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This started out as a sad story about one of my favorite artists.
Fortunately, there was a happy ending. They caught the scumbag.
Nils was a prodigy who came out of the DC area. He played in Charlottesville a fair number of times when I was in school there, both as a member of a group called Grin, and then solo. He used to play on stage with a trampoline he’d jump on and do flips during a performance, believe it or not.
Of course, his first big claim to fame was playing with Crazy Horse, Neil Young’s backing band. Here’s a little story about recording “Southern Man”.
His solo career took off in the mid-70s, but his second major claim to fame was joining Springsteen’s E-Street Band.
Anyway, here’s one of my favorite songs of his, a tribute to Keith Richards, “Keith Don’t Go”. (At one point, Nils was rumored to be in the running to replace Mick Taylor when he left the Stones. But I digress.)
The man can play a little guitar. Keep on truckin’, Nils.
When I was tracking down a Nazz clip for Garage Week, I came across some other clips of Todd Rundgren appearing on Live At Darryl’s House. As you might imagine, these two musical icons from Philadelphia meshed together quite well.
Nice white-boy soul there.
By the way, if Todd’s Something/Anything? isn’t part of your music collection, you need to fix that real soon.
Someone asked me in the comments what I thought about Quicksilver Messenger Service. My response was that outside of a couple of songs I love, they never really did it for me. It’s a little strange, in a sense, in that Dino Valenti was a fantastic singer and John Cipollina was a tragically underrated guitarist, but the band’s history was chaotic, to say the least, and that’s probably why they never really developed a lot of traction with me.
Still, there are those two great songs, “Fresh Air”…
… and “What About Me?”.
Too bad they couldn’t keep their shit together.
If you want a good taste of Cipollina’s talent, here’s the band in one of their many re-groupings, in 1975 at Winterland, performing “Fresh Air”.
Dude definitely had some serious chops.
Wrapping up this week’s theme, here’s The Nazz, featuring Todd Rundgren and his song, “Open My Eyes”.
That Gibson Flying V is a bad-assed looking guitar, no?
Here they are, the pride of San Jose, California, The Count Five, performing their hit (top five in the US, if I remember correctly), “Psychotic Reaction”. A stone garage rock classic.
That drummer really works up a sweat, doesn’t he?
Today, it’s the 13th Floor Elevators with their classic “You’re Gonna Miss Me”.
The lead singer, Roky Erickson, has an… um, interesting history, but as Wikipedia puts it, “If Roky Erickson had vanished from the face of the earth after The 13th Floor Elevators released their epochal debut single, “You’re Gonna Miss Me”, in early 1966, in all likelihood he’d still be regarded as a legend among garage rock fanatics for his primal vocal wailing and feral harmonica work.”
His vocals definitely make the song, although the guy playing lead jug comes in a closer than expected second.