Here’s the first of three parts when The Beatles played their lunchtime rooftop gig on top of the Apple building on Savile Row in London on January 30, 1969. Just think – it’s been 43 years!
The big selling point of “Days of Our Lives,” the exhaustive two-hour BBC documentary on epic rock quartet Queen, is the material culled from the band’s very early days and their very last days. There are live performances from Smile, the group guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor formed before Queen, and some video of future singer Fredde Mercury singing “Big Spender.” The later footage, shot on the sets of the last music videos Mercury would perform, his body slowly but surely being ravaged by AIDS, are at once heart-warming and devastating. Mercury was positively gaunt, yet he gathered every ounce of will he could muster to go out fighting.
May and Taylor are wonderfully candid in their interviews, as are fellow managers, producers, roadies, and side men they recruited. (They even brought in Ultravox’s Midge Ure to talk about the band’s legendary performance at Live Aid.) Everyone has good stories to tell, and there are no attempts at revisionist history. If an album didn’t work – say, 1982’s Hot Space – they own up to it, and May is the first to admit that some bad business decisions early on led rendered them financially destitute for years, and it was out of desperation from that that they made A Night at the Opera. Best of all, each album is given an equal amount of coverage, with the exception of the soundtrack to “Flash Gordon,” of which the title track is played but never discussed.
The one unfortunate aspect of “Days of Our Lives” is that bassist John Deacon did not come back to do an interview, so the producers were forced to rely on archive interview footage for half the band. Yes, he’s retired from performing, but this seems like as good an occasion as any to put the Queen hat back on for a day and talk shop. It’s a small quibble, though, because the documentary hits all of the highlights of a truly remarkable career…with one small exception: there is no mention of the “Bohemian Rhapsody” scene from “Wayne’s World.” We would have loved to see them talk about that. (Eagle Vision 2012)
Here’s the new single and video from Bruce Springsteen, and the new album, “Wrecking Ball,” will be released on March 6th.
The song seems to be very patriotic. There are no direct military references, but the theme seems very clear. Bruce often speaks this way about his own band, so the idea of comradery always appealed to him.
Bruce kicks off a world tour this spring and then he’ll tour the US. It will be interesting to see how he and the band deal with the loss of Clarence Clemons. Perhaps they’ll avoid sax-based songs for this tour, or maybe he’ll bring on a new sax player.
I’m hoping for a new sax player. Many old songs won’t be the same without the sax.
British singer John Parr updated his 1985 #1 hit “St. Elmo’s Fire” to honor Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. Tebow mania is in full force!
With all the holiday parties, it was cool hearing a ton of 80s music. That sound will always be popular with parties, just like the Motown sound has survived through the years. But it’s not just the music. You’re seeing more pop artists these days mimic the look as well with popstar’s 80s costumes. This retro look has become very popular when people dress up for costume parties, but the wild and crazy look of the 80s still reappears with today’s pop stars.
Katy Perry is a great example, as the sound of many of her songs along with her crazy looks on the red carpet and in her video harks back to the colored hair Eighties. Watch the Friday Night video and then watch old Cindy Lauper videos. The comparison is more than valid.
With her incredible popularity, the Katy Perry look is now showing up often at parties, along with crazy 80s costumes. Of course over the holidays we saw many lovely ladies in a Christmas fancy dress, but as New Year’s Eve rolled around we saw more and more outrageous looks. With the economy improving we might see a return of even more of these looks. The economy boomed in the Eighties and the colorful looks and big hair reflected the party mood of the times.
So crank up a mix tape of Katy Perry and your favorites Eighties bands, put on a wild costume and throw a massive party!