Rock and roll is built on tall tales of larger than life figure who do it ALL! They play louder, party harder, live faster, and cram more into their years than we can hope to in even a dozen lifetimes. When these legends die, they live on through their famous escapades and most importantly through their music. But what if they live on for a totally different reason: they’re not actually dead in the first place?
Pharrell Williams became the talk of the Grammys last month with his, errr, “distinctive” Vivian Westwood “mounties” hat. And now on the biggest night in film, Pharrell made headlines once again by auctioning off the hat on eBay. That’s right: you had the chance to be the owner of this historic/hilarious headgear…provided you were willing to shell out a truly bonkers amount of money.
The King is gone but will never be forgotten. 79 years ago today a poor boy with a funny name was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. That boy was Elvis Aaron Presley and he would go on to not only change the course of popular music, but of the world itself. He helped bring the sound of African-American rhythm & blues into the suburban confines of white America, in no small way helping to create the sound and very idea of rock n’roll and setting nascent, teenage minds afire. Nearly no significant rocker of the past 50 + years has not cited him as an inspiration, from The Beatles to Led Zeppelin, from U2 to Green Day. His influence on hard rock and even heavy metal lingers on its sense of dangerous sexuality and patented, anti-authoritarian sneer as heard in the following 15 hard rocking Elvis covers. Now, despite his stylistic innovations and impact, most Elvis Presley covers are actually covers of songs Elvis covered as he wasn’t much of a songwriter. However, there’s no doubting, he was The King Of Rock N’ Roll. All hail the King. Read more…
You would think that the rigorous discipline of the military life and the unrestrained freedom of the music world would be at odds, but as it turns out, a number of rockers, rappers and musicians of all kinds have signed up and done their duty in defense of their countries. Some, like crooner Tony Bennett and former-Nirvana and Soundgarden member Jason Everman, have been on the frontlines of armed combat at its worst, while others like MC Hammer and Elvis Presley have served during times of relative peace. And, of course, given their natural inclination to indulge their creative impulses, guitar greats like Jimi Hendrix and Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead were never really cut out for Army life in the first life and were discharged before finishing their tours of duty. But on this Veteran’s Day, it’s important to acknowledge their contributions and those of all people who serve or have served in keeping their countries safe and protecting these freedoms which we hold so dear.
Our rock and roll hearts are broken over the tragic passing of Lou Reed on Sunday. However, the loss sent us digging through our VH1 archives, and we’ve discovered a treasure: Lou’s hand picked (and handwritten) choices for the eight greatest songs in rock history!
Rock and roll is filled with rags to riches stories, and the Hard Rock Cafe is no different. It started off as a humble musician’s hang-out in the heart of London, specializing in down-home American cooking. Guitar god Eric Clapton was a frequent customer, and he decided to mark his favorite seat by hanging his old Fender Lead II guitar overhead. Not to be outdone, Pete Townshend of the Who soon sent his own black Gibson Les Paul over with a note: “Mine’s as good as his. Love, Pete.”
From this playful game of one-upmanship grew a collection that weighs in at over 77,000 pieces to date, the largest assortment of pop music memorabilia on the planet. Much of their stash is on display in restaurants around the world, but I’m about to hit the mother-lode: An invitation to tour their Rock Vault in Florida! Off limits to the public, the vault is the epicenter for their restoration work, as well as the home-base for all of their priceless treasures. For anyone passionate about music history, or sound in general, this is sacred ground. And for me personally, it’s a dream come true.
She’s not rocking sparkly capes and blue suede shoes yet, but You Oughta Know‘s Gin Wigmore loves her some Elvis Presley. A few years back when the 26-year-old Kiwi star decided she wanted to make blues-influenced Gravel & Wine, Gin turned full-blown expat, ditching the Aussie Gold Coast for a solo trip to Memphis with the King as a sort of spirit guide. Read more…
Thanks to Dr. Dre’s resurrection of Tupac at Coachella, the popularity of holograms of deceased artists is only going to continue to grow. CNN’s Marquee Blog reports the Elvis Presley hologram is on its way. It’s the return of Elvis, y’all. And his resurgence isn’t exclusive to performances only. According to CORE Media Group, which has partnered with Digital Domain Media Group (the same company that created the Tupac hologram), Elvis’ image will be used for “a range of entertainment projects – from shows and appearances to film, TV and multi-platform productions throughout the world,” according to a released statement. Can we say cha-ching? Read more…
Non-Elvis Participant In The Kiss Identified
After 55 years and “at least a half a dozen” impostors, Barbara Gray (with the help of Vanity Fair in getting Alfred Wertheimer to overcome his pre-ordained skepticism) has identified herself as “Elvis‘s blonde” in the iconic tongue-touching photo The Kiss. The backstory is pretty interesting, too. [Vanity Fair]
Kelly Rowland Has The Worst Luck When It Comes To Timing
It’s bad enough that Kelly Rowland is constantly characterized as losing a (nonexistent) battle with Beyonc?. Last night, she suffered a wardrobe malfunction…at a club show in New Jersey, two days after Nicki Minaj did the same on national television. After the show, she tweeted, “New Jersey crowd was amazing!! hope you enjoyed the show and didnt mind the peekaboo LOL!!! #kanyeshrug #stuffhappens” At least she didn’t compare herself to Hitler. #kanyeshrug [EW Music Mix]
Sorry, Michael! The doggone #1 spot is mine!
Following last May’s update to their list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time,” Rolling Stone will be issuing an update to the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time,” originally published in two parts in separate issues of the magazine in 2004 and 2005.