I’m filled with great sadness as I write this knowing that one of my musical heroes, Gregg Allman, has passed away. The Allman Brothers Band are one of my favourite bands of all time and the world has certainly lost a visionary.
There have only ever been a handful of people that can truly be considered musical legends, musicians who not only defined a genre but also defined every generation of music since. Chuck Berry was one of those legends.
Blur were one of the first bands I ever got in to thanks to my dad having The Great Escape on CD which I used to play over and over in my bedroom. I credit that album, and Graham Coxon’s guitar playing in particular, as a main reason I play guitar today. I vividly remember playing along to the likes of Charmless Man and It Could Be You on my imaginary blonde Fender Telecaster just like the one Coxon himself played. It would be a few years later before I had my own guitar but the seed was firmly planted, ready to bloom. Over the years Blur have meant more to me than any other band, aside from Derek and the Dominos perhaps, so hearing that a new album was complete and a release date had been set was music to my ears.
It had been two years since The Rolling Stones had played live in public, their previous show being at the Panathinaikos Stadium in Athens, Greece, on the 17th April 1967. They would perform at the NME Poll Winners Concert in 1968 but that show in Greece was their last proper live performance. In that time they would release two albums, 1967’s Their Satanic Majesties Request and 1968’s Beggars Banquet. The former is an almost forgotten album in their catalogue and the latter is regarded as the start of a new golden era which would continue until Mick Taylor’s departure in 1974.
After twenty seasons in the NBA, Kobe Bryant’s reign has come to an end. In those twenty years Bryant has won five titles, a regular season MVP, two NBA Finals MVP’s and has been an NBA All-Star eighteen times, second only to the great Kareem Abdul Jabbar. There are more accolades of course but far too many to mention here. But Kobe Bryant and the Lakers introduced me to the game of basketball, a game I have loved passionately since.
It’s the 6th December 1970 and Derek and the Dominos bring their US tour to a close at the Suffolk Community College in Selden, New York. It would be another 8 months before Eric Clapton would take to the stage again for George Harrison’s Concert For Bangladesh event at Madison Square Garden in New York and in that time the Dominos would come falling down, signalling the end of Clapton’s first musical chapter. It would be another year and a half after the Concert For Bangladesh until he played live again, brought out of a drug fuelled isolation by Pete Townshend of The Who. The result, two comeback concerts on the 13th January 1973 at the Rainbow Theatre in London, England.