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San Francisco’s 60s music scene

Down on San Francisco Bay in the 60s, was the place to be if you liked putting flowers in your hair. From the start of the decade to 1965 San Francisco flourished into the hippie 60s counterculture hotspot.  Although among all the peace and love, marijuana and LSD there was a fair amount of talented musicians who would become some of the rock ‘n’ roll legends we all listen to.

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About Redbone’s Greatest Hit

Source: Wikipedia

Born and raised in Coalinga, California a small city in the Fresno Country area, the two Vegas brothers Pat and Lolly had moved to LA in 1959 to pursue their musical ambitions. Originally playing under their actual names, Pat and Lolly Vegas. It wasn’t until 1969 that they had official changed their band name to “Redbone” which is an archaic term originating from the Cajun community, referring to a mixed race person. The brothers angled the bands representation and music to signify their ancestry.  Thus justifying Redbone’s choice of stage costumes/outfits, signifying their Native American/Mexican ancestry descent.

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About Paolo Nutini’s Sunny Side Up

Paolo Giovanni Nutini, a Scotsman who the world didn’t know we needed. Making his debut in 2006, with his first album ‘These Streets’. It seemed like the world was missing a raspy voiced singer singing us all some “Blue-Eyed Soul”.

You could compare his singing style to the likes of two other Scotsmen, Rod Stewart and Joe Cocker.

Source: Wikipedia
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About the Rolling Stones Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus TV Special

“Please allow me to introduce myself… I’m a man of wealth and taste…” – Sympathy for the Devil

Source: Google Images

The Show that wasn’t released commercially until 1996

The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus was originally produced as a BBC-TV special. Recorded on the 11th and 12th December 1968 the TV special was directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg. Centered around of course, The Rolling Stones with their original lineup who acted as both the headliners and the show’s hosts – Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Keith Richards.

However, apparently the Rolling Stones withheld it from being released for, as they were dissatisfied with their performance. I don’t know what the Stones where smoking at the time of production but they must have been watching something else. This is in my opinion THE greatest footage of the Rolling Stones performing live, nothing comes close in competition to when Mick and the rest of the gang are playing “Sympathy For The Devil”, absolute masterpiece. You know your watching something special when you can’t take your eyes off the prize for an 8-minute rock and roll ballad that feels as if its over within seconds, truly a phenomenal performance.

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Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, A Night at Jackrabbit Slims…

“C’est La Vie”

source: Youtube

This scene has got to be one of the most iconic moments in cinematography history? Quentin Tarantino, is without a doubt my favourite film director, but not for the reasons of blood and gore. Tarantino’s soundtracks are some of the best compilations of tracks to represent the popular culture of the 20th century. He uses soundtracks to set the mood, and complement scenes of extreme violence in ways that you thought was not possible. From tortures scenes, slowly hacking away of someone’s ear with Stealers Wheel “Stuck in the Middle with You” Taratino’s out of the box thinking, found a way to combine the two in a way that just fits.

Whether Quentin’s methodology comes from a place of love for cinema and music or whether he’s tapping into the psychopathic tendencies within his own psyche, that’s up for you to decide.  Either way his choice of shots, scenes and soundtracks are just perfect in my eyes.

Now the scene I wanted to elaborate on today is one of the more romantic moments within his films, the Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace dance sequence.  During this dance sequence, Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell (C’est La Vie)” accompanies John Travolta and Uma Thurman.

However, after doing some research I have some compelling evidence to illustrate the genius decision-making made by Tarantino from the choice of actor to the sound track, leaving the intended audience a trail of intertexual breadcrumbs. Highlighting how he hasn’t just chosen this track out of thin air but in matter of fact it’s a multifaceted.  Firstly on the explicit layer this track is a nod to one of the forefathers of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Chuck Berry. However, if we look at what the song signifies on an implicit level, Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell (C’est La Vie)” references the French saying “That’s Life”. Although to dig deeper Tarantino could be referencing 1950s French “New Wave” cinematography age of postmodernism.  Why specifically this genre of film well, did you know Tarantino uses many features within his films that are traits of this era. From the use of non-chronological fragmented narratives, and the combination of both realism and hyper reality. His films provide a fruitful experience of popular culture, dialogue and complimentary soundtracks.

Music, Memories & Gerry Rafferty

“Right Down the Line”– Gerry Rafferty

‘City to City’ album cover (1978)

You know what fascinates me? How we as humans have the unbelievable capability to attach music to memories, or rather audio to visuals. This is something we certainly take for granted with music as a medium.  You could be anywhere in the world, whether that’s a bar, restaurant, standing in line to check out at the supermarket, in the elevator, walking through town. Wherever it may be, once you hear those first five seconds the memories come flooding back, transporting you back to that point in your life as if it was yesterday.  

Gerry Rafferty is an artist whose work will always have a special place in my heart and for this nostalgic reason. For those of you who don’t know who Gerry Rafferty is, he’s a Scottish singer/songwriter from the late 60s although wasn’t until early/mid 70s where his career flourished.  

Finally reaching mainstream success in 1973 with Stealers Wheel producing iconic tracks like “Stuck in the Middle with You”. 

Now my personal experiences and moments that our attached to Gerry Rafferty’s music are as simple as scenes from my favourite movies to as personal and special as moments with my family. 

I’ll start chronologically with his first hit. So, Stealers Wheel’s “Stuck in the Middle With You” for any Tarantino fans will be familiar with, this track is ironically used in Reservoir Dogs during the torture scene.  Michael Madsen a.k.a Mr. Blonde sets the mood with tuning into his favourite radio station “Super Sounds of the 70s”, shuffling along to Rafferty’s vocals, producing an upbeat walk/dance in sync with the tempo. The irony of this is the upbeat, happy/major key, used to accompany a shaver blade-wielding psychopath who’s wearing his excitement for torture on his sleeve, slowly making his way to rearrange the face of a young police officer. 

Source: cinemaexpress.com

In 1978, Rafferty recorded his second solo studio album, ‘City to City’ featuring ‘Right Down the Line’. This is one of my favourite songs due to fond memories with my father when I was a child. My Dad whenever he had the chance would put this on queue. So now for the rest of my life whenever I hear the first 5 seconds of this track I am instantly transported back in time to when my father would belt out “You know I need your love, You’ve got that hold on me, Long as I’ve got your love, You know that I’ll never leave.”  Apart from this memory ‘Right Down the Line’ is such a captivating track the emotion is heard throughout, I believe Gerry’s solo career in 1978 was what produced his finest work.  

Santana Woodstock, 1969

The Performance that stole the show

“Happiness is not a destination or an experience. It’s a decision.” – Carlos Santana

Source: Goodreads
Source: ThePopHistoryDig

When you think of iconic moments in the 60s, Woodstock surely springs to mind? I can’t tell you exactly how many times I have watched Santana playing Soul Sacrifice YouTube. But I can tell you that it isn’t a enough, there’s something just absolutely mesmerizing of this performance that just leaves me watching in awe.

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