100 Days Project

Ben: 100 Writings / 100 Opening Guitar Hooks

various, random creative expressions / writings, inspired partially by 100 popular songs (songs that somewhat begin with a leading hook of a guitar.)

Day 44:

“You Ain’t Going Nowhere” (1968) by the Byrds

“You Ain’t Going Nowhere” (1968) by the Byrds

The 26 Club

The “27 Club” is only a myth for many reasons. Most obviously, none of them truly intended to die (Kurt was simply incredibly depressed) and they all died under extremely coincidental circumstances. But another reason is because the “26 Club”, on the other hand, deserves just as much respect. It too accommodates some of the Greats. I know we all love Jimi, Kurt, Brian, Jim, Janis, Richey and Robert, but let’s look at the Club next door, that’s seldom ever visited:

Gia Carangi:
The 27 Club also hosts influential members outside the music industry: Jean-Michel Basquiat; Bobby Sands; Reggie Lewis and the Elephant Man. So let me talk about the revolutionary Gia. She was the first openly gay Supermodel and has since become a lesbian icon. Before her: Blondes were preferable. After her: Cindy Crawford, Milla Jovovich, Christy Turlington, Helena Christensen, Carla Bruni. And, ultimately, she was one of the first female celebrities to contract AIDS – pushing forth more education and understanding of the disease outside its perceived box. She was such a pretty girl.

Otis Redding:
One song I put on whenever I feel stressed out, is his biggest hit. I listen to him and can easily imagine him on a pier, sitting on the dock of the bay, white T shirt, rolled up jeans, skimming the lake with his bare feet. And with the sun about to set, I see him whistling away. In a loud office, it is an envious dream – a dream that could only work for a musician with that right amount of heart, honesty and Soul.

Nick Drake:
True mystery in the Entertainment industry is hard to achieve. We can easily ‘google’ what Daft Punk look like behind their masks. Syd Barrett had many colleagues who could verify many myths. But Nick is beyond precious. He died before he became popular. There is no video archive of him. Only around 12 people can actually say they had met him. The only thing we have is his entire discography – Everything else is hearsay. And if you listen to his songs, I think Nick would’ve preferred that mystery, anyway.

Hillel Slovak:
Who’s the greatest guitarist the Chilli Peppers ever had? My friends would choose Frusciante, my nieces would choose Klinghoffer, no one would choose Navarro and I would choose Slovak. In those early days, they were unashamedly un- mainstream (who’d think a band with a name like that would make it big?!) In those early records they were rawer and far wilder. That was thanks to Slovak who, with the right improvisation and guile, was the best sound they ever had … IMHO.

James "Baby Huey" Ramey:
So much potential, cut down far too soon! (Not only him but anyone else in any of the other Clubs.) This big boy could’a been a big star – He had the belting pipes and the stage persona. It was the right time – 1970 was ideal for a concoction of acid Funk and psychedelic Soul. All the pawns were in place – He was working with the one and only Curtis Mayfield; he had the best studio session players Mayfield could muster; and he was gonna appear on TV to a national audience of millions. But that all came crashing down on 28th October. Such a pity.

and … Gram Parsons:
One lasting proverb of the 1960’s was either “Integrate or Die.” But that wasn’t only narrowed to the issue of Race. Country Music was stuck in Nashville and stubborn to open to new avenues. And though Dylan and the Band would come close, only Gram knew how to revitalize it within Rock Music. He knew the hippies remembered their memorable Country Music sounds back to when it was fresh in their ears in on those early 1950’s radio stations. But he electrified it, without making it sound like a novelty. And it’s this legacy of modernising Country that has influenced hundreds of acts: Randy Travis, Wilco, Elvis Costello, George Harrison, Clint Black, Alison Krauss, First Aid Kit, Pavement, Dwight Yoakam, Uncle Tupelo, Steve Earle, Dr. Hook, Linda Ronstadt, Drive-By Truckers, the Rolling Stones and of course, the Eagles. Sadly, his legacy is so boundless that we’re still trying to figure out where to place him! He hasn’t been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and hasn’t been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame : (