High Hopes” is the title track of Springsteen’s 18th studio album, due out Jan 14th 20 14

Tom Morello was driving around Los Angeles in late 2012 when “High Hopes” – one of the most obscure songs in Bruce Springsteen’s vast catalog, originally released on a forgotten 1996 EP – came on E Street Radio, the SiriusXM channel devoted to Springsteen. “I was reminded what a jam it was,” says the Rage Against the Machine guitarist, who was preparing to serve as a temporary replacement for Steve Van Zandt on the E Street Band’s 2013 tour of Australia. “In the middle of the night, I texted Bruce and said, ‘What do you think about ‘High Hopes’ for the tour?’ He agreed we should put it in the set.” Little did Morello realize that a new version of “High Hopes” would become the title track of Springsteen’s 18th studio album, due out January 14th.

High Hopes is a first for Springsteen: a studio album composed entirely of covers, outtakes and radically reimagined versions of fan-favorite songs from past albums and tours. High points include a cover of Seventies punk pioneers Suicide (“Dream Baby Dream”); songs he originally wrote for 2002’s The Rising (“Harry’s Place,” “Down in the Hole”); and searing new takes of concert staples “The Ghost of Tom Joad” and “American Skin (41 Shots).” “The best way to describe this record is that’s its a bit of an anomaly,” says Springsteen. “But not much. I don’t really work linearly like a lot of people do.”

Springsteen has always written and recorded significantly more songs than can fit on to whatever album he’s creating at the moment. “I have a lot of this music on a computer,” he says. “I bring it out on the road to amuse myself. Very often, if I have nothing to do late at night I’ll bring it up and look at different bodies of music.”

The songs that began catching Springsteen’s attention were largely recorded after he reunited with the E Street Band in 1999. “The songs were relatively current and had a similar sound picture,” he says. “I was interested in putting this material together in some form because it sounded like it all fit together . . . You have to imagine that when I’m home or done with a tour I go into a studio and I’m surrounded by paintings that I’ve sorta half-finished. There might be something wrong with this one and I didn’t have time to finish this one. When I go into my studio, I’m surrounded by all my music that I haven’t released. I wait to see what’s going to speak to me.”

In December of 2012, he called producer Ron Aniello, whom he first worked with on 2012’s Wrecking Ball, and asked him to sort through about 15 songs. “He said, ‘I’m on the road right now – just fool around with them and see what you think you can do,'” says Aniello. “Although they didn’t fit the particular story he was telling for each album – you know how crazy he is about having each album tell a linear story. But these were fantastic songs.”

Don’t Miss 10 Rare Photos of Eighties-Era Bruce Springsteen

Springsteen – who has grown close with Tom Morello ever since they first performed together in 2008 – wound up having the guitarist play on six songs, including new renditions of “American Skin (41 Shots)” and “The Ghost of Tom Joad.” “He became a filter that I ran my music through,” says Springsteen. “He would send the songs back to me with a very current slant on them . . . He jolted those songs into the now. He’s one of the few guitarists that creates a world by himself. It’s like the Edge or Pete Townshend or Johnny Marr. The E Street Band is a big house, but when Tom is onstage he builds another room.”

In March 2013, Springsteen and E Street toured Australia with Morello. Everyone was impressed by the crowd’s enthusiastic reactions to the new, Morello-assisted arrangement of “High Hopes” (written in the late Eighties by folk singer Tim Scott McConnell) and an amped-up cover of “Just Like Fire Would” by Aussie punk legends the Saints. Springsteen called up engineer Nick DiDia – an old friend who’d recently relocated to Sydney – and booked some impromptu sessions. “We had no plans to record,” says Springsteen. “But I found a hook to bring these songs to life and I was anxious to get to work on them.”

Between revamped versions of the studio outtakes he had sent Aniello and new recordings of the covers and live favorites that Morello was infusing with fresh energy onstage, Springsteen realized he had enough material for an album. There was just one problem: The E Street Band had worldwide dates booked for the rest of the year. So he decided to record the entire LP between shows – something he’d never tried before – with members of the band overdubbing new parts at Aniello’s Los Angeles studio or Springsteen’s home studio in New Jersey during breaks. “Previously, everything was like when I was a kid,” says Springsteen. “I needed the peas to be on one plate and the corn had to be on another plate and I didn’t like them to touch. That’s where I was coming from. I thought everything had to be very segregated.”

For Morello, getting to work with Springsteen more closely over the past year has been the thrill of a lifetime. “I am not a casual Bruce Springsteen fan –I am a big Bruce Springsteen fan,” he says. “And ‘The Ghost of Tom Joad’ is one of his best songs. It cuts to the core of his social-justice writing. This version starts as a plaintive ballad, which feels like a lament, and becomes a full-bore rocker that feels like a threat.”

A few weeks after High Hopes arrives, Springsteen and the E Street Band – with Morello in tow – will kick off a five-week tour of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. One thing that’s not on the books right now: any dates in the U.S., where they haven’t played since late 2012.

“We’re looking around now to see what we might do,” says Springsteen. “I don’t want to say ‘yes’ because I don’t want to disappoint people, but I certainly don’t want to rule it out either. We’re looking closely since there’s places we missed on the last tour. We didn’t get to Texas, where I love to play. We didn’t get to Florida either. It might be fun to get back to some of those places.”

This year also marks the 30th anniversary of Springsteen’s smash Born in the U.S.A., but his manager, Jon Landau, says there are no plans to celebrate that with a deluxe reissue – at least not yet. “There’s ongoing work on a River box set,” says Landau. “Maybe we’ll do that first. And we’re doing some remastering work on his first two albums [1973’s Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle] as we speak. Those will be forthcoming.”

Springsteen didn’t release a new studio album during the seven years between The Ghost of Tom Joad and The Rising, but he doesn’t imagine anything like that will ever happen again. “It’s like that old story,” he says. “The light from the oncoming train focuses the mind.”

by ANDY GREENE

On the way to Welkom for Festival with Hotstix,Stimela ,Yvonne and many more

Wanting to make it is not enough. It must be your one true calling

1. You have to NEED to make it.

Wanting to make it is not enough. It must be your one true calling. If you’re willing to be broke, with no direction home, you might possibly make it. Sacrifice is the key element. If you’re not willing to sacrifice your home, your relationship, forgo children and sleep on the floor when you’re forty, don’t expect to make it in music, certainly don’t expect to sustain.

2. You have to be great.

Good is not good enough. You’ve got to blow our minds.

3. You can’t do it alone.

That’s an Internet fiction, from a decade past, that if you just posted something online it could cut through the noise. You need a team:

a. A lawyer

b. A manager

c. An agent.

A lawyer to make sure you don’t sign bad deals that hobble you forever.

A manager to play interference, he who sells himself and makes his own deals is destined to piss people off.

And an agent to get you gigs.

An agent is hardest to get. A manager is never easy. But no act ever made it without a manager.

4. Money

It can’t buy you love, but it can buy you visibility. That’s what you’re looking for today.

The story of 2013 is cacophony, noise. Nothing rises above the din unless it is worked by a team. There’s just too much out there, and no one agrees what is great. So, gatekeepers are everything. I know this is contrary to everything you’ve heard for the last ten years, but this is what noise has wrought. How can you attach yourself to those who will get your message out? You must have the goods when you get your chance, but spontaneous virality is doomed in an era where BuzzFeed is a business BASED on virality and Gawker and other outlets play the same game. If you can’t get on their radar, if you can’t expose a large audience, you’re never gonna make it. Sorry.

5. Believers

Sure, you need fans. But all they can do is pay for your Kickstarter record, and have you noticed we hear no more Kickstarter stories, that the outlet is the new BlackBerry, something that used to be that is no longer? If you’re just speaking to your fans, getting money from them, you might be able to survive, but you’ll never be able to grow.

You need business people, those with power, to believe in you. They need to do favors for you, get you on the radio, get you placed on shows, give you a chance to demonstrate your wares. If you’re totally DIY, you’re gonna be living in your basement.

6. Sustaining

That’s the hardest thing to do these days, not have one hit, but two. The label might sign and promote your single track, and then they’ll drop you when you’ve got no follow-up.

7. Learning

We live in a country where no one can admit they’re wrong. If you’re not willing to question every choice, do it differently next time, you’re never going to make it. Three years ago, almost everything I’ve said above would be different. You could go viral by your lonesome, social networking worked. But times change. You once used your aforementioned BlackBerry and were thrilled to get your e-mail on the run, now it’s all about apps. People hate change, but those who are willing to do so win. Kind of like in Silicon Valley, where it’s called “the Pivot.” Your original idea didn’t work, so you take the core and go in a different direction. You might think you’re a rocker, but truly you might be a country artist. You might think you’re a singer, but you might really be a songwriter, or a producer.

8. Pay little attention to those who are popular.

By the time you get your chance, completely different people and paradigms might rule. Originality is the key to longevity. Be yourself, not someone else.

9. Publicity

Was useless until this year. With so much information, we see publicity as evidence that someone believes in you. The content is less important than the imprimatur, that you’ve risen above. Used to be if we saw your name everywhere, we winced. Actually, we still do, but we now know you’re not a complete wanker.

10. Word of mouth.

Is still king, but too many are promoting for friends and have terrible taste. We’ve all got our trusted filters, and those who count are not afraid of the mainstream. The Internet is littered with those who abhor anything that is truly popular. Don’t get caught in their backwater, unless you want to starve. You want to be popular. Otherwise, get out.

11. Popularity.

Means people like you and your music. It comes with haters, because it’s so hard to break through, people are going to be angry that you did. You’ll be told you’re ugly, that your music sucks, that you can’t sing, that you’ve got no talent, but don’t believe it. It’s so hard to make it that if you have, pat yourself on the back and do your best to survive.

12. Longevity.

One hit and you can get royalties forever. Maybe even live dates. But chances are you’ll have to have a day job. The rule is, the harder it is to do, the better the chance of survival. Which is why doctors can always be employed, even if they bitch about their compensation. The barrier to entry to music is miniscule, so there are always others who are eager to take your place.

The more skills you’ve got under your belt, the better your chance at lasting. But don’t be holier than thou that you can read music and got a degree, these are just tools, building blocks, a foundation, it’s what you build on top that counts.

13. Be nice.

It’s the key to making it. If you’re a jerk, no one’s going to want to work for you, go out of their way to promote you. Constantly say thank you and go out of your way to be appreciative. Everybody loves compliments, not just the act.

14. Sour grapes.

Are gonna pull you down. The woulda, shoulda, coulda posse can tell an interesting story over a beer, but these people never succeed. Life is full of challenges, if you haven’t been screwed, you haven’t played the game. The road to success is paved with humiliation, you can complain about it or swallow it and realize it’s dues.

15. There are no guarantees.

Everybody’s time goes by. Most only peak for a short while. Enjoy the ride when you break through.

Visit the archive: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/

HEART 104.9FM TOP 30 – 21 Dec (Last chart for 2013)

HEART 104.9FM TOP 30 – 21 December 2013
POS ARTIST SONG TITLE MOVE L/W PEAK WEEKS NOTES
1 Lykke Li I Follow Rivers NC 1 1 (2) 5 Last Week’s #1
2 Mi Casa feat. Jimmy Nevis Feel The Love Up 4 6 2 7
3 Drake feat. Majid Jordan Hold On We’re Going Home Down 1 2 1 8
4 Katy Perry Roar Down 1 3 2 5
5 Chad Saaiman All On The Wall Down 1 4 4 7
6 Cris Cab feat. Pharrell Liar Liar Up 1 7 6 9
7 Aloe Blacc Love Is The Answer Up 6 13 7 2
8 Muzart Jukebox Down 3 5 3 8
9 Justin Timberlake Take Back The Night Down 1 8 1 (4) 12
10 Mario Ogle Wishing On A Star Down 1 9 9 3 SA Top 10 #1
11 Naughty Boy feat. Sam Smith La La La Down 1 10 3 10
12 Earth Wind & Fire My Promise Up 9 21 12 5 Highest Climber
13 Denim Weekend Hook Up 5 18 13 2
14 India Arie Just Do You New 14 1
15 Sean Paul Other Side Of love Down 4 11 3 13
16 Miley Cyrus We Can’t Stop Down 4 12 7 5
17 Fistaz Mixwell feat. DJ Hloni & Mellow Soul I’m Free Down 3 14 8 14
18 The Layabouts feat. Portia Monique Do Better Down 3 15 3 12
19 Jennifer Hudson I Can’t Describe (The Way I Feel) Down 2 17 15 10
20 Lorde Royals New 20 1
21 Can Skylark Orion’s In Line Down 2 19 19 5
22 Bruno Mars Treasure Down 2 20 1 (3) 27 Longest Running Song
23 Pharrell Happy Down 1 22 1 (3) 17
24 Macklemore feat. Ryan Lewis & Mary Lambert Same love New 24 1
25 Danny K Brown Eyes Down 1 24 4 25
26 Jordin Sparks Skipping A Beat Down 1 25 24 3
27 Mariah Carey feat. Miguel #Beautiful NC 27 3 23
28 Denim Revolution (Power To You) NC 28 7 13
29 Mi Casa Jika Down 13 16 1 18 Biggest Faller
30 Eric Roberson feat. Chubb Rock Summertime Anthem Down 1 29 9 24

24 passes to perfection

My good mate Mark Keohane wrote this piece on the team I support and allowed me to post it

Spain’s national soccer team won the European Cup in 2008, the World Cup in 2010 and the European Cup in 2012.

They did it with a core group of players – a special bunch who also won 25 and drew four successive competitive international matches. No other international soccer team has managed to win the European Cup, the World Cup and defend the European Cup.

The win in the 2012 final against Italy was emphatic. Spain, in playing the near perfect match, won 4-0.

But there was no universal acknowledgement of the achievement. Italy were not that good. Spain were also apparently not that good.

The greatest team, said some, was the Brazilians of 1970. This Spanish side, in another era, wouldn’t have enjoyed the success. And so it went.

Why is it that another’s success simply can’t be acknowledged? Why is it so hard to applaud? Why does it have to be a concession?

Spain are a great team.

To win the European Cup, the World Cup and then defend the European Cup, makes them a great team. To go 29 successive competitive matches unbeaten makes them a great team.

Why detract from them being great with an era-based comparison on greatness?

Spain beat Italy 4-0 and a year later beat the Italians 7-6 on penalties in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup.

They then lost the final to Brazil 3-1.

Suddenly the one defeat was confirmation that they were not the greatest team. In fact the one defeat gave credence to the view that they were not even a great team.

How damn awful that concession, among those paid to write about sport and those who pay to watch it, trumps celebration.

My passion isn’t international football. It’s rugby. I get paid to watch rugby. I get paid to write about rugby. That, alone, is reason enough to celebrate.

Occasionally I get paid to write about special players, special teams and a very special period in rugby.

I was fortunate to be in the media box when the Springboks beat the All Blacks 15-12 at Ellis Park to win the 1995 World Cup. I was equally fortunate to be at Eden Park in 2011 when the All Blacks beat France 8-7 to win only their second World Cup in seven attempts.

Springbok 1995 World Cup manager and former captain Morne du Plessis said the result had been predetermined and that the victory was about a nation and not a rugby team. He said the stars were aligned.

If you followed that tournament like I did, you’d only agree with him

Similarly the All Blacks success in 2011. Those in New Zealand who preach destiny and deliverance in this instance won’t get an argument from me.

The numbers were freakish. The All Blacks had only once won the World Cup, in its inaugural year in 1987 and against France. The venue was Eden Park.

The All Blacks deserved the win because of how it was fashioned. They kept the ball for the final three minutes and played down the clock. It takes a particular skill set to do that.

Each time they looked at referee Craig Joubert, with eyes pleading for full time, he played on. It was as if the rugby gods were reminding the New Zealand nation of the arrogance post the 1987 win.

How appreciative would a nation be now after a 24-year wait? Two more minutes. How much did this select group of players want it? One more minute.

Those last 60 seconds were the equal of 24 years to every New Zealander. Being at Eden Park in 2011 was like being at Ellis Park in 1995. This was so much bigger than rugby.

It was great, which is very different to what constitutes the greatest.

Every sporting code has its great moments and every sporting code has its debate about the greatest, but sometimes the discussion about greatest comes at the expense of a great moment.

I felt that happened when the All Blacks beat Ireland in Dublin in November to record professional rugby’s first perfect international season.

The All Blacks won 24-22 to claim a 14th successive victory in 2013. It took their 2011 post World Cup record to 25 wins and a draw in 27 starts and this group of players, many who featured in that 2011 World Cup, have now lost just once in 35 matches.

That’s a great achievement. That sets a standard.

The current All Blacks have won the World Cup, the Rugby Championship in successive years without losing a game, the Bledisloe Cup series against Australia, won a 3-0 home series against France and they have beaten South Africa away twice, Australia away three times, France away, England away, Wales away, Ireland away, Scotland away, Italy away and dealt with Japan in Tokyo.

They lost once to England in record fashion. In 2012 the English hammered them 38-21. It was a bit like Brazil, at home, getting it right once against Spain in the Confederations Cup final.

One result is all those who preach concession need.

The greatest, apparently, don’t lose. Defeat showed fallibility. Spain, in soccer, and the All Black, in rugby, were indeed beatable.

Which individual isn’t fallible? Which team can’t lose on a particular day?

I’ve never quite understood the rationale. We are talking about sports that involve humans.

Roger Federer, at his best, could still lose. So too Muhammad Ali. Does that detract from their greatness or them being celebrated as the greatest to hold a tennis racquet or lace up a pair of gloves?

The celebration is surely of what they did over a sustained period.

Ali’s greatness is in the manner in which he beat Joe Frazier over 15 rounds more than the whipping he gave George Foreman over eight rounds.

The greatest are defined in that moment when everything suggests they are beaten and there is no way back.

The All Blacks, in Dublin, won in a great way. They won as great teams do. They won when it seemed impossible to win.

And they didn’t do it through charity or through good fortune.

The All Blacks constructed the most incredible of five pointers and then the gods smiled on them in giving flyhalf Aaron Cruden a second attempt at the conversion to turn a 22-all draw into a 24-22 win.

The All Blacks, in 2012, were magnificent in winning 12 successive Tests, but the year was too easily remembered for the defeat in London.

This group of players played a Test as perfect as I have seen to beat the Springboks 32-16 in Soweto.

Subjectively, in my eyes, that was their peak performance. The side that won the 2011 World Cup backed it up by hammering their greatest rival at altitude in front of 90 000 South Africans.

They did it in style and with the greatest appreciation of quality and grind.

A year later, at Ellis Park, these All Blacks produced a performance equally memorable in scoring five tries and winning the last hour 31-12 when reduced to 14 men for 20 of those minutes.

It was a great rugby moment. They beat a bloody good Springbok team at Ellis Park.

The celebration was muted because of discussion of the greatness of this team. Apparently there have been greater teams, in other eras and in other countries.

And so the All Blacks story took us to Dublin.

Ireland had never beaten the All Blacks in 27 previous attempts spanning 108 years. The closest had been a draw.

Ireland had nearly drawn a second time in New Zealand in 2011 but Dan Carter’s last kick of the game secured an ugly 22-19 result. A week later the All Blacks beat the same Irish team 60-0.

Ireland, in 2013, at home, knew they wouldn’t have to front a hurting New Zealand for a second successive week.

The Irish played the game of their lives and for 40 minutes played the perfect game. They led 19-0 after 19 minutes and led 22-17 with 26 seconds to play.

New Zealand’s response, in winning a penalty 62 metres out with 26 seconds to play, was to keep the ball alive for one minute and 51 seconds and to use 13 players to complete 24 passes.

The greatness of individuals and teams is in how they play the championship moments. Boxers used to call rounds 13-15 the rounds that separate the very good from the great.

Ali’s greatness was what he could do in round 15 and not what he wasn’t allowed to do or couldn’t do in the preceding 14 rounds.

The All Blacks, battered for boxing’s equivalent of 14 rounds in Dublin, delivered 24 unanswered punches in the final moments, to win.

They did it with precision and skill.

Time will be the only measurement of whether Richie McCaw’s current All Blacks are the greatest to ever play the professional game.

For now statistically no other team can match their achievements and no other team rugby team has won every bit of silverware on offer in the same period.

No other rugby team, over a consistent period, has won with dazzle one week and bloody-minded desperation the next.

We all have opinions, but results are the most definitive of sporting opinions. You can’t argue with the end score and if the score wasn’t important then why is it we keep score?

Celebrate what Spain did in 2008, 2010 and 2012. Celebrate what the All Blacks have done since the start of the 2011 World Cup.

Those great moments, inspired by great individuals in a great rugby team, over 35 successive Test matches, should be a celebration and not a grudging concession.

Similarly Spain’s 25 wins and four draws in 29 starts, two European Cups and one World Cup.

credit – Business Day Sport Monthly Dec 2013

THE DHL STORMERS’ 2014 PRE-SEASON FIXTURES:

Saturday, February 1:
Bulls v DHL Stormers, Peter Mokaba Stadium (Polokwane) – 17h00

Friday, February 7:
Southern Kings v DHL Stormers, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (Port Elizabeth) – 19h00

Saturday, February 15:
Boland v DHL Stormers, Boland Stadium (Wellington) – kick-off TBC

One of my Fav bands Hall & Oates get inducted to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame -read more

Hallelujah, they finally get it right.

I’m not saying Yes doesn’t belong inside, and Deep Purple for the riff to “Smoke On The Water” alone, but it’s been years since there was no controversy and everyone agreed.

Except for maybe Kiss.

But the point is there’s no hip-hop, no jazz, no Madonna, no questionables like Patti Smith, everyone is deserving and it’s about time.

HALL & OATES

“You’re a rich girl, and you’ve gone too far
‘Cause you know it don’t matter anyway
You can rely on the old man’s money
You can rely on the old man’s money
It’s a bitch girl, but it’s gone too far”

To hear this sound emanating from the radio was…enough to make you drive immediately to buy the album, “Bigger Than Both Of Us,” which it truly was. Hall & Oates went from obscurity to superstardom. Even better, after falling all the way back down, even having to play clubs, they came all the way back, with the infectious “You Make My Dreams” and so much more…

It was the “Royals” of yesteryear. You only had to hear a few notes.

“What I want you’ve got
Though it might be hard to handle”

Yes, it was hard for the wannabes of the twenty first century to admit how much talent the band actually had, how good a voice Daryl Hall possessed. This isn’t yacht rock, unless the term represents something so good it rains down money to the point where you can buy one!

Hall & Oates are so good.

Come on, who had that many hits.

And now they’ve got this victory lap. This inclusion. Just when they’d given up on it.

Because the sound has been burgeoning, become deafening. Hell, who wouldn’t want to be invited to Daryl’s house?

NIRVANA

No questions asked. An automatic.

Let this be a lesson to the industry, that we should focus on individuals as opposed to money and commitments. If so, Kurt Cobain would be alive today.

Just try going on the road. Playing to an adoring throng and then getting in the bus with the same dudes you’ve known since high school, trying to come down to do it all over again. It takes drugs. And if you’re doing drugs it’s just a matter of time until you die.

Kurt was pushed too hard. And felt so alone. That’s the conundrum of stardom, oftentimes you’re the only one left inside, the world spins around you and you’re frequently oblivious.

I know nothing about his death you don’t, but I will say this guy had an ability to fuse melody and punk in a way that the public just could not resist. Add in the ability to emote with his voice and you have possibly the last rock superstar.

Not that Krist and Dave didn’t help. But there are only a few true superstars, and Kurt Cobain was one of them.

Come as you are. Please. Don’t dress up. Don’t make a deal with a fashion house. Don’t do endorsements. Keep it punk.

That’s why we believed in Nirvana. Because Kurt believed in rock and roll. Too bad he won’t be at the induction ceremony.

CAT STEVENS

And where do the children play?

He wrote “The First Cut Is The Deepest” before anybody knew who he was.

Ditto “Trouble,” featured in the classic “Harold and Maude.”

And if you didn’t play “Tea For The Tillerman” incessantly, you weren’t alive. Back when rock was a state of mind more than a sound. Yes, Cat Stevens was truly rock and roll.

As for becoming a Muslim… Story is he committed himself to God after nearly drowning. Near-death experiences will change you. And at least he’s still alive.

The albums got worse as time went on. But there were so many hits, such a sound, that this guy would be successful in any era.

He might not have found that “Hard Headed Woman,” but we were enraptured by his search.

The hit was “Wild World,” but “Sad Lisa” was so seventies, so great, when you didn’t have to boast and play to the last row, but could be intimate, to the point where we were all leaning in.

But my favorite track on “Tea For The Tillerman” is the closer, the title cut, only a bit longer than a minute, you had no choice but to drop the needle on the LP and listen to it again.

PETER GABRIEL

The road less taken.

He quit Genesis just when the band was getting traction.

And the third solo album is the best, with “Biko,” but he’s never done anything you can shrug your shoulders at and say NEXT!

Too much talent, it’s too bad he’s not still making new, original music. But the problem is the audience is not ready for it. But Gabriel has got a hard core of fans possibly exceeding those of any other act on this list, in intensity if not numbers. Proving you can shoot high instead of dumbing it down.

Wanna tip? Listen to “Secret World Live,” one of the top ten live albums ever, one which no one seems to know about. Especially the extended versions of “Secret World” and “In Your Eyes.”

But it all comes down to “Solsbury Hill.”

“I was feeling part of the scenery”

Alienation. It’s the essence of rock and roll. If these people could fit in, play on the football team, date a cheerleader, we’d never have this exquisite greatness.

“I walked right out of the machinery”

That’s what we all did. We weren’t best friends with our parents, they were clueless, we were forging our own path.

“My heart going boom, boom, boom”

Do you feel alive? Too many are somnambulant. But the best music wakes us up.

“Hey,’ he said ‘Grab your things
I’ve come to take you home'”

Here we go! Pack up your old kit bag. We’re gonna go down the rabbit hole of rock and roll. To the Fillmore, to Woodstock, to the arena, to the stadium, not every once in a while, but all the time, because rock and roll was the most important thing in our lives, superior to our automobiles, more important than technology.

We’re going home.

Just put on the record and…LISTEN!

LINDA RONSTADT

“Oh baby don’t it feel like heaven right now
Don’t it feel like something from a dream”

The waiting truly is the hardest part. The fact that Linda Ronstadt wasn’t inducted upon initial eligibility is a travesty. That she had to get sick for these moribund men to vote her in… These same men who jerked off to her, who didn’t even need a picture, who could just close their eyes, because she was just that ubiquitous, everyone knew the cute style icon the men wanted to impress and the girls wanted to befriend. Linda Ronstadt was the seventies’ biggest female rock star. Hell, only Zeppelin and the Eagles were in her league. But men hate letting the women inside. Then again, Linda never begged. She snorted cocaine and screwed the desirable people just like the guys. Which is why she was always an insider and the idiots on this committee are not. Because musicians comprise a club, and the fans are not included, not the critics, only the writers, players and singers. They’re who we want to be. And inside the inner sanctum…it’s all jokes and references and life in a lane so
fast only the strong survive.

If I were Linda Ronstadt I’d give the R&RHOF the middle finger and refuse to show up.

But she will.

And I know she won’t be conciliatory. I know she’ll tell it like it is. She’s not afraid to be three dimensional, to speak her truth, which is why she’s a star and you’re not.

KISS

Induct Bill Aucoin. Come on, if you’re including Brian Epstein and my buddy Andrew Loog Oldham, without whom there’d be no Beatles or Stones, Aucoin deserves to be in too, for without him there’d be no Kiss.

Which might be okay.

But still, even I will admit I liked “Rock And Roll All Nite.” It was a band for those who missed the sixties. And despite Gene Simmons being the number one blowhard in music, the guy with no sense of humor about himself, they had a string of hits.

My favorite?

LICK IT UP!

“Don’t wanna wait ’til you know me better”

This is the ESSENCE of Motley Crue, which played Kiss’s role in the MTV eighties. Come on, let’s throw off our inhibitions, take off our clothes in this pre-AIDs era and have some fun!

“You gotta live like you’re on vacation”

Before the baby boomers, life was boring. A sentence. But rock and roll said NO MAS! Fun is the one thing that money can’t buy. Except a ticket to the show. Where the amps are big and powerful and the songs are known by heart and you’re amongst your brethren and there’s nowhere you’d rather be.

So…LICK IT UP!

Come on. Life is short. Discover what you’re into, and go full bore, to the max. This is what all of the above inductees did. They didn’t play it safe, have a fall back position, they just went for greatness.

And we followed them.

P.S. The E Street Band. My only point is if we’re gonna induct them, how about the rest of the backup bands? This is b.s., evidence that the R&RHOF is east coast-centric, driven by Jann Wenner and Jon Landau and the holier than thou who think we’re listening.

We are not. You don’t have to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame to mean something to people. You just have to reach deep down inside and throw your innermost feelings down on wax. Do it right, and it’s life itself.

That’s rock and roll.

Rock ain’t money… Unless you’re peeling off hundreds to pay hotel damages.

Rock ain’t awards… If you need a Grammy to justify your existence, you lead a sorry little life.

Rock is about ATTITUDE! And SOUND!

Are you willing to do it your way? Not worried about what anybody says? Whether it be Simon Cowell or Doug Morris or Dr. Luke? Are you willing to piss all over the powers-that-be, stand up and lead?

Then you’re ready to rock and roll.

And I’ve only got one message for you. Go straight down to Guitar Center, buy that Les Paul or Stratocaster, and plug it into that Marshall or Fender and TURN IT UP!

Drive your parents crazy.

It’s not about tattoos.

It’s not about clothing.

It’s about what’s inside!

It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll.

But if you do…we wanna party with you all night and every day.

“You show us everything you’ve got
You keep on dancing and the room gets hot
You drive us wild, we’ll drive you crazy”

Yes, there’s no rock and roll without an audience.

“You keep on shouting, you keep on shouting”

“I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day
I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day
I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day
I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day”

I certainly do. And so do you.

And there’s no better place to start than with the above inductees. If you’re not happy with these acts, if you don’t want to listen to their music, I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU!

by Bob Lefsetz

http://www.twitter.com/lefsetz

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