I was very sad to hear about the passing of Edward Lodewijk Van Halen this past Tuesday. As a teenager in the early 1980s, I was a huge fan of Van Halen. Especially when they burst onto MTV with all of the great videos from the album 1984.
This week’s playlist pays homage to the legendary man who made a guitar talk in a way that no one else could.
On October 3, 2003 School Of Rock opened in theatres. Frank Black gave us a great performance as the infectious Dewey Finn. This week’s playlist gives a nod to Dewey, some of the music he waxed poetically about, and some of the music by artists featured in the film.
“Now raise your goblet of rock. It’s a toast to those who rock!”
On September 24, 1991, two albums that paved the way for 90’s Alternative Music were released – Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ and Red Hot Chili Pepper’s ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’. Nevermind would eventually reach the Number One spot in the album charts in early 1992, and both albums would sell well over ten million copies each. This week’s playlist includes tracks from some of the albums that were released in September (or thereabouts) 1991. What an amazing month for music!
During a normal year, all of the big clubs in Ibiza would be holding their closing parties this month. Although I have been to Ibiza three times, I never went to any of the nightclubs. I did, however, spend lots of time on Sunset Strip in San Antoni. My favourite spot on the strip is Café Del Mar, which has now been open for 40 years! If I was ever given the chance to DJ on Sunset Strip, my set might sound a little something like this…
“I just want to hear something I haven’t heard before.”
John Robert Parker Ravenscroft was born on August 30, 1939. After living in America for most of the Sixties, he returned to England and landed a DJ gig on the offshore pirate radio station Radio London. He became known as John Peel.
He played everything from Blues to Psychedelic Rock always with a view to finding things that were completely left of center. In 1976, he received a copy of the Ramones debut album and it had a profound impact on him. The record tapped into his overwhelming enthusiasm for music outside the mainstream. In September 1978, the Undertones released ‘Teenage Kicks’. The first time it appeared on a John Peel radio show he played it twice back to back. He immediately decided it was the best record ever made. He even claims to have burst into tears, when he was driving and heard another DJ playing it on the radio for the first time. For the rest of his life it was his favorite record and his number one desert island disc.
This week’s playlist is just a sample of songs that he loved and played to death on his various radio shows. He was a total legend. A one-off. And, one of my all-time favorite DJs.
Hip Hop began as a musical culture in New York in the early 1970’s, when DJs played Disco, Funk and Soul records at block parties. They quickly realized the best part of the songs being played were the breaks, so they started using multiple turntables and techniques like mixing and scratching to extend the breaks. Next, MCs were introduced to excite the crowds by rhyming and boasting over the music, which evolved into rapping.
Fast forward to the late 70’s and early 80’s. Artists began to blend Hip Hop culture with Disco music and created a flurry of amazing records that brought Hip Hop into the mainstream and popular music charts. The week’s list includes some of my favorite tunes from that period of time.