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Unsung heroes of Rock and Roll


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I've always enjoyed the folks playing in the background, off to the side doing their thing, etc, etc. I'll start off with an odd pick....Marcy Levy. One of two female background singers (the other being Yvonne Elliman of Jesus Christ Superstar fame) employed by Eric Clapton during the 70's. Not only did Marcy have a great voice, she contributed some great songwriting to Eric's LP's. Marcy was also in Shakespears Sister in the early 90's with one of the Bananarama singers.

This song is dedicated to dzldoc....

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Boyd Tinsley, the violinist for the Dave Matthews Band. Boyd is not only an amazing musician, but he and the band are very highly regarded in Virginia for their philanthropy, which largely benefits youth initiatives.

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Boyd Tinsley, the violinist for the Dave Matthews Band. Boyd is not only an amazing musician, but he and the band are very highly regarded in Virginia for their philanthropy, which largely benefits youth initiatives.

My mom is in Virginia, does various volunteer work, and always asks me about the Dave Matthews Band. She has heard of their contributions, there sure are alot of good people down there, from what I've experienced. Sorry to say I'm not a fan, nor would I imagine she would be - nothing wrong musical talent wise, just somewhat unconventional.

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Here's a short list of musicians I thought never got their due. Some big, some small:

Ron Asheton

Scott Asheton

Goldy McJohn

Steve Marriott

Larry Byrom

Nick Lowe

Mike McCready

Jerry Cantrell (VASTLY underrated)

Michael Lee

Innes Sibun

Mick Taylor

James Williamson

Michael Allsup

Floyd Sneed

Just to name a few..I know I'll think of more later.

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Ron Asheton

Scott Asheton

Steve Marriott

Nick Lowe

Mick Taylor

James Williamson

Definately have to agree with those choices. I'll add:

Mick Ronson

Sterling Morrisson

Brian James

Nicky Hopkins

Ian Stewart

Ronnie Lane

Brian Jones

Topper Headon

Captain Sensible

James Honeyman-Scott

Dave Edmunds

Jah Wobble

Keith Levine

...and tons more

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I saw this cd a couple of weeks ago and didn't buy it, now I will. Unsung to say the least.

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This Band Was Punk Before Punk Was Punk

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Death in its prime: from left, the Hackney brothers, David, Bobby and Dannis. The band’s 1974 demo tape was released last month as “... For the Whole World to See.”

By: MIKE RUBIN

Published: March 12, 2009

Winooski, Vt.

ON an evening in late February at a club here called the Monkey House, there was a family reunion of sorts. As the band Rough Francis roared through a set of anthemic punk rock, Bobby Hackney leaned against the bar and beamed. Three of his sons — Bobby Jr., Julian and Urian — are in Rough Francis, but his smile wasn’t just about parental pride. It was about authorship too. Most of the songs Rough Francis played were written by Bobby Sr. and his brothers David and Dannis during their days in the mid-1970s as a Detroit power trio called Death.

The group’s music has been almost completely unheard since the band stopped performing more than three decades ago. But after all the years of silence, Death’s moment has finally arrived. It comes, however, nearly a decade too late for its founder and leader, David Hackney, who died of lung cancer in 2000. “David was convinced more than any of us that we were doing something totally revolutionary,” said Bobby Sr., 52.

Forgotten except by the most fervent punk rock record collectors — the band’s self-released 1976 single recently traded hands for the equivalent of $800 — Death would likely have remained lost in obscurity if not for the discovery last year of a 1974 demo tape in Bobby Sr.’s attic. Released last month by Drag City Records as “... For the Whole World to See,” Death’s newly unearthed recordings reveal a remarkable missing link between the high-energy hard rock of Detroit bands like the Stooges and MC5 from the late 1960s and early ’70s and the high-velocity assault of punk from its breakthrough years of 1976 and ’77. Death’s songs “Politicians in My Eyes,” “Keep On Knocking” and “Freakin Out” are scorching blasts of feral ur-punk, making the brothers unwitting artistic kin to their punk-pioneer contemporaries the Ramones, in New York; Rocket From the Tombs, in Cleveland; and the Saints, in Brisbane, Australia. They also preceded Bad Brains, the most celebrated African-American punk band, by almost five years.

Jack White of the White Stripes, who was raised in Detroit, said in an e-mail message: “The first time the stereo played ‘Politicians in My Eyes,’ I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. When I was told the history of the band and what year they recorded this music, it just didn’t make sense. Ahead of punk, and ahead of their time.”

The teenage Hackney brothers started playing R&B in their parents’ garage in the early ’70s but switched to hard rock in 1973, after seeing an Alice Cooper show. Dannis played drums, Bobby played bass and sang, and David wrote the songs and contributed propulsive guitar work, derived from studying Pete Townshend’s power-chord wrist technique. Their musicianship tightened when their mother allowed them to replace their bedroom furniture with mikes and amps as long as they practiced for three hours every afternoon. “From 3 to 6,” said Dannis, 54, “we just blew up the neighborhood.”

Death began playing at cabarets and garage parties on Detroit’s predominantly African-American east side, but were met with reactions ranging from confusion to derision. “We were ridiculed because at the time everybody in our community was listening to the Philadelphia sound, Earth, Wind & Fire, the Isley Brothers,” Bobby said. “People thought we were doing some weird stuff. We were pretty aggressive about playing rock ’n’ roll because there were so many voices around us trying to get us to abandon it.”

When the band was ready to record, David chose a studio by pinning the Yellow Pages listings to the wall and throwing a dart; it landed on Groovesville Productions, a company owned by Don Davis, a successful producer for Stax Records. Groovesville signed the band, and in 1974 it began work at United Sound Recording Studios in Detroit, where it shared space with Funkadelic, the Dramatics and Gladys Knight. At the time David was 21, Dannis was 19 and Bobby, still a student at Southeastern High School, was 17.

“They were just so impressive, and the sound was just so big for three guys,” said Brian Spears, who was director of publishing at Groovesville and oversaw their sessions. “I knew those kids were great, but trying to break a black group into rock ’n’ roll was just tough during that time.”

The apparent nihilism of the name Death was also out of step with the times. “Nobody could get past the name,” Mr. Spears said. “It seemed to be a real detriment. When you said the name of the group to anybody, it was like, ‘Man, why you calling the group Death?’ ”

The Hackneys said Mr. Davis brought a tape of Death to a meeting in New York with the record executive Clive Davis. Afterward Don Davis told the brothers that Clive Davis had liked the recordings but not the band’s name; there could be no deal unless they changed it. “That’s when my brother David got a little angry,” Dannis said. “He told Don Davis to tell Clive Davis, ‘Hell no!’ ”

Part of the reason David refused was because he was writing a rock opera about death that portrayed it in a positive light, Bobby Sr. said. “He strongly believed that we could get a contract with another record label,” he added. “We were young and cocky, but David was the cockiest of us all.”

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more,

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/15/arts/mus...mp;pagewanted=2

and,

http://www.black-sabbath.com/vb/showthread.php?t=30268

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Timothy B Schmit Bio

Timothy B Schmit - Formed his first band at 15. Twice replaced Randy Meisner (Poco and the Eagles); joining the Eagles in '77; where his song "I Can't Tell You Why" became a hit. Released several solo albums post-Eagles that produced "So Much in Love", "Boys Night Out" and contributed vocally to many other artists' albums during the 80s/90s.

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I've got two at the moment. This one was fairly ovious...

Keith Relf, and a whole band being "The Action." They were a mod band from the mid-60s, and played mostly soul music covers, they are a really fantastic band, their lead singer Reggie King has such a great voice for singing soul. I wish they could have been bigger or at least have more people know who they are. Its hard to choose just one of their songs to share, but this one was their only song to have chart success.

Its just a song, cause there isn't that much footage of the band, and Reggie is the one in the center with the blonde hair. If you want to check out more of the band, you have to search up their cover of "Harlem Shuffle" it is so good.

~yardieluvr

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I've always enjoyed the folks playing in the background, off to the side doing their thing, etc, etc.

Deep Purple? Rory Gallagher?

I don't think people have quite gotten the jist of what this thread was about.

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I've got two at the moment. This one was fairly ovious...

Keith Relf, and a whole band being "The Action." They were a mod band from the mid-60s, and played mostly soul music covers, they are a really fantastic band, their lead singer Reggie King has such a great voice for singing soul. I wish they could have been bigger or at least have more people know who they are. Its hard to choose just one of their songs to share, but this one was their only song to have chart success.

Its just a song, cause there isn't that much footage of the band, and Reggie is the one in the center with the blonde hair. If you want to check out more of the band, you have to search up their cover of "Harlem Shuffle" it is so good.

~yardieluvr

Good call. The Action were a great band indeed!

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Deep Purple? Rory Gallagher?

I don't think people have quite gotten the jist of what this thread was about.

Agreed. Same with Timothy B. Schmit and Boyd Tinsley. While they might not be household names it's not like they're in bands that aren't. I think Rory might be borderline as he's never really seemed to get his due. Thankfully Deep Tracks on XM/Sirius makes up for that as he gets lots of airplay there. Can't say I ever heard him on mainstream rock radio over the years but I've certainly read lots about him.

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I've got two at the moment. This one was fairly ovious...

Keith Relf, and a whole band being "The Action." They were a mod band from the mid-60s, and played mostly soul music covers, they are a really fantastic band, their lead singer Reggie King has such a great voice for singing soul. I wish they could have been bigger or at least have more people know who they are. Its hard to choose just one of their songs to share, but this one was their only song to have chart success.

Its just a song, cause there isn't that much footage of the band, and Reggie is the one in the center with the blonde hair. If you want to check out more of the band, you have to search up their cover of "Harlem Shuffle" it is so good.

~yardieluvr

I know of the Action but I have never heard them. It does bring to mind another undervalued band of that era though, the Creation. Great band, Shel Talmy produced, Eddie Phillips introducing bowed guitar prior to Page, & their sound somewhere between the Who & the Yardbirds but harder.

Another unsung hero: James Williamson. He played guitar on the Stooges "Raw Power" album & stayed with Iggy a bit shortly after the Stooges disbanded in the 70's. Great, great guitar player. As Johnny Marr said about him "James Williamson is my favorite guitarist. He's the perfect combination of Keith Richards & Jimmy Page. He has the dirt of Richards & the expertise of Page". Thats sums it up perfectly. While we're at it Johnny Marr can be added to the undervalued list as well, at least in America. The Smiths really were as much him as Morrissey but he doesn't get that credit here in the States.

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