I suspect I wasn’t alone among Led Zeppelin fans in enjoying Robert Plant’s first solo album, Pictures at Eleven, because it was clear that he wasn’t taking a lot of chances.
In the late seventies, I was becoming more and more fond of heavy rock. So when I was planning a trip to a record store, I consulted a school friend: what, I asked, is the heaviest music you know? He recommended Ted Nugent.
“Rock and Rolllll!!!!!” is a weird way to start the last song on a live blues album in 1971, but that’s how Johnny Winter began the ending of 1971’s Live as he belted out “Johnny B. Goode.” His version of “Long Tall Sally” is 0:48 seconds long! This is a rock and roll album and, though there are songs that last as long as many of the 1970s’ unicorn-jazz tunes, everything on this album is rock and roll—Johnny Winter blues-rock that is.
When my oldest was nine we had CBC on while Bono was being interviewed as we drove to a soccer match. It was a fairly silent drive and I listened to Bono talk about the state of the world and I assumed my son was playing a game on his DS or something. When we arrived at the pitch, a few minutes after the interview had ended, my son said, “That man talked in poetry.” I had no idea he had been listening. It’s been a story I have shared for years, and one I proudly and shamelessly share here again. That Bono guy does talk in poetry, particularly when he sings.