You are here

Nothing to do with anything

Brownie and Blackie

Submitted by Roanman on Sun, 10/23/2011 - 08:57


I knew in advance I'd be posting this.

I also thought I knew between two people who it was that would call and explain it to me in no uncertain terms how it is that Pearly Gates could not possibly be the most famed guitar in the history of Rock and Roll when it was indeed Brownie that sold at auction in 1999 for what was then a record price of $450,000 and Blackie that subsequently shattered and still holds the record for the highest selling guitar of all time, having also sold at auction, this time in 2004 for $959,000.

I was so sure ..... I had it typed in advance.

I simply left a space open just up ahead a bit in order to insert the name.

As it happened I only had it about half right as it turned out that it came via email from our good friend Richie (don't call me Dickie) V. a better than average non pro picker and a for sure Strat guy rather than a D. brother.

So, ok Rich, I was layin' for ya.

This is Brownie. 



Fender Stratocasters sound nothing like Gibson Les Pauls, as they use mostly different woods, different body types (sollid vs chambered), pickup construction/configuration, set up, the list goes on and on.

To most people they're all guitars, but to a picker (which as previously disclosed I am not) the one is nothing like the other.

And that's before you get into the charactor of individual guitars as different pieces of wood from the same tree will display differing personalities.

As mentioned in the Gibson post, for me it's Tush that best defines that crunchy Gibson humbuckin' thing.

And it's Eric Clapton and Brownie's Layla that comes to mind when I think about that sweet, reedy Fender single coil sound.

And while I couldn't find any early 1970's Derek and the Dominoes performances of Layla, I did find this little treasure.

Live in the studio, this is Eric Clapton and Brownie along with three of the finest sidemen/hired guns in all of popular music, Bobby Whitlock on piano and vocals, Carl Radle on bass, and Jim Gordon on drums, together with Johnny Cash and the magnificently coiffed Carl Perkins.

Derek and the Dominoes.

It's Too Late and Matchbox.



This is Blackie.



To quote Eric Clapton from the book The Stratocaster Chronicles,

"My first Strat was Brownie, and I played it for years and years, a wonderful guitar. Then I was in Nashville at a store called Sho-Bud, as I recall, and they had a whole rack of old '50s Strats in the back, going second-hand. They were so out of fashion you could pick up a perfectly genuine Strat for two hundred or three hundred dollars — even less! So I bought all of them. I gave one to Steve Winwood, one to George Harrison, and one to Pete Townshend, and kept a few for myself. I liked the idea of a black body, but the black one I had was in bad condition, so I took apart the ones I kept and assembled different pieces to make Blackie, which is a hybrid, a mongrel."

Among Clapton and Blackie's hit records were were Lay Down Sally, Cocaine and I Shot the Sheriff.

Here's Eric Clapton and Blackie along with Tim Renwick on guitar, Duck Dunn on bass, Chris Stainton on keyboards, Jamie Oldaker on Drums, Shaun Murphy and Marcy Levy singing backup.




Just to make things clear, Clapton recorded Layla with Brownie, but is playing it here with Blackie.

Unfaithful bastard.

You might have missed Duane Allman, I know I did.

Still, pretty good stuff.


Quintette du Hot Club de France

Submitted by Roanman on Sun, 10/09/2011 - 17:03


Having lost the use of two fingers on his fretting hand in a fire at age 18, Django Reinhardt literally played the guitar like nobody had ever played it before.

 Along with the great Stephane Grapelli, Reinhardt fronted one of the greatest bands in the history of popular music, Quintette du Hot Club de France.



This is the certainly the most well known and probably the best version of the band.

It features Django Reinhardt on Guitar, Stephane Grappelli playing Violin, bassist Louis Vola, and rhythm guitarists Roger Chaput and Joseph Reinhardt. 




Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli - J'Attendrai - Newsreel 'Jazz Hot' from Stoney Lane on Vimeo.


People always get real crabby when I say this out loud, so I usually mumble it or type really, really small.

The first great Western Swing band came from Paris, France.


Steve Marriott

Submitted by Roanman on Sun, 10/02/2011 - 19:50


Ever wonder what's the big deal about Steve Marriott anyway?

Since we did Ronnie Lane a week or so ago, we figured we might as well do the Small Faces other founding member/principle songwriter Steve Marriott.

You really, really want to click this little gear here for an outstanding four song set from the very young ... and tiny ... Small Faces.

When Steve Marriott left the Small Faces, two great live bands were born.

Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan and Kenny Jones brought in Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart to form the Faces, and Steve Marriott, the some might say incredibly cute Peter Frampton, Greg Ridley and Jerry Shirley came together and became Humble Pie.

The first time I got to see Humble Pie was a huge deal as Donny W. of the Joe Cocker debacle, somehow got us on the guest list.

I think he was friends with someone in Mount Clemens' own The Frut who along with The J. Geils Band  opened the show, although it could have been the sound guy as Donny liked to hang out near the board. 

This time I had the presence of mind to not mention to my mother that I was heading down to the Eastown and thus avoided the embarrassment that I had experienced as a result of the above referenced Joe Cocker debacle.

Live in the studio from The Old Grey Whistle Test, here's the less well-known version of Humble Pie that includes The Blackberries as pretty much full-fledged members of the band.

This is the great Steve Marriott on lead vocal and guitar, Clem Clempson on slide guitar, Greg Ridley on bass, Jerry Shirley playing drums, and The Blackberries, Venetta Fields, Sherlie Matthews and Billie Barnum on backup vocals.

Black Coffee.



As an aside, Marriott's first professional gig at the age of 13 was in the London stage production of Oliver where he played both The Artful Dodger and Oliver ..... although not at the same time .....  and sang on the original cast album.

Steve Marriott was lost to the world in a house fire at the age of 44.


Ronnie Lane

Submitted by Roanman on Sat, 09/24/2011 - 19:45


Ever wonder what's the big deal about Ronnie Lane?

Founding member and key songwriter of/for both The Small Faces and the Faces, Ronnie  Lane was also one of the strongest basses in the history of popular music.

Gone far to soon from Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 51, he won hearts the world over with both his songs and his smile.

This is, I'm mostly sure, Ruan O'Lochlainn on the organ and backup vocals, Charlie Hart on accordian, Steve Simpson on mandoline, either Glen Lefluer or Jim Frank on drums, and somebody whose name I just can't match up with the face and it's really, really ticking me off on bass.

And of course the great Ronnie Lane on resonator guitar and vocals, featuring the sweetest smile in the history of Rock and Roll.

Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance.

Ooh La La



Sorry about the crappy ending, to quote any of my kids on most issues, "I didn't do it."


Mr Excitement

Submitted by Roanman on Sun, 09/18/2011 - 18:17


We have about 57 partially finished posts and no gumption for finishing any of them.

Our friend Richard Nolle just posted a Dexy's Midnight Runners cover of Van Morrison's Jackie Wilson Said.

One of the youngest Roanboy's favorite tunes.

Inspired, I figured we should just go with the genuine article.

Here's Detroit's own, Mr. Excitement, live in the studio, effortlessly hitting notes dead on that mere mortals can only dream about.

The great Jackie Wilson.

(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Highe and Higher.

Quite possibly the youngest Roanboy's favorite song. The youngest being a good deal more soulful than his brothers.



I've no idea where these guys came up with that Mr. Soul thing.


Los Shakers

Submitted by Roanman on Fri, 09/16/2011 - 19:25


Of the millions of bands in the mid 60's that were inspired/influenced by The Beatles' the very best IMHO was Uruguay's Los Shakers.

Leaders of the Uruguayan Invasion, Los Shakers' command of Beatlesque harmonies and songcraft made them for a time as popular in Argentina and Uruguay as The Beatles were in the UK and the States.

After three succesful albums of Beatle influenced, Mersey Beat through Psychedelic music, Los Shakers parted company with their label over the band's desire to record music influenced by more traditional Uruguayan and Argentine influences and soon broke up.

From the movie La Escala Musicale in 1965, this is Hugo Fattoruso on lead vocals, guitar and piano, Osvaldo Fattoruso on vocals and rythm guitar, Roberto "Pelin" Capobianco on bass guitar and Carlos "Caio" Vila on the drumkit.

Los Shakers.

Only You.


Saturn's Rings

Submitted by Roanman on Fri, 09/09/2011 - 09:58


From NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day page.

As always click on the photo (the word picture feels so cheap in this instance) in order to link up with the page.

As an aside, all the links at the page for this photo are very cool in their own right.



Thanks to Richard Nolle for tipping us off to this beautiful shot.


Herding sheep ..... really.

Submitted by Roanman on Tue, 08/23/2011 - 21:50


Thanks to our friend Cheryl who has been around here long enough to know that I'm a sucker for a horse, and guessed that like most people who are a sucker for a horse, I'm also a sucker for a dog.

This second video in this series is the championship run from the 2008 version of this trial, and to my untrained eye seems to be about as good as you can possible get at this sport.

You have to take it to YouTube as embedding is blocked, it's well worth it.




Subscribe to RSS - Nothing to do with anything