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Glenn Schwartz 11/2018

Glenn Schwartz, torn between rock and religionNovember 3, 2018 – Glenn Schwartz (the James Gang) was born on March 20, 1940 in Cleveland Ohio. While in Los Angeles on tour with the James Gang in 1967, Schwartz strolled onto the infamous Sunset Strip and stopped next to a small group of people listening to street preacher Arthur Blessitt, according to Stevenson’s book. Some time later he professed conversion to Christianity, saying “I was finally blessed by mercy for I heard the Gospel of Christ.”

Following his conversion, his zealous, new-found faith was not accepted well by the band, his family or his friends. As per Stevenson, Schwartz said: “I had some Christian friends who had some round stickers that read ‘Real Peace Is In Jesus’ and we stuck those all over our clothes … We put some on Janis Joplin but she didn’t like it and took them off. I remember she got pretty upset. Continue reading Glenn Schwartz 11/2018

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Tony Joe White 10/2018

Tony Joe White – October 24, 2018 was born on July 23, 1943, in Oak Grove, Louisiana as the youngest of seven children who grew up on a cotton farm. He first began performing music at school dances, and after graduating from high school he performed in night clubs in Texas and Louisiana.

As a singer-songwriter and guitarist, he became best known for his 1969 hit “Polk Salad Annie” and for “Rainy Night in Georgia”, which he wrote but was first made popular by Brook Benton in 1970. He also wrote “Steamy Windows” and “Undercover Agent for the Blues”, both hits for Tina Turner in 1989; those two songs came by way of Turner’s producer at the time, Mark Knopfler, who was a friend of White. “Polk Salad Annie” was also recorded by Elvis Presley and Tom Jones.

In 1967, White signed with Monument Records, which operated from a recording studio in the Nashville suburb of Hendersonville, Tennessee, and produced a variety of sounds, including rock and roll, country and western, and rhythm and blues. Billy Swan was his producer.

Over the next three years, White released four singles with no commercial success in the U.S., although “Soul Francisco” was a hit in France. “Polk Salad Annie” had been released for nine months and written off as a failure by his record label, when it finally entered the U.S. charts in July 1969. It climbed to the Top Ten by early August, and eventually reached No. 8, becoming White’s biggest hit.

White’s first album, 1969’s Black and White, was recorded with Muscle Shoals/Nashville musicians David Briggs, Norbert Putnam, and Jerry Carrigan, and featured “Willie and Laura Mae Jones” and “Polk Salad Annie”, along with a cover of Jimmy Webb’s “Wichita Lineman”. “Willie and Laura Mae Jones” was covered by Dusty Springfield and released as a single, later added to reissues of her 1969 album Dusty in Memphis.

Three more singles quickly followed, all minor hits, and White toured with Steppenwolf, Anne Murray, Sly & the Family Stone, Creedence Clearwater Revival and other major rock acts of the 1970s, playing in France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden and England.

In 1973, White appeared in the film Catch My Soul, a rock-opera adaption of Shakespeare’s Othello. White played and sang four and composed seven songs for the musical.

In late September 1973, White was recruited by record producer Huey Meaux to sit in on the legendary Memphis sessions that became Jerry Lee Lewis’s landmark Southern Roots album. By all accounts, these sessions were a three-day, around-the-clock party, which not only reunited the original MGs (Steve Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn and Al Jackson, Jr. of Booker T. and the MGs fame) for the first time in three years, but also featured Carl Perkins, Mark Lindsay (of Paul Revere & the Raiders), and Wayne Jackson plus The Memphis Horns.

From 1976 to 1983, White released three more albums, each on a different label. Trying to combine his own swamp-rock sound with the popular disco music at the time, the results were not met with success and White gave up his career as a singer and concentrated on writing songs. During this time frame, he collaborated with American expat Joe Dassin on his only English-language album, Home Made Ice Cream, and its French-language counterpart Blue Country.

In 1989, White produced one non-single track on Tina Turner’s Foreign Affair album, the rest of the album was produced by Dan Hartman. Playing a variety of instruments on the album, he also wrote four songs, including the title song and the hit single “Steamy Windows”. As a result of this he became managed by Roger Davies, who was Turner’s manager at the time, and he obtained a new contract with Polydor.

The resulting album, 1991’s Closer to the Truth, was a commercial success and put White back in the spotlight. He released two more albums for Polydor; The Path of a Decent Groove and Lake Placid Blues which was co-produced by Roger Davies.

In the 1990s, White toured Germany and France with Joe Cocker and Eric Clapton, and in 1992 he played the Montreux Festival.

In 1996, Tina Turner released the song “On Silent Wings” written by White.

In 2000, Hip-O Records released One Hot July in the U.S., giving White his first new major-label domestic release in 17 years. The critically acclaimed The Beginningappeared on Swamp Records in 2001, followed by Heroines, featuring several duets with female vocalists including Jessi Colter, Shelby Lynne, Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, and Michelle White, on Sanctuary in 2004, and a live Austin City Limits concert, Live from Austin, TX, on New West Records in 2006. In 2004, White was the featured guest artist in an episode of the Legends Rock TV Show and Concert Series, produced by Megabien Entertainment.

In 2007, White released another live recording, Take Home the Swamp, as well as the compilation Introduction to Tony Joe White. Elkie Brooks recorded one of White’s songs, “Out of The Rain”, on her 2005 Electric Lady album. On July 14, 2006, in Magny-Cours, France, White performed as a warm-up act for Roger Waters’ The Dark Side of the Moon concert. White’s album, entitled Uncovered, was released in September 2006 and featured collaborations with Mark Knopfler, Michael McDonald, Eric Clapton, and J.J. Cale.

The song “Elements and Things” from the 1969 album …Continued features prominently during the horse-racing scenes in the 2012 HBO television series “Luck”.

In 2013, White signed to Yep Roc Records and released Hoodoo. Mother Jones called the album “Steamy, Irresistible” and No Depression noted Tony Joe White is “the real king of the swamp.” He also made his Live…with Jools Holland debut in London, playing songs from Hoodoo.

On October 15, 2014, White appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman alongside the Foo Fighters to perform “Polk Salad Annie”. Pointing to White, Letterman told his TV audience, “Holy cow! … If I was this guy, you could all kiss my ass. And I mean that.”

In May 2016, Tony Joe White released Rain Crow on Yep Roc Records. The lead track “Hoochie Woman” was co-written with his wife, Leann. The track “Conjure Child” is a follow up to an earlier song, “Conjure Woman.

The album Bad Mouthin’ was released in September 2018 again on Yep Roc Records. The album contains six self-penned songs and five blues standards written by, amongst others, Charley Patton and John Lee Hooker. On the album White also performs a cover of the Elvis Presley song “Heartbreak Hotel”. White plays acoustic and electric guitar on the album which was produced by his son Jody White and has a signature Tony Joe White laid back sound.

White died of a heart attack on October 24, 2018, at the age of 75


Buddy Holly
Bar Reunion in Rock and Roll Paradise
Robert Johnson - Sold his Soul at Crossroads in Clarksdale, MS
The Day the Music Died - RIP Buddy Holly @ Ritchie Valens
Jimi Hendrix Memorial near Seattle, WA
Jim Morrison at Pere Lachaise in Paris
Duane Allman - Allman Brothers Band
Elvis - Gravesite at Graceland in Memphis
John Lennon Wall In Prague, Czech Republic
Bob Marley - One Love; made reggae music a world music
Freddie Mercury - Superstar Showman/Singer/Songwriter
Prince - Brilliantly Extravagant
Chuck Berry - Rollover Beethoven really started the Rock and Roll Era
Stevie Ray Vaughan - His every note became a lightning strike
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Bar Reunion in Rock and Roll Paradise
Robert Johnson - Sold his Soul at Crossroads in Clarksdale, MS
The Day the Music Died - RIP Buddy Holly @ Ritchie Valens
Jimi Hendrix Memorial near Seattle, WA
Jim Morrison at Pere Lachaise in Paris
Duane Allman - Allman Brothers Band
Elvis - Gravesite at Graceland in Memphis
John Lennon Wall In Prague, Czech Republic
Bob Marley - One Love; made reggae music a world music
Freddie Mercury - Superstar Showman/Singer/Songwriter
Prince - Brilliantly Extravagant
Chuck Berry - Rollover Beethoven really started the Rock and Roll Era
Stevie Ray Vaughan - His every note became a lightning strike
previous arrow
next arrow

Rock and Roll Heroes. I started this website sometime in 2013 as a legacy site to pay tribute to the many wonderful musicians, singer frontmen and songwriters that paved the soundtrack of my life with their music. As an amateur rocker, who did not only listen to the music, but also played in many coverbands, duos and trios over the decades since rock and roll exploded into our lives, I realized later on in life, as I’m reluctantly entering the supposedly quiet years, that rock music between the mid 1950s and the 1990s, drove our entire culture. More than ever before in history was a global generation defined by music, as Rock and Roll and Rock/Pop became the soundtrack of our lives. It changed and over time defined politics, commerce, industry, transportation, communication, social interaction and education.

For 40 years it guided our sense of values, what was waste, what was cool and what was not. The electric guitar was cool. Rock and Roll was driven by the advance of the electric guitar. It demanded attention, even if only because of the volume and reach. It guided the best educated, revolutionary generation in history into adult hood.

But when our generation and our rock and roll heroes became corporate,  too overly self important and self indulgent, Rock lost its driving cultural influence and handed it over to new genres like Hip Hop and Electronic Dance Music (EDM).

By the 1990s, as one generation handed the musical torch to a new generation, rock had been bent and bullied into new music genres, promoted by different music distribution platforms and rapidly advancing entertainment technology outlets, and we kind of turned away from rock as if it were a youthful indiscretion.

And then, as history usually goes, we turned old enough to remember the power of rock in our younger years and we created niche markets for rock to live in, at least for the remainder of our years. As we are entering the third decade of the 21st century, I am noticing that a lot of young females guitarists across the globe are picking up the rock and roll torch, aided by marketing online resources such as youTube, Patreon and Vimeo video channels. It gives me hope for the future of rock and roll. But for now it’s still a derivative of what we did fifty years ago. Give it time and they will make it their own and select new directions for rock and roll.

This website serves most as a tribute to our rock and roll heroes, and a little bit as a reminder to all of us baby boomers and rock music lovers, who picked up a guitar or kicked a drum in our formative years, and gained an understanding of how music transformed us and was our global language.

Johan Ramakers

Rock and Roll Heroes We Said Goodbye to in 2021:

• Gerry Marsden – singer/guitarist for Gerry and the Pacemakers (September 24, 1942 – January 3, 2021) – blood infection –

• Tim Bogert – Bassist/singer for Vanilla Fudge a.o. (August 27, 1944 – January 13, 2021) – Cancer –

• Sylvain Sylvain – born Sylvain Mizrahi, guitarist for the New York Dolls (February 14, 1951 – January 13, 2021) – cancer –

• Bunny Wailer – Bob Marley and the Wailers (April 10, 1947 – March 2, 2021) – complications of a stroke –

• Michael Stanley – Michael Stanley Band (March 25, 1948 – March 5, 2021) – cancer –

• Rusty Young – Founder/Guitarist for Poco (February 23, 1946 – April 14, 2021) – heart attack –

• Charlie Watts – drummer for the Rolling Stones (June 14, 1941 – August 24, 2021) – cancer –

For all the heroes we lost in rock’s history, dating back to the early origins in the late 1930, all the way to the present day, click HERE

Rock and Roll Heroes We Said Goodbye to in 2020:

Marty Grebb – Guitarist with Bonnie Raitt/Rick Danko and the Buckinghams (Sept. 2, 1946 – January 1, 2020) – as yet unknown •

• Bo Winberg – lead guitarist fo the Spotnicks (Mach 27, 1939 – January 3, 2020) – as yet unknown •

• Neil Peart – drummer/lyricist for Rush (September 12, 1952 – January 7, 2020) – cancer •

• Steve Martin Caro – lead singer for the Left Banke (October 12, 1948 – January 14, 2020) – heart disease •

• Mike Sommerville –guitarist/song writer for Head East (August 15, 1952 – February 28, 2020) – undisclosed •

• Kenny Rogerscountry rock star ( August 21, 1938 – March 20, 2020) – natural causes •

• Jerry Slick – drummer for the Great Society – husband of Grace Slick ( August 8, 1939 – March 20, 2020 • undisclosed

• Eric Weissberg – session banjo player – Deliverance (August 16, 1939 – March 22, 2020) – Alzheimers •

• Alan Merrill – singer/songer and co-author of I love rock and roll (February 19, 1951 – March 29, 2020) Covid-19 •

• Bill Witherssinger/songwriter “Ain’t no sunshine” etc. ( July 4, 1938 – March 30, 2020) – heart failure •

• Adam Schlesinger – singer/songwriter for Fountain of Wayne ( October 31, 1967 – April 1, 2020) – Covid-19 •

• John PrineSinger/Songer “Angel from Montgomery” etc. (October 10, 1946 – April 7, 2020) – Covid-19 •

• Steve Farmer – Guitarist/songwriter for Amboy Dukes, Ted Nugent etc. ( December 31, 1948 –  April 7, 2020) – Covid-19 •

• Florian Schneider – founder/keyboards for Kraftwerk ( April 7, 1947 – April 9, 2020) – cancer •

• Dave Greenfield – founder/keys/songwriter for the Stranglers ( March 29, 1949 – May 3, 2020) – Covid-19 •

• Millie Small – Popsinger of “My Boy Lollipop” ( October 5, 1946 – May 5, 2020) – stroke •

• Brian Howe – singer for Ted Nugent, Bad Company ( July 22, 1953 – May 6, 2020) – cardiac arrest •

• Little Richard – Singer / songwriter / piano player (rock and roll / rhythm and blues) ( December 5, 1932 – May 9, 2020) – natural causes •

• John David ‘Moon’ Martin – singer/songwriter “bad Case of Loving You (October 31, 1945 – May 11, 2020) – natural causes –

• Phil May – singer/frontman with the Pretty Things (November 9, 1944 – May 15, 2020) – surgery complications –

• Steve Priest – Bassist/vocalist for The Sweet (February 23, 1948 – June 4, 2020) – general ailments

• Bonnie Pointer – The Pointer Sisters (July 11, 1950 – June 8, 2020) – cardiac arrest –

• Paul ‘Tonka’ Chapman – Guitarist for UFO/Skid Row (June 9, 2020 – June 9, 1954) – cardiac arrest –

• Charlie Daniels – Singer/fiddler in Charlie Daniels Band (October 28, 1936 – July 6, 2020) – hemorrhagic stroke –

• Judy Dyble – British singer-songwriter for Fairport Convention (February 13, 1949 – July 12, 2020)  lung cancer

• Peter Green (Peter Allen Greenbaum) – Co-founder guitarist/singer/songwriter for Fleetwood Mac (October 29, 1946 – July 25, 2020) – natural causes –

• Steve Holland – Founding Guitarist for southern rock band Molly Hatchett (Feb. 22, 1954 – August 2, 2020) – cardiac arrest –

• Wayne Fontana – frontman/singer for Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders (October 28, 1945 – August 6, 2020) – undisclosed

• Patrick Fairley – founding bassist for the Marmalade (1944 – August 11, 2020) – age related –

•  Pete Way – founding bassist for UFO (August 7, 1951 – August 14, 2020) – complications fro car accident injuries –

• Todd Nance – founding drummer of Widespread Panic – (November 20, 1962 – August 19, 2020) – chronic illness –

• Frankie Banali – drummer for Quiet Riot (November 14, 1951 – August 20, 2020) – pancreatic cancer –

• Toots Hibbert – singer/frontman for Toots and the Maytals (December 8, 1942 – September 11, 2020) – Covid-19 –

• Lee Kerslake – drummer for Ozzy Osbourne and Uriah Heep (April 16, 1947 – September 19, 2020) – cancer –

• Tommy DeVito – founding member of the Four Seasons (June 19, 1928 – September 21, 2020) – Covid-19 –

• Eddie Van Halen – monster guitarist/songwriter for Van Halen (January 26, 1955 – October 6, 2020) – throat cancer –

• Dave Munden – Bassist/vocalist with the Tremoloes (Dec. 2, 1943 – October 15, 2020) – respiratory complications –

• Spencer Davis – Founding guitarist for the Spencer Davis Group (July 17, 1939 – October 19, 2020) – pneumonia –

• Jerry Jeff Walker – folk rock troubadour “Mr. Bojangles” (March 16, 1942 – October 23, 2020) – throat cancer –

• Ken Hensley – singer/songwriter for Uriah Heep (August 24, 1945 – November 4, 2020) – undisclosed –

• Bones Hillman – bassist for Midnight Oil (May 6, 1958 – November 7, 2020) – Cancer –

• Jim Tucker – guitarist for The Turtles (October 17, 1946 – November 12, 2020) – undisclosed as of yet –

Kenny Jeremiah – Lead singer with the Soul Survivors (November 22, 1943 – December 4, 2020) – Covid-19 –

• Pelle Alsing – drummer with Roxette (June 6, 1960 – December 19, 2020) – undisclosed –

• Leslie West – Guitarist and vocalist with Mountain (Mississippi Queen)(October 22, 1945 – December 23, 2020) – cardiac arrest –

• Alto Reed – Longterm saxophone with Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band (May 16, 1948 – December 30, 2020) – Colon Cancer –

• Alexi Laiho – Monster shredder for Finnish band Children of Bodom (April 8, 1979 – December 31, 2020) – various illnesses –

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Dolores O’Riordan 1/2018

January 15, 2018 – Dolores O’Riordan (The Cranberries) was born Dolores Mary Eileen O’Riordan on September 6, 1971 brought up in Ballybricken, a town in County Limerick, Ireland. She was the daughter of Terence and Eileen O’Riordan and the youngest of seven children. She attended Laurel Hill Coláiste FCJ school in Limerick.

In 1990 O’Riordan auditioned for and won the role of lead singer for a band called the Cranberry Saw Us (later changed to the Cranberries). The band became a sensation as it released five albums: Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? (1993), No Need to Argue (1994), To the Faithful Departed (1996), Bury the Hatchet (1999) and Wake Up and Smell the Coffee (2001) and a greatest-hits compilation entitled Stars: The Best of 1992–2002 (2002), before they went on hiatus in 2003.

In 2004, she appeared with the Italian artist Zucchero on the album Zu & Co., with the song “Pure Love”. The album also featured other artists such as Sting, Sheryl Crow, Luciano Pavarotti, Miles Davis, John Lee Hooker, Macy Gray and Eric Clapton. The same year she worked with composer Angelo Badalamenti on the Evilenko soundtrack, providing vocals on several tracks, including “Angels Go to Heaven”, the movie theme.

In 2005, she appeared on the Jam & Spoon’s album Tripomatic Fairytales 3003 as a guest vocalist on the track “Mirror Lover”. O’Riordan also made a cameo appearance in the Adam Sandler comedy Click, released on 23 June 2006, as a wedding singer performing an alternate version of The Cranberries’ song “Linger”, set to strings. Her first single, “Ordinary Day”, was produced by BRIT Awards winner, Youth, whose previous credits include The Verve, Embrace, Primal Scream, U2 and Paul McCartney. O’Riordan made an appearance live on The Late Late Show on 20 April 2007.

Are You Listening? , her first solo album was released in Ireland in 4 May 2007, in Europe on 7 May, and in North America on 15 May. “Ordinary Day” was its first single, released in late April. The video for “Ordinary Day” was shot in Prague. In August “When We Were Young” was released as the second single from the album.

On 19 November 2007, she cancelled the remainder of her European Tour (Lille, Paris, Luxembourg, Warsaw and Prague) due to illness. In December she performed in a few small American clubs, including Des Moines, Nashville, and a well-received free show in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In 2008, O’Riordan won an EBBA Award. Every year the European Border Breakers Awards recognise the success of ten emerging artists or groups who reached audiences outside their own countries with their first internationally released album in the past year.

Dolores O’Riordan was known for her lilting mezzo-soprano voice, her emphasized use of yodeling and for her strong Limerick accent. In January 2009, the University Philosophical Society (Trinity College, Dublin) invited The Cranberries to reunite for a concert celebrating O’Riordan’s appointment as an honorary member of the Society, which led the band members to consider reuniting for a tour and a recording session. On 25 August 2009, while promoting her solo album No Baggage in New York City on 101.9 RXP radio, O’Riordan announced the reunion of the Cranberries for a world tour. The tour began in North America in mid-November, followed by South America in mid-January 2010 and Europe in March 2010. Also touring with the original members of The Cranberries was Denny DeMarchi, who played the keyboard for O’Riordan’s solo albums.

The band played songs from O’Riordan’s solo albums, many of the Cranberries’ classics, as well as new songs the band had been working on. On 9 June 2010 The Cranberries performed at the Special Olympics opening ceremony at Thomond Park in Limerick. This was the first time the band had performed in their native city in over 15 years.

She appeared as a judge on RTÉ’s The Voice of Ireland during the 2013–14 season. Dolores O’Riordan began recording new material with JETLAG, a collaboration between Andy Rourke of The Smiths and Ole Koretsky, in April 2014. They then formed a trio under the name D.A.R.K. Their first album, Science Agrees, was released in September 2016.

On 26 May 2016, the band announced that they planned to start a tour in Europe. The first show was held on 3 June.

On the Personal Note:

On 18 July 1994, O’Riordan married Don Burton, the former tour manager of Duran Duran. The couple had three children. In 1998, the couple bought a 61-hectare (150-acre) stud farm, called Riversfield Stud, located in Kilmallock, County Limerick, selling it in 2004. They then moved to Howth, County Dublin, and spent summers in a log cabin in Buckhorn, Ontario, Canada. In 2009, the family moved full-time to Buckhorn.

In August 2013, she returned to live in Ireland. She and Burton split up in 2014 after 20 years together, and subsequently divorced. She was raised as a Roman Catholic. Her mother was a devout Catholic who chose her daughter’s name in reference to the Lady of the Seven Dolours. Dolores admired Pope John Paul II, whom she met twice, in 2001 and 2002. She performed at the invitation of Pope Francis in 2013 at the Vatican’s annual Christmas concert.

In November 2014, O’Riordan was arrested and charged in connection with air rage on an Aer Lingus flight from New York to Shannon. During the flight she grew verbally and physically abusive with the crew. When police were arresting her after landing, she resisted, reminding them her taxes paid their wages and shouting “I’m the Queen of Limerick! I’m an icon!”, headbutting one Garda officer and spitting at another. Later she told the media that she had been stressed from living in New York hotels following the end of her 20-year marriage. The judge hearing her case agreed to dismiss all charges if she apologised in writing to those she injured and contributed €6,000 to the court poor box.

In May 2017, she publicly discussed her bipolar disorder, which she said had been diagnosed two years earlier. That same month, the Cranberries cited her back problems as the reason for cancelling the second part of the group’s European tour. In late 2017, O’Riordan said she was recovering and performed at a private event.

On 15 January 2018, at the age of 46, while in London for a recording session, Dolores O’Riordan died unexpectedly at the London Hilton on Park Lane hotel in Mayfair. The cause of death was accidental drowning in a bathtub, following sedation by alcohol intoxication.