Stairway To Heaven, as if done by the Beatles

I can’t sing, but that didn’t stop the eight year old Walt from standing up with two other buddies in his third grade classroom sometime in 1965 and singing a cappella the song “I Want To Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles.

I was in college when Led Zepplin released their famous fourth album. It was a huge hit, and the most famous song on the album was, of course, “Stairway To Heaven”. I was a geek in denial back then, but had already read the trilogy Lord Of The Rings more than once by that time, so with the song’s reference to LOTR, I was in heaven myself for a while, geeking out that LOTR had made it into rock history. (You may not get any LOTR references out of this song. I did. But that’s just me.) The original song is eight minutes long (twice as long as most rock songs allowed on the radio then) and it still became a radio hit.

It’s one of those songs that become so famous that almost everyone has tried to cover it. In every case, they screw it up.

I mention all of this because of the following video which combines both the musical stylings of the 1965 Beatles with the very famous song lyrics from “Stairway To Heaven”. Recorded in the 90s by the Australian band The Beatnix.

ROCK BAND

I’ve had some fun in the recent week, helping someone chase down a particular console game. I’m not sure how that will turn out, but it did get me curious.

The game in question is Guitar Hero III. Most people who are familiar with games know about Guitar Hero and have seen it or played it at some point in the past. There’s even a bit on the cartoon SOUTH PARK where the father tries to show the kids how cool it is to play a real guitar instead of a game about playing a guitar. Hey, it’s SOUTH PARK… you know how that must have turned out… (for those not aware: the kids couldn’t care less about playing a real guitar, and Dad couldn’t play Guitar Hero’s game to save his life — in other words, they only look the same)

In my looking around, I did see the game ROCK BAND, and heard it was supposed to be the sequel that Guitar Hero never gave them. Specifically, a cooperative game, complete with drums and a mic. Yeah, you have to sing in tune. That leaves me out.

Here’s a review trailer for the game, just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about.
Eight minutes, sound helpful. Hit the upper link for regular viewing. Hitting the lower “High Def” link will take you off site to a larger screen – not needed.

OK, NOW I’ve seen EVERYTHING!

Seriously, the world has gone Nutsy Fagen while I was asleep. No, I’m not kidding. There are days when you think you sort of kind of know what is going on in the world around you, and there are days when you wake up, go to CVS to pick up your pharmaceuticals, and then there are days you see stuff like this on the shelves!

Elvis Reese’s

I have no explanation. Yeah, sure, I’m a fan of Reese’s Peanut butter cups. Have been since I was a kid, and yep, I liked it when they made the cups with the peanut butter on the outside and the chocolate in the middle, or the white chocolate versions. I think they even have a crunchy peanut butter version Heck, I even like the M&M knock-off Reese’s Pieces, and the Fast Track Bar.

This Elvis Peanut butter and banama version is — however — somewhere over the edge.

Needless to say, I did buy a couple of packs (just out of idle curiosity, you understand). Plus, if I do win the Elvis car, the moment it is actually in my hands, it goes up on ebay, and when it sells, I get to pay off all my debt and send both of my kids to college.

The Perfessor

The legacy of Cobain, reflected in a cheesy music vid

I was arguing discussing with Alison the other day when the topic came up about some retrospective of the legacy of Kurt Cobain. Apparently, it’s going to be done in some loving fashion, like he was some sort of ROCK GOD. That somehow the impression is that without Cobain’s personal influence, absolutely zero of the “Seattle Sound” would have ever made it to the world, and we somehow would have never seen musicians playing in thrift store castoffs.

Now, I’m not going to deny the financial and relatively brief musical success of the band Nirvana. They sold a butt load of albums and that did change everything. (Their initial success came by knocking Michael Jackson’s Dangerous album off the #1 position on the charts).

I’m no music critic, but praising Cobain just sounds like so much hero worship for a legacy that’s more imagined than real. One might argue that collectively, the grunge movement took hold of the rock music business, finally morphing punk rock into something radio friendly. I just won’t ever agree that Cobain single-handedly pulled that off, no matter how many albums Nirvana ended up selling before Kurt decided to make Courtney Love a widow.

One of the “legacies” of Nirvana is the former drummer Dave Grohl who’s the frontman for the Foo Fighters. When I heard the songs from the Foo Fighters’ latest album, I was struck with the musical memory of hearing “that sound” before. It was like I was listening to an uptempo version of songs I had heard before. From the band, Poco, which sounded quite a bit like its predecessor band, Buffalo Springfield. You can argue the point, but the entire sound is a throwback to bands of the 70s. Not the “grunge” legacy of Cobain at any measure.

Underscoring this is the music video of one of the songs from the Foo Fighter latest album, done in the flavor of a bad soap opera from … the 70s, complete with bad porn-style mustaches and cheesy soap opera setting. It’s hard to watch this video all the way through. 90% of you won’t, I’d wager.

Sound req’d.



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I’m not sure what kind of musical statement this song and the album is making here. Again, I’m not a music critic as much as I am a music listener, and this post is just a refection of my thoughts as to “What the 90s music has given us.”

If this is a representation of that 90s legacy, I want my money back.