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THE TIME “ONE TOKE OVER THE LINE” HIT TV’S POT OF GOLD

No doubt about it, marijuana was a popular theme in classic rock songs. There were quite a few good songs from the 1960s and ’70s whose lyrics, at the very least, alluded to getting high on pot.Cannabis leaf

But the one hit (please excuse the pun) song that sticks in my mind is this one by the pretty much forgotten but talented Los Angeles folk singing team of Brewer & Shipley.

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JEWISH ROCK HALL OF FAMERS, PART 2

Not surprisingly, we received a lot of feedback on our latest post about Jewish rockers. Apparently, we’ve left out a number of important rock ‘n’ roll artists from our newly opened Classic Rock Jewish Hall of Fame.Star of David

Just to refresh your memory, this was our inaugural class of Hall inductees:

  • Robert Zimmerman (Bob Dylan)
  • Louis Allen (Lou) Reed
  • Paul Simon
  • Robbie Krieger, lead guitarist of The Doors
  • Billy Joel
  • Joey Ramone
  • Chaim Witz (Gene Simmons) and Stanley Harvey Eisen (Paul Stanley) of Kiss
  • Geddy Lee of Rush
  • Marc Bolan of T Rex
  • Norman Greenbaum

Before we get to your suggestions, we want to acknowledge that we did not include any women. That was a mistake. There are plenty of deserving female Jewish rockers and influencers, starting with Carole King and Cass Elliot. Janice Ian should probably get considered. Barbra Streishand, not.

And now here were your suggestions:

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JEWISH ROCKERS MAKE OUR HALL OF FAME

See if you can relate to this story.

You’re listening to the radio and suddenly an old song comes on that takes you back to another time in your life when things seemed less complicated and stressful.

It happened to me last night, sometime between midnight and 2 a.m., that part of the evening when I inevitably awake from a sound sleep and look to some classic rock to get me back into the right frame of mind.

This is the song that did it for me last night.

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TRIP TO SUNAPEE, NEW HAMPSHIRE LANDS IN AEROSMITH’S BACKYARD

Today we ventured north by car, on a quest for fall colors and fresh air. My wife Joanne and I awarded our selves a much needed personal health day.

What we discovered during our leisurely drive around Lake Sunapee was we were a week or two early to enjoy the peak foliage season. But we more than made up for it with a wonderful little hike around the John Hay estate on a beautiful autumn day. Hay was President Lincoln’s private secretary and he built a sprawling summer retreat on the shores of Sunapee, which I strongly recommend visiting next time in the area.

It was during our drive down the road and into nearby Sunapee Harbor afterward that Joanne figured out what my next blog post would be about.

“I know, write about Aerosmith,” she said, remembering that Aerosmith, the American hard rock group that prior to catching fire in the 1970s had its origins in Sunapee.

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PEDAL POWER FUELED BY CLASSIC ROCK

NRRT overview map

trail

If there a better place to be in autumn then on your bicycle and riding the Nashua River Rail Trail then please let me know.

This weekend the 12.3-mile trail led me through the serene Massachusetts communities of Ayer, Groton, Pepperell and Dunstable, across the New Hampshire border, just south of Nashua, and then back again to Ayer and my car. Along the way I pedaled through sprawling land preserves, past colorful marshes, along winding rivers and behind people’s houses.

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MERRY CLAYTON, GIMME SHELTER’S OTHER VOICE, GETS HER DUE

“Gimme Shelter”, with its pounding guitar licks, wailing harmonica and haunting lyrics, has always been one of my favorite Rolling Stones songs. I can hear that song over and over and it never gets old.

But the one thing that always bothered me about “Gimme Shelter” is no matter how much I tried, I could never seem to identity the “other voice” in the song.

You know, the one that literally screams above Mick Jagger and the band with that memorable line:

Rape, murder /  It’s just a shot away / It’s just a shot away”

Well, now I know.

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SPACE ROCK SONGS HELP KEEP CHILDHOOD DREAM ON LAUNCH PAD

Ground Control to Major Tom / Ground Control to Major Tom / Take your protein pills and put your helmet on / Ground Control to Major Tom / Commencing countdown, engines on / Check ignition / and may God’s love be with you

“Space Oddity” by David Bowie. Recorded and released in 1969 by Trident Studios

I’m not the man they think I am at home / I’m a rocket man/ Rocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone … / And all this science/ I don’t understand / It’s just my job five days a week.

Rocket Man (I Think it’s Going to Be a Long Long Ride) by Elton John. Recorded and released in 1972

If you asked me when I was 7 what I wanted to be when I grew up chances I would’ve said an astronaut. I had no idea, no perception of what an astronaut did except they got to wear cool looking shiny suits, fly in the fastest flying machines and get their picture plastered all over the newspapers and magazines.

That was good enough for me.

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REMEMBERING THE ROCK SHOWS OF MY YOUTH

Growing up in the suburbs of New York City with easy access to some of the world’s great musical venues provided ample opportunity to witness classic rock ‘n’ roll up close and personal.

The problem is a lot of my memories of the great shows I went to during my teen-age years in the 1970s have disappeared into the great unknown; not unlike much of the funny smoke that once permeated the air at those concerts.

The good news that I can still pull together enough memorable nuggets of my concert going days to fill a blog post.

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THE POWER OF A KINK-Y SONG

“Lola” by Ray Davies
of
The Kinks

I met her in a club down in old Soho / Where you drink champagne and it tastes just like
(cheery) C-o-l-a / She walked up to me and she asked me to dance / I asked her name and in a dark brown voice she said Lola / L-o-l-a Lola lo-lo-lo-lo Lola

Recorded April–May 1970 at Morgan Studios, Willesden, London and released in June 1970 by PYE Records

While in my teens I worked two summers at my high school as a custodial aid. In other words, I emptied the student lockers of discarded pens, notebooks and rotting lunches, waxed the hallway floors until they shined like glass and covered the graffiti walls in the boys and girls bathrooms with a fresh coat of baby blue paint.

It was clearly grunt work, but it paid $2.50 an hour and I needed the cash.

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JANICE JOPLIN; QUEEN OF THE 1960S ROCK FRONTWOMEN

In this blog post I’m going to give the great women of classic rock their due.

Yes, I admit it’s long overdue.  After all, this is my 16th posting on Rocking Lyrics. So, what took you so long, Joe? I offer no excuses except to say some things are worth waiting for.

So, with that said, here is my list of the Top 5 classic rock frontwomen of the 1960s, from top to bottom.

5) Cass Elliott of the Mamas & Pappas

4) Tina Turner

3) Grace Slick of the Jefferson Airplane

2) Aretha Franklin

And my No. 1 classic rock frontwoman of the 1960s is none other than the late, great Janice Joplin.

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