Friday, December 2, 2011

Rock Palace 1973

Almond Brothers Rolling Stones
Stealers Wheel Stealers Wheel
Clockwise: Allman Brothers, Rolling Stones, T.Rex, and Stealers Wheel.

The year was 1973, and I was finishing up the 7th grade and starting 8th at the Smyrna Middle School, formerly known as John Bassett Moore High in Smyrna. That is the year George Steinbrenner, Pink Floyd released The Dark Side Of The Moon, American soldiers complete the withdrawal from Vietnam, Federal Express begins delivering packages, 186 the first night, the Sears Tower is completed, officially the tallest building in the United States, Secretariat takes the Triple Crown, winning the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes, the story about the cover up of the Watergate Break-in dominates the headlines, the energy crisis comes when the Arab oil embargo against countries who support Israel begins, and the American Psychiatric Society removes homosexuality from the official list of psychiatric disorders. It is also the year Rachel Maddow, T.R. Knight, Jim Parsons, Heidi Klum, Neil Patrick Harris, Rufus Wainwright, Monica Lewinsky, Mario Lopez, and Wilson Cruz were all born. And that was just the news-worthy highlights. Now, it also gave us some great Rock music, including the song that inspired this post, 20th Century Boy by T.Rex. They were a British band that included Bill Legend, Mickey Finn, Marc Bolan, and Steve Currie. Many thought of Bolan as the mastermind of the group. That would explain why, with his death in a car accident in 1977, the band stopped playing.

One of the original Southern Rock bands to make it on the charts, Allman Brothers Band were poised for greatness. By 1973, The Allman Brothers Band had seen a fair share of heartache. In 1971, one of the leaders of the band, Duane Allman, was killed in a motorcycle accident. His brother Greg was already a member of the band, and he, along with Dickey Betts, kept the band on top of things. A year later, Berry Oakley was also killed in a vehicle accident close to were Duane died, oddly reminding all of the previous loss. That left Gregg and Dickey, who joined Chuck Leavell, Lamar Williams, Butch Trucks, and Jai Johanny Johanson to continue the music. Enjoy while they play their 1973 hit, Ramblin' Man.

Stealers Wheel are a Scottish folk rock/rock band formed in 1972 by former school friends Joe Egan and Gerry Rafferty. They were joined by Paul Pilnick, Tony Williams and Rod Coombes. While some believed the group to be the UK version of Crosby, Stills and Nash, the group had much less success than the American supergroup. In fact, they had only on real hit, and it was in 1973. The song was Stuck In The Middle With You, and it was sung by Rafferty.

Written in 1972 by Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards with some help from singer Mick Jagger, Angie is an oft discussed song that has left many mystified. For years, many thought it was a nod to David Bowie's then-wife, Angela Bowie. Others thought it was an ode to sexy actress Angie Dickinson. There was also a rumor that Angie was a groupie of the band. Some believed it was a sweet nod to Richards' newborn daughter, Dandelion Angie Richards. In his own autobiography, Richards said "Angie" was his pet name for heroin, and the song was written when he was detoxing off the drug. Whatever the inspiration, the final product was a beautiful and heartfelt ballad. Watch the Rolling Stones performing Angie.

Have a great weekend!


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