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Of all the qualities that typified Frank Zappa, perhaps the most striking is that he was a paradox. A workaholic perfectionist rock star who eschewed the hippie culture of the 1960s, deploring its conformism, spurious ideals and drug use, Zappa was not only a brilliant rock guitarist but an orchestral composer, innovative filmmaker, music producer, businessman, iconoclast and perceptive political and social commentator. His oeuvre continually amazes: over 60 albums of music from rock to orchestral, in addition to innumerable films, concerts and other accomplishments.

Frank Vincent Zappa was born 21 Dec 1940, in Baltimore, MD.

His father’s profession as a chemical weapons specialist meant that he had to take strange medical precautions as a child, such as wearing gas masks. His parents were from different cultures and ancestries, and because his family had to move houses so much, he attended six different high schools. Such a diverse and extraordinary upbringing influenced Zappa’s highly critical views on mainstream politics, art, and media. He was famous for his critique of the Garden of Eden story, and for being a strong advocate towards freedom of speech and even self-education.

His testimony before the United States Senate in 1985 is a true example of his dedication against censorship.

He was playing in R&B groups by high school. After barely graduating from high school, and then dropping out of junior college (where he met his first wife, Kay Sherman), Zappa worked at such jobs as window dresser, copywriter and door-to-door salesman. With the money he earned from scoring Run Home, Slow (1965) (written by his high school English teacher, Don Cerveris), Zappa purchased a recording studio and, after concocting an allegedly obscene recording for an undercover policeman, spent ten days in jail. Zappa’s diverse range of albums (both with the seminal and protean groups The Mothers of Invention and Zappa; as well as solo releases) are renowned not only for their bravura musicianship and satire, but for offending various groups (usually conservatives, both religious and political).

Zappa had extremely diverse musical influences, including avant-garde composers such as Varese, Halim-al-Dabh, and Igor Stravinsky. During his time in high school, he had obtained an impressive collection of R&B records, which, coupled with his avant-garde musical collection, allowed him to study orchestral music independently.

His parents would let him practice with a snare drum while he was only a child, and by age 16, he was a drummer for a local band known as The Blackouts. Soon, Zappa would start playing the guitar, his influences mainly being American blues, soul, and funk music. After composing several orchestral and solo works, Zappa finally found his way into his first professional band ‘the Soul Giants’. He soon worked his way up to bandleader, after which he renamed the band to ‘The Mothers of Invention’. He worked with legendary producer Tom Wilson to release the band’s first album ‘Freak Out!’ in 1966. The band released its second album, ‘Absolutely Free’, in 1967. Zappa had also released an orchestral album independently (Lumpy Gravy) in 1968.

Almost all of his pieces were characterized by his atypical musical style, use of orchestral instruments, and wide use of blues, funk, and jazz music. His band released two more albums in 1968, and two more in 1970. However, after a number of setbacks, notably the event that was immortalized on Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water”, when one of Zappa’s event venues burned down, Zappa moved on towards personal records and jazz oriented bands. During this time, he also created several record labels such as Bizarre and DiscReet, which proved crucial in funding his projects. The 1970’s was a highly prolific decade for Zappa, in which he wrote two of his most successful albums, Joe’s Garage and Apostrophe, alongside his most successful single “Don’t eat the yellow snow”.

The 200 Motels (1971) soundtrack was deemed too offensive by the Royal Albert Hall, which canceled scheduled concerts in 1975; and the song “Jewish Princess” (1979) led to Jewish calls for Zappa to apologize. These, and such events as Zappa testifying before Congress in 1985 against rock music censorship, being appointed by Czech president Václav Havel as his Cultural Liaison Officer or considering running for US president, have unfortunately been Zappa’s only real source of mainstream publicity

In the early 1980’s, Zappa released five guitar-only albums that distinguished him as a revolutionary guitar soloist. His biggest selling single, ‘Valley Girl’, was released right after this period. His final record was ‘Civilization, Phase III’ which was a major orchestral work of his.

Diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1991, Zappa nonetheless continued working at his Hollywood Hills home, until his death on 4 December 1993. His widow, Gail, and children Dweezil Zappa, Moon Unit Zappa, Ahmet Zappa and Diva Zappa, soon released a statement to the press that simply stated: “Composer Frank Zappa left for his final tour just before 6pm Saturday.”

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Stephen “StevieRay Vaughan (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer, best known as the guitarist and frontman of the blues rock band Double Trouble.

A preeminent bluesman, award-winning guitarist and singer Stevie Ray Vaughan earned critical and commercial success during the 1980s.

Born on October 3, 1954 in Dallas, Texas, Stevie Ray Vaughan played guitar as a child and became lead singer for the Texas band Double Trouble, which led to work with David Bowie and Jackson Browne. Vaughan had hit albums with his band before the 1989 release of In Step, for which he earned a Grammy. He also recorded with his brother Jimmy. Vaughan died in a late night helicopter crash on August 27, 1990, at 35.

Early Career

Musician Stevie Ray Vaughn was born on October 3, 1954, in Dallas, Texas. Vaughan was at the forefront of a blues resurgence in the 1980s, bringing rock fans into the fold with a powerful, driving style of play that earned him comparisons with some of his heroes such as Jimi Hendrix, Otis Rush and Muddy Waters. His four main studio albums were critical and commercial successes, rising high on the music charts and paving the way to sold-out stadium shows across the country.

Inspired by his older brother Jimmie’s guitar playing, Stevie picked up his first guitar at the age of 10, a plastic Sears toy that he loved to strum. With an exceptional ear, (Stevie never learned to read sheet music) Stevie taught himself to play the blues by the time he’d reached high school, testing his stage skills at a Dallas club any chance he could.

Well into his junior year, Vaughan had already played with several garage bands. But lacking any kind of academic drive, Stevie struggled to stay in school. Following a brief enrollment at an alternative arts program sponsored by Southern Methodist University, Stevie dropped out of school, moved to Austin and concentrated on making a living as a musician. To make ends meet, Vaughan collected soda and beer bottles for money and couch-surfed at various friends’ houses. The rest of the time he was playing music, jumping in-and-out of various bands that had semi-regular gigs in the Austin area.

In 1975, Vaughan and a few others formed Triple Threat. After some reshuffling, the group was renamed Double Trouble, inspired by an Otis Rush song. With Vaughan on lead vocals, the group developed a strong fan base throughout Texas. Eventually their popularity spread outside the Lone Star State. In 1982, the group caught the attention of Mick Jagger, who invited them to play at a private party in New York City. That same year, Double Trouble performed at the Montreux Blues & Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

Big Break

While there, Vaughan’s musical abilities caught the attention of David Bowie, who asked the musician to play on his upcoming album, Let’s Dance. With some commercial viability behind them, Vaughan and his bandmates were signed to a record deal with Epic, where they were put in the capable hands of legendary musician and producer, John Hammond, Sr.

The resulting record, Texas Flood, did not disappoint, reaching No. 38 on the charts and catching the notice of rock stations across the country. For his part, Stevie was voted Best New Talent and Best Electric Blues Guitarist in a 1983 reader’s poll by Guitar Player Magazine. Double Trouble set off on a successful tour, and then recorded a second album, Couldn’t Stand the Weather, which climbed to No. 31 on the charts and went gold in 1985.

More records (the live album, Live Alive and then another studio collection, Soul to Soul) and more success followed. There were Grammy nominations and, in 1984, the unprecedented recognition of Vaughan by the National Blues Foundation Awards, which named him Entertainer of the Year and Blues Instrumentalist of the Year. He became the first white musician ever to receive both honors.

Mainstream Success

But Vaughan’s personal life was spiraling downward. His relationship with his wife, Lenora Darlene Bailey, whom he’d married in 1979, fell apart. He battled drug and alcohol problems. Finally, following a collapse while on tour in Europe in 1986, the guitarist checked himself into rehab.

For the next year, Vaughan largely stayed away from the high-powered music scene that had dominated his life over the last half decade. But in 1988, he and Double Trouble started performing again and making plans for another album. In June 1989, the group released their fourth studio album, In Step. The recording featured Vaughan’s driving guitar style, as well as several songs such as “Wall of Denial” and “Tight Rope,” which touched on the struggles he’d gone through in his personal life. The release reached No. 33 on the charts, and garnered the group a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Recording.

Vaughan was as much a fan of blues history as he was a part of it. He owned Hendrix’s “wah-wah,” as well as a small army of classic Stratocaster electric guitars that had colorful names like Red, Yellow and National Steel. His favorite—and the one he used more than any other—was a 59 Strat he called “Number One.”

In the spring of 1990, Vaughan and his brother stepped into the studio to begin work on an album that was scheduled to be released that autumn. The record, Family Style, made its debut that October, but Stevie never lived to see it.

Death and Legacy

On August 26, 1990, Vaughan and Double Trouble played a big show in East Troy, Wisconsin, that featured Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray and Jimmie Vaughan. Just after midnight, Stevie hopped on a helicopter bound for Chicago. Contending with dense fog, the helicopter crashed into a hilly field just minutes after take-off, killing everyone on board. Vaughan was buried at Laurel Land Memorial Park in South Dallas. More than 1,500 people attended the musician’s memorial service.

In the years since, Stevie Ray Vaughan’s legend has only grown. Just a little more than a year after his death, Vaughan was recognized by Texas governor Ann Richards, who proclaimed October 3, 1991, “Stevie Ray Vaughan Day.”

In addition, fans have been treated to a number of tribute specials and posthumous albums, including an early live Double Trouble record and a special box set of rare recordings, live shows, and never-before-heard outtakes. In a demonstration of the power of Vaughan’s music, sales of these newer records have more than matched the records that came out during Stevie Ray Vaughan’s lifetime.

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James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career lasted only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential guitarists in history and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century.

The guitarist and singer-songwriter is considered to be among the greatest electric guitarists in musical history. Hendrix died in London on September 18, 1970, at age 27. According to his death report, Hendrix had asphyxiated in his own vomit after drinking and taking drugs.

Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Jimi Hendrix delighted audiences in the 1960s with his outrageous electric guitar playing skills and his experimental sound.

Jimi Hendrix learned to play guitar as a teenager and grew up to become a rock legend who excited audiences in the 1960s with his innovative electric guitar playing. One of his most memorable performances was at Woodstock in 1969, where he performed “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Hendrix died in 1970 from drug-related complications, leaving his mark on the world of rock music and remaining popular to this day.

Jimi Hendrix: Press shot for Curtis Knight and the Squires from 1965, featuring a young Jimi Hendrix.

Jimi Hendrix was born Johnny Allen Hendrix (later changed by his father to James Marshall) on November 27, 1942, in Seattle, Washington. He had a difficult childhood, sometimes living in the care of relatives or acquaintances.

Jimi Hendrix With His Mother Lucille

His mother, Lucille, was only 17 years old when Hendrix was born. She had a stormy relationship with his father, Al, and eventually left the family after the couple had two more children together, sons Leon and Joseph. Hendrix would only see his mother sporadically before her death in 1958.

Mother Lucille, Father Al, Leon, and Jimi Hendrix

In many ways, music became a sanctuary for Hendrix. He was a fan of blues and rock and roll, and with his father’s encouragement taught himself to play guitar.

When Hendrix was 16, his father bought him his first acoustic guitar, and the next year his first electric guitar—a right-handed Supro Ozark that the natural lefty had to flip upside down to play. Shortly thereafter, he began performing with his band, the Rocking Kings. In 1959, he dropped out of high school and worked odd jobs while continuing to follow his musical aspirations.

In 1961, Hendrix followed in his father’s footsteps by enlisting in the United States Army. While training as a paratrooper, Hendrix still found time for music, forming a band named the King Kasuals. Hendrix served in the army until 1962, when he was honorably discharged after injuring himself during a parachute jump. 

After leaving the military, Hendrix began working under the name Jimmy James as a session musician, playing backup for such performers as Little Richard, B.B. King, Sam Cooke and the Isley Brothers. In 1965 he also formed a group of his own called Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, which played gigs around New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood.

In mid-1966, Hendrix met Chas Chandler—bass player of the British rock group the Animals—who signed an agreement with Hendrix to become his manager. Chandler convinced Hendrix to go to London, where he joined forces with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell to form the Jimi Hendrix Experience. 

While performing in England, Hendrix built up quite a following among the country’s rock royalty, with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who and Eric Clapton all becoming great admirers of his work. One critic for the British music magazine Melody Maker said that he “had great stage presence” and looked at times as if he were playing “with no hands at all.”

Jimi Hendrix Hey Joe

Released in 1967, the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s first single, “Hey Joe,” was an instant smash in Britain and was soon followed by hits such as “Purple Haze” and “The Wind Cries Mary.” 

On tour to support his first album, Are You Experienced? (1967), Hendrix delighted audiences with his outrageous guitar playing skills and his innovative, experimental sound. In June 1967 he also won over American music fans with his stunning performance at the Monterey Pop Festival, which ended with Hendrix lighting his guitar on fire.

This August 21, 1967 file photo shows Noel Redding, left, Jimi Hendrix – Noel Redding, Jimi Hendrix, and Mitch Mitchell

Electric Ladyland

Quickly becoming a rock superstar, later that year Hendrix scored again with his second album, Axis: Bold as Love (1967). 

His final album as part of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Electric Ladyland (1968), featured the hit “All Along the Watchtower,” which was written by Bob Dylan. The band continued to tour until it split up in 1969.

Star-Spangled Banner

In 1969, Hendrix performed at another legendary musical event: the Woodstock Festival. Hendrix, the last performer to appear in the three-day-plus festival, opened his set with a rock rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” that amazed the crowds and demonstrated his considerable talents as a musician.

Also an accomplished songwriter and producer by this time, Hendrix had his own recording studio, Electric Lady, in which he worked with different performers to try out new songs and sounds.

Band Of Gypsy’s, Billy Cox, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles

In late 1969, Hendrix put together a new group, forming Band of Gypsys with his army buddy Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles. The band never really took off, however, and Hendrix began working on a new album tentatively named First Rays of the New Rising Sun, with Cox and Mitch Mitchell. Sadly, Hendrix would not live to complete the project.

Hendrix died in London from drug-related complications on September 18, 1970, at the age of 27. He left an indelible mark on the world of rock music and remains popular to this day. 

As one journalist wrote in the Berkeley Tribe, “Jimi Hendrix could get more out of an electric guitar than anyone else. He was the ultimate guitar player.”

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Mötley Crüe is an band formed in Los Angeles in 1981. The group was founded by bassist Nikki Sixx, drummer Tommy Lee, lead guitarist Mick Mars and lead singer Vince Neil. Mötley Crüe has sold over 100 million albums worldwide.

Often identified as one of the best heavy metal bands of all time, Mötley Crüe soon became known as one of the prominent so-called hair metal groups of the 1980s, releasing their debut album, Too Fast for Love in 1982. From the beginning, the band’s crew became known for living licentious, hedonistic life styles. Their brushes with the law were numerous and members struggled with drug and alcohol addiction. During the worst of it in 1984, singer Vince Neil was convicted of vehicular manslaughter and spent 18 days in jail and was fined $2 million. Then on December 23, 1987, Sixx was declared dead for two minutes after a heroin overdose. He was revived by paramedics and taken to the hospital, which he escaped to rush home and shoot up in his bathroom. Then the crew collectively entered rehab in 1989 and subsequently released Dr. Feelgood, perhaps their greatest album ever.

Motley Crue’s Dr. Feelgood album spawned its fourth hit single nine months after the LP’s release: the sarcastic breakup anthem “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away).”

Nikki Sixx credited the band’s collective sobriety and the strong work ethic of producer Bob Rock for making Dr. Feelgood a highlight of their career. “In eight years together and with millions of albums sold, we had never recorded properly,” he explained in the band’s 2001 autobiography The Dirt. “No one had ever pushed us to the limits of our abilities before. I wanted ‘Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)’ to have a chorus you could destroy your room to. … I wanted an album I was finally proud of.”

The inspiration for the song’s title came from Hollywood.

“I saw that line in a movie somewhere, I can’t even remember what movie,” Sixx said of the song’s title in a 2009 Rolling Stone interview. “I thought, ‘Great idea for a song.’ A little tongue-in-cheek. A little sarcasm there.” It’s likely the line came from Clint Eastwood’s 1986 war movie Heartbreak Ridge, which features Mario Van Peebles uttering “Don’t go away mad, just go away” at the 1:17 mark in the scene below.

“Don’t Go Away Mad” turns 30. Released on May 28, 1990, “Don’t Go Away Mad” became the third Dr. Feelgood single to reach the Top 20 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, peaking at No. 19. Both the title track and the ballad “Without You” reached the Top 10, while “Kickstart My Heart” topped out at No. 27. On July 31, a fifth single, “Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.),” was released, ending the album’s yearlong radio campaign.

Three days after the release of “Don’t Go Away Mad,” Motley Crue kicked off the fifth and final leg of a grueling 154-show tour that reportedly netted each member $8 million, but it also left them burned out and completely sick of each other. “Dude, you’ve never seen four motherfuckers split up and go their own way faster than we did,” drummer Tommy Lee noted in The Dirt.

The next three decades were filled with breakups and reunions and retirements and comebacks, but “Don’t Go Away Mad” has remained a permanent fixture in the band’s set lists.

“That’s a great song,” singer Vince Neil told Rolling Stone. “We’ve been playing it for years. I love to play guitar and sing that song. It’s kind of a feel-good song. When that song comes on, everybody wants to sing along with you.”

To conclude, Mötley Crüe has won many awards and is included on numerous ‘best of the metal bands” compilations.

Mötley Crüe has a Stadium In the works. A co-headlining tour by British rock band Def Leppard and American rock band Mötley Crüe. Poison and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts are special guests on the tour. The tour was announced on December 4, 2019.

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Faith No More is an American rock band from San Francisco, California, formed in 1979. Before settling on the current name in 1982, the band performed under the names Sharp Young Men and later Faith No Man.

When the Californian rock band Faith No More broke up in 1998, they released the perfect swansong. Despite their mainstream success and festival-headliner status, their quixotic, dysfunctional career was fundamentally defined by kamikaze contrarianism and a wicked, sometimes baffling sense of humour. So what better epitaph than the lyrics of their final single, a cover of the Bee Gees’ I Started a Joke? “I started a joke which started the whole world crying/ But I didn’t see that the joke was on me.”

It turns out that the story behind the cover version is somewhat less poetic. “We had a night off in Guam and we went to some military bar,” bassist Billy Gould explains. “There were big-screen TVs showing hardcore porn and they started playing I Started a Joke on karaoke.” He grins: “It was like God speaking to us: ‘You have to do this song.’”

Faith No More’s kind of story: lurid and absurd. In the 90s, they amused themselves by feeding interviewers jokes, wind-ups and outrageous anecdotes that may or may not have been true. Back together in middle age, they’re expected to be more serious and it’s clearly a strain.

Arguably, Faith No More’s strange career can better be explained by a category error. They may have broken through, with 1989’s platinum album The Real Thing, in the era of Guns N’ Roses and Poison, but they originated in San Francisco in the early 80s. They were post-punk misfits who became mistaken for metalheads. It was bound to cause problems.

With their fusion of heavy metal, funk, hip-hop, and progressive rock, Faith No More have earned a substantial cult following. By the time they recorded their first album in 1985, the band had already had a string of lead vocalists, including Courtney Love; their debut, We Care a Lot, featured Chuck Mosley’s abrasive vocals but was driven by Jim Martin’s metallic guitar. Faith No More’s next album, 1987’s Introduce Yourself, was a more cohesive and impressive effort; for the first time, the rap and metal elements didn’t sound like they were fighting each other.

In 1988, the rest of the band fired Mosley; he was replaced by Bay Area vocalist Mike Patton during the recording of their next album, The Real Thing. Patton was a more accomplished vocalist, able to change effortlessly between rapping and singing, as well as adding a considerably more bizarre slant to the lyrics. Besides adding a new vocalist, the band had tightened its attack and the result was the genre-bending hit single “Epic,” which established them as a major hard rock act.

Following up the hit wasn’t as easy, however. Faith No More followed their breakthrough success with 1992’s Angel Dust, one of the more complex and simply confounding records ever released by a major label. Although it sold respectably, it didn’t have the crossover potential of the first album. When the band toured in support of the album, tensions between the band and Martin began to escalate; rumors that his guitar was stripped from some of the final mixes of Angel Dust began to circulate. As the band was recording its fifth album in early 1994, it was confirmed that Martin had been fired from the band.

Faith No More recorded King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime with Mr. Bungle guitarist Trey Spruance. During tour preparations he was replaced by Dean Menta. Menta only lasted for the length of the King for a Day tour and was replaced by Jon Hudson for 1997’s Album of the Year. Upon the conclusion of the album’s supporting tour, Faith No More announced they were disbanding in April 1998. Patton, who had previously fronted Mr. Bungle and had avant-garde projects with John Zorn, formed a new band named Fantômas with Melvins guitarist Buzz Osbourne, Mr. Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn, and former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo. Roddy Bottum continued with his band Imperial Teen, who released their first album, Seasick, in 1996. A posthumous Faith No More retrospective, Who Cares a Lot, appeared in late 1998.

In 2009, after 11 years of dissolution, Faith No More staged a reunion tour, playing festivals in Europe and scattered American dates; Jim Martin did not participate, but Jon Hudson and the rest of the band’s 1988 lineup took part. As the band continued to play shows, speculation grew concerning the possibility of a new studio album, and in November 2014, the band confirmed the rumors with the release of a single, “Motherfucker,” titled with their typical cheek. In May 2015, Faith No More released their first album since 1997, Sol Invictus, through Reclamation Records, a label distributed by Patton’s Ipecac imprint; the band supported the release with an extensive tour of the United States, Europe, and South America.

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One of the top rock bands ever to emerge from Los Angeles in the 1960s, The Doors first album came out during the iconic Summer of Love in 1967. On a disk full of great songs, the best of the best was “Light My Fire,” certainly one of the most incendiary rock singles of all time. After that, The Door kept churning out the hits, relying on the superior talent of Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Robby Krieger and, of course, singer Jim Morrison, who impressed with his wild, poetic, charismatic, profane stage persona, which got him and the band in trouble at least a few times.

Few performers have been so consistently controversial as James Douglas Morrison, the vocalist and songwriter of the Doors. And none has caused so many writers to construct so much gothic imagery in an effort to describe the mystique.

In the Village Voice, for instance, one chronicler said Morrison was the “first major male sex symbol since James Dean died and Marlon Brando got a paunch” and another called him at (different times) a “leather tiger,” a “shaman-serpent king,” “The Lizard King,” and “America’s Oedipal nightingale.” In Eye, he was described as a “demonic vision out of a medieval Hellmouth” and the author of a book about the Doors called him “the Sex-death, Acid-Evangelist of Rock, a sort of Hell’s Angel of the groin.” While the Miami Herald tagged him “The King of Orgasmic Rock,” Joyce Haber dubbed him “the swinging Door” and prose-poet Liza Williams said he was a “baby bullfighter” and “the ultimate Barbie doll.”

If writers have been engaged in an inordinate amount of word-weaving, Morrison’s public has gone farther, spinning and spreading outrageous tales as regularly as the Doors have churned out hits. If you believed them all, Morrison was always drunk and/or stoned; both an angelic choirboy in an unfortunate setting and a satyr seeking a continuing debauch; boorish and inarticulate as well as polite, considered and shy; all the above and none of these. New stories — each wilder than the last — were told each week and over a period of two years Jim Morrison came to represent the perfect Super Star — someone far larger than his work or his life. In truth, many of the extremes were based on more than fairytale.

Morrison finished writing a screenplay with poet Michael McClure and signed a contract with Simon and Schuster for his own first book of poetry.

Unlike the mythology, the music of the Doors remains a constant — a force which has not been so much an “influence” in rock, but a monument. “The music is your special friend,” Morrison sang in “The Music’s Over,” and for millions, the music of the Doors is just that; just as the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper renders a generation weak with nostalgia, so does the Doors’ “Light My Fire.” At the group’s peak, in 1967-68, there was also a strident urgency about Morrison’s music. “We want the world and we want it now.”

The band remained a potent rock force into the early 1970s, when Morrison died of mysterious circumstances in Paris, France. (Since there was no autopsy, nobody knows for sure what killed him!) Now Jim Morrison remains forever in the Rockers Dead at 27 Club. Anyway, soldiering on as a trio, The Doors survived until 1973.

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Van Halen is an American rock band formed in Pasadena, California in 1972. Credited with “restoring hard rock to the forefront of the music scene”, Van Halen is known for its energetic live shows and for the work of its acclaimed lead guitarist, Eddie Van Halen.

Van Halen, American heavy metal band distinguished by the innovative electric-guitar playing of Eddie Van Halen. The original members were guitarist Eddie Van Halen (b. January 26, 1957, Nijmegen, Netherlands), drummer Alex Van Halen (b. May 8, 1955, Nijmegen), bassist Michael Anthony (b. June 20, 1955, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.), and lead singer David Lee Roth (b. October 10, 1955, Bloomington, Indiana). Later members were Sammy Hagar (b. October 13, 1947, Monterey, California), Gary Cherone (b. July 26, 1961, Malden, Massachusetts), and Wolfgang Van Halen (b. March 16, 1991, Santa Monica, California).

Exposed to music early by their father, a jazz musician, and classically trained, Eddie and Alex Van Halen turned to rock music soon after their family emigrated from the Netherlands to southern California in the 1960s. In time Eddie, a drummer, and Alex, a guitarist, switched instruments. A demo financed by Gene Simmons of Kiss led to their band’s critically acclaimed debut album, Van Halen (1978), which eventually sold more than 10 million copies in the United States alone. Featuring the hits “Jump” and “Panama,” 1984(1984) made megastars of the Los Angeles-based band. Soon after, flamboyant lead singer Roth left Van Halen to pursue a solo career. With his replacement, Hagar, the band produced three chart-topping albums between 1986 and 1991, culminating in the Grammy Award-winning For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991). Hagar departed in 1996, and Roth returned briefly but was replaced by former Extreme lead singer Gary Cherone.

Cherone was greeted with dismal album sales and lukewarm fan response, and he left the group in 1999. The band drifted without a singer for three years, and rumours circulated about possible replacements. Meanwhile, Roth and Hagar shared headlining duties on a 2002 tour that featured each singer’s solo material, as well as selections from both Van Halen eras. Quick to capitalize on the interest generated by the unlikely pairing of the two former frontmen, Van Halen released the greatest hits collection The Best of Both Worlds (2004) and recruited Hagar for a North American tour. In 2006 Anthony left the band and was replaced on bass by Eddie’s teenage son Wolfgang. The following year, with Roth once again filling in as lead singer, the group embarked on its most successful tour. A Different Kind of Truth, Van Halen’s first collection of new material in more than a decade, surfaced in 2012. The band’s second live album—and the first with Roth as frontman—was Tokyo Dome Live in Concert(2015).

Throughout the band’s frequent lineup changes what endured was Eddie’s virtuoso technique—notably his masterful use of the “whammy” (vibrato) bar and string bending and his adaptation of baroque music stylings—which influenced countless heavy metal guitarists in the 1980s. In 2007 Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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