Posts Tagged ‘Janis Joplin’


Pat Benatar, live, 2007-09-07

So I have come to the conclusion that, in this life, my 1st few dream concert tours will never happen. What is it you ask? The Beatles with Jimi Hendrix or Big Brother and the Holding Company with Amy Winehouse and Axl Rose. Sadly about 1/3 of these people are dead (John Lennon, George Harrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Amy Winehouse) and one is a bit bipolar and LOVES to cause fights.

However, one could happen with lots of wishful thinking: a tour with Heart, Pat Benatarand Stevie Nicks – the queens of rock and

roll! They could call it the Wild Hearts, Lovemongers, and Heartbreakers tour.

Could you imagine what their setlists would be? Here’s what I think it would be:

Pat Benatar

  1. Invincible
  2. You Better Run
  3. In the Heat of the Night (with Stevie Nicks)
  4. Go
  5. Diamond Fields
  6. Treat Me Right
  7. We Live For Love
  8. We Belong (with Nancy Wilson on acoustic guitar)
  9. Anxiety (Get Nervous)
  10. Heartbreaker
  11. Hell is for Children
  12. No You Don’t

Stevie Nicks

  1. Stand Back
  2. Outside the Rain
  3. Gypsy
  4. Secret Love
  5. Ghosts are Gone
  6. Wild Heart (Heart joins her for a duet)
  7. Stop Draggin My Heart Around
  8.  Enchanted
  9. How Still My Love
  10. Talk To Me
  11. No Spoken Word
  12. Edge of Seventeen (Pat Benatar joins her for a duet)

Heart

  1. Wild Child
  2. WTF
  3. Never
  4. Will You Be There (In the Morning)
  5. These Dreams (acoustic version with Nancy on mandolin)
  6. Magic Man
  7. Cook with Fire
  8. Straight On (Pat Benatar joins them onstage for a duet)
  9. Dog and Butterfly (Stevie joins them for a duet)
  10. Immigrant Song (Led Zepplin cover)
  11. Crazy On You
  12.  Barracuda

The Wild Heart is quite possibly one that loves stuff from the late 70’s and 80’s. Why? Because it was a time when rock n’ roll was starting to become more accepting of women. That’s important to the Wild Heart because the Wild Heart is a WOMAN!Also, it brought about one of the best things to ever hit music initially (but has since become a bad promo tool) and that is none other than MTV.

Pat Benatar was an integral part of that. She, along with others like Fleetwood Mac‘s Stevie Nicks, the late Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship’s Grace Slick, as well as Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, would become the trailblazers for female rockers.  She showed women that it’s okay to be as tough as the boys. Just listen to the lyrics to songs like “Heartbreaker,” “Fight It Out,” “No You Don’t,” “You Better Run” and the ever-popular “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” Get the point?

Benatar also showed us that classical musicians CAN become rockers. She was originally going to study opera at Juliard, but decided to not do so. The two worlds, in spite of their differences, are essentially the same if you look at them very closely. This is something I always try to tell a music teacher friend of mine. She has [in my opinion] a somewhat limited knowledge

Pat Benatar E-Reader Screensaver

Cherry Crimson

of rock music.

“I knew the sound wasn’t right.As I sat there, listening to the playback from my first-ever recording session, I knew that something was off. It wasn’t that the speakers were bad or the mics were low. It wasn’t that my voice sounded wrong or the drummer was off the beat. It was more subtle than all that, but also much worse — not something that could be fixed by a simple equipment change. The problem was that I sounded like Julie Andrews trying to sing hard rock.” – Pat Benatar on her first recording session (Between A Heart & A Rock Place)

Also, she had a pretty good eye for fashion. When it comes to music, unless you are the terrible Lady Gaga, you cannot go wrong with that.

We salute you!


One of the coolest things to ever emerge from my generation was none other than the Wonder Years. The reason why is because it was one of the first American television shows that successfully, for my generation, showed what the 60’s and early 70’s were about – abeit with the perspective of a preadolescent kid named Kevin Arnold (played by Fred Savage). He was accompanied by his pal Paul Pheiffer, love interest and later highschool sweetheart Winnie Cooper as well as his family: his brother the bully Wayne, hippie sister Karen and parents Jack and Norma. Jack was a bit conservative much like most fathers were in that time period. Norma was middle-road and sort of a feminist – much in reflection to the Women’s Liberation Movement.

However, there was one thing that made this show hit the ball out of the park: the music. Never had a show truly encorporated the hit songs of the time with such ease. They used songs such as Light My Fire by the Doors, Foxy Lady by Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Steppenwolf, the list goes on. The soundtrack to that show not only introduced that music to a new generation but also made good scenes between characters great.

The other great thing about The Wonder Years is that it shows that regardless of decade,  the aspects of growing up never change. Young girls will always be chased by the young guys. There will always be teenage rebellion and angst. In the 60’s it was artists like Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix as well as Vietnam War protests. My generation gets the horrible events of September 11, 2001, No Doubt, Nirvana, and Jay-Z. Not TOO shabby but still, they aren’t as comparable to those legends.

It wasn’t good television. The Wonder Years was GREAT television.


If you know the Wild Heartwell, it’s a widely-known thing that I LOVE Seinfeld. However, there is one particular episode

Happy Festivus from the Wild Heart

that strikes my fancy: The Strike. This one is perhaps best-known as The Festivus.

With that said, I present to you the Wild Heart’s celebration of Festivus. HAPPY FESTIVUS! LET’S RUMBLE!

Airing of Grievances:

The airing of grievances gathers everyone you know and you tell them how they have wronged you in the past year.

  • Heart – you come to Houston AGAIN and every time you do, you jack up your ticket prices. As a fan, I find this completely appalling. I haven’t seen your act since 2008’s Human Tour when I was in college. Between then and now, the economy went to hell and now this jobless college grad cannot afford to go to your concerts. Please lower your ticket prices!!
  • Amy Grant – Your “2 Friends Tour” COMPLETELY avoided coming to Houston. I really wanted to see you live again and performing all your old hits, as well as Michael W. Smith. So I suggest that you stop snubbing Houston, and come to some place like the Berry Center, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion, or even the House of Blues. Otherwise I am done listening to your music!
  • KTRU – I go in for an interview twice with you dumbass hipsters and you refuse to hire me twice! You act all anti-record industry yet what do I see when I walk into your studios but a big white banner that says “TOM WAITS FOR NO ONE!” Guess what? He was signed to Asylum and Island Records – both are major labels. He’s currently signed to Anti records, the US distributor to Kate Bush. Hate to break it to you but that’s a major label too. Yet somehow you don’t like me because I tell you the artists I am currently loving are Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks and Kate Bush. You are nothing but hypocrites. Thanks for crushing my on-air dreams.Oh and one more thing, since you are based at Rice University: GO COOGS!
  • Stevie Nicks – Why did you have to snub Houston for the “Heart and Soul” tour? I wanted to see you perform that duet of Young Turks with Rod Stewart Not cool! But thanks for coming for the “In Your Dreams” tour. That was amazing!
  • White Stripes, Rilo Kiley, & R.E.M – Why did you all break up? We need you to save us from the clutches of the evils of bad music such as Lady GaGa & Katy Perry!
  • Ke$ha – I couldn’t help but notice that your song “C U Next Tuesday” is an acronym for “cunt.” As a college educated woman who took at least 9 hours of womens studies classes, I find this VERY offensive. Just because a guy calls you that doesn’t mean that it is okay. It’s degrading a female to a mere body part and nothing more. Take a freaking lesson from the women’s lib movement from the 70’s Ke$sha!
  • The Ton Tons – How come you never got back to me about covering you guys?
  • Nameless haters of that know who they are – What the hell gives you the right to take shots at the Wild Heart? BTW keep up the hatin’ because people like you only make people like me stronger! To quote Pat Benatar: “Knock me down it’s all in vain. I get right back up on my feet again! Hit me with your best shot!” It’s never cool to make fun of someone’s album collection. Vinyl is cooler, better sounding as far as decibels go, but you are a clueless jerk who only cares about making other peoples lives miserable.

And now for the toasts of 2011

  • All of the local bands that I have covered this year – Nightbird – Stevie Nicks Tribute, Spare Parts, Spare Heart – Heart Tribute, August 83, Kozmic Pearl – Janis Joplin Tribute, Love It To Death – Alice Cooper Tribute, and BlackRozeHouston. I have loved every minute of covering you guys. Houston’s music scene is like a hidden gem of musical talent. All of y’all keep up the good work and I think you will go far! Special thanks to John Hill and Jennifer Nguyen for giving me this idea.
  • Glee – One of the best things that you do, aside from the funny storylines with Jane Lynch and Matthew Morrison, is that you introduce classic rock numbers to a new generation. You did this well with last season’s salute to Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. No thanks to the show, a new generation got to hear snippets about the emotional drama that went on behind the scenes but also hear the songs themselves as performed by the cast. I want an encore! However can that encore be with something by Yes or Styx?
  • Stevie Nicks – Your new album, In Your Dreams, is AMAZING! It reminds me of your old 80’s albums like The Wild Heart, Bella Donna, and The Other Side of the Mirror. Also, your In Your Dreams tour was pretty magical – least your concert in Houston was. (Never have I been to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion where a concert was done in 103+ degree heat under a big full moon. Even better, your merchandise wasn’t too expensive and my mom liked the keychain I got her.
  • Lindsey Buckingham – I won tickets to your concert at Cactus Records. Though I am unfamiliar with your solo work, I must say you were pretty amazing at the Verizon Wireless Theater. Also, I must give you mad props for performing my favorite Fleetwood Mac song, Tusk.
  • Cactus and Black Records – Without you lovely people, I would not have been able to cover 2 major shows (Lindsey Buckingham and Lost 80’s Night at StereoLive with Animotion, When In Rome, and A Flock of Seagulls), survived a bad day at work, and helping me to climb the ladder of success with blogging.

Cover of "Buckingham Nicks"

In 1973 there was a young couple that resided in Los Angeles that were from the remnants of a band called Fritz – who previously became popular because they opened for the likes of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, among others in the San Francisco Bay area. Though their band Fritz disbanded, band members Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks secured a record deal with Polydor records.

Though the album flopped and was dropped from Polydor, it served as a springboard for both members musical careers. One day producer Keith Olson was playing Long Distance Winner to Mick Fleetwood, drummer for the popular British then-blues band Fleetwood Mac, who had endured a staggering 9 lineup changes prior to the inclusion of Buckingham Nicks. Originally Mick wanted only Buckingham. However, according to Behind the Music Remastered, Buckingham insisted on his then-girlfriend, Stevie Nicks, come as part of a “package deal.”

Buckingham Nicks’ self-titled debut album is like a beautiful diamond in the rough or even a fine wine: it gets better with age and experience. Nicks voice sounds raw as does Buckingham’s fast guitar picking on Don’t Let Me Down Again which, at one point Nicks seems to slightly scream “Baby baby don’t treat me this way.” One of the more hauntingly beautiful tracks is Races Are Run, which singer Stevie Nicks voice shines. The song itself though, in retrospect kinda foreshadows what would happen to Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, who famously were one of many of the band members in the throes of a bad breakup during the recording of Fleetwood Mac’s enormously popular Rumours album in 1977. Though they have had their moments, the two are still friends to this day.

However, one of the coolest things about this album is that if it was released today, it would quite possibly be a hit in the indie world. In a perfect world this album would’ve been a hit, they would have gotten married and made more albums like this. But as time went on to successful careers: Stevie as a member of Fleetwood Mac as well as a massively popular solo career and Lindsey Buckingham as an influential guitar player.

A+


Cover of "Pearl"

Cover of Pearl

In the film Walk The Line, there is a scene where Johnny Cash and his band, the Tennessee Two, are auditioning for Sun Records. Owner Sam Phillips asks them to sing it differently. The reason is because how they are singing the song is essentially boring.
Johnny Cash: “Well you didn’t let us bring it home.”
Sam Phillips: “Bring… bring it home? All right, let’s bring it home. If you was hit by a truck and you was lying out there in that gutter dying, and you had time to sing *one* song. Huh? One song that people would remember before you’re dirt. One song that would let God know how you felt about your time here on Earth. One song that would sum you up. You tellin’ me that’s the song you’d sing? That same Jimmy Davis tune we hear on the radio all day, about your peace within, and how it’s real, and how you’re gonna shout it? Or… would you sing somethin’ different. Somethin’ real. Somethin’ *you* felt. Cause I’m telling you right now, that’s the kind of song people want to hear. That’s the kind of song that truly saves people. It ain’t got nothin to do with believin’ in God, Mr. Cash. It has to do with believin’ in yourself.”

This is exactly what Janis Joplin and the Full Tilt Boogie Band do on Joplin’s posthumous release Pearl, Joplin literally sings every note like it is her last.

One of the best things about Janis Joplin’s voice is that it leaps out of the speakers and grabs you by the shirt. Joplin wastes no time in doing this starting with Move Over. Joplin demands the listener’s attention when she says “You say that it’s over baby, Lord/
You say that it’s over now/ But still you hang around me, come on/ Won’t you move over.”

Pearl is Janis Joplin’s quintessential last album. Shortly before she finished recording, Joplin died of a drug overdose on October 4, 1970. However, there was enough usable material to finish the album. One song, however, remained unfinished: Buried Alive In the Blues. On the day that she was scheduled to lay down vocals for this song, she was found dead. So the song was included on the album as an instrumental piece. This quite possibly was done as a way of showing her absence within her band. One can only wonder what the vocals would have sounded like, but I am pretty sure they would have sounded spectacular.

The best track is none other than Mercedes Benz where she pleads with God “O Lord won’t cha buy me a Mercedes Benz?/My friends all drive Porshes/ I must make amends.”

Well-stated Janis.


It was a night with the sisterhood of the traveling guitars, a Gold Dust Woman, and a lady hailing from Port Arthur, TX Friday night at the Flamingo Room in Houston, TX with Spare Heart – a Tribute to Heart, Nightbird: Stevie NicksTribute, & Kozmic Pearl – a tribute to Janis Joplin.

Kozmic Pearl helped everyone step back in time with their interpretation of the best of late legend Janis Joplin.

Kozmic Pearl helped everyone step back in time with their interpretation of the best of late legend Janis Joplin., and opener Black Roze.

BlackRozeHouston kicked off the evening with a nice rendition of Your Love by the Outfield. However, that was nothing compared to the sultry vocals of the excellent Pat Benatar classic Invincible by Claudia Valenzuela. Their set was like a nice iPod playlist. They were a pretty good warmup for what was to come.

Spare Heart kicked off their set with a nice rendition of the 1978 hit Straight On from the Dog & Butterfly album. They even added a few bars to the song in a sort of jam-like session virtue, which gave the song a strong, welcome-to-the-show-like quality. However, the definitive showstopper was none other than Heart’s 1985 single Never in which bass player Sean Harrold brought the house down with his mad bass-playing skills.

In the style of the original Heart, Spare Heart changed the pace of the show with a slow, yet beautiful rendition of Love Alive. However, lead singer Linda Lambert kicks it back into high gear with Crazy On You and the ever-enchanting Magic Man. One of the more interesting things about their performance of Magic Man is that guitarist Staci Butler stays true to the Dreamboat Annie Live version rather than the actual recording of Dreamboat Annie.

However, what performance of a Heart tribute band would not be complete with a rousing performance of Heart’s most recognizable hit, Barracuda, which is the [literal] high note that Spare Heart used to close their set.

Kozmic Pearl was essentially like a little glimpse into what it may have been like to see the late legendary Janis Joplin with the Kozmic Blues Band in 1969 at Woodstock in . However, the highlight was when lead singer Myrna Sanders launched into a sultry rendition of Summertime and Cry Baby. According to one event attendee, Sanders was pretty close in her interpretation of Janis Joplin in both voice and even her bohemian-like style.

The main headliner was Nightbird – a Stevie Nicks tribute band. Lead vocalist Brooke Alyson portrays “Stevie Nicks” with much finesse as she launched into the ever-popular Stand Back – complete with twirls and sashays much like the real Stevie Nicks. One of the interesting things is that Alyson consistently takes cues from Nicks’ live shows – such as Nicks recent live show at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion.

One of the best things about Nightbird is that, like Stevie herself, Alyson adds quite extensively to the performance version of the songs – much like she did on the classic 1985 single Talk To Me. Alyson’s version sounds more like the Live At Red Rocks version rather than the actual recording. One of the best moments is when she semi-quietly sings the line though we lay face to face and cheek to cheek/ Our voices stray from the common ground where they could meet/ The walls run high, to veil a swelling tear” and then bursts into the rest of this beautiful song, giving it a majestic bang.

Nightbird pleases both new and dire-hard fans of Stevie Nicks

However one of the major surprises is that Alyson performed some of the deeper tracks of Nicks’ career such as songs from her latest album In Your Dreams where she did an a capella version of Moonlight (A Vampires Delight) as a lead-in to Sorcerer. Sorcerer is a Buckingham Nicks song  that was meant for (but didn’t make the final cut) of the album of the same title that was released prior to Nicks and then-boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham’s union with Fleetwood Mac.

Another major albeit nice surprise was the fact that keyboard player Kelli Thompson sang the Fleetwood Mac hit You Make Lovin’ Fun from 1977’s Rumours album as well as guitarist Adam Walton’s interpretation of I’m So Afraid.

It was a great night that celebrated the three most influential women in rock and roll.