1969 marked the beginning of a four year run which produced the finest music in the history of rock! Several new bands emerged that I really liked including one that would soon take the torch from the Beatles as the top rock band of the 1970s. It would actually take a couple of years before I would become a full on Led Zeppelin fan, but 69 was their debut year and they came out rockin’. The highlight of the year was the Woodstock Music Festival, featuring Jimi Hendrix, which I actually knew nothing about until following year when the movie was released. No, I wasn’t living under a rock! Just on a farm!
1968, the year I became a teenager [Yikes!], was my family’s first full year in Bracebridge. We actually lived outside the town on two different farms. It was an awesome year! My brothers and I spent hours roaming in the barns, fields and forests. Other than watching the Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday nights, I don’t quite recall how I found time to listen to all the music that was being produced, which is why perhaps I developed an interest in some of it years later.
What do I remember about the music of 1967? Let’s see, not very much! It’s not that I was partaking in the stimulants that characterized the awakening psychedelic era. I was much too young for that. Besides, my dad was a cop! Rather, it was more a case of, I was just busy. What I do remember, is that it was the year my family moved from the tiny hamlet of Bala, situated on the southwest corner of Lake Muskoka to the much larger town of Bracebridge, located on the northeast corner of the lake.
Although 1966 was a year in which my infatuation with the Beatles continued to grow, it was also a year in which I really started developing an appreciation for other rock ‘n roll bands. Many of these new bands, including the Mamas and the Papas, came out of the United States. But although I was stretching my musical horizons, the Beatles left no doubt in my mind or the minds of millions of music fans around the world that this little band out of Liverpool was something special, when they released Revolver!
I don’t exactly recall my level of awareness of rock and roll music prior to February 9, 1964, I, the small town [Bala, Ontario, Canada] boy with access to one television channel, but I do recollect what it was by the end of that day. I couldn’t have been totally oblivious I suppose because I well aware that on that date, the Beatles were making their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show!
Any list of best ofs, is subject to subjectivity. For instance, when it comes to selecting the greatest hockey player of all time, many people will put their stamp on Wayne Gretzky. I, on the other hand [and many others], will argue vehemently that Bobby Orr is the best! Both camps can put forth very convincing arguments for each player. But who is right? Subjectivity!
Over the years we rock fans have been treated to a steady stream of awesome cover songs, dating back to the early days of rock and roll [Elvis Presley’s 1956 hit Hound Dog was actually a cover of a 1952 hit by Big Mama Thornton]. Pretty much every successful rock band has recorded at least one cover. Here are my favorites!
If U2 can openly admit to being ABBA fans, I certainly can. Although I wouldn’t have done it back in the 1970s during ABBA’s heyday. Back then, I surely would have been shunned from my rock ‘n roll loving social group, cast aside like a pariah!
I have been to many amazing rock concerts in my life! I have seen Elton John, Johnny Winter, The Guess Who, The Beach Boys, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Blue Rodeo, The Bare Naked Ladies, John Mellencamp, ACDC, Bruce Springsteen, Styx, The Who, Rush, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Rod Stewart, Supertramp, and U2. I feel very fortunate, because I saw many of these acts I saw in their prime.