photo by Discogs

The manner in which I first discovered the Bee Gees is honestly somewhat unsettling though I prefer to just call it “weird” because it makes me feel better about it. I was 11 years old at the time. I’d like to say I’d seen them on TV and they’d blown my mind…or that I’d heard “Nights on Broadway” on the radio ( one of their then-recent hits ), loved it instantly, and begged my Mom to get me to the record store asap but alas, . The sole reason I bought the Bee Gees 2 LP live album

Don’t let the evening gown fool you, Natalie was a frontman in disguise…

Natalie Cole raisng the roof with The Allman Brothers Band in 2011 (YouTube screenshot by author)

Forget the infamous opening anecdote that kicks off Mötley Crüe’s horrifyingly readable bio, . The fact is when it comes to awful, absurdist, WTF remembrances, the tale that opens Natalie Cole’s 2000 autobiography is the indisputable winner. It was February 10, 1981, and Natalie had just finished a performing engagement at the Las Vegas Hilton. She and her six-foot ten-inch ex-NBA-playing bodyguard found themselves confined in her room due to what they assumed was a small but isolated fire down the hall on their floor. There a bit of smoke seeping under the door…

It’s the little things she did that deserve the most Respect…

(Photo by author)

By the time I finally got to see Aretha Franklin perform live in 1990, she’d officially entered the victory lap stage of her career. Her days of sublime gut-punching soul were well in the rearview and she was a decade into her partnership with Clive Davis and Arista Records, who’d smoothed her musical edges and turned her into something stylistically akin to Whitney Houston’s knowing older sister.

Davis is justifiably regarded as a musical miracle worker-savant. Which is to say his arguably cynical schtick of giving sonic makeovers to struggling legacy artists has worked like a freakin’ charm from a…

Is it possible to love a song too much?

photo by author

Back in 2013 a 60 track, 4 cd deluxe edition of Van Morrison’s 1970 album “Moondance” was released. It was fat with alternate mixes and multiple takes of the original LP’s 10 tracks. And in true nesting doll style, it was home to 10 separate versions of the song “Caravan”. There were takes one through 8. Re-do’s of those takes. A remix. The original LP version. Over 16% of the tracks on the deluxe were versions of freaking “Caravan”.

Once the moon-sized “Moondance” was officially out I asked the biggest Van…

Not everyone hated the career killing video for “Rock Me Tonite”

Billy Squier in the infamous 1984 video for “Rock Me Tonite” (screenshot by author)

While I was more than happy to adopt MTV as my personal god, overlord and surrogate parent in the early ’80s, I completely understood why some musicians hated it, especially those that were no longer in the bloom of youth. The garish, glossy videos they showed 24/7 became as crucial to an artist’s success as radio airplay, the visuals and visages as important if not more than the songs themselves. And if you wanted to compete in the marketplace, to stay relevant and ensure “the kids” knew who you…

21st century proof that the classic sound of summer may never end.

Photo by Paz Arandoon Unsplash

What do you do if you are really into a thing that they don’t make anymore? How do you fill that space, sate that desire? We have all likely experienced the pain of watching things we have loved cruelly rendered obsolete at some point in our lives. Stood helplessly as industrial progress, lack of demand, and musical differences have conspired to take away the things we adore most. And sometimes you’ve just gotta move on and accept it. is over. The Jam/Smiths/Talking Heads are never…

Rush were, are and will always be loved. They’ve sold millions of records, are regarded as one of the finest live bands in musical history and in 2013 were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They can also lay claim to having one of the greatest drummers of all-time, the late Neil Peart, in their ranks. The plus column is stuffed with powerful affirmations of their goodness yet I just, plain, can’t get into them. But lord oh lord, how I’ve tried.

I’d been particularly charmed by their 2010 bio documentary and career retrospective,

Hope Silverman

Editor-in-Chief for Picking Up Rocks music blog. Feature writer for Cover Me. Full-time & forever music nerd. For more obsession, visit

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