Archive for John Belushi

A Metal Tragedy: The Death of Randy Rhoads

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2015 by 80smetalman
Randy Rhoads

Randy Rhoads

Actually, I’m quite surprised that no one pointed this out when I posted my “Triumphs and Tragedies” post for 1982. While the death of John Belushi was certainly a tragic occurrence, for metalheads, the terrible loss of Randy Rhoads was a far bigger tragedy because on March 19, 1982, the world was robbed of a guitar god. That is why I felt that Rhoads’s death deserved its own post because for metalheads, his death overshadowed everything else in 1982 in the same way that John Lennon’s murder did for the world in 1980.

For any metalhead, it’s standard 101 to know that Randy Rhoads was killed in a plane crash on that tragic day in March, 1982 but it is only now that I have fully learned the full details behind the crash. The pilot had taken Randy and the band’s make up artist up in a small plane for a little bit of show boat flying. After making two successful attempts to fly close to the tour bus that was parked nearby, the pilot botched the third attempt, hitting the bus, severing the top of a pine tree before crashing into a garage of a nearby mansion. The contact with the bus forced Rhoads’s head to crash through the windscreen and then he was immediately incinerated when the plane exploded into a fireball after hitting the garage. While only God himself could have saved the three people in the plane, it still took over a half hour before the fire service arrived on the scene and then it was only one engine. This leads me to speculate two possible reasons for this. One was the fact that it was rural Florida and the local fire department would probably have been a volunteer one so there would have been a great delay in the response. The other, a result of me seeing anti- metal conspiracies all over the place, is the fact that the locals weren’t too bothered in responding quickly because it was a bunch of heavy metal people involved. In any case, heavy metal and the world lost a truly magnificent guitar player on that day.

Standard Metal knowledge 102 teaches that while Randy is no longer with us, his legacy will never die. From that fateful day, the tributes to Randy Rhodes and what he has done for music continue to pour in. His former band Quiet Riot dedicated a song to him on their next album and Ozzy Osbourne released a tribute album to Randy a few years after that and rest assured, I’ll be visiting both when the time comes. Young guitarists still study his guitar style and Jackson Guitars still sell a replica of the one he used to wow audiences with his playing. Randy might have only lived for 25 years (way too young) but his memory has lived on for the last 33 years and will go on forever. Here’s where I should urge everybody to go out and listen to some album where Randy appears. There’s really no need because I know that everybody reading this will have already done so in the recent past and will continue to do so well into the the future.

R.I.P. Randy Rhoads

Next post: Anvil- Metal on Metal

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

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1982: Triumphs and Tragedy

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2015 by 80smetalman

You may remember that when I first entered 1982, I spent eight of the twelve months of that year deployed with the marines. The first six months were especially difficult because I was floating about the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean on a ship. So I didn’t get that much news especially news pertaining to music. However, one piece of tragic news that did reach my ears whilst on the ship was the death of comic actor and Blues Brothers singer John Belushi.

Bluesbrothersmovieposter

Unlike the assassination of JFK, Belushi’s death may not have been a where were you moment when you first learned about it to most people. While I can say for sure that I was on board the ship when I learned about his tragic passing, I can’t say where exactly the ship was at the time. I do know that it was somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

His career may have been short but John Belushi packed a load of things to remember him by during those few years. For us music fans, the biggest contribution to music was most certainly The Blues Brothers. His collaboration with Dan Ackroyd  gave us a brilliant album and in 1980, a hilarious movie with one hell of a great soundtrack. For those new to 80smetalman, I have visited both on here if you want to take a look. Older statesmen like me, however, will always love Belushi for his antics on the old Saturday Night Live show. I will always love his Samurai character. In 1982, a true musical and comical genius was tragically taken from us. R.I.P. John Belushi.

John Belushi as Samurai in my all time favourite one: Samurai Night Fever

John Belushi as Samurai in my all time favourite one: Samurai Night Fever

Now on to the triumph. This year saw the third Monsters of Rock Festival at Donnington Park. Attendance was up from the previous two years and evidence that slowly but surely, heavy metal was taking over the UK. A small piece of festival history was made that year when Saxon became the first band to play at there for the second time. Headlining was another British band who failed to make it very far in the US, Status Quo. I have to admit, that I haven’t listened to them much over the years over the years. Guess I should rectify that. Other players that year included Gillan, Uriah Heep, space rockers Hawkwind and Canadian metal band Anvil. While it would be another year before I would hear about this great festival, I believe that this varied line up would have been a great thing to see and hear.

HW 1982-08-21 Castle Donnington.Monsters of Rock.1.front

Like I said at the beginning, my knowledge of musical events is limited due to the circumstances. So if there is some other event from 1982, triumph or tragedy, let me know and I will post about it because it is part of our history. Call this an urgent appeal.

Next post: Status Quo- 1+9+8+2

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

Great Rock Albums of 1981: Franke And The Knockouts

Posted in 1980s, films, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2014 by 80smetalman

untitled (3)

Franke and the Knockouts were originally going to be placed in my selection of One Hit Wonders for 1981 because all I can remember about them was their one song “You’re My Girl” being played on the radio at the time and watching them perform the song on the ABC late night comedy show “Fridays.” For those who don’t remember “Fridays,” it was ABC’s attempt to match the very successful “Saturday Night Live” on NBC. It was roughly done in the same format and although it ran for a couple of years, “Fridays” couldn’t hold a candle to “Saturday Night Live” even after the departure of all the original greats like Dan Akroyd, John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Bill Murray. One thing I could say I liked about “Fridays” however was Melanie Chartof. She did stir my red blooded maleness and was the main reason I watched the show in the first place.

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Melanie Chartof

Melanie Chartof

So you’re probably asking, “What’s all this got to do with the album by Franke and the Knockouts?” Let me get back on track here. After doing a tiny bit of research, I discovered that they weren’t one hit wonders. I never knew it was them who performed “Hungry Eyes” and I can’t even blame my naivety on being in the service. Must have been asleep on that one. Still, the debut, self titled album from Franke and the Knockouts is more of a progressive AOR sound that fit right in about that time. The first three tracks give a definite feel that this album is heading down the AOR path. The single “You’re My Girl” marks a slight turning point for the songs get a bit more rockier after that. Not a total rock out but you can hear more of the guitar on those songs. That brings me to another point and my obsession for guitarists. From what little I hear from Billy Elworthy on the album, I hear that this is potentially a great guitarist. Unfortunately, he isn’t given the time to show what he can really do and that’s a bit of a let down for me.

Track Listing:

1. Come Back

2. Sweetheart

3. She’s a Runner

4. You’re My Girl

5. One For All

6. Tonight

7. Running Into The Night

8. Tell Me Why

9. Annie Goes Hollywood

10 Don’t Stop

Franke And The Knockouts

Franke And The Knockouts

Franke Previte- lead vocals

Billy Elworthy- guitars

Blake Levinsohn- keyboards

Leigh Fox- bass

Claude LeHanaff- drums

Tommy Ayers- synthesiser, organ, backing vocals

I have to confess, I always thought the name Franke and The Knockouts reminded of a doo-wap band from the late 50s or early 60s. These guys are nothing like that. Instead, they bring a good fusion of progressive rock that can be enjoyed and is probably the reason a later hit would be often used in films.

Next post: Jefferson Starship- Modern Times

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Rock Albums of 1980: The Soundtrack to The Blues Brothers

Posted in 1980s, films, Humour, Music, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on June 26, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-BluesbrotherssoundtrackWhat happens when two known comedy actors produce a cool musical album? Well back in 1980, Dan Akroyd and John Belushi took their characters of Jake and Elwood Blues and made a hilariously smashing movie with a fantastic soundtrack. “The Blues Brothers” was probably the funniest film of 1980, (the only other contender would have been “Airplane”,) and ranks up there in the all time list. But what makes this film stand out more is that fact that not only was it a funny film that had me rolling in the aisle, but it had one hell of a soundtrack.

Bluesbrothersmovieposter

Some people were slightly disappointed that none of the songs from the Blues Brothers’ studio album “Briefcase Full of Blues” were featured in the film, especially the hit single “Soul Man.” My answer to that was that it didn’t need  to be. The songs in the film were totally magnificent enough to stand on their own. Many of the songs still had that great sound with Belushi, or should I say Jake Blues’ vocals powering away with a phenominal assembly of studio musicians behind him. Elwood (Dan Akroyd) also lends his hand in both the lead and backing vocals department. In addition, there are some songs from the great artists who graced the screen with their talents like Cab Calloway, Ray Charles and Artetha Franklin. The result is a great mix of good old fashioned blues and soul that is completely mind blowing.

Blues Brothers with Aretha Franklin

Blues Brothers with Aretha Franklin

Track Listing:

1. She Caught the Katy

2. Peter Gun Theme

3. Gimme Some Lovin’

4. Shake a Tail Feather (vocal by Ray Charles)

5. Everybody Needs Somebody to Love

6. The Old Landmark (vocal by James Brown)

7. Think (vocal by Aretha Franklin)

8. Theme from Rawhide

9. Minnie the Moocher (vocal by Cab Calloway)

10. Sweet Home Chicago

11. Jailhouse Rock

The Blues Brothers Band

The Blues Brothers Band

Jake Blues (John Belushi)- vocals

Elwood Blues (Dan Akroyd)- vocals, harmonica

Steve Cropper- guitar

Matt Murphy- guitar

Donald Dunn- bass

Murphy Dunne- keyboards

Willie Hall- drums

Alan Rubin- trumpet

Tom Malone- tenor saxophone

Lou Marini- alto saxophone

So if you want the combination of a good laugh and some great music, then go and watch The Blues Brothers film. I know that you will find that this film has plenty of both to go around.

Next post: Toto- Hydra

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Rock Albums of 1979: Blues Brothers- Briefcase Full of Blues

Posted in 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 9, 2012 by 80smetalman

This album taught me a valuable lesson: Never judge an album until you’ve heard it all the way through. I first saw the Blues Brothers on the old Saturday Night Live show and seeing that the band was fronted by Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi, I expected it to be some kind of satirical take on music. After all, Gilda Radner introduced us to punk rock star Candy Slice on the show. As a result, I was somewhat disappointed at first when the music didn’t have me rolling on the floor with laughter.

That changed one night in early 1979. I was at the roller rink, skating hard in an attempt to ignore all the disco being played when “Soul Man” came blasting out of the speakers. My first thought was, “This song is good” and then I recognised the voice of John Belushi as Jake Blues. The song immediately went to number one in my mind and a week later, I got to hear the album “Briefcase Full of Blues” in it’s entirety. I was hooked!

The other thing that made me a bit wary of this album was that it was a blues album. I remember John Belushi saying in an interview that he had been getting tired of rock and roll and that was why he turned to the blues. Back then, I was way too naive to realise that rock music came out of the blues.  This album taught me different and I’m forever grateful for it. “Briefcase Full of Blues” is a bonefide classic album with some great tracks other than “Soul Man.” “Rubber Biscuit,” Messin’ With the Kid” and “Hey Bartender” all do it for me. What helps make this album so good is the fact that Ackroyd and Belushi were able to round up some of the best studio musicians that were around at the time, including Paul Schaffer, who most people know from the David Letterman Show.

Track Listing:

1. Opening: I Can’t Turn You Loose

2. Hey Bartender

3. Messin’ With the Kid

4. (I Got Everything I Need) Almost

5. Rubber Biscuit

6. Shot Gun

7. Groove Me

8. I Don’t Know

9. Soul Man

10. B- Movie Boxcar Blues

11. Flip Flop and Fly

12. Closing: I Can’t Turn You Loose

Jake Blues (John Belushi)- lead vocals

Elwood Blues(Dan Ackroyd)- backing vocals, lead vocals on “Rubber Biscuit,” harmonica

Matt “Guitar” Murphy- lead guitar

Steve “The Colonel” Cr0pper- lead guitar

Donald “Duck” Dunn- bass

Paul “The Shiv” Schaffer- keyboards

Steve “Getdwa” Jordan- drums

Lou “Blue Lou” Marini- alto and tenor saxophones

Tom “Triple Scale” Scott- alto and tenor saxophones

Tom “Bones” Malone- tenor and baritone saxophones, trombone, trumpet

Alan “Mr Fabulous” Rubin- Trumpet

This album opened my eyes to the wonderful world of the blues and forced me to appreciate its influence on rock. It also showed me that even people who have a reputation for being funny, can be serious singers too. A great album that helped me to see there are more types of good music out on the horizon.

Next post: Blondie- Parallel Lines

To buy Rock And Roll Children: go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle