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Journey band 2

Journey

5 Jun , 2012,
Miles
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Journey

Journey–an apology

Journey3This may be my apology to my old buddy, Greg. On various occasions, I have been known to be kinda vocal and abrasive when I talk and write about some music. It has been suggested that I have gone off and verbally attacked some bands in ways that may have been un-warranted. Specifically, I suppose I’m talking about Journey.

Over the years, I have written a great deal about my distain and loathing for Journey, and at times, my criticism will extend to the fans of Journey’s music. In many ways. it was uncalled for.

I met my buddy, Greg in Sonoma county a few years back, when he and I werejourney-frontiers both working at a unique little guest resort. Greg was a 40 year old heavy metal guy and I was a 40 year old punk rocker. There were certain bands and artists and some music that we could see eye to eye on, but mainly, he thought my music was noisy and un-accessable to mainstream society, while I thought his music was either mass-produced pop, or cheese-metal crap that was marketed to people who didn’t know any better. or both. Perhaps both of our attitudes were a bit harsh and were in serious need of adjustment.

The thing is, Greg is a good guy. He played drums and drank beer. He had a good heart, and even though we came from vastly different musical backgrounds, every once in a while, we could come together and agree on some music

One of Greg’s favorite bands was Journey. Being the pretentious music snob that I am, this made Greg a target for my wrath and abuse. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying that it was there.

Journey–Just because I hate Journey doesn’t mean that I don’t like you

The thing is, journey was very successful and popular during the 1980s whenJourney Escape they were making their magic. Journey was formed in 1973 in San Francisco by former members of Santana and Frumious Bandersnatch. Its strongest commercial success was during the 1980s. During that time, Journey released a series of hit songs, including 1981’s “Don’t Stop Believin'”, from the studio album, Escape. That record reached #1 on the Billboard 200 chart, and yielded another of their most popular singles, “Open Arms”. Its 1983 follow-up, Frontiers, was almost as successful in the United States, reaching #2 and spawning several successful singles.

Journey–Amazingly Successful

Sales have resulted in two gold albums, eight multi-platinum albums, and one diamond album (including seven consecutive multi-platinum albums between 1978 and 1987). They have had eighteen Top 40 singles in the US, six of which reached the Top 10 of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and two of whichJourney band 2 reached #1 on other Billboard charts, and a #6 hit on the UK Singles Chart in “Don’t Stop Believin'”. Originally a progressive rock band, Journey were described by Allmusic as having cemented a reputation as “one of America’s most beloved –and sometimes hated–commercial rock/pop bands” by 1978, when they redefined their sound by embracing traditional pop arrangements on their fourth album, Infinity. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, Journey has sold 47 million albums in the US, making them the 28th best selling band of the 20th century. Their worldwide sales have reached over 80 million albums. A 2005 USA Today opinion poll named Journey the fifth best American rock band in history. Their songs have become arena rock staples and are still played on rock radio stations across the world.

But, I still think that their music was terrible. It would be a lot more rational, and perhaps I would be a lot happier if I were to just ignore Journey, and live my life without having to insult anyone, but there is something in me and there is something about Journey that is just so damned annoying that I can’t let it go. When I hear journey’s music, it causes an emotional response in me that really isn’t good for anyone, especially me. I can’t help it, I fucking hate Journey!

So, my buddy Greg and I were both so passionate about our tastes in music, that it was inevitable that one or both of us was going to start acting like a jerk. Depending on which one of us was on the offensive,it was often implied, and in fact, argued, that anyone who truly likes–or doesn’t like–Journey is a fucking idiot who doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.

Journey–More Personal Attacks

I understand that in a free society, people have the right to enjoy whatever kind of music they like. And while it isn’t spelled out in the Constitution, people should be able to like whatever music they want without fear of persecution. But, damn! Do I hate journey!

One evening after the work day was done, we were all gathered around the campfire, enjoying our well-deserved beer. In a moment of callousness, I mentioned that I wished I could do a Back to the Future deal, and go back in time to keep Steve Perry’s grandparents from ever meeting–by whatever means necessary– to insure that Steve Perry would never be born and Journey would never exist as a band.

Yeah, again, it may have been uncalled for, but I thought it was funny. I was ready to let it go, but Greg took it personally, and said it was one of the most hateful statements he had ever heard. He almost kicked my ass for it.

The thing is, Journey really was one of the most successful bands of the 1980s. From 1978 through 1987, they had a slew of top 10 songs and gold records, including Any Way You Want It, Don’t Stop Believin’, Who’s Cryin’ Now?, Open Arms, Separate Ways, Wheel in the Sky, the Eyes of a Woman, and Lights. How can I argue with that kind of success?

I hate Journey.

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Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac

14 Nov , 2011,
Miles
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Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac

Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac–Years before Stevie Nicks bleated out the lyrics to Rhiannon, or Christine McVie extolled the virtues of Monday Morning in the mid-F Mac photo2 1970s, Fleetwood Mac was already a serious and popular blues band.   Fleetwood Mac formed in 1967 in London shortly after guitarist Peter Green left the British blues band, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers.  Green had replaced Eric Clapton as the Bluesbreakers’ guitar player, and had received critical acclaim for his work on their album, A Hard Road.  After he had been in the Bluesbreakers for some time, Green asked if drummer Mick Fleetwood could replace Mayall’s current drummer, Aynsley Dunbar.  Green had earlier been in two bands with Fleetwood—”Peter B’s Looners” and the subsequent “Shotgun Express”–which featured a young, as of yet unknown vocalist named Rod Stewart.  John Mayall agreed and Fleetwood became a member of the Bluesbreakers.

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Peter Green’s Rhythm Section–Fleetwood Mac

At that time the Bluesbreakers consisted of Green, Fleetwood, John McVie and Mayall.  Mayall gave Green free recording time as a gift, in which Fleetwood, McVie and Green recorded five songs.  The fifth song was an instrumental which Green named after the rhythm section, and called Fleetwood Mac.

Green and Fleetwood formed a new band, and wanted McVie on bass.  But, John McVie was pretty happy with the steady work with Mayall.  McVie preferred the security and stability of the Bluesbreakers, as opposed to venturing out with a new, still unknown band.  So, Green and Fleetwood named the new project Fleetwood Mac as a way to entice him.  In the meantime Green and Fleetwood teamed up with talented slide player Jeremy Spencer and bassist Bob Brunning, who were in the band on the understanding that they would leave if and when McVie agreed to join. The Green, Fleetwood, Spencer, Brunning version of  Fleetwood Mac made its debut in August 1967 at the Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival.  Within weeks of this show, John McVie agreed to become the bassist for the band.

P Green f. Mac4

Fleetwood Mac’s first album, cleverly enough, titled simply Fleetwood  Mac, was a no-frills blues album and was released on the Blue Horizon label in February 1968.  The album was successful in the UK.  It hit no.4 on the charts despite not having any singles on it.  Fleetwood Mac soon released two singles, Black Magic Woman, which was later a big hit for Santana, and Need Your Love So Bad.

P Green F. Mac2

The band’s second album, Mr. Wonderful, was released in August 1968.  Like Fleetwood Mac’s first record, it was an all-blues album, but this time the band made a few changes.  The album was recorded live in the studio with miked amplifiers and PA system, rather than plugged into the board.  This method provided the ideal environment for producing this style of music, and gave it an authentically vintage sound.  They also added horns and featured a friend of the band on keyboards, Christine Perfect of the band, Chicken Shack.

Shortly after the release of their second album Fleetwood Mac added a new guitarist, Danny Kirwan, to their line-up.  Green had been frustrated that Jeremy Spencer had little desire to contribute to Green’s songs.  Kiran was a mature and accomplished self-taught guitarist, whose style added a new dimension to an already complete band.  With Kirwan the band released their first number one single in Europe, “Albatross”.

When Fleetwood Mac went to the United States in January 1969, they recorded many songsgroup11 at the soon-to-close Chess Records Studio, with some blues legends of Chicago including Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy and Otis Spann. Although classic blues recordings, these would prove, however, to be Fleetwood Mac’s last all-blues records.  Along with their change of style the band was also going through some label changes.  Up until this point they had been on Blue Horizon. With Kirwan in the band, however, the musical possibilities were too great for them to stay on a blues-only label.  Fleetwood Mac signed with the Immediate Records label and released Man of the World, another British and European hit single.  Immediate Records was in bad shape and the band shopped around for a new deal.  Even though The Beatles wanted the band on Apple Records–Mick Fleetwood and George Harrison were brothers-in-law–the band’s manager Clifford Davis decided to goGeorge Harrison1 with Warner Bros. Records (Reprise), the label they have stayed with ever since.  Their first album for Reprise, released in September 1969, was the well-regarded Then Play On.  The American release of this album contains the song Oh Well, featured consistently in live performances from the time of its release through 1997 and then again starting in 2009.  Then Play On, which was the band’s first rock album, featured only the songs of Kirwan and Green.  Jeremy Spencer, meanwhile, recorded a solo album.

Although Fleetwood Mac were an extremely popular band in Europe at the time, Peter Green, the frontman of the band, had developed a taste for LSD while the band was in Munich.  Many believe that the acid contributed to the onset of Green’s severe schizophrenia, which ultimately led to his dismissal from Fleetwood Mac.

Peter Green’s last hit with Fleetwood Mac was The Green Manalishi.  Green’s mental stability deteriorated, and he wanted to give all of the band’s money to charity.   Some other members of the band did not agree, and subsequently Green decided to leave the band.  His last show with Fleetwood Mac was on May 20, 1970.  During that show, the band went past their allotted time, and the power was shut off.  Mick Fleetwood kept drumming.

Fleetwood Mac in the 1970s–what a nightmare!

S Nicks F Mac1

After that, it was all downhill for Fleetwood Mac in this writer’s mind.  Stevie Nicks joined the band later, and they were never the same.  The band abandoned their blues roots and focused instead on some sort of neo-hippy, mellow-sounding ’70s, pop bullshit.  Too bad. Although Fleetwood Mac is probably best known for the 1977 release, Rumors, by the time Stevie Nicks had joined the band, it was all over.  In spite of the fact that she sounds S Nicks2like a goat, has ingested more cocaine than any ten people, and actually lived, and has absolutely no blues in her soul, whatsoever, Stevie Nicks is an absolute bitch, and had taken the band down a road they never wanted or should have gone in theGoat first place.  But, as with so many artists, what is someone supposed to do when they start making money? Besides, no one gives a damn what I think about Stevie Nicks, anyway.

Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac.

 

 

 

 

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