Gotta Start Somewhere
Some of my all-time favorites are the following. This by no means ia a complete list. Just a few bands and singers that had an impact on my guitar palying.

Davie Allan and the Arrows
This guy wrote the Blue Angel Theme for The B-flicks Hell's Angels movies of the mid 60's. A classic band that is hard yet groovy complete with fuzztone guitars

The Ventures
These guys hailing from Tacoma, Washington are probably one of the finest instrumentalists ever and are almost too big for their own good. My favorite Ventures l.p. is the Ventures in Outer Space.

Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys
Bob WillsThese guys were legendary in their time and the might have not been the first to do western swing but they sure did popularize the genre with wicked live shows plus the bandmembers were completely out of their minds musically. I have 4 or 5 tapes/cd's by Bob Wills and he is classic on vocals and his fiddle playing is not to shabby either. He's on quite a few compilations and his greatest hits package usually has a few of his most popular like San Antonio Rose. But beware of any greatest hits package from any artist from the past because there is usually 3 to 4 of the same songs re-arranged to look different with a few scattered gems here and there. Lots of country and blues artists have this happen after they passed. But the best Bob Wills l.p. in my view is the Tiffany Sessions recorded in San Francisco during 1946 and 1947 when the Playboys were at the top of their game. Look for the Tiffany Sessions on Kaleidoscope Records out of El Cerrito, p.o. box 0. Calif. 94530

The Cramps
The CrampsOne of my all time faves along with the Clash. I saw the Cramps for the 1st time in San Francisco during the Winchester contest weekend at some huge hall where Jim Jones held his pep rallies. The Cramps opened the show for with the Clash and the Dead Kennedys in 1978. Talk about impact. Lux interior was insane doing the Iggy routine but punker if you can imagine that. Switchblade knife slashes written into his arm said "kill hippies." Carved like a halloween pumpkin and then he X's his chest in a similar fashion. Then he drank wine from his shoe, and smashed the bottle on the stage then dove into the broken glass with glass getting embedded in his side and back bleeding all over the place with only black leather low cut pants and pubes hanging out all over. Plus, he was wearing womens high heel shoes. Just think what I thought seeing this stuff when I was 15-16 years old. Anyway Ivy plays some simple yet beautiful riffs against Bryan Gregorys' fuzzed out bass/guitar lines tuned to open chords which produced some of the most hypnotic songs I've ever heard. Talk about primal energy. The Cramps best work is their early stuff... singles, 1st and 2nd l.p.'s, plus the live Peppermint Lounge stuff rules. B-movies, horror flicks, trashcan rock, thriftshop kitsch, 50's rockabilly and 60's pyschedelia, and mad mad rock-n-roll make the Cramps one of the best ever.

The Sun Label Rockabilly
The KillerSam Phillips had a recording studio where black r&b guys recorded blues found by Ike Turner who was then a talent scout. Lots of classic blues came out of the studio like Rocket 88, Tiger Man, and many other classics. Howling Wolf, Big Mama Thorton, Roscoe and many others hung there and made records distributed throughout the south. Sam Phillips is quoted as saying,"If I could only find a white guy who sings like a black guy I'd make a million bucks." Well about a month later Elvis walks through the Sun studios door looking to record a single for his mothers' birthday. History was made that day that set the pace for the rock-n roll format combining blues and r&b mixed with the country sounds of the south hence rockabilly. Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbinson, Charlie Rich, Sonny Burgess, Billy Lee Riley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins formed the nucleus of atomic power that Sun produced and basically everyone who started at Sun went on to become very famous. Their back up bands who played seesions for everybody were red hot also. Guys like Roland James rocked hard! Anything on the Sun Label rules... a must for everyone.

Legends of Rock - 1950s
LinkageThe 50's produced a shitload of first wave performers who influence can still be felt today. Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Duane Eddy, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Santos and Johnny, Joe Maphis, Fats Dominoe, Little Richard, Bill Justis, Clifton Cheiner, Johnny Burnette and the rock -n -roll trio, the Collins Kids and my favorite of all time - Link Wray. Everyone of these artists are completely insane in their respective careers and these guys are a must for listening and learning about rock-n-roll. Alot of their stuff is still available on imports or oldies catalogs. Look for the Rhino label out of L.A. for some of this stuff. Rhinos' reissues are packaged nicely and have killer liner notes about interesting stuff that makes good reading. Also Norton records out of N.Y.C. has tons of hard to find gems plus the whole complete recordings from Link Wray.

Surf Instrumentals
Aloha ElvisSurf bands filled the void after 50's rock died and succumbed to the times. The surf sound was founded on Fender guitars and amps with Dick Dale setting the pace of staccato picking while the Bel-Airs, Challengers, Sentinals, The Rumblers, The Revels, Nevegans, Hustlers, Pyramids, Chantys, Lively Ones, Surfaris, and countless others who lived for fun in the sun. I love this type of music because I was born in 1963, right during this phase of American music. Surf music was a huge success and it was the genre that was exploited heavily by record producers, film makers, and the business man wanting to cash in on the surf culture experience meaning mainly teenagers. A must for learning guitar players, surf music is simple yet mysterious in it's musical content and melody. Surf music transponded the world with many other bands like The Shadows from the U.K., and generally brought forth Hot Rod rock, Trash rock, and gararge rock. Look for these labels to help find some of this stuff... Dolton records, Bob Keanes' Del-Fi label out of Downey, Buffalo Bop out Hamburg, Germany has a shitload of crazy comps featuring surf, instrumentals, trashrock,and other fun stuff, Crypt records also from Germany. Look for the Las Vegas Grind series, theres' 3 of them.

Django Reinhardt
Django ReinhardtHere's a guy who was born a gypsy in Europe, learned to play beautifully then got almost killed in a fire which badly damaged his fretting hand. Django is a combo of flamenco, gypsy melodies, and jazzy/bluesy monstrosities. He recorded in the 30's and his playing is mindblowing now 70 years later. One of his best is solos/duets/and trios. There are hard to find but look for it - it rips!

The Yazoo Label
This label puts out strictly blues releases from the early days.30's, and 40's stuff is their specialty. Country blues, Pipe and Fife bands ,slide-guitar playing, etc. This label is really good for hearing old acoustical blues and they sport some of the best stuff I've ever heard complete with nice liner notes and tunings for guitar.

The Rolling Stones
KeefThe Stones were the first bad boy band who wrote songs about not getting some pussy. Their blues foundation paid homage to their heroes and this created a base that allowed them to explore every possibility that included rock, blues, soul, r &b, reggae, disco and dub. The best band in the world status has always intrigued me but the Stones are un-equaled for their rhythmic approach to rock. Plus the fact that the Stones were pretty much the first punks thumbing their noses at the establishment by having orgies, taking drugs, tax evasion, and getting the cooks' daughter hooked on coke and smack during the recording of Exile on Main Street - one of the best albums put out by anyone. Keef Richards has always had a special place in my heart for his devote attention paid to his guitar playing. His playing turned me on to open tunings and his producing prowness has recorded the likes of Peter Tosh, Chuck Berry,the Dirty Strangers,and guested on shitload of projects including Tom Waits.

The Chess Label
This label is another classic record label from Chicago who sported a band roster like no other. They produced Muddy Waters, Lil'Walter, Chuck Berry, Bo Didley, Willie Dixon, Howling Wolf and countless others. If you are into the blues Chess is a for sure winner

Sid and Nancy by Alex CoxSoundtrack l.p.'s are a very good source of inspiration of feeling music or music that has a theme to it. Any spaghetti western is cool.scope out the Good,Bad,and the Ugly by Sergio Leone. Geogio Moroni did the score I'm pretty sure. The Pink Panther stuff is super cool check out Elephant Walk. Joe Strummer from Clash fame did the soundtrack for Walker an Alex Cox film and he also did Straight to Hell. They are both great so look for them. Neil Young does a real sparse soundtrack for Jim Jarmuschs' Dead Man starring Johnny Dep.Look for those 60's soundtracks to all the Hell's Angels b-flick movies. Werewolves on Wheels is a great picture. And you can not forget Surburbia and Repo Man another Alex Cox film. Scope out Deliverence starring Burt Reynolds and the Long Ryders score by Ry Cooder who just rules. Anything by Ry is worth looking for and if you like latin sounds go for The Mambo Kings.

Television Theme Songs
T.V. themes such as Beverly Hillbillys featuring Flatt and Scruggs, Batman, Bonanza, Twight Zone, Outer Limits, the Green Hornet, Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, The Avengers, Munsters, Addams Family and any of the old 60's T.V shows. Cartoons also have good music like the Banana Splits show, Courageous Cat, Thunderbirds are Go, and of recently Ren and Stimpy.

Screaming Lord Sutch
Praise the Lord!If you can find anything by this guy you're stoked. He ran for English parliment in 64' with a motto of giving the pill to girls, legalizing weed, and having long hair before anybody. His whole deal was an U.K. take off on Screaming Jay Hawkins but instead of celebrating voodoo and juju's, SLS took it the fantasy world of Jack the Ripper emerging from a coffin looking for Mary Kelly complete with horror make-up and hair sticking straight up sprayed with the pink can of aquanet hairspray for women. His band was killer and Ritchie Blackmore was one of his first guitarists. He did a studio and live l.p. with this line up then recorded the best one called Screaming Lord Sutch and his Heavy Friends/Union Jack Car... this l.p. features a heavy duty line up of Hendrixs' rhythym section of Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell, Jimmy Page and John Bonham play some very early Zeppish stuff, Jeff Beck and Nicky Hopkins go hogwild , Bill Wyman from the Stones and some other session guys. The record was recorded in 1970 so its' kinda hard rockish and freakish psychedelia mixed with heavy drums and Sutch's whacked vocals. It's really cool and the idea of a supergroup of guys creating one kinda theme is pretty cool in my book. I've never seen it on c.d. so look hard.

First Generation Punk Rock
Geef Voor New Wave!I like punk from the first era much better than any of today's stuff and in the beginning of this piece, I mentioned loads of killer punk bands. Some of the newer stuff I like is the Bouncing Souls, the U.S. Bombs, the Hunns, Rancid, Street Walking Cheetahs, The Stitches, Swinging Utters, Dropkick Murphys, Nofx and the 169ers. The newer kids tend to be happy and goofy for me to take, and punk rock should be angry and pissed off... not all "la-de-da" happy merry go round music. Bands like Blink 182, Green Day and the Offspring are making the homogenized corporate version that kids buy because it's quirky yet safe for mom and dad to take. Punk rock once set out to destroy blatant commercialism. Now it has become what it set out to demolish. This shit makes me sick, all this polished producer-driven high budgeted record company crap with some 40-ish power pony tail fuck trying to tell you whats cool and the cat doesn't even have his feet in the street or his ear on the railroad track. It's all numbers, profits and the brainwashing of youth all over the world, too dumb enough to open their eyes and see through the lines and lies the big-headed corporate idiots push down everybody's throat via the radio. Mtv, the internet and printed media. Fleetwood Mac has now turned into Blink 182, Green Day,and Everclear. Hope you kids can raise yourselves' out of the 6 ft. grave the Big Boys are digging for ya!

The Swing Years
Cuckoo, Baby!The 40's rocked because one the war brought out the emotions of maybe not being seen again... so living for the moment was a big issue for the youth of that time period and two most of the dads were at war and mom was at the plant working for the war effort thus leaving the kids to fend for themselves unsupervised for long hours everyday. This meant the loosening of the moral fibers that held America together with wild new music that parents did not approve of. Kids were sick of slow waltzs and such so when swing hit it was primtive, racy and exciting plus the dances took America by storm like the jitterbug and contest dance marathons. Teenagers could get a milkshake at the maltshop and put a dime in the jukebox for 3 selections and rock the night away in a huge old Ford or Oldsmoblie. It seemed like a good time to grow up with the likes if the Dorsey Bros., Glenn Miller, Cab Calloway, Benny Goodman, Andrew Sisters, Artie Shaw, Eddie Duchin, Les Brown, Louie Prima and too many others to mention. Swing rocks hard!



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