Jimi Hendrix: Rock Guitar Golden God!!!...

Many musicians put out great music throughout their careers.  Some even gain a legendary status.  But a chosen few, the true musical gods, change the landscape of music forever with their breakthrough innovations and musical gifts.  Jimi Hendrix was one of these individuals.  The mark that he made during his all too brief career still holds resonance in rock-n-roll and popular music today!  In fact, Hendrix is widely considered one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most important musicians of the 20th century. James “Jimi” Marshall Hendrix was born Johnny Allen Hendrix on November 27, 1942 in Seattle, Washington.  Hendrix has a deep a storied genealogical background; containing African American, Irish and Cherokee ancestors, even possessing an illegitimate son of a black slave woman. As a young child, Hendrix would carry a broom to school with him, emulating a guitar.  When a school social worker noticed that this was a security blanket for the young boy for more than a year, she attempted to acquire school funding for underprivileged children insisting that leaving him without a guitar might lead to psychological damage.  Her efforts were in vain and Hendrix’s father refused to purchase his son the instrument.   In 1957, while helping his dad with a side-job doing cleaning, Hendrix stumbled upon an old ukulele amongst garbage they were removing from a wealthy woman’s home.  She told the young Hendrix that he could keep the ukulele, containing only one string.  He used the one stringed instrument to self teach himself how to play Elvis’ cover of Leiber and Stoller’s “Hound Dog”, among other Presley songs. At age 15, Hendrix aquired his forst acoustic guitar for $5.  He soon after formed...

Bob Marley: Legendary Buffalo Soldier!!!...

One of the most legendary and iconic songwriters and performers in reggae, and all, music is the beloved Bob Marley.  Marley’s message of peace, love and unity to this day is being spread throughout popular culture.  His music has influenced many artists, people and movements across the globe.  Marley brought the reggae and Rasta movement to the attention of mainstream culture that, without him, otherwise may never have been achieved.  His likeness can be seen countless times on art, clothing and accessories, signifying his importance to our global society even some thirty years after his death! Marley was born Nesta Robert “Bob” Marley on February 6, 1945 in the village of Nine Mile, in Saint Parish, Jamaica.  A Jamaican passport official would later swap his first and middle names; lending to his choice of the Bob moniker.  Many are not aware of Marley’s mixed heritage; his father, Norval Sinclair Marley, was a White English-Jamaican, whose family came from Sussex, England.  Marley often was questioned about his racial heritage throughout his life, stating: “I don’t have prejudice against myself. My father was a white and my mother was black. Them call me half-caste or whatever. Me don’t deh pon nobody’s side. Me don’t deh pon the black man’s side nor the white man’s side. Me deh pon God’s side, the one who create me and cause me to come from black and white.”  This sentiment definitely fits in with Marley’s belief and push unity throughout all races and backgrounds. In 1963, Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso, and Cherry Smith formed a ska and rocksteady group, calling themselves “The Teenagers”. They later changed their name to “The Wailing Rudeboys”, then to “The Wailing Wailers”, at which point they were discovered by record...

Lil’ Wayne: From Hot Boy to Young Money Millionare!!!...

The title of Greatest Rapper Alive has been thrown around a lot in recent years, with many MC’s staking claim to the throne.  To most hip hop heads, only three rappers should even be in consideration for the crown, once you factor in variables like commercial success, vocal versatility and lyrical skills: Jay-Z, Eminem and the subject of this article, Lil’ Wayne.  Lil’ Wayne has enjoyed an extremely successful career in the realm of rap/hip-hop music.  From his pre-adolescent beginnings to his chart topping solo career, Lil’ Wayne has made a huge name for himself and his labels, Cash Money Records and Young Money Records. Lil’ Wayne was born Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. on September 27, 1982.  He grew up in the crime riddled urban neighborhood of Hollygrove in New Orleans, LA.  In a CBS interview with Katie Couric, Wayne described why he goes by the name of “Wayne” instead of his given name, Dwayne. Carter explained, “I dropped the D because I’m a junior and my father is living and he’s not in my life and he’s never been in my life. So I don’t want to be Dwayne, I’d rather be Wayne”. Couric asked Wayne if his father knew of this and Wayne replied with a smile, “He knows now”. Lil’ Wayne wrote his first rap song at the young age of eight, and by nine years old he had met Bryan “Birdman” Williams, rapper and owner of Cash Money Records.  Wayne began leaving freestyle verses on Birdman’s answering.  Birdman liked what he heard and decided to bring Lil’ Wayne into the Cash Money fold, featuring him on numerous label distributions before eventually signing Wayne to a record contract.  At age eleven, the young Carter recorded his first...

Avenged Sevenfold: Flying High in Bat Country!!!...

Heavy metal rockers Avenged Sevenfold is one of most successful rock outfits of the 2000’s.  Composed of M. Shadows (lead vocals), Zacky Vengeance (rhythm guitar and backing vocals)  and Synyster Gates (lead guitar and backing vocals) and Johnny Christ (bass).  Their artistic influences are many; including:  Slayer, Alice in Chains, Metallica, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Korn, AFI, Rage Against the Machine and more!  Their sound and style began in metalcore roots, but as their career progressed the developed a more traditional, classic metal sound that they are known and loved for today. Founded in 1999 in Huntington Beach, California, Avenged Sevenfold underwent a few lineup changes before settling on their current lineup.  One of their more documented changes was the departure of bassist Justin Shane in the early 2000’s .  It was reported that Shane attempted to commit suicide by ingesting excessive amounts of cough syrup.  The attempt had a great effect on the band’s then current Take Action Tour.  As his physical and emotional condition declined, Shane was hospitalized and eventually left the band.  M. Shadows said in an early 2000’s interview, “He perma-fried his brain and was in a mental institution for a long time,” Shadows said. “When you have someone in your band who does that, it ruins everything that’s going on all around you, and it makes you want to do something to prevent it from happening to other people.”  Shane was eventually replaced by Dameon Ash. The band recorded two demos, in 1999 and 2000, and then released their debut album Sounding the Seventh Trumpet.  The band members were just eighteen years old at the of their debut release and still in high school.  The band then recruited Synyster Gates, when he was just eighteen and switched...

AC/DC: High Voltage Rockers!!!...

Hailing out of Sydney, Australia, electric rockers AC/DC have been bring high voltage riffs, beats and vocals since the early 1970’s.  Their status in the pantheon of hard rock is of high regard, as AC/DC is still to this day one of the most recognizable acts in all of music.  Their music has been featured in blockbuster Hollywood films, television commercials, sitcoms and dramas, professional sporting events, video games and much, much more.  People young and old, from all walks of life, religions and musical backgrounds have at least heard of, if not thoroughly enjoy, the music of AC/DC. In November 1973 Malcolm (guitar) and Angus Young (guitar) formed AC/DC and recruited bassist Larry Van Kriedt, vocalist Dave Evans, and Colin Burgess, ex-Masters Apprentices drummer.  The inspiration for the band name came from the Young brother’s sister, Margaret Young, saw the initials on a sewing machine.  AC/DC stands for “alternating current/direct current” electricity.  The brothers felt that this name symbolized the band’s raw energy, power-driven performances of their music. The brothers convinced a local entertainment manager, Gene Pierson, to play at a nightclub he was working at, the popular Sydney joint Chequers.  Pierson agreed to allow the band to perform a set on New Years Eve of 1973.  The band was so loud that club managers complained about the noise; but Pierson took an interest and booked the band to perform at other areas clubs as the refined and crafted their signature sound.  It was around this time that Angus Young adopted his signature, and now iconic, school boy on stage persona.  This idea was another brainchild of his sister, after trying many other costumes and personas; including:  Spider-Man, Zorro, a gorilla, and a parody of Superman, named Super-Ang.  By 1974, the band finalized their...