This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (

Saturday, October 26, 2013

My Three Favorite Bands of All Time

I love music.  All kinds of music (with a few exceptions).  I appreciate the “Oldies” from the 50’s and early 60’s (my “formative” school years), the “Motown Sound” from the early to late 60’s (my university years), and “Classic Rock” from the late 60’s and 70’s (Army through post-Vietnam era).  I am also partial to Blues from the 50’s to the present (gotta' love the BB King Bluesville on XM channel 70), and a lot of Country music, especially the kind with a Texas (primarily Austin) flavor.  A little bit of classical music is also okay.  I just don’t know anything about it.  I do like “Ride of the Valkyries” and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.  Those are about the only two pieces of classical music that I can identify when I hear it.

Because of my love for music I tend to collect it.  I still have a lot of vinyl LP’s boxed up plus a few hundred CD’s but have purchased very few in the last ten years when I began obtaining most of my music via the Internet.  Currently, I have around 12,000 tunes on my computer. 

I even have my own radio station!  It’s located somewhere in my brain and plays music for me when I’m not listening to iTunes, XM radio, or a CD.  It plays whether I want it to or not.  It also has a bad habit of playing over and over songs I don’t really like.  It’s a curse.  By the way, iTunes and XM radio are two of the best things to come about since sliced bread as far as I am concerned.

I would have a really tough time making a decision if someone asked me what my favorite songs were.  That’s kind of a fluid thing, depending upon my mood at the time.  However, if someone were to ask me to name my three favorite bands I would immediately comeback with, The Rolling Stones, the Eagles, and The Allman Brothers Band in no particular order.

Although the “Stones” have been around since 1962 when I was a freshman at the University of Georgia, they are not “ageless”.   They are well into their seventh decade but still going strong.  However, they have aged terribly and look like death warmed over (do you suppose it has anything to do with their lifestyle?).  No matter how they look, I still like their bluesy-boogie-rock style and their “don’t give a shit” attitude.  The members of the band (currently Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ron Wood) have changed very little since 1962.

Over the years they have released 77 albums (29 studio albums, 18 live albums, and 30 compilations) worldwide, selling over a total 250 million copies.  Their #1 selling US album (#75 highest of all album sales worldwide), “Hot Rocks 1964 - 1971”, sold 12 million copies while their #2 selling US album, “Some Girls”, sold 6 million copies.  They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.  They have toured the world for years and are even planning a tour for 2014!

The Eagles are much different from the Stones.  They first got together in 1971 when they backed up Linda Ronstadt on stage.  The group then included Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Randy Meisner, and Bernie Leadon.  Frey said they came up with the name Eagles (without a “The”) while the group was on a peyote and tequila outing in the Mojave Desert.

What I like best about the band would be their really great harmonies.  Their song lyrics, similar to country music, tell interesting stories, unlike those that simply attempt to make nonsensical words rhyme.  This is very different from the “Stones”, whose lyrics, when (or IF) understood, often don’t make a whole lot of sense.  Nor would I accuse the “Stones” of having great harmony!

The Eagles broke up in 1980 due to a spat between Frey and Don Felder who had joined the band early on.  Felder was fired by the band, sued, but eventually settled for a lot of money.  The Eagles managed to get back together in 1994 with Frey, Henley, Walsh, and Schmit (no Felder). 

Since 1972 the Eagles have released 18 albums (7 studio albums, 2 live albums, and 9 compilations).  Three of the Eagles albums together sold a total of 85 million copies worldwide (one-third of what the “Stones” 77 albums sold). 

Their #1 selling album, “Their Greatest Hits”, sold 42 million copies.  It is still the third highest of all album sales worldwide with only Michael Jackson and Led Zeppelin being slightly ahead in first and second places.  Their #2 selling “Hotel California” sold 32 million copies and their #3 selling “Eagle’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 2” sold 11 million copies.  The band was admitted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

The Allman Brothers Band was formed in Jacksonville, FL in 1968 but moved to Macon, GA prior to releasing their first album.  The band was composed of Duane Allman (slide guitar), Gregg Allman (organ), Dickey Betts (lead guitar), Berry Oakley (bass guitar), Butch Trucks (drums), and “Jaimoe” Johanson (drums).  Butch Trucks is Derek Trucks (Derek Trucks Band) uncle.  Two drummers added to their signature-style.

Before forming the band, Duane Allman, recorded several songs with the likes of Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge, and Clarence Carter.

Their first album, “The Allman Brothers Band”, was released in 1969 while I was serving in Vietnam.  They didn’t get much radio play outside of the South until their second album, “Live at The Fillmore East”, was released.  One of the tracks from the Fillmore album was “Whippin’ Post”, which lasted for 22 minutes and included a 10 minute Dickey Betts guitar solo. 

After the Fillmore album release they were one of the biggest names in music.  Rolling Stone magazine proclaimed The Allman Brothers Band the best Rock and Roll band to come along in five years.

What I like about the “Allmans” is their southern-bluesy-rock.  The guitar solos were some of the best ever heard.  Even Eric Clapton thought so.  He offered Duane a spot in his Derek and The Dominoes band but Duane wanted to stay with his new band in Macon.  However, little known to almost everybody, is that Duane did join Clapton in recording the “Layla” album and it is Duane, not Clapton, playing the slide guitar solo in the song “Layla”.  It was also Duane with the guitar solo at the end of “Key to the Highway”. 

Sadly, Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1971 in Macon, GA.  Then, in a tragic coincidence, Dickey Betts was killed a year later in a motorcycle accident, which happened only 3 blocks from the site of Duane’s death.  Duane Allman and Dickey Betts were probably 2 of the best solo guitarist in the history of Rock and Roll.

The band was never the same after the deaths of Duane and Dickey.  The band peaked in 1973 and broke up in 1976.  Since then it has been on-again, off-again with a lot of changes in the band’s members over the years.  Still, in their relatively short life span, The Allman Brothers Band released 18 albums, including five Platinum and eleven Gold Albums.

The band was admitted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and presented a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

And there you have my three favorite bands.  This is the kind of music that I prefer to walk around with in my head.  Unfortunately, it is often the likes of Dionne Warwick or Pat Boone playing in my head.


Bill said...

All good music choices. The Stones are part of history now. The only music that sucks is rap. But, after all... that isn't really music.

Robert & Carol Ann Martin said...

Two more that I think were also great, would be CCR (Credence Clearwater Revival) and The Doors.

michael ultra said...

No ZZ? I thought you were Texans?