of the best examples of classic American rock! They’re one of the greatest rock bands to come out of the 60’s and are indeed rock legends!
John Fogerty, Doug Clifford and Stu Cook formed the Blue Velvets in 1959 while still in junior high in El Cerrito, California. They played cover songs at the local dances. They also backed up John’s older brother as Tom Fogerty and the Blue Velvets on albums and at live gigs. John had seen Fantasy Records on TV and contacted them and in 1964 the band had a signed with the label.
Without the bands knowledge, Max Weiss who co-owned Fantasy Records changed the bands name to the Golliwogs before their first release. It was an attempt to cash in on the popularity British bands had was seeing at the time. None of the seven singles the Golliwogs recorded …
At 16, Steven Tallarico formed his first serious band, called The Strangeurs they soon changed their name to Chain Reaction due to name conflicts. The bands were active from 1964 through 1968. At 18, Steven entered the studio for the first time and recorded two of only four singles ever released by Chain Reaction.
Chain Reaction performed opening acts for bands such as The Beach Boys and The Byrds, but even with the recording contract the band saw very little success. And, by the summer of 1970 the band had disbanded!
That same summer, Steven had ran into Joe Perry, lead guitarist for the Jam Band. The Jam Band had also broken up and Steven and Joe collaborated on a joint venture that produced the creation of Aerosmith!
Late in the fall of 1970, Aerosmith made it’s public debut at the Nipmuc Regional High School in Mendon MA. The performance was a big success and they continued to perform gigs outside the Boston University Student Union Building.
By 1971 the band was earning around $300 …
In a few short years in the late 60’s, Jimi Hendrix’s talent not only gained him a huge following of fans, it would live on to capture fans of generations to come! Often called the greatest guitarist in rock history, Hendrix was one the most influential musicians of the 20th century!
Johnny Allen Hendrix was born on November 27, 1942 at King County Hospital in Seattle. He was raised by his father who later changed his name to James Marshall Hendrix in 1946.
The long hard road to superstardom started when Hendrix was eight years old. With a passion for music the young boy would strum a broom to the imaginary sounds burning deep in his soul!
His first real musical instrument was an old ukulele with one string that his father had found! In the summer of 1958, his father bought him a five dollar guitar. With no money for guitar lessons, Hendrix taught himself to play while listening to the music!
Before long Hendrix had joined his first band, The Velvetones. After playing …
Grand Funk Railroad’s early days were met with a love-hate attitude. Their many fans loved them, but the press seemed to almost hated them! A bad choice in managers was most likely the cause of the press’ intolerance of the band.
Knight’s take on the media, was that any publicity whether it was good or bad, was better than no publicity at all. He’d told the band members that the press would write about them just as much if they hated them as they would if they like them!
Their manager, Terry Knight, was a local D.J. in Flint Michigan. He’d left the radio business to get into music and became lead singer for “The Jazz Masters”. Other members of the band included, Don Brewer on drums and Mark Farner on bass. Eventually Knight left the band and landed a job at Capital Records.
In 1968, Brewer and Farner decided to strike out on their own and form a band. Bass player Mel Schacher was asked to join and the group called themselves “Grand Funk …