In terms of George Harrison's guitar playing, we get to hear the good (his whammy-bar-laced guitar solo on "Till There Was You"), the not so good (his lackluster solo on "Lucille") and the intriguing (His better-than-the-EMI-version solo on "I Saw Her Standing There" opens up so many possibilities).
Over the decades, John Lennon's songs have been covered by thousands of artists. Just think of all the people — from unknown Lithuanian bar bands to Lada Gaga — who have had a crack at "Imagine." Today, on the 73rd anniversary of his birth on October 9, 1940, I'm paying tribute to Lennon by rounding up five of what I feel are the best performances of his solo songs by other artists.
John Lennon wrote this gentle folk-rock ballad in the autumn of 1965 at his home in Kenwood, St. George’s Hill Estate, Weybridge, Surrey. Just as "Yesterday" mysteriously came to Paul McCartney, "Nowhere Man" simply came to Lennon at dawn after he'd stayed up all night, struggling to come up with a new song for Rubber Soul. He happened upon a phrase, "nowhere man," which, he felt, described his own fears about himself.
Stevie Ray Vaughan released four studio albums, a live album and a Vaughan Brothers album, not to mention enough leftover live and studio material to fill several posthumous albums and a box set. He even found the time to perform on albums by several other artists — from Teena Marie to Stevie Wonder to Don Johnson — very often with fiery results.
The Beatles' 19th single in Britain — "Get Back," backed with "Don't Let Me Down" — was released April 11, 1969, so the song was already well known when the Let It Be album was released more than a year later. However, the single version (available on Past Masters) was recorded January 28, 1969 (as was "Don't Let Me Down"), while the album version was recorded the previous day — and it shows.
Although I "discovered" Roy Buchanan when I was a blues-loving kid in the mid-'80s, the guitarist's first brush with something resembling fame came in 1971, when a documentary, The Best Unknown Guitarist in the World, aired on public TV. The documentary was about Buchanan, a blues-rock virtuoso whose gritty, distinctive technique inspired scores of guitarists, including Jeff Beck.
Clarence White was a genuine double threat. His brilliant, Doc Watson-inspired acoustic flatpicking, which incorporated lightning-fast fiddle lines played on an already-vintage Martin D-28 guitar, helped the bluegrass world recognize the guitar as a lead instrument. Several masters of the genre, including Tony Rice and Norman Blake, list him as a key influence.
On September 6, 1968 — at the behest of George Harrison — guitarist Eric Clapton entered Abbey Road Studio Two in London to overdub lead guitar onto a brand-new Beatles song called "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."
Paul McCartney has released a new single — with an old feel. The catchy new song, which happens to be called "New," is the Mark Ronson-produced title track from his upcoming studio album. The album, the followup to 2012's Kisses on the Bottom, will be released October 15 in the US (October 14 in the UK).
Stevie Ray Vaughan died 23 years ago today on August 27, 1990. Basically, everything changed for the very young version of me the first time I saw him play live. It was March 1984 at Kean College in Union, New Jersey. After that night, I tore up, stomped on and burned the book on what I thought being a blues guitarist was all about — and started all over again.