Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch Series,”where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

This is often misinterpreted as a song celebrating personal freedom. It is actually a commentary on how people really want choices made for them. The song’s statement is made in the last chorus, “Freedom of choice is what you’ve got, freedom from choice is what you want.”

Devo – Album: Freedom Of Choice (1980)

Devo was founded by Jerry Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh, who met at Kent State University. Here’s what Jerry said in an interview about “Freedom Of Choice”: “We loved that song very much when we were creating it. It was about how people were throwing away their freedom of choice into meaningless choices like between Pepsi and Coke, or pink fur shoes or blue suede shoes. Just mindless consumerism, they’d rather not be free, they’d rather be told what to do, because that’s what appeared to us was the case, especially in the Reagan years. That was a very Devo position – Freedom Of Choice is what you’ve got, Freedom From Choice is what you want.”

The lyrics about the dog in ancient Rome who had two bones are based on an old Aesop’s fable about a dog that’s walking across a bridge with a bone in his mouth. He looks down in the water and sees another dog with a bone, and he gets so upset that he finally goes to attack the other dog and loses his bone. Or, as Mark Mothersbaugh explains, “It could have been about the Cocker Spaniel that lives in my house. There’s two Pugs, and if I give the Cocker Spaniel a treat, she’s happy until I give one to the other dogs, and then she drops hers and can’t believe that they have the treats too. She thinks they’ve gotten her treats, so she’s upset until that’s over.”

This was used in a 2003 commercial for Miller Lite beer. With this playing in the background, people topple over each other like a giant line of dominoes. They keep toppling until the line reaches a bar, where the last guy steps out of the way and orders his Miller Lite. Says Mothersbaugh, “I liked that one as much as the Swiffer one gives me goose bumps of repulsion.”

Devo will allow their songs to be used in commercials only if they can re-record them for the ad. As a result of a bad publishing deal they signed in 1978, they own only half the rights to their songs. Re-recording the songs allows them to keep all the performance rights, and also lets the advertiser change the lyrics. In the Miller Lite commercial, the line “He went in circles ’til he dropped dead” was changed to “He went in circles ’til he dropped down” because the Miller people didn’t want to imply that the people falling like dominoes were dying.

Psychedelic Rock

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch Series,”where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

The mysterious death of Iron Butterflies bassist Philip Taylor Kramer

Philip Taylor Kramer was born in 1952 in Youngstown, Ohio. In 1974, he joined Iron Butterfly as its bass player, playing on two of the group’s albums, Scorching Beauty and Sun and Steel, both released in 1975. After the breakup of Iron Butterfly, Kramer continued to play with founding member Ron Bushy in the groups Magic and Gold between 1977 and 1980.

After leaving the band, he dropped the Phillip from his name, went back to college and earned a degree in aerospace engineering, which led to a stint working for the U.S. Department of Defense. In the ’90s, Kramer created Total Multimedia Inc., a high-tech multimedia company that did pioneering work in video compression technology. Ultimately, his brief stint in Iron Butterfly was a mere footnote to his much more involved life’s work.

He also married and had two children. In 1994, he grew emotionally distraught as his companies went bankrupt and were reorganized. In the weeks prior to his disappearance, he told his wife, Jennifer, that he was working on an important computer and data compression project. He claimed that the program could take a missing child’s photograph and find that child in a group of thousands of people.
On February 11, 1995, Taylor and Jennifer went on a hike in Thousand Oaks. While hiking, she noticed that he had great amounts of energy. At one point, he pointed out a cross on a hill, telling her that their house was in its path. According to her, he was finding sacredness in everything. She now believes that his bizarre behavior was due to sleep deprivation.
On February 12, Taylor left home at around 9AM and went to visit his father-in-law. After leaving there, he went to Los Angeles International Airport to pick up a business associate and Jennifer. After arriving at the airport, he waited for twenty-five minutes and then left for no apparent reason. He drove north, towards his home. During this time, he made several phone calls. At one point, he left a message for Iron Butterfly’s drummer and close friend, Ron Bushy. According to Ron, he sounded stressed and scared. After that, he called Jennifer and told her to call his business associate. When she asked where he was going, he would not answer. He claimed that, when he saw her, he would have a “big surprise” for her.
One hour later, Taylor made a call to 911 from his Ford Aerostar. He claimed that he was going to kill himself. That was the last time he was heard from, and no trace of him or his van was found. However, since his disappearance, multiple eyewitnesses have come forward, claiming to have seen him alive. A pawn shop employee in Kenowga Park remembered seeing him in late February. At around the same time, a woman and her daughter saw him at a garage sale.
On February 28, two-and-a-half weeks after his disappearance, Taylor allegedly made one final call to his family. All he said was “Hello, hello”. He has never been located.

Four years later, on May 29, 1999, two photographers snapping pictures of old car wrecks at the bottom of Decker Canyon near Malibu, California found Taylor’s van. His skeletal remains were inside; the cause of death was blunt force trauma, consistent with him driving off of a cliff. His remains were identified through dental records. After an investigation, his death was ruled a probable suicide based on forensic evidence, financial problems, and phone calls made before he died, one of which stated he was going to kill himself.

“My brother would not have left his family,” Kramer’s sister said in an interview with VH-1. His widow told the L.A. Times that Kramer “would never, for any reason or under any circumstances, allow himself to completely abandon the family he loves more than life itself.”

Kramer had reportedly been working on a revolutionary method of transporting information and matter through space, and his father remained unconvinced his death was a suicide. “Taylor had told me a long time before, there was people giving him problems,” he said. “They wanted what he was doing, and several of them had threatened him. He told me ‘If I ever say I’m gonna kill myself, don’t you believe it. I’m gonna be needing help.'”

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch Series,”where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

The group formed in the Latin District of San Francisco. They are named after group leader Carlos Santana, and were originally known as the Santana Blues Band. It’s one of the few groups named after a guitarist in the band (The J. Geils Band is another).

They appeared at both the original (1969) and second (1994) Woodstock. When they played the 1969 festival, they hadn’t yet released their first album – their manager, Bill Graham, pulled some strings to get them on the bill. They went on sooner than expected, catching Carlos in the middle of a mescaline experience. “I was praying to God to keep me in time and in tune,” he said.

Their performance was one of the most acclaimed and thrust them to stardom. As Graham predicted, it went to their heads: Carlos embraced an extravagant rock star lifestyle, but soon changed direction and went down a more spiritual path.

Carlos launched line of shoes at J.C. Penny in 2000. He did not design them, but they were supposed to be inspired by his music. Proceeds go to children’s charities.

When Neal Schon entered the group, there was some controversy because he was white. Carlos Santana wanted to try a two-guitar sound and thought Schon was up to task even though he didn’t have a Latin heritage. Schon and Rolie formed Journey when they left the group.

When the band had some hits and became a popular live draw, some of the members started using drugs, and Carlos thought they were getting lazy at their shows. He briefly left the band, but rejoined them later on tour.

Carlos Santana had a huge resurgence when his 1999 album Supernatural was released. Pairing Carlos with popular young singers like Rob Thomas, Everlast and Dave Matthews was a winning combination, and made Santana relevant to a whole new generation. The album was the big winner at the 2000 Grammy Awards.

Some of Santana’s early hits were new arrangements or adaptations of other artists’ material: “Jingo” from Babatunde Olatunji, Willie Bobo’s “Evil Ways,” Tito Puente’s “Oye Como Va,” and Peter Green’s “Black Magic Woman” (a big UK single for the late ’60s Fleetwood Mac).

In addition to being husband and wife for 34 years, Carlos Santana and his wife, Deborah, have also owned businesses and started a children’s charity, the Milagro Foundation, together. In late 2007, Deborah filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences.”

In the early ’70s, Santana helped out another Bay-area band that went on to a five-decade career: Tower Of Power. Carlos Santana enlisted them as an opening act when ToP’s first album came out.

“We were hot in the Bay area, but in the rest of the country we were nothing,” Tower Of Power founder Emilio Castillo said in an interview. “But Carlos was into the band. And mind you, every night, we gave him a run for his money. A lot of guys would have just said, ‘I ain’t going to have those guys open for me, I look bad.’ But I believe he felt it made him play better and urged him on. So he took us all over the country and people had no idea who we were.”

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch Series,”where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Trent Reznor, Singer, songwriter, producer, instrumentalist

Founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio, Nine Inch Nails (NIN) is commonly referred to as an industrial rock act though NIN defies genre convention, drawing musical inspiration from hardcore industrial bands like Skinny Puppy and Throbbing Gristle, while incorporating solo piano ballads, synthpop variations and even elements of drum & bass into their sound. Trent Reznor is the only official member of the project although backing musicians are employed for live performances.

As a studio engineer and fresh out of the bands The Innocent and Exotic Birds, Reznor started his own project borrowing John Malm Jr. from Exotic Birds as his informal manager. At the time, Reznor worked as a janitor and assistant for Right Track Studios. There he recorded his first demos. Unable to find like-minded individuals that suited his artistic needs, Reznor played all the instruments himself except for the drums and went on to support Skinny Puppy at several concerts.

Reznor’s aspirations for NIN included a 12-inch single on a small European label, but he signed with TVT records and recorded nine tracks in November 1988. These tracks were later included in NIN’s first full length album release in 1989. There was much speculation about the project’s name, perhaps alluding to the nine-inch nails used for the crucifixion of Jesus or, it was speculated, meant to allude to Freddy Kreuger’s nails from the horror franchise Nightmare on Elm Street. Reznor himself disputed any literal meaning claiming he chose the title because it abbreviated well and made a good logo.

In 1989, Reznor collaborated with Adrian Sherwood and Mark “Flood” Ellis on the production of the album Pretty Hate Machine, including the now classic NIN singles “Head Like A Hole” and “Down In It.” This album was one of the first independently released albums to ever achieve platinum status. The original music video for “Down In It” sparked controversy when the helium weather balloon used to film the last scene, where Reznor lies seemingly dead and covered in corn starch while other band members walk off screen in weird costumes, escaped its mooring and ended up in a farmer’s field. The farmer took the camera to the FBI suspecting marijuana surveillance footage. The FBI thought the footage was related to gang violence or possibly even a snuff film.

In 1990, NIN hit the road for The Pretty Hate Machine Tour Series, opening for Peter Murphy and The Jesus and Mary Chain. This tour developed into a world tour that continued through the Lollapolooza tour in 1991. Reznor’s onstage antics became increasingly aggressive resulting in smashed equipment and ecstatic fans.

After disillusion with the TVT record label and trying to record music under various pseudonyms to get around the label’s insistence that NIN assume a more synthpop sound for their follow-up album, Reznor and Mark Ellis started recording in secret. TVT eventually traded NIN over to Interscope, which encouraged Reznor to make the music he wanted to and also helped him set-up his own label, Nothing. In 1992, Reznor released Broken, Nothing’s first album, an EP featuring six songs and two bonus tracks. Heavier and harder than the band’s previous album, two of the tracks off Broken, “Wish” and “Happiness in Slavery” won NIN two Grammy awards for Best Metal Performance, the first two of twelve subsequent Grammy nominations.

Having moved into an LA residence famous for being the site of the Tate Murders (perpetrated by cult leader, Charles Manson) controversy continued to dog Reznor when the music video for “Happiness in Slavery” was universally banned. The footage featured Bob Flanagan naked on a machine which pleasured, tortured and eventually killed him. Continuing along these graphic lines, Reznor’s videos for “Pinion” and “Help Me I’m In Hell” featured a toilet flushing into the mouth of a person in bondage and a young man kidnapped, tortured and killed respectively. Although these videos were never officially released, they were circulated amongst covert tape trading groups at the time.

Living and recording at his LA home dubbed Le Pig, Reznor chose to record rather than tour and began work on The Downward Spiral released in 1994. Influenced by Bowie and Pink Floyd, The Downward Spiralfeatures a range of moods as the music seems to follow the psychological development of a central character. The most successful NIN’s album to date, the album’s success was anchored by the singles “Closer,” “Hurt” (nominated for a Grammy and later covered by Johnny Cash), “March of the Pigs” and “Piggy.” The video for “Closer” directed by Mark Romanek received heavy rotation on MTV2 after extensive editing, the original considered too graphic once again for most watchers. The video is an industrial take on the lab of a 19th century mad scientist complete with animal cruelty, religious symbols including a monkey suffering crucifixion, graphic sexual images and a variety of S&M/bondage paraphernalia. Reznor himself dons an S&M mask while swinging in shackles, which only added to the controversial content.

Reznor embarked on the Self Destruct Tour, culminating in a mud-drenched Woodstock ’94 performance. The Downward Spiral album and tour garnered NIN both critical acclaim and a horde of new fans, catapulting the relatively unknown industrial act onto the mainstream charts with significant, but censored, radio play. After the tour, Reznor took a break from NIN, working on several soundtrack projects. Reznor produced the soundtrack for Natural Born Killers directed by Oliver Stone, developed the music and sound effects for the first person shooter video game Quake and produced the soundtrack for David Lynch’s Lost Highway. The soundtrack for Lost Highway spawned the single release of “The Perfect Drug.” The video, again directed by Romanek, features a father mourning his dead son in a Gothic mansion while losing himself to absinthe addiction, perhaps prophetic of Reznor’s later battles with alcoholism and drug addiction.

In 2005, NIN released their long overdue fourth full-length album, With Teeth, written in the shadow of Reznor’s battle with alcoholism and substance abuse. Singles include “The Hand That Feeds” and “Every Day is Exactly The Same” but the album was generally slammed by critics as being unoriginal and lacking in signature Reznor creativity.

NIN followed up the mediocre success of With Teethwith their 2007 offering, Year Zero, a concept album critical of the US government’s approach to politics. The album’s story is set in 2022, in an America ravaged by terrorism now operating under a Christian theocracy while distributing a drug designed to make the masses apathetic. Rebel movements from 2022 travel back in time to warn 2007 Americans of the coming apocalypse. This album met with critical acclaim but failed to perform in the charts. Although Reznor planned to create a movie adaptation of the album, that idea has since been superseded by HBO and BBC interest in developing a miniseries for TV.

In 2008, Reznor released two albums – Ghosts I-IVand The Slip – under creative commons license, making them available for free download on NIN’s official website. The albums were surprisingly popular, receiving over 5 million downloads. Since 2009, Reznor has officially put NIN on indefinite hiatus while working on side projects including How to Destroy Angels with his wife Mariqueen Maandig, and Atticus Ross. Reznor and Ross worked together on the soundtrack for the film The Social Network, winning a Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Score 2010. Reznor and Ross again collaborated on the score for the 2011 film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Trent Reznor appeared fleetingly in the 1987 Michael J. Fox movie Light Of Day, where he’s part of a Synth-Pop band who aren’t much good.

Trent Reznor married Mariqueen Maandig in October 2009. They have two sons, Lazarus Echo (born October 10, 2010) and Balthazar, (born December 31, 2011). Reznor settled on his boys’ names ahead of their births, but admitted to Scotland’s The Daily Record that he would have had a battle on his hands with his in-laws if he’d had a daughter. “With those names, the boys are going to have to learn how to fight,” he laughed. “The in-laws are fine with it. The children were going to be stuck with those names regardless. But if there was a female, we were going to have a punch-up for sure.”

In 2009, before privacy was a major concern to most users, Trent Reznor released a Nine Inch Nails iPhone app with an innovative feature: Nearby, which let fans find other fans using the app in their area. The app didn’t work very well and never caught on.

Stabbing Westward frontman Christopher Hall credits Nine Inch Nails for getting his band and other industrial acts signed to major labels. “They had amazing songs that were super edgy to be on the radio and made everyone feel edgy and dirty,” “When that happened, every record label in America – and this is what they always do, they’re reactive as opposed to being proactive – they looked around and said, ‘Where can we get one of them?'”

Filter frontman Richard Patrick was a touring guitarist for Nine Inch Nails from 1989-1993. His only recorded contribution is a guitar drone that can be heard at the end of “Sanctified.”

Speaking on the podcast Stop! Drop & Talk, Patrick cited comments from Trent Reznor as the motivating factor for him quitting Nine Inch Nails.

“The final straw was Trent goes, ‘Hey, listen, Rich, I know you need some extra cash. Listen. Down at the end of Cielo Drive, there’s a little pizzeria, and they need drivers. So maybe you can go make some extra cash over there,'” Patrick explained. “And I’m, like, ‘Wow!'”

At that point Patrick had already written Filter’s’s debut single “Hey Man Nice Shot” and had interest from several labels.

Nine Inch Nails entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020. At the ceremony (virtual, due to coronavirus), the Rock Hall made it clear that Reznor was the group, but inducted six other members as well:

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste won the Oscar for best score for the jazz-infused Pixar feature Soul, which featured the contrast of New York’s jazz scene with original compositions by Batiste, and the ethereal Great Before, scored by Reznor and Ross.

Chris Vrenna
Danny Lohner
Robin Finck
Atticus Ross
Alessandro Cortini
Ilan Rubin

Ross, Cortini, and Rubin didn’t make any contributions to NIN in the ’90s.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch Series,”where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Psychedelia refers to the psychedelic subculture of the 1960s and the psychedelic experience. This includes psychedelic art, psychedelic music and style of dress during that era. This was primarily generated by people who used psychedelic drugs such as LSD, mescaline (found in peyote) and psilocybin (found in magic mushrooms) and also non-users who were participants and aficionados of this subculture. Psychedelic art and music typically recreate or reflect the experience of altered consciousness. Psychedelic art uses highly distorted, surreal visuals, bright colors and full spectrums and animation (including cartoons) to evoke, convey, or enhance the psychedelic experience. Psychedelic music uses distorted electric guitar, Indian music elements such as the sitar, tabla, electronic effects, sound effects and reverberation, and elaborate studio effects, such as playing tapes backwards or panning the music from one side to another.

From England, two former guitarists with the Yardbirds, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, moved on to form key acts in the genre, The Jeff Beck Group and Led Zeppelin respectively. Other major pioneers of the genre had begun as blues-based psychedelic bands, including Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Judas Priest and UFO.

Psychedelic rock, style of rock music popular in the late 1960s that was largely inspired by hallucinogens, or so-called “mind-expanding” drugs such as marijuana and LSD(lysergic acid diethylamide; “acid”), and that reflected drug-induced states through the use of feedback, electronics, and intense volume.

Emerging in 1966, psychedelic rock became the soundtrack of the wider cultural exploration of the hippie movement. Initially centred on the West Coast of the United States, where the early Grateful Dead was the house band at novelist Ken Kesey’s Acid Test multimedia “happenings,” psychedelia soon spread from the San Francisco Bay area to the rest of the country and then to Europe to become the major rock phenomenon of the late 1960s. In addition to the Grateful Dead, West Coast psychedelic bands included Love, the Charlatans, the Doors, and the Jefferson Airplane, the last of which featured the striking vocals of Grace Slick and scored Top Ten hit singles in 1967 with “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit.” Meanwhile, the 13th Floor Elevators from Austin, Texas, epitomized the darker, more psychotic frenzy of acid rock—characterized by overdriven guitars, amplified feedback, and droning guitar motifs influenced by Eastern music. Led by the wayward talent of Roky Erickson, a gifted musician who was later hospitalized for mental illness, the 13th Floor Elevators released four frenetic albums featuring bizarre jug-blowing blues before imploding in 1969. On the East Coast, the Velvet Underground symbolized a nihilistic cool version of psychedelia, picking up on its sonic techniques yet distancing themselves from the more playful “flower power” culture.

Established rock bands also began to introduce psychedelic elements into their music—notably the Beatles with such albums as Revolver(1966), Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band(1967), and Magical Mystery Tour (1967), the Beach Boys with the expansive, haunting Pet Sounds (1966), and the Yardbirds with “Shapes of Things” (1966). The Rolling Stones ventured into the scene with the less successful Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967), while such groups as the Byrds created a more commercial version of raw psychedelia.

In Britain psychedelic pioneers created music that was steeped in whimsy and surrealism, less aggressive and minimalist than their American counterparts. It merged improvisation and sonic experimentation to create longer songs, incorporated the influence of Beat poetry and modern jazz, and utilized Eastern instruments such as the sitar. Pink Floyd were the leading stars of the British scene, which revolved around venues such as London’s UFO club (a predecessor to festivals like Glastonbury) and Middle Earth and such events as the 14-Hour Technicolour Dream, a happening in Alexandra Palace that drew counterculture celebrities such as John Lennon and Yoko Ono and Andy Warhol. With a visionary imagination that later tragically collapsed into schizophrenia, Syd Barrett, lead singer and composer of early Pink Floyd, enthusiastically pursued the acid rock ethics of musical exploration and experimentation on his band’s first album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967). Lush, hypnotic, and groundbreaking, it was a classic of the psychedelic era.

Other major British acts that evolved from the underground “freak” (drug-using hippie) scene included the avant-garde Soft Machine, the operatic Crazy World of Arthur Brown, the Nice, and the more consciously political anarchist Tomorrow. While few psychedelic bands lasted longer than one or two albums, the impact of the genre was huge, revolutionizing fashion, poster art, and live performance. It also greatly influenced offshoots like heavy metal, art rock (many progressive and art rock bands grew out of psychedelic groups—e.g., Emerson, Lake and Palmer from the Nice), Kraut-rock (the experimental electronic music by German bands such as Can, Neu!, and Tangerine Dream), and the space-age funk of Parliament-Funkadelic (which, along with Jimi Hendrix, proved to be a key connection between black funk and psychedelia). Moreover, psychedelic rock’s influence was evident in later genres, from punk to rap to trip-hop, a 1990s mixture of hip-hop and contemporary psychedelia.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch Series,”where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

The Byrds, American band of the 1960s who popularized folk rock, particularly the songs of Bob Dylan, and whose changes in personnel created an extensive family tree of major country rock bands and rock supergroups.

Among the pioneers of folk rock, their popularity in the mid-’60s rivaled that of the Beatles. The Byrds’ characteristic sound was McGuinn’s 12-string Rickenbacker guitar.

Names before the Byrds include: the Jet Set, the Beefeaters. They misspelled “Byrds” as their nod to the Beatles.

They’re distinctive sound came naturally soon after they started performing together. “We had come out of folk music, so we had a sense of time and rhythm,” Chris Hillman said in an interview. “It was just basically transposing it into an electric format.”

When Clark left the band, the media was told it was because he had a fear of flying; a quote by McGuinn saying, “You can’t be a Byrd if you can’t fly” made the rounds.

Clark debunked this in a 1983 interview. “The fear of flying wasn’t why I quit the group,” he said. “When you’re 19, 20 years old and you start on a fantasy, then six months later you’re hanging out with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, it can cause you to become a little disturbed. The reason for the group’s breakup was much less the fear of flying than it was we were too young to handle the amount of success that was thrown at us all at once.”

Crosby went on to fame in Crosby, Stills and Nash. Parsons and Hillman formed the Flying Burrito Brothers.

White was a former bluegrass guitarist.

The Byrds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 16, 1991, the same night the US began airstrikes on Baghdad.

Roger (Jim, as he was known then) McGuinn, had been in the New Christy Minstrels before joining the Byrds.

David Crosby recalled to Uncut magazine how The Byrds started: “I started going up and hanging out with Roger and Gene, we would sing together at The Troubadour,” he said. “Gene was from a family of 11 from somewhere like Mississippi, he had no clue what the rules were, so he would just do it in a way that somebody else hadn’t thought of. And Roger was so smart, who listened to and go, ‘Well, we could just do this and this to it,’ and boom, it’s a record! I almost hate giving Roger as much credit as I do, but you can’t deny it – he was a moving force behind that band, and he did create the arrangements for the songs.”

During the late 1940s, Roger McGuinn’s parents, Jim and Dorothy, wrote a best-selling book which was a satire of Baby And Child Care, Dr. Spock’s famed child-rearing manual. McGuinn recalled to Mojo: “It was called Parents Can’t Win and it was based on their experiences trying to raise me using child psychology and how it backfired all the time. It was considered very topical and sold well.”

Roger McGuinn recalled to Mojo that he once had a jam session with Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix in New York but “couldn’t get a note in edgewise.” He added that he’s comfortable with his own style rather than trying to keep with his guitar heroes – “I really like the sound of a Rickenbacker.”

When Chris Hillman received an offer to join a new band, The Byrds, as bass guitarist, he agreed despite never having picked up the instrument before. Writing in his memoir, Time Between: My Life as a Byrd, Burrito Brother and Beyond, Hillman explained he was aware of how talented band members Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark and David Crosby were. So, when he was invited to audition, he lied and said he knew how to play the bass. “Total bluff, the greatest poker bluff ever,” Hillman declared.

The Byrds’ debut single, a version of Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man,” went to number one in 1965, breaking the British Invasion’s year-long dominance of Top 40 airplay and record sales in the United States. They introduced Dylan’s songwriting to a new, commercially empowered, teenage pop audience and, in the process, established Los Angeles as the creative hotbed of a new, “mod,” distinctly American style of rock. The Byrds’ trademark sound—a luminous blend of 12-string electric guitar and madrigal-flavoured vocal harmonies—spiked the Appalachian folk music tradition with the rhythmic vitality of the Beatles and the sunny hedonism of southern California. On early albums, the Byrds covered Dylan, Pete Seeger, Porter Wagoner, and Stephen Foster with a jangly clarity that reflected young America’s changing mood and its fantasies of a Pacific Coast utopia.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch Series,”where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

CSN was formed from what was left of three prominent 1960s groups: The Byrds (David Crosby), Buffalo Springfield (Stephen Stills) and The Hollies (Graham Nash). After the release of the band’s first album in 1969, another Buffalo Springfield alum, Neil Young, joined the band.

Their first greatest hits collection featured artwork by Joni Mitchell, whose first album was produced by Crosby.

They performed at both the original and the second Woodstock. Their performance at the original Woodstock was only their third show together. They had a few more under their belts the second time around.

Jimi Hendrix taught Stills how to play lead guitar.

They are the only group to top the charts with three consecutive LPs where one was a studio album (Deja Vu), one was a live album (4 Way Street), and one was a greatest hits album (So Far).

Stills got into a fistfight with an audience member at a festival in Big Sur, California that was being filmed as a showcase for good vibes.

In the group’s various configurations and as solo artists they have collectively released nearly 100 albums.

Each band member has been inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Crosby with The Byrds, Stills with Buffalo Springfield, Nash with The Hollies, and Young as a solo artist.

The group was somewhat unique in that each of the members were recording solo albums at the height of their success as a group. Other configurations included Crosby Nash (they made eight albums together) and the Stills-Young Band, which made one album in 1976.

The group was successful from the start, beginning with their first album and continuing through the early 1970s. CSNY was one of the few groups selling as many albums as the Beatles.

Young left the group in 1976, returning long enough to record an album in 1988 after Crosby finished a jail term on drug and weapons charges, fulfilling a promise Young had made to record with CSN if Crosby could beat his drug addiction.

Stephen Stills underwent successful surgery for prostate cancer on January 3, 2008, which was his 63rd birthday.

Graham Nash told The Guardian in a 2015 interview that it was a very difficult decision to leave his former group the Hollies. He said: “They were my friends for many, many years, but when I heard myself singing with David and Stephen that first time in Joni’s [Mitchell] living room, my life changed dramatically. I needed to sing those songs.”

Nash is both a keen photographer and collector of photographs. When he sold his 2,000-print collection through Sotheby’s in 1990, it set an auction record for the highest-grossing sale of a single private collection of photography.

Crosby, Stills & Nash’s final performance was at a White House Christmas tree lighting ceremony broadcast live on television on December 3, 2015. They performed Silent Night and sounded woefully out of tune.

“This was very sad,” Nash recalled to Rolling Stone. “Stephen and David ended up fighting after it and I think even Obama had heard something was going on. Basically, it was a national park thing and David was supposed to talk about his favorite park and then I was going to talk about living in Hawaii and my favorite and so on. But David read everyone’s lines. Stephen then threw a pick at David. It was over from that moment.”

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch Series,”where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

The Hollies (from left to right): Tony Hicks, Eric Haydock, Allan Clarke, Bobby Elliot, and Graham Nash, 1964.

The Hollies, five-piece rock group from Manchester, England, that enjoyed many hits in the 1960s both before and after losing singer-guitarist Graham Nash to a more-celebrated partnership with David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Neil Young. The principal members were Allan Clarke (b. April 5, 1942, Salford, Lancashire, England), Graham Nash(b. February 2, 1942, Blackpool, Lancashire), Tony Hicks (b. December 16, 1943, Nelson, Lancashire), Eric Haydock (b. February 3, 1943, Burnley, Lancashire—d. January 5, 2019), Bernie Calvert (b. September 16, 1943, Burnley), and Terry Sylvester (b. January 8, 1947, Liverpool, Merseyside).

Like most of their contemporaries in the British beat boom, the Hollies found their earliest influences in American rhythm-and-blues artists. Their first hits in the United Kingdom, in 1963–64, were with cover versions of the Coasters’ “(Ain’t That) Just Like Me” and “Searchin’,” Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs’ “Stay,” and Doris Troy’s “Just One Look.” Under the influence of Bob Dylan, however, their approach broadened, including diluted elements of folk music, to the particular benefit of Clarke. A strong lead singer, he received fine support from the harmony singing of Hicks, Nash, and, after the latter’s departure in 1968, Sylvester on “Here I Go Again” (1964), “I’m Alive” (1965), “Bus Stop” (1966, their first entry into the American top 10), and “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” (1969). At their best the Hollies established a clear balance between the various components at play in their music, developing (like their Liverpool contemporaries the Searchers) a style that provided a useful template for a new generation of power pop groups, many of them American, such as the Raspberries and the Rubinoos. Unlike most groups of their vintage, the Hollies had their greatest successes in the 1970s, with “Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)” (1972) and “The Air That I Breathe” (1974). The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch Series,”where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Metallica verses Napster, Inc. was a 2000 U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California case that focused on copyright infringement, racketeering, and unlawful use of digital audio interface devices. Metallica vs. Napster, Inc. was the first case that involved an artist suing a peer-to-peer file sharing(“P2P”) software company.

At the turn of the millennium, Metallica took on file-sharing giant Napster and won. On the 20thanniversary of that landmark case in the music industry in the digital age, we retrospectively consider the arguments made, and how they’ve shaped our scene since…

“If I wanna give my shit away for free, I’ll give it away for free,” Metallica’s Lars Ulrich noted in a 2014 Reddit AMA, reflecting on the band’s notorious copyright battle against ill-fated file-sharing service Napster. “That choice was taken away from me.”

Two decades have passed since their industry-changing lawsuit, which centered around the illegal trading of MP3 recordings. But now, as the music world grasps for fragments of normalcy during a global pandemic, the drummer’s comments sting with renewed relevance. The coronavirus has shrunk a once-gaping chasm of opportunity between stadium-packing pop acts and SoundCloud upstart beat-makers, leaving all artists on precarious footing. The forecast is foggy for everyone, regardless of how many Grammys decorate their walls or the vastness of zeroes adorning their bank accounts. Surveying the remnants of canceled tours, delayed album releases and in-limbo paychecks, every musician’s sense of “choice” is suddenly — if temporarily — at the mercy of an invisible villain. 

On April 13, 2000, Metallica became a very visible villain for a hoard of infuriated fans. By attempting to block over 300,000 users who swapped their songs on Napster, they marked a symbol of celebrity greed and melted morality — multi-platinum metal stars too distracted by dollar signs to realize the little-guy side casualties of their quest for legal vengeance. And in 2020, an era of paltry Spotify revenue and decimated album sales — with GoFundMe serving as merch booths, live-streamed living rooms replacing concert venues — it’s worth looking back at the Napster fiasco with sobering clarity.

Sure, Metallica’s approach was too aggressive in its muscle-flexing. But at the core, in their pursuit to preserve the integrity of an artist’s work, weren’t they right?

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch Series,”where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

When it comes to rock legends one that comes to mind is Eric Captain. here are some interesting facts about him in honor of his birthday today.

1. Too Cool for School

When he was just 16 years old, Clapton got himself expelled from the Kingston College of Art. Apparently, the teen was spending more time and energy on music than on his studies.

2. Grandma’s Boy

When Clapton was still a boy, his family hid a dark secret. He assumed his parents were Rose and Jack Clapp and that he had an older sister named Patricia, but this wasn’t even close to the truth. Patricia was actually his mother. At the tender age of 16, Patricia had an affair with a married man and found herself pregnant with Eric.

Scared and far too young, Patricia instead let him be raised by his grandparents, Rose and Jack, and instead acted merely as a sibling. For most of his childhood, Clapton believed the ruse.

3. Just Passing Through

Even as one of the biggest stars of his era, Clapton never managed to remain a stable, full-time member of any one band’s lineup for too long a period of time, including successful groups like the Yardbirds, Cream, and Derek & the Dominos. In total, Clapton was a member of no fewer than nine bands over the course of his career.

4. While My Friend Gently Weeps

The Beatles’ George Harrison was Clapton’s best friend—but Clapton dealt him a cold-hearted betrayal. For years, Clapton was utterly and hopelessly infatuated with Harrison’s beautiful wife Pattie Boyd. After months of trying to wait it out, he sent her a passionate love letter signed only “E.” Sadly, when he revealed himself, Boyd turned him down to stay faithful to Harrison.

5. One-Track Mind

Clapton’s entire interest in music stems from his lifelong obsession with Robert Johnson. As some music buffs out there already know, Johnson was a mysterious (and now legendary) blues guitarist who recorded a few songs in the 1930s and then died before anyone had really gotten to hear them or learn anything about who he was.

Clapton has frequently covered Johnson’s songs throughout his career, and even released a full album of such covers in 2004.

6. A Stain on His Record

Clapton studied stained-glass design in school before hitting the big time. I guess that could have been his backup career plan if music didn’t work out!

7. Too Slow for Comfort

Clapton’s famous nickname is “Slowhand,” which comes from the days when he often accidentally broke guitar strings during performances. This usually resulted in him pausing to fix the instrument, as the impatient audience slowly clapped to keep themselves entertained while waiting. And thus, a legend was born.

8. This Is Not a Love Story

Somehow, Pattie Boyd and Eric Clapton found a way to each other. After dealing with Harrison’s drinking and infidelities, Boyd split with the Beatle and fell into Clapton’s arms, marrying him in 1979. Sadly, they were also doomed to a heartbreaking end. Clapton was no less faithful, and Boyd divorced him in 1988. But here’s the kicker…

When an interviewer later asked Boyd who the love of her life was, she answered “George.” Ouch.

9. Getting Fooled

Clapton’s iconic psychedelically-painted guitar is known as “The Fool,” and it’s the one he used to record almost all of Cream’s biggest hits. But get this: He actually purchased it used. Because of the total makeover he gave its appearance, someone out there probably has no idea that an item they once owned and discarded became a piece of history.

10. Not So Wonderful Tonight

For many years, Clapton struggled with severe substance abuse and addiction issues. Thankfully, he has since become sober and remained so for decades.

11. The Midas Touch

Clapton’s band the Yardbirds had some great success with its members. Not only did Clapton get his start with them, so did other incredible guitarists Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin and Jeff Beck.

12. I Shouted at the Sheriff

Clapton once got arrested in Tulsa, Oklahoma on the way to a performance. His crime was a doozy. The authorities apprehended him for drunkenly fighting with a fellow passenger on the flight into town, and then shouting at officers who tried to question him about what happened. Who knows, maybe it was just a bad day?

13. Table Talk

Music is not Clapton’s only passion. The guitar god is such a huge soccer fanatic (or, as he would call it, football) that during his 1995 tour, he demanded that his staff set up a special backstage foosball room for him in every single venue he played across North America. I mean, talk about diva behavior. Move over, Aretha.

14. The First Lady of Rock

Clapton’s love Pattie Boyd inspired not one but two of the best rock songs in history. George Harrison wrote her the Beatles’ song “Something,” while Clapton mayyyyybbe one-upped Harrison with one of the most passionate, anguished love songs ever penned: “Layla.” Sorry George, you had some other classic bangers.

15. Humble Beginnings

Although the Yardbirds was the group that made Clapton a star, they weren’t his first band. For about six months, Clapton belonged to a short-lived group called “The Roosters”—though, at the time, his bandmates say his skills were nothing particularly special. Unable to garner any attention, the group soon folded, but not before it sparked the future star’s lifelong love of performing.

16. Pie in the Sky

In 1976, Clapton was shooting the film Circasia with Hollywood legend Shirley MacLaine. Unfortunately, the shoot took a disturbing turn. One day, Clapton decided to play a practical joke by smacking MacLaine in the face with a cream pie. MacLaine didn’t quite see the humor: She reportedly refused to speak to the guitar legend for six months after the incident.

17. The Show Must Go on

Clapton’s substance abuse problems were so extreme at times that he once performed an entire concert lying on the ground, drunkenly singing into a microphone that was lying beside him.

18. Building up His Career

Prior to his career as a musician, Clapton spent time working as a free mason.

19. What’s in a Name?

Another one of Clapton’s well-known nicknames is “God,” as weird as that may sound to those who have never heard it before. It started in the mid-1960s when a now famous photograph captured the words “Clapton Is God” spray-painted on a London wall. The slogan caught on like wildfire, similar graffiti popped up around the world, and the nickname has stuck ever since.

20. Third Time’s the Charm

Clapton is the only artist in history who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on three separate occasions: as a member of the Yardbirds, as a member of Cream, and as a solo artist.

21. Bell Bottom Blues

Clapton and Pattie Boyd’s relationship was filled with heartbreak and infidelity, but the final reason for their split was the worst of all. Boyd left him for good just after the musician got another woman pregnant in 1988.

22. Sunshine of Your Screen

In addition to writing and performing hit rock songs, Clapton has another impressive artistic talent on his resume. He has composed the soundtracks for more than 20 films and television shows, including Wayne’s World and Lethal Weapon.

23. One Can Dream

When the Beatles faced internal strife while making Let It Be, George Harrison briefly quit the group. During that time, John Lennon suggested that they pursue Clapton as a possible replacement in the event that Harrison decided not to return. Yes, the world really did come that close to Slowhand becoming a Beatle.

24. Making Amends

After overcoming his difficult struggle with substance abuse, Clapton decided to give back. He opened up the Crossroads Rehabilitation Centre in 1998 in Antigua and devoted it to specializing in subsidized addiction treatments. Anyone in need can benefit from the center’s programs, regardless of their financial state.

25. It’s Not You, It’s Me

At one point, Clapton thought he was going to be asked to join Robbie Robertson’s famous group The Band. Exceptit came to a mortifying end.Clapton was extremely excited at the opportunity and paid the band a visit, fully expecting to receive an offer. Well, none came: When Clapton asked if they needed two guitar players, Robertson simply didn’t answer.

26. I Shot the Engines

An avid car fan, Clapton owns a very elaborate personal Ferrari collection, including a $4.7 million custom vehicle.

27. To Sleep, to Dream

During the throes of his breakup with Boyd, Clapton was so emotionally distraught that he attempted suicide. He consumed a full bottle of pills which, thankfully, only ended up putting him into a deep sleep.

28. Whose Guitar Is It Anyway?

Surprisingly, one of Clapton’s most famous guitar solos of all time is one that he was completely uncredited for. In an extremely rare case of a guest performer playing on an original Beatles record, George Harrison tasked his pal Clapton to play the solo on the now-classic song “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

29. Slowhand

In 2016, Clapton revealed a devastating development. He is currently suffering from peripheral neuropathy, a nerve damage condition with no cure. Sadly, not only has this condition caused him a great deal of physical pain in recent years, it has also made it very difficult for him to continue to do what he loves best: play the guitar.

30. Cultural Crossroads

By covering Bob Marley’s song “I Shot the Sheriff” in 1974, Clapton was largely responsible for introducing the general public to the Jamaican singer’s music and to the reggae genre as a whole.

Psychedelic Lunch