Posts Tagged ‘Led Zeppelin’

Which guitar solo would you choose?

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Which guitar solo would you choose to announce your call?

Good question, eh?

The reason I pose it is due to two factors: 1) My pal Munzy Cat alerted me to the fantastic video (labeled “The Greatest Guitar Solo Ever”) I’ve attached, in which Prince just absolutely goes off on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (along with awesome vocals by Tom Petty and ELO’s Jeff Lynne); and 2) My new iPhone, combined with Garageband, allows me to use any song in my database to create ringtones for my buddies.

So I’m going with the idea of using guitar solos for ringtones, at least for my more rockin‘ friends (hmm, the rockin’ list seems to be heavily composed of guys, which raises another series of questions regarding gender and guitar solos, but I won’t digress, for once). Seriously though, why listen to frogs, horns, and bells when you can do some wankin’?

So what would you want your guitar solo to be?

I’m not talking about the Greatest Ever. I could never put one at the top. The Prince solo on this video is really fantastic (check out the Hendrix-like way he connects with his guitar), but like some of the comments say, “Greatest ever?”. It’s too bold of statement to even make. Hell, I’m not sure I could even decide between the Allman Brothers solos, let alone the rest of the rock and roll (or jazz) landscape.

I’m talking about one that you love.  A solo that lifts your soul… moves your butt… causes you to make rock star faces. If you’re like me, then you know what I mean. I can air-guitar hundreds of solos note for note (as I’ve mentioned previously, I’m a one-man air band).

For now, I went with Jeff “Skunk” Baxter off of Steely Dan’s “Night by Night” as my general ringtone (one thing you can count on in almost every Steely Dan song is a guitar solo, one reason they are my all-time fave).  My son and I agreed to use to part of Rik Emmett’s first solo off of Triumph’s “Fight the Good Fight” for his ringtone.  Cliche as it may be (because it applies to the contact), I went with the mighty Jimmy Page on the double-necked finale of “Stairway to Heaven” for one of the pals with whom I most connect (sorry Bieber, I couldn’t find any solos by Selena Gomez’s guitarist, er, computer).

The point is: I want the solo to represent the caller. It might take me a while, but it’s a task I relish.

Fortunately, I’ve got a ways to go to finish off the contact list. Of course, I don’t have nearly as many friends as I have solos to consider (although many of the solos are like friends to me), so I’ll need to jam my way through a few more decisions.

Luckily, it’s my day off (although it seems a lot like what I do every day, thank God) so I can stay on it.

So now that you’ve had time to think… which solo would you choose for yourself?  We’d love to see your response on Facebook or Twitter.

(Except for you, Disney Boy, you have to call so I can jam some Zep).

 

 

Robert Plant – A story and a video plea

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Thanks to the endless “wearing-out” on classic rock radio, I had tuned out Led Zeppelin for years. I had the CDs, but they didn’t get played.  Then one night after a hard days work and a couple bottles of Budweiser, while watching the amazing Led Zeppelin DVD that Brue had sent, I had a rock epiphany and rediscovered the band that defines hard rock.  I have watched it multiple times with my kids since that day, each time waxing poetic about how each of the guys in the band was at the peak of his game (OK, Dad, we get it).  So when I had a chance to go see Robert Plant at the Dodge, I decided to catch the show.

Steve Wiley - Professional HoodlumThe morning of the show, I called our SonyBMG rep, Mary, to say thanks for the tickets, and I jokingly said, “Hey, why don’t you call the radio guys and get me some backstage passes to meet Robert”.  Mary had scored the tickets for me, and we were friends and long-time music biz geeks, so she knew what sort of pipedream it would be to arrange a meet and greet with a legend like Plant… especially on the day of the show.  Like I said, it was a joke.

Lo and behold, she called the radio guy anyway.  Amazingly, a couple of hours later Mary called me and said, “You aren’t going to believe this… but you are going to meet Robert Plant tonight.”

Now I’ve been in this wacky industry for 22 years, so I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a rock star or two over the years.  Not as many as a concert promoter, or a venue guy, or a radio geek, or a label geek (hmmm, I guess we are sorta at the bottom of the geek chain)… but it does happen.  Anyway, I always appreciate the opportunity, but I don’t get too worked up (you know, act like you’ve been here before).  But wow – when we’re talking about the front man for Led Zeppelin, we are talking about the upper echelon of rock royalty – so I was pretty damn excited.

My buddy Cheesy (I still use nicknames for all my friends… it’s a Nodak thing) was going to be joining me, but I decided not to tell him until the last minute.  Once we were in the car on the way to the venue, I sprung the good news. You think he was stoked?  Doy.

We got to the Dodge, and we tracked down our contact (Mary couldn’t make it… and yes, she was envious).  Stage left.  Before the show.  Nervously… nah, let’s just say excitedly… we waited.  And then they took us back.  Robert, and the entire band (Strange Sensation) came back and shook hands with everybody, and then we posed for a picture (it’s the one you see, obviously), which showed up in my inbox later that night (you have to love the digital age for actually seeing your pics with rock stars, but that’s a story for another blog).

Why am I grinning?  Because thats ROBERT PLANT for Gods sake.

As a super, not-like-normal-backstage bonus, I was lucky enough to get a minute of conversation with Robert, which, unbelievably, was started by Mr. Plant himself.

The rep introduced us (Rock Legend; Meet record store geek), and Robert said, “You own a record store, huh? Do you sell vinyl?”.  I said “Yeah”.  He said, “What’s your number one seller right now?”

This story takes place in July at the old store.  We only had a small new vinyl section at the time, and as any of our old summer school customers can tell you, the place didn’t exactly jam in July, so there weren’t a whole lot vinyl sales period.  In addition, we didn’t stock more than one copy of any given LP title at a given time, so our weekly charts weren’t exactly ranked… more like “these are the ones that sold last week”.

But somehow, on this particular week, I had reordered an album, and somehow we had happened to sell two copies in a week.

So I had my answer ready: “Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon“.

“No kidding?”, he said.  “That’s fantastic”.

He shook my hand and said he had to go do a show, and I said thanks for meeting with us, and he took off with the band.  We watched the show in a daze, and I haven’t shut about the meet and greet since… just ask my fellow hoodlums.

There’s my story.  Why am I sharing it? Two reasons: 1) Because I felt like writing, and I figured I’d save you from having to hear it at the counter; and 2) Because I wanted you to know that I love Robert before I make this video plea to him to lower the stinking prices on the Led Zeppelin CDs.