Rock Band facts you won’t believe.

Nirvana 

Nirvana was earlier called Skid Row — Skid Row happens to be the name of another Heavy metal band that was formed on 1986 in New Jersey. That’s not it, there was another Irish Blues band by the name Skid Row during the 1960s— Phill Lynott and Gary Moore of Thin Lizzy played for this band. 

Eddie and the Hot Rods 

This band was from Essex and were formed in 1975. They were ardent admirers of occultist Aleister Crowley and they wrote a song that was inspired by his motto — ‘Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law’. The song was called “Do Anything You Wanna Do”, an ode to self-empowerment. What they did wrong was, they had a comicized picture of him on their album cover. This did not go down well with Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin (a follower of Crowley), who we now know as one of the best guitarists in the world. It is believed that this angered Page, and he sent them into a curse.

Dogstar 

Do you know who the bassist of this band was? Do you?
K E A N U R E E V E S.
The day I found out, I listened to all their songs. They even performed at ZEE Cine Awards in India, year 2013.

Florence and the Machine

Florence Welch is one of my favorite vocalists. She is believed to have spent her childhood singing at funerals.

Alanis Morrissette 

Alanis was an actress as a child. She was on the Nickelodeon show You Can’t Do That On Television at age 10, and appeared in a movie a year later with Matt LeBlanc (Heart eyes) as her boyfriend. In 1992, she moved to LA and was on TV sitcom Just One Of The Girls.

Love the way you lie 

Not a Rock band fact but here it goes – It was originally written by the power house of talent, Skylar Grey, but couldn’t record it with Eminem cos she was touring in Dublin, Ireland at the time and couldn’t find a studio to re-record her demo vocals.

Sex Pistols

Sex Pistols, an English band formed in 1975 became the most controversial band in 1977 for their song ‘God Save the Queen’. The sales figures of this song were rigged and was banned to be played as the top 1 track on television by BBC for ‘bad taste’. They were also kept away from BBC’s ‘Top of the Pops’ as the number one band that week. The song was released just a day before the Queen’s Jubilee, but it wasn’t written specifically for it. 4 decades later, the band opened for the Olympic Games, 2012 in London in the very presence of Her Majesty.

My Spotify:
Alternative – https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5lLkugejUqAyZxUi7t4nw2?si=DMG4H1v-S1G7KzDWtiZEjg
Rock Classics – https://open.spotify.com/playlist/43NuHCkO3btjW11icjN1Qh?si=dzx2Nr1OTfSTBbN1eBbcVA

Love,
Priyanka
Rad All Day.

Music that was part of a movement

It goes without saying, we’re living in unprecedented trying times. Times like these are never dreamed of, and as much as we want to fathom or reason the cause behind them, we’re left defeated. There’s so much of information and misinformation floating around the internet, but one thing that particularly caught my attention was people writing and composing music (not Dhinchak Pooja, ouch). How these songs go down the history lane, we’ll probably never know. But there are some songs, that we’re perhaps familiar with, which were originally written to support a certain cause/movement. Some even written during world jolting pandemics; almost like the one we’re in now.

Despedida — Shakira, EP 

I’m sure a lot of people know of the book Love in the time of Cholera. I in fact noticed someone’s story on Instagram that read Love in the time of Cholera Corona. This master piece written by Gabriel Marquez is a story that transcends the Tesseract. But the thoughts of the writer were quite divergent. He once said in an interview “Be careful, you do not fall into my trap”. He worked with Shakira herself to pen down the lyrics to this song apparently for the shallow thinkers of the world. The title is a pun; choleric in English also denotes passion or rage. It was written to look like a love story for the mundane readers who only see what they want to see. The song is pure genius—like one of the comments on YouTube aptly describes my thoughts—“I have no idea about what she is saying but, she makes my heart tremble“.

Streets of Philadephia – Bruce Springsteen

This famous song by the legendary Springsteen was the OST for the movie Philadelphia, that released in 1993, almost a decade after AIDS was diagnosed. What a brilliant gift to mankind Tom Hanks is. He plays a successful attorney stricken with AIDs. Antonio Banderas played Hanks’s lover in the film and you can see him talk about the importance/relevance of the movie even now, 27 years later in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

Isn’t it ironic that Tom Hanks was tested positive for Corona Virus (COVID-19)? May he be blessed with good health 🙂 

I walked the avenue, ’til my legs felt like stone,
I heard the voices of friends, vanished and gone,
At night I could hear the blood in my veins,
It was just as black and whispering as the rain,
On the streets of Philadelphia.

The 1919 Influenza Blues— Essie Jenkins

The Spanish flu, also known as the 1918 flu pandemic, was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic. It almost lasted for two whole years and infected about 500 million people—about a quarter of the world’s population at the time. Ironically, the name of the pandemic is misleading; it did not originate in Spain, but got the name as it garnered a lot more press attraction from the land than it did in France from where it moved. At the time, Spain was not involved in the on-going war, and had not imposed any wartime censorship. The origin of the song The 1919 Influenza Blues is quite a blur, but it was released in the 1960’s much after the world suffered the pandemic. The style seems to be highly inspired by the music in the 1930’s. The lyrics however are heart-wrenching.

It was nineteen hundred and nineteen
Men and women were dying
With the stuff that the doctor called the flu
People were dying everywhere
Death was creepin’ all through the air
And the groans of the rich sure was sad

Little Boy Blue— Cyndie Lauper

Written in 1987, by Cyndie Lauper and a couple of other writers, was the only song by Lauper that did not make a breakthrough on the charts. Lauper said she wrote this song for a friend who died of AIDS.

The little toy dog is covered with dust,
But sturdy and staunch he stands;
And the little toy soldier is red with rust,
And his musket moulds in his hands;
Time was when the little toy dog was new,
And the soldier was passing fair;
And that was the time when our Little Boy Blue
Kissed them and put them there.

The Last Song – Elton John

Elton John reminds me of the ever loved The Lion King – Circle of Life. I have been a fan ever since. This song of his tells the story of a father coming to terms with the sexuality of his gay son amid the news of him dying from an AIDS-related illness. John was believed to have said in an interview, that he was crying all through the time he wrote the music and it was very hard for him to sing it (that’s hard to believe, but the things that move you cannot be explained).

This may be the last thing that I write for long
Can you hear me smiling when I sing this song
For you and only youAs I leave will you be someone to say good-bye
As I leave will you be someone to wipe your eye
My foot is out the door
And you can’t stop me now

The show must go on – QUEEN

Who doesn’t know this song and the iconic performance of QUEEN at LiveAid, 1985. The song was actually written by Brian May, the guitarist of the band. The song chronicles the effort made by Freddie Mercury in continuing to perform despite approaching the end of his life, although his diagnosis with HIV/AIDS had not yet been made public in spite of ongoing media speculation claiming that he was seriously ill.

Empty spaces, what are we living for?
Abandoned places, I guess we know the score, on and on
Does anybody know what we are looking for?
Another hero, another mindless crime
Behind the curtain, in the pantomime
Hold the line
Does anybody want to take it anymore?The show must go on
The show must go on, yeah
Inside my heart is breaking
My makeup may be flaking
But my smile, still, stays on

These are just some of the many tributes to loved ones that have appeared in popular culture.

With all the grim that surrounds us at the moment, let’s all hold on to hope.
Let’s be sensitive to the ones that we’re losing around us. Yes, we’re all home, but no, this is not our summer vacation given back to us. We have all this time to ourselves, but no, this is not a countdown to when things will get better. This is time for us to contribute to the greater good, while some fall prey to the undefinable danger. Yes, it is like one of those apocalyptic movies we’re living in; but let’s recognize the privilege we’re presented with and utilize it with utmost gratitude.

Hope you loved reading this.

Love,
Rad All Day.

Song connections you didn’t know about!

Or rather, song connections I didn’t know about.

Sampling songs has been around for a while, and is an acceptable practice if done right. I am not sure how many of the ones I’ve listed here are legally done, but here are some that caught my attention. 

Messing Around — Pitbull feat. Enrique

This song was playing at a club on a friday night. Something in me told me I knew this song and I Shazammed it immediately. It said Pitbull feat. Enrique. But I knew it from somewhere else. I got home and looked it up and it was ‘Take it on the run’ by REO Speedwagon. Turns out Messin around includes a sample from the 80s hit, from the album Hi Infidelity.

| I heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend who
Heard it from another that you been messin’ around
|


Nevermind — Nirvana

I’ve been a huge fan of Nirvana. Their song Nevermind is almost a slowed down replica of Eighties by the band Killing Joke. Apparently, Nirvana initially considered holding off releasing the song as a single. Killing Joke considered legal action, but the unfortunate death of Kurt Cobain, stopped them from doing it. The lead singer of Killing Joke later said, “…It’s a short f — king life, mate — we could be going fishing or doing something sensible,”

One of my favorite vocalists, Dave Grohl, the drummer of Nirvana and the front man of Foo fighters, happens to be a big fan of Killing Joke, and he chose to help them out by playing drums on their 2003 album titled Killing Joke.


The Pretender — Foo Fighters 

The intro to these songs does sound similar— and I found this gem. I was so glad to see there were other people who saw the similarity. I don’t know if this could be really categorized as ‘sampling’, but every time the intro to The Pretender plays, I end up humming Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin instead. 


Best Song Ever — One Direction

#Donttouchbestsongever 

OK! THE WHO has to be the greatest band that’s out there, and I never thought anyone could have replicated or sampled their songs. 

But turns out One Direction has done it. The song Best Song Ever (Really? Don’t think so) sounds like one of my favorite songs of all time — Baba O’ Reily. Although I am a huge fan of Harry Styles now, I was never particularly a fan of One Direction. I never listened to any of their songs. 

The Who were quite furious when they learnt about this song, and wanted it to be taken off of YouTube. But the One Direction fan base took to twitter and started the #Donttouchbestsongever trend. The song is still up on Youtube with a whopping 652 Million views. 


Locked Out of Heaven— Bruno Mars 

The first version of Locked out of Heaven I heard was Khaya Cohen’s audition on The X Factor USA 2013. She rendered an acoustic, slow version of the song. I went to YouTube to find the song. When I heard the original, I found the guitars to be glaringly similar to Roxanne by The Police

When I started reading about it, I discovered Bruno Mars had in fact no problem with the comparisons. Neither do I, both songs are great 🙂 


It’s My Life — Bon Jovi

This is not particularly about sampling music, but if It’s my Life is your only favorite song by Bon Jovi (because it played on repeat on iTV), then you’re missing out on some really good music made by the band. The lyric in the song, “…It’s for Tommy and Gina who never backed down”, is actually a reference to a song from the 80s called Livin on a Prayer.

Livin’ on a Prayer hit №1 in 1987, and stayed there for four weeks. It’s the tale of a working class couple, Tommy and Gina, who struggled to make ends meet and vowed to ‘…hold on to what we’ve got’. Ever since, the names of the two characters have become a part of rock mythology. 

Wild Thoughts — DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna, Bryson Tiller

When I first listened to this track, I realized it was literally Maria, Maria by Santana. The song basically samples Maria, Maria, and you can’t miss it. For a second I thought maybe Wild Thoughts was bringing back this classic hit of the late 90s.

This song has been a catchy hit ever since its release, but a lot of young people listening to this new song probably wouldn’t know the connection, so here it is. Carlos Santana is counted among the 25 Greatest Guitarists of all time. 

Have you discovered any other songs that sound similar? Let me know.

Hope you enjoyed reading this. I will be writing more content like this.

Love,
Rad All Day.

City of Joy

My first ever trip to the city of Kolkata was bound to be one tightly coupled with music, given that the city is known for its culture rich in cinema, art, and music. I have so many friends from the land of Bengalis but never got a chance to visit the place. 

Earlier this year, I was browsing through the lineup of NH7 Weekender, Pune and discovered that Joe Satriani was coming down. Instantly, I booked my passes; cos who would miss that? 

Just the next day, I learnt that Poets of the Fall and Switchfoot were gonna be headlining the NH7 Weekender at Shillong. Bamm! Now, I wanted to go for both the gigs. But I knew I could only make it to one of them (time and monetary constraints). Also, travelling to Shillong was going to be a tedious and expensive affair, so I convinced myself that it’s only going to be Pune this time around. 
Skip to a week later, it was announced that both the bands were going to be headlining the NH7 Weekender Xpress at Kolkata. And I thought to myself, wow, now there’s a chance cos travelling to Kolkata was no big a deal. I was excited beyond words.

I convinced my dear friend CreativeGenious to tag along with me. And the sweet human that she is, she readily agreed. She also ensured she listened to both the bands before she came for the gig. In her words, she absolutely loved the music and she later thanked me for introducing them to her. Yayy win! 

We took an early morning flight and landed in Kolkata around 9 am. We stayed at AltAir Hotel. It was a comfortable stay and was also pretty close to the concert venue. For lunch, we walked down to a quaint little Dhaba round the corner and savoured some yummy butter chicken. We got back to the Hotel and napped a bit. We later took a cab to the venue, Nicco Park, only to realise it was, in fact, walking distance from where we were staying.

An Alternative/Indie band named Tiny Fingers was on stage while we got there and their music was quite impressive. We walked through the crowds and made our way closer to the stage. Since this was the Express edition there was just one stage. The clock struck 8, the POETS banner came down and the crowd couldn’t handle their excitement. That was the start of two hours of non-stop music, as the Finnish Poets serenaded us with some of their best hits. Their trip to India was part of the #Ultraviolet Tour named after their latest album and they rendered some of their new EPs. Cradled in Love and Gravity were the most asked numbers. I got back to a lot of messages asking me if they played ‘Carnival of Rust’, and how could they not? It was their closing number. So Poets of the Fall – Check.

It was my birthday the next day, 4th of November. I was up until 12 am, cuzzz, so many calls y’all! Kidding. I answered a couple of calls from family and close friends and hit the bed. We decided to hop around the city the next day. So after our mandatory cup of chai, we took a cab and headed straight to Prinsep Ghat. Watching fleets of yellow Ambassador taxis sort of amused us. We later headed to Esplanade to do some window shopping and actual shopping if something interested us. We spotted some really lovely shantiniketan leather bags and picked up a bunch of them for ourselves and our friends. We then had our share of authentic bengali food (thali with rice and fish curry). The icing on the cake was the Chai in a Kulhad. It was undoubtedly one of the best chais I have ever had. By now you must know I am such a chai lover.

In the evening, we decided to walk to the concert venue. It was going to be Switchfoot tonight. I have been a fan of this band from times immemorial and what better gift to give yourself on your birthday.
Pentagram, one of the pioneers of Indian independent music (with Vishal Dadlani), was on stage belting some of their biggest hits. The crowd knew exactly what they were in for – A night dedicated to rock music and it couldn’t get any better. They knew their music and enjoyed it to the core. Lots of headbanging coupled with singing along, IN TUNE! Honestly, I haven’t seen this in Hyderabad.

Cut to Swichfoot – they hit the stage with one of my all-time favourite songs – STARS. I remember we used this song as a background track to one of our video productions back in 2009. Wow! 9 years later, I was watching them LIVE. And was it surreal or what? Their frontman Jon Foreman is such an artist. He absolutely has the nack of engaging with the crowd. He jumped into the crowd a couple of times and the young guns carried him through. Ah! The energy of the place was infectious. All of my favourite songs made it to the setlist that night. Of course it included ‘Dare you to Move’.

Outfits

I traveled in the most comfortable clothes to Kolkata – a flow-y tunic, tights, and sneakers. For the first day, I teamed a plaid shirt in olive green with high waist denim and ankle boots! The shirt has some intricate embroidery going on on the back, but I couldn’t get a picture of it. Will put it up on Instagram.
The next day, I wore this ever so lovely dress from Kharakapas. I chose to wear the same boots to add a little edge to the otherwise elegant piece of clothing.

Outfit Details:

That was my trip to Kolkata.

Love,
Rad All Day.