Monday, October 26, 2009

Natty Dread: End of the 70s, Early 80s RIP Edition

End of the 70, early 80s, this sampling is all male performers but gives a passing glimpse at the 70s music scene. You've got your reggae, your guitar heroes Southern rock style, your punk, your Manchester post-punk, your Old School heavy metal and your storyteller. And the beat goes on.

The thing about being a kid and teenager in the Research Triangle, North Carolina, in the 70s, was this: you heard it all pretty much as soon as it came out no matter where it came from. Lynyrd Skynyrd was all over the place, starting with their first album in 1973. It was shocking when Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines and three others associated with the band were killed in a plane crash in Mississippi on October 20, 1977. The survivors disbanded for ten years. Lead singer Ronnie Van Zant (1/15/1948-10/20/1977) is gone, but his brothers Johnny and Donnie live on.

Ah, Sid Vicious (5/10/1957-2/2/1979). The best take on him may be Alex Cox's Sid and Nancy aka Love Kills (1986). And there's lots of the Hotel Chelsea. I still remember the shock waves from the outrageous Sex Pistols American tour, January 1978.

Ian Curtis (7/15/1956-5/18/1980) has a direct relation to the Sex Pistols -- after seeing them perform, he was so inspired he helped form the band that would become Joy Division. Here's a dude that clearly fascinates, a sort of prequel to Kurt Cobain. There's already a slew of movies and books out about him and his milieu - and they're all amazingly good. Just a few examples: Michael Winterbottom's 24 Hour Party People (2002), Anton Corbijn's Control (2007) and Grant Gee's documentary, Joy Division (2007).

John Bonham (5/31/1948-9/25/1980). When he died of a vodka overdose, Led Zeppelin disbanded. For more on Bonham, there are the Led Zeppelin albums and concert footage, and Chris Welch and Geoff Nicholls' John Bonham: A Thunder of Drums (2001).

Bob Marley (2/6/1945-5/11/1981). Mr. Reggae. Just about everybody likes some Bob Marley. Documentaries and biopic in the works.

Harry Chapin (12/7/1942-7/16/1981). The storyteller, ranging from "Taxi" (1972) to "Cat's in the Cradle" (1974) and from "Flowers Are Red" (1978) to "Sequel" (1980).

Today's Rune: Protection.


Anonymous said...

All greats in their own ways, and all completely original. What amazing musical diversity we had back then! Harry Chapin was also a thoroughly decent human being, who was more energized about feeding hungry people than he was about selling records. His death was a loss to the world.


jodi said...

Erik, Lots of artists I love! In Alpena, at the bars, the bands would play "Sweet Home Alapena" Skynrd style!

Lana Gramlich said...

Bonham was amazing. The only person who comes close to that level of talent today is Lars Ulrich, I think.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!