As we celebrate what would’ve been the King of Rock and Roll’s 80th birthday, it’s easy to forget that Elvis Presley was once not regarded as a music legend and pop culture icon. In fact, he was initially received by many as a lewd, hip-swinging, even talentless hack threatening everything good about American music. (Perhaps the Justin Bieber of his day?)
Tag: Happy Birthday! (1-10 of 23)
Happy Birthday, George Harrison! Celebrate with Evan Rachel Wood's cover of his classic Bob Dylan collab 'I'd Have You Anytime' -- EXCLUSIVE
Had he not sadly passed away in 2001, today would have been George Harrison’s 69th birthday.
Though he was always overshadowed by the overwhelming songwriting prowess of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, his post-Beatles work was, in a lot of ways, the most varied and eclectic of his former bandmates’ work. (That’s not to put down his contributions to the Beatles, as many of his songs — including “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Here Comes the Sun,” “Something,” and “Taxman” — are among the greatest rock tunes of the era.)
Perhaps because he always had to navigate the choppy waters of his old band, Harrison always played well with others away from the Beatles. Some of his best work came in the context of collaborations, from his work with the Traveling Wilburys to his sit-down with Bob Dylan in 1968.
Over the course of a Thanksgiving weekend, Harrison visited Dylan at his home in Woodstock, New York, to write a handful of tunes. One of the results was “I’d Have You Anytime,” which became the opening track on Harrison’s landmark 1970 solo album All Things Must Pass.
That song was recently re-recorded by actress Evan Rachel Wood for the just-released Amnesty International benefit compilation Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan. (Wood has a previous Beatles connection, having also starred in Julie Taymor’s big-screen fever dream Across the Universe in 2007.)
According to Dylan, the creation of “I’d Have You Anytime” was one of the more rewarding experiences of his long and winding career. “[Harrison] was a giant, a great, great soul, with all of the humanity, all of the wit and humor, all of the wisdom, the spirituality, the common sense of a man and compassion for people,” Dylan said. “He inspired love and had the strength of a hundred men. He was like the sun, the flowers and the moon, and we will miss him enormously. The world is a profoundly emptier place without him.”
In honor of Harrison’s birthday, check out the exclusive video of Wood performing “I’d Have You Anytime,” filmed especially for the occasion. READ FULL STORY
Well, that was fast.
The soul-inflected song is an ode to newly born daughter Blue Ivy Carter, who actually makes her own guest appearance, despite being only two days old. Credited as B.I.C., the baby closes the Neptunes-produced track with a bit of gentle crying.
The song’s other, non-infant guest vocalist is Pharrell Williams, who coos over the silky-smooth hook as Hov drops adoring (nursery) rhymes like, “I’ll paint the sky Blue, my greatest creation is you.”
Check out the world’s greatest baby present below!
Fifty-three years ago today in Bay City, Michigan, one crazy little Ciccone roller was born. (and yes, it was—no joke!—a Saturday.)
Today we salute the woman she’s become: a superstar whose single name is so well known across the globe, it nearly subsumes, you know, that other one; a vanguard of pop and power and general cultural next-leveldom whose thighs still look like a 19-year-old Romanian gymnast’s, and whose boyfriend is, in fact, a 19-year-old Frenchman. (Just kidding, pervs; he’s a wise and seasoned 24.)
So let’s watch some classic pre-fame Madge to celebrate. Here she is, auditioning for Fame in 1982: READ FULL STORY
Bob Dylan’s achievement in reaching the age of 70 today seems doubly impressive given the news that he was addicted to heroin in the early ’60s.
According to the BBC, the rock legend talked about his former drug problem to writer Robert Shelton in the course of an interview which took place in March 1966. “I kicked a heroin habit in New York City,” Dylan said. “I got very, very strung out for a while, I mean really, very strung out. And I kicked the habit. I had about a $25-a-day habit and I kicked it.”
He merits the congratulations, of course, but not the sort we extend to famous people whom we celebrate for simply making it through another year. As anyone who’s seen him perform live over the past few years knows, Dylan can still put on fierce, machine-gun-blasting, nostalgia-free concerts. And he’s still capable of releasing new albums containing cocky, disconcerting, headlong music.
Dylan retains the sort of fundamental mystery that READ FULL STORY
70th birthday show last night was still to come. That was the exact moment, right around 10 p.m., that none other than Paul McCartney bounded on stage in his skinny tie and fitted suit. The art-deco hall filled with 1964-style squeals as Sir Paul tore through the Beatles’ “Birthday” with the wild-eyed drive of someone decades younger.The cake had been served, the candles had been blown out, and Ringo Starr had all but told the sold-out crowd at NYC’s Radio City Music Hall to go home, but the most exciting part of his
McCartney’s unannounced appearance was the perfect end to an evening of festive collaboration. Ringo calls his touring act the All-Starr Band for a reason: They’re all handpicked veterans of bands from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. In between his solo hits (“Photograph,” “It Don’t Come Easy”) and Beatles classics (“Yellow Submarine,” “Act Naturally,” “Boys”), he gave each of his bandmates ample time to demonstrate their own claims to fame. Keyboardist/saxophonist Edgar Winter led electrifying renditions of “Frankenstein” and “Free Ride.” Guitarist Rick Derringer of the McCoys rocked “Hang On Sloopy.” The Romantics’ Wally Palmar told us “What I Like About You.” Mr. Mister’s Richard Page spread his “Broken Wings.” Gary Wright crooned “Dreamweaver,” which he said was inspired by a book on Eastern philosophy that George Harrison once gave him. (“George Harrison never gave me no damn book,” cracked Ringo.) I’m not sure I’d sit through an entire concert by any of those guys’ original groups, but seeing them run through their hits with Ringo was fun — a classic-rock radio revue with one of history’s greatest beat-keepers behind the kit. Starr himself was as energetic as any 70-year-old I’ve ever encountered, grooving gamely at front stage or drumming with that familiar head-bobbing enthusiasm. READ FULL STORY
Let’s all wish a hearty “Happy birthday!” to Ringo Starr, who was born Richard Starkey exactly 70 years ago today. This milestone will no doubt make many people other than the legendary drummer feel old. Easy solution: Throw on a Beatles album, or better yet, find A Hard Day’s Night on DVD. The world has yet to discover a superior source of renewable youthful energy than the twentysomething Starr’s steady drumbeats and silly faces.
Perhaps you think Ringo is owed a birthday gift of some sort in return for this legacy of awesomeness. What do you get a 70-year-old Beatle — a yellow submarine? Maybe just a nicely framed photograph? Luckily, the man himself has already anticipated this question. In a video posted on his official site, he asks fans around the world to say the words “Peace and Love” and flash a peace sign at 12 noon today in their respective time zones. Get ready!
Check out Starr’s birthday video after the jump, then share your best wishes in the comments section. While you’re at it, let us know your favorite Ringo music moments, whether from the Beatles or his long and successful solo career.
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