This week’s release of Clive Davis’ memoir, The Soundtrack of My Life, has brought news of the record mogul’s tense relationship with Kelly Clarkson and his bisexuality. But we were particularly intrigued by what he wrote about his relationship with Janis Joplin — namely, that the ill-fated singer really, really wanted to sleep with him. … Read More
As we noted on Wednesday when we discussed Black Friday and its associated Record Store Day releases, we’re not such big fans of the whole getting-up-early-to-battle-other-shoppers-for-discounted-flat-screen-TVs idea that comes with the day after Thanksgiving. In fact, we’re much more in favor of the inverse Buy Nothing Day concept, and not just because we loathe shopping at the best of times and thus buying nothing isn’t exactly a stretch for us. As such, we thought we’d get into the non-spirit of the day with some of our favorite anti-consumerist anthems. … Read More
A few weeks back, we shared some great photos of musicians from the 1960s and ’70s. If you enjoyed those, you’ll also appreciate these shots of some of the era’s luminaries by the late New York photographer David Gahr. Gahr’s work appeared in Time and Rolling Stone, among others, and his career spanned five decades, from his earliest work in the late ’50s until his death in 2008. His photos are the subject of a new exhibition at Morrison Hotel in Soho from October 26 through November 11 (you can check the gallery website for opening hours if you’re in the city). Either way, check out some of the photos from the exhibition after the jump, along with archival commentary from the photographer himself. … Read More
1. As Gawker gleefully reports, it’s definitely time to take off those yellow rubber bracelets. Lance Armstrong has stepped down as chair of the Livestrong charity and lost his Nike endorsement deal just a week after a US anti-doping agency released their report on his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
2. Obligatory Janis Joplin… Read More
We all know what our favorite musicians are like on stage — whether they’re shy or flamboyant, whether they’re chatty or businesslike, whether they’re funny or taciturn. But we also know that what we’re seeing on stage is ultimately a performance. Off stage, however, it’s a completely different matter, and thus backstage photography has always provided an interesting insight into the music world, particularly when the photos in question aren’t posed or contrived. We’ve pulled together a collection of such photos, images that seem to capture sides to performers that we rarely get to see, giving a glimpse of the person behind the persona — whether it’s a tearful Kurt Cobain slumped in a corner, Bob Marley playing soccer, or Lemmy reading a book (with nary a bottle of Jack Daniel’s in sight!), these are like all great photos in that they capture a moment in time and in doing so also capture some part of the subject’s personality. We hope you enjoy… Read More
While it might be a little bit random, we couldn’t not pass along this gem of a clip unearthed by Dangerous Minds of Tom Jones and Janis Joplin performing Eddie Floyd’s “Raise You Hand” on Jones’ ABC variety show way back in 1969. Even if they both didn’t totally kill it on the vocals, the footage would be worth watching for Janis’ crazy Grimace-colored pants alone. Plus, for two artists who are so different, they have a surprising amount of chemistry. Enjoy a brief moment of time travel after the jump! … Read More
A wildly energetic and gyrating Elvis Presley took to the stage on The Milton Berle Show in 1956 to sing the now legendary rock hit, “Hound Dog.” The controversial televised performance — set to the swoons and giggles of excited female audience members — won the singer his nickname “Elvis the Pelvis.” The song topped the Billboard charts and remains one of the most-loved tunes in rock ‘n’ roll history — but it actually made its first appearance today in August, back in 1952. Rhythm and blues singer Ellie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton recorded her chart-topping original version in Los Angeles, produced by famed bandleader Johnny Otis (who also played drums).
You don’t have to be an expert to know that rock music evolved from several styles, including blues/rhythm and blues. The term “rock and roll” was early African American slang for sex, and Cleveland record store owner Leo Mintz employed the phrase to get white teens to buy rhythm and blues music without racial prejudice. Early blues recordings have influenced musicians throughout history, and we’ve highlighted several rock songs that borrowed from the genre past the break. Test your knowledge after the jump, and leave us your favorites in the comments below. … Read More
Nina Arianda appeared in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, and she recently won a Best Actress Tony for her performance in the comedy-drama Venus in Fur, but the star will soon be known for portraying power vocalist Janis Joplin. According to a report from Deadline, Arianda will make her big screen debut playing the 1960s rock icon in Joplin. The film focuses on the final six months of the singer’s life, flashing back to her earlier career. In her later years, Joplin created a birthday recording for John Lennon, got hooked on heroin, had a rocky relationship with lover Seth Morgan, and finished recording her album Pearl — which was released posthumously and became the biggest selling work of her career. … Read More
The only photographer allowed backstage at the Beatles’ final concert at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park and the primary photographer at the legendary Woodstock music festival, Jim Marshall carved out a reputation as one of the best documentarians of the diverse and dynamic American music scene of the ’60s and ’70s. From pictures of Jimi Hendrix setting his guitar on fire at the Monterey Pop to Johnny Cash performing for enthusiastic audiences at Folsom and San Quentin prisons, Marshall had his lens on the counterculture that inspired one of the last revolutions to totally sweep the world.
“I worked hard but I never really considered it work,” Marshall has said. “I always enjoyed myself and only took an assignment if I had complete control and access. My reputation was such that managers didn’t f*ck with me. I had the trust of the artist. I would work with them and they knew I wouldn’t f*ck around or do anything they didn’t like.”
Marshall passed away in 2010, but his legendary work still lives on — with a lot of his documentary shots getting visibility for the first time since they were frozen on film. A striking solo show of pictures from his intimate interactions with such jazz greats as Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, and John Coltrane; influential folk singers of the day, including Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, and Bob Dylan; and fabled rock ‘n’ roll stars that defined the era, counting Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, and The Who, opens today at New York’s Steven Kasher Gallery. A new monograph, published by Chronicle Books, engagingly captures Marshall’s photos of the Rolling Stones 1972 recording session for the Exile on Main Street album and the band’s monumental US tour — 40 years after the fact and 50 years after the group got its start. Click through to view some of the Stones photos, along with other amazing pictures snapped by the magical Marshall during that time. … Read More
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has announced the 24 honorees who will be bequeathed a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this year — if, of course, they shell out that $30,000 celebrities are asked to pay to, er, cement the honor. Some of the choices make sense to us — Javier Bardem, Helen Mirren, Jane Lynch all definitely deserve stars, even if the whole thing is a racket that ends up with gum trod into your name — but some seem a little bizarre. After all, if the HCC was going to give the Backstreet Boys and NKOTB stars, why do it in 2012 at the peak of their irrelevance? And you’re only just noticing Janis Joplin now? Click through to check out the complete list of honorees, and let us know what you think in the comments. … Read More