Jake Shimabukuro, While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Posted in George Harrison, Jake Shimabukuro, The Beatles, Youtube Favs on May 21st, 2011 by Willie


Well, the world didn’t end, which is nice, so the youtube countdown continues with part 68.  I have the “Jimi Hendrix of Ukelele,” Jake Shimabukuro, performing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” from the “White Album.”  Taking place at Strawberry Fields in Central Park, this is one of the most amazing performances I have ever seen.  This guy plays the song with flawless soulful precision.  The way he incorporates the melody of the song into his beautiful precise rhythm is uncanny.  It’s also just a flat out wonderful tribute to George Harrison, who LOVED the ukelele.  Actually, all the Beatles loved the ukelele, having gained an appreciation from John’s sweet mother Julia.  If you’ve never played or heard a ukulele in person, I highly recommend it.  It’s really easy to play, and just produce the most buttery gorgeous tones.  Anyway, enjoy this video, its really something else.

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Cream, Tales of Brave Ulysses

Posted in Cream, Eric Clapton, Youtube Favs on May 16th, 2011 by Willie

Part 64 of my youtube countdown introduces Cream, or “the late great Cream” as John Lennon once said in 1968.  That’s right, Cream was a streaking comet of psychedelic blues perfection, blasting through the pop music charts from 1966 to 1968 selling 35 million albums in just two years!  Cream was considered the world’s first rock super-group with its members (Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton, and Ginger Baker) having been in groups like The Yardbirds, Manfred Mann, Blues Incorporated, and John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers.  “The Tales of Brave Ulysses,” presented below in gorgeous stereophonic crisp color, was from their 1967 masterpiece album Disraeli Gears.  It’s a psychedelic blues fest written by Eric Clapton and Martin Sharp, (an artist who designed the cover to the album above), and it features Ginger’s manic drumming, Jack’s awesome vocal, and of course, Eric’s pounding guitar.  The song is a timeless masterpiece of rock and roll.  I remember when I first heard it when I was 17, driving home from school, and just blasting it on my radio.  I was floored, so I dug out my dad’s old Cream records, got comfy, and ended up having a beautiful afternoon.  So, check em out, the true cream of the crop, CREAM!

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Jeff Beck and Tal Wilkenfeld, Freeway Jam + Blue Wind

Posted in Jeff Beck, Tal Wikenfeld, Youtube Favs on April 21st, 2011 by Willie


In part 41 of my youtube countdown, we take a look at some prodigies. One is an old prodigy by the name of Jeff Beck, the guitar virtuoso of the guitar virtuoso factory known as the Yardbirds (Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page.) The other is the opposite of old, a sexy 24 year old bass whiz by the name of Tal Wilkenfeld. Here, the two team up for a killer jazzy jam with the highlight being a 4 handed bass solo which looks as weird as it is cool. While its an amazing feet that I’m sure was staged, it still looks like Jeff just can’t keep his hands to himself, and that Tal was doing just fine without him. Anyway, its still awesome, and yes we’re all jealous of Tal’s already legendary life on the road.  Enjoy.

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Bob Dylan & Eric Clapton, Crossroads

Posted in Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Youtube Favs on April 16th, 2011 by Willie

Part 36 of my youtube countdown rolls on with a performance of Robert Johnson’s ‘Crossroads Blues’ by Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton.  I’ve been in a real bluesy mood this week, and a clip like this really hits the sweet spot.  The song, a gem in Robert Johnson’s absurdly mythological repertoire, is heavily electrified by Bob and Eric.  I’m guessing its the old Cream arrangement, though I could be wrong about that.  While Bob and Eric are having a great time playing this tune, it shouldn’t escape you that these are two of the most devoted Robert Johnson worshipers that ever lived.  Before Bob recorded ‘The Freewheelin,” his first album of original songs, CBS executives gave Bob a copy of Johnson’s recordings before they were ever widely distributed or known by anybody.  Johnson’s music had a profound effect on him, just as deep as Woody Guthrie’s.  In Johnson, Bob heard a ghost lost to time, the most authentic blues folk expressionist he could imagine.  Eric had similar epiphanies, but his most striking reaction upon hearing Johnson for the first time was fear.  Eric was downright spooked by Johnson’s creaky high pitched voice, and his complex and perfect, not to mention revolutionary, guitar technique.  Over time, Eric would describe Johnson as “the most important blues musician who ever lived,” and subsequently did his best to spread his myth and music to the masses.  While on the surface, Eric and Bob just seem to be enjoying themselves, with Eric giving a beautiful melodic blues solo, and rarity of rarities, Bob playing an electric solo too, (granted he’s just alternating two notes, but still!).  But there is something much deeper going on.  I don’t know, but I get over-awed thinking about these two gods of popular music playing the song of a god who somehow sits over them on a higher level.  It’s really something to sit back and think of the power surging from these guy’s lips and fingertips; where it all comes from, how it changed the world, and what it all means.  It’s a moment a lot of people might ignore, but hopefully realize one day, its utter preciousness in the pantheon of things that matter.  Enjoy.

 

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The Dirty Mac, Yer Blues

Posted in Eric Clapton, John Lennon, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Youtube Favs on April 1st, 2011 by Willie

Part 27 of my youtube countdown rolls on with another act from the infamous Rock and Roll Circus.  This time, we have Dirty Mac.  Who is Dirty Mac?  Well, its John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards (on bass, awesome), and Mitch Mitchell (on drums direct from the Jimi Hendrix Experience.)  A super group if there ever was one, and my God, do these guys utterly rock the universe.  They are playing Yer Blues, a jam John cut that year (1968) on the White Album with the Beatles.  The Beatles, outside a few exceptions, could never really be seen playing music from this era, so this clip gives you a delicious taste of what a mind blowing experience it would have been if the Beatles toured the White Album.  Because youtube is horrible, they’ve broken up Mick and John’s hilarious intro video for the Dirty Mac, but don’t worry, I’ve included both the intro, and the searing performance.  I don’t know how else to describe the incredible majesty of these clips, so please, just sit back, hold onto your seats, and watch…over and over!

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The Rolling Stones, Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Rock and Roll Circus)

Posted in The Rolling Stones, Youtube Favs on March 31st, 2011 by Willie

It’s part 26 of my youtube countdown, and we’re going to the circus…the Rock and Roll Circus that is.  In 1968, the Rolling Stones produced a concert movie that was never released called the..ta daaa… Rock and Roll Circus.  The ‘Circus,’ was sadly never released for some reason, that is until the past ten years when they finally gave it a proper DVD release, which you should all get, like I did.  It features performances by the Stones, the Who, John Lennon, Eric Clapton, and a SLEW of others.  It’s fantastic, and I intend to post more videos from it in the near future.  This performance, expertly introduced by John Lennon, is the Stones playing their searing rock classic, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”  I love this version for several reasons.  First off, it features Brian Jones, soon to be deceased, and probably extremely high, playing with the group in full color and in awesome psychedelic clothing.  Second, I just love the way the Stones play it.  They obviously weren’t too comfortable playing it, like they would be 20 years and 10 million plays later, so they take it slow.  It comes off very sexy and sludgy, just perfect and menacing.  So enjoy ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash for Brian Jones, the clothes, Mick Jagger not being a total douche yet, and for John Lennon being a cool motherfucker.  Go!

UPDATE 10.20.13- Google/YouTube killed the original. Here is another performance from that era. (Willie)

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George, Elton, Eric, Ringo, While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Posted in Elton John, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Youtube Favs on March 28th, 2011 by Willie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stepping up to part 25 of my youtube countdown, we visit some old friends reuniting in the 1980s.  George Harrison, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynn from ELO, and even Phil Collins all got together to play George’s legendary White Album classic, While My Guitar Gently Weeps.  Not only does this concert take place in the 80s, the song is incredibly “80s-ified” featuring very synthy digital sounding guitars, and booming hollow drums and the like.  Also, everyone is dressed to remind you its the 80s, especially Eric, in his horrible, yet rad checkerboard jacket over his electric yellow shirt.  Plus, you can’t ignore the scumbag 80s mullets everyone has too, legendary.  Still, despite the washed-upedness of everything, this is still incredible and you should watch it over and over, especially for the awesome dueling guitar scenario between George and Eric.  Fabulous.  Also, what the hell is up with Ringo’s face in this video?   It looks like he just mugged 5 people on the way to the concert hall.

 

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John Lennon, Cold Turkey

Posted in John Lennon, Youtube Favs on March 2nd, 2011 by Willie

Part 13 of my youtube favorites countdown continues with the hard-blues psyche fest, John Lennon’s Cold Turkey.  Just around the time the Beatles broke up, John Lennon set loose a blistering array of personal/emotional/political singles; Instant Karma, Give Peace a Chance, and this immortal classic, Cold Turkey.  John wrote the song about his experience in conquering heroin with his wife Yoko Ono in late 1969.  He offered it to the Beatles, but Paul said no, so John said fuck it, and recorded and released it with the Plastic Ono Band.  The lineup is legendary.  Ringo on drums, Eric Clapton on lead guitar, and his old German pal Klaus Voormann (designer of the Revolver cover) on bass.  The song features one of John’s hardest riffs and possibly his most bone chilling vocal delivery.  The song was not that big of a hit, prompting John to return his MBE (Member of the British Empire badge) in protest writing, “I am returning this MBE in protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam, and against Cold Turkey slipping down the charts. With love, John Lennon of Bag.”

 

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