Can't Get It Outta My Head








                A Baby Boomer


       Muses on The Music

Stairwell to Heck

The lawsuit over Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” was a miscarriage of justice. Not because the Los Angeles, Calif., court ruled in favor of Zepp and against the estate of Randy California, the late Spirit guitarist. No, it was a travesty because Page, Plant et al, instead of being sued for copping California’s licks, should have been taken to court for writing incomprehensible lyrics. But more about that later. For those of you who’ve been living in a cave — one mercifully lacking Internet, TV and sufficient cellphone bars — an LA jury ruled June 23 that LZ songwriters Jimmy Page and Robert Plant did not copy what is perhaps their group’s signature song from “Taurus,” a 1968 work written

Were They Instrumental to the Music?

Recently, the music of a commercial — don’t remember what they were selling, so maybe not the most effective advertising — caught my ear. Wasn’t that an instrumental hit back in the 1960s, I asked myself? It was, but it took me awhile, and several Google searches, to figure out what the name of the song was, and the movie it came from. We’ll get to that later, but I’ll give you a clue: it was about elephants. More importantly, it caused me to Muse about a time when The Music often didn’t have words. But were instrumentals instrumental to its development? There were a lot of them in the early- to mid-60s. From 1961 to ’63, an average of 12 of the year-end Billboard Hot 100 songs were instrume

Hanging with the Friendly Giant

A few blog posts ago, I wrote about where I mostly heard The Music in the early ’60s, WLS out of Chicago, Ill. (Got more response to that post than pretty much anything I’ve written here — lots of Facebook friends/CGIOMH readers were tuned into 890 on the AM dial back then, too.) But LS wasn’t the only radio station I listened to back in that day. We often tuned over to WCFL when 890’s five minutes of news kept the hits from keepin’ on comin’, and also occasionally to WOKY out of Milwaukee. More often, at least later in the ’60s, it was KAAY, from Little Rock, Ark., that was our WLS alternative. The Friendly Giant, as it was known, like LS was a clear-channel station — it had enough power (5

The Tramp Was Sorta Super

A recent expansion of my music collection, of the Filling in the Corners variety, involved adding two albums by Supertramp. And one by a founding member of that U.K. prog/pop/rock band. I got turned on to Supertramp in the mid-1970s, probably because of something I heard on Radio Free Madison, perhaps off 1974’s “Crime of the Century.” The first of their albums I owned was “Even in the Quietist Moments,” released in 1977. I picked up “Crime” early on after switching from vinyl to CD purchases. The group’s combination of interesting music and challenging lyrics, at least as exemplified by those two albums, intrigued me. The themes of alienation and social dysfunction recur and are well-examin

Dylan: One Hundred over 75

Last week was Robert Allen Zimmerman’s 75th birthday. Who’s that, you say? The dude born in Duluth, Minn., three-quarters of a century ago is better known as Bob Dylan, his stage name borrowed from Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. In honor of the diamond anniversary of Dylan’s birth, Rolling Stone magazine published a Top 100 of his songs. Rolling Stone — justifiably, in my opinion — has taken a beating in recent years for shoddy journalism (the University of Virginia rape story being the best-known example), but the Bob’s Best thing redeemed the rag somewhat. Before commenting further on the list, full disclosure, I will say up front that the “newest” Dylan album I own is more than 40 years old — 1

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