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Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American composer, electric guitarist, record producer, and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, electronic, orchestral, and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. Zappa produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist.
In his teens, he acquired a taste for percussion-based avant-garde composers such as Edgard Varèse and 1950s rhythm and blues music. He began writing classical music in high school, while at the same time playing drums in rhythm and blues bands—he later switched to electric guitar. He was a self-taught composer and performer, and his diverse musical influences led him to create music that was often (more…)
The Yardbirds are an English rock band that had a string of hits in the mid 1960s, including “For Your Love”, “Over, Under, Sideways, Down” and “Heart Full of Soul”. The group is notable for having started the careers of three of rock’s most famous guitarists: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page, all of whom were in the top fifteen of Rolling Stone’s 100 Top Guitarists list (Clapton as #4, Page as #9, and Beck as #14). A blues-based band that broadened its range into pop and rock, The Yardbirds were pioneers in the guitar innovation of the ’60s: fuzz tone, feedback, distortion, backwards echo, improved amplification, etc. The band’s disintegration led to the formation of the rock band Led Zeppelin, by Jimmy Page in 1968.
The bulk of the band’s most successful self-written songs came from bassist/producer Paul Samwell-Smith who, with singer/harmonica player Keith Relf, drummer Jim McCarty and rhythm guitarist/bassist Chris Dreja, constituted the core of the group. The band reformed in the 1990s, featuring McCarty, Dreja and new members.
X is an American punk rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1977. Established among the first wave of American punk, the original members are vocalist Exene Cervenka, vocalist/bassist John Doe, guitarist Billy Zoom, and drummer DJ Bonebrake. They released seven studio albums from 1980 to 1993. After a period of inactivity during the mid to late 1990s, they reunited in the early 2000s, and currently tour.
X achieved limited mainstream success, but are considered one of the most revered punk rock bands and, by some critics, one of the best rock bands. One critic also suggests that X are one of the all-time greatest live rock performers. The band received an Official Certificate of Recognition from the City of Los Angeles in acknowledgment of their contributions to Los Angeles music and culture. They were also influential on various genres of music, including punk and folk rock.
In 2003, X’s first two studio albums, Los Angeles and Wild Gift, were ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as being among the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Joseph Fidler “Joe” Walsh (born November 20, 1947) is an American musician, songwriter, and actor. He has been a member of three commercially successful bands, the James Gang, Barnstorm, and the Eagles, and has experienced notable success as a solo artist and prolific session musician.
For your guitar loving enjoyment, a wall of epic with Joe Walsh, Brian May, Steve Vai & Joe Satriani shredding Rocky Mountain Way from 1992 a Swedish TV special.
Edward Lodewijk “Eddie” Van Halen (born January 26, 1955) is a Dutch-American guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter and producer, best known as the lead guitarist and co-founder of the hard rock band Van Halen, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007 . Eddie Van Halen is widely known for his innovative performing and recording styles in rapid guitar playing, tapping, and high frequency feedback; he is also known for energetic and acrobatic stage performances. The All Music Guide has described him as “undoubtedly one of the most influential, original, and talented rock guitarists of the 20th century.”
By the third album, the group became known simply as ‘Utopia’ and settled into a four-person lineup of Rundgren (guitar, vocals), Kasim Sulton (bass, vocals), Roger Powell (keyboards, synthesizers, trumpet, vocals) and Willie Wilcox (drums, vocals).
Like the Beatles, Utopia rotated lead vocals and shared writing credits, although Rundgren was a predominant influence. One distinctive feature of Utopia was its stylistic breadth, which ranged across psychedelic/progressive 1970s rock, soul-pop, blues, ‘stadium rock’ and heavy metal. Another was the band’s unabashed optimism, as evidenced by its name.
During that era, one knew a Utopia show wasn’t actually over until the band played Just One Victory (which Rundgren himself referred to as “the national anthem of Utopia”) from Rundgren’s seminal 1973 release A Wizard, A True Star.