West Germany and Austria in Classic Rock

In the past Diversity of Classic Rock posts, we were talking about different walks of life of various musicians. Now, we’re going to focus on Classic Rock in Europe. Continental Europe that is! Music from Continental Europe doesn’t get nearly the visibility that music from the UK gets. In some cases there is xenophobia, such as critics associating Kraftwerk with Nazi Germany. The sad part is many musicians are forced to play music in English in order to get to an international audience, and to get success in America. And many of these musicians if they get famous are just known as one hit wonders. Few foreign language songs make it into the top 40. The US is a big country and musicians therefore consider it an achievement for their music to chart in America and to tour America. To reiterate from an American perspective, when you’re hearing about musicians from the other side of the Atlantic, you’re mostly hearing about British musicians. Musicians from every continent (okay, maybe not Antarctica) have contributed to rock and roll, and European musicians haveĀ made many contributions. Come and join me on the Diversity of Classic Rock European Tour where we explore classic rock bandsĀ from different European countries.

Germany has an interesting history of rock and there is a big following there of rock music, especially progressive rock, experimental music, and new wave. Rock music in Germany was a bit of a late bloomer compared to other countries in Europe because of the Nazis suppressing popular music in the 40s like jazz and swing music. However, there were many musicians from the UK and Ireland who lived in Germany and played gigs there for a time. The Beatles, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, John O’Brien-Docker, and Rory Gallagher all at one point were in Hamburg. Now why Hamburg? According to Ministry of Rock, Hamburg was the place to go because it was a port city with lots of sailors who wanted to go to clubs to hear energetic rock music. Many of these musicians came from cities and towns with a lack of a club scene, so Hamburg gave them what they wanted, an audience, a change of scenery, and a place to practise and become better performers.

Austria on the other hand did not have as much of a rock music scene, but there are a few famous musicians who are from there.

Let’s explore classic rock in Germany and Austria!

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Get Well Wishes For The Fish

I read the news today about Chris Squire being diagnosed with Leukaemia. It really made me sad and worried especially since I read it was a rare form of leukaemia. I hope that Chris Squire will get better. It really makes me sad that musicians from the 60s and 70s are getting older and so many of them have died. Very recently, B.B. King died. Yes were one of those bands where almost all the members are still alive and I think that’s incredible, especially since they went through many lineup changes. Peter Banks died a few years ago. He was the original guitarist for Yes and played on their first two albums Yes and Time and a Word.

Now if you don’t know who Chris Squire is, he’s the bassist for the prog rock band Yes. He was responsible for great basslines such as the very recognisable one for “Roundabout”.

He was the only original member in the current lineup of the band. Steve Howe joined in June 1970 and Alan White joined in 1972 during the Close To The Edge Tour, so while they are not original members, they played on key albums for the band. Geoff Downes joined Yes in 1980 during the Drama era. He was in The Buggles with Trevor Horn. The newest member is Jon Davison. He was in an American prog band called Glass Hammer. I’ve seen this lineup of Yes in 2013 in Toronto. It was an excellent concert and I’m glad I went. They played 3 albums in their entirety: The Yes Album, Close To The Edge, and Going For The One. I’m very lucky that I got to see one of my favourite bass players live.

The show will go on for Yes and they will continue to play concerts and the Cruise To The Edge with Billy Sherwood on bass.

I want to end this little blog post on a happier note. I want to celebrate the great music that Chris Squire and Yes have made. So here are my Top 10 Yessongs (see the reference I made to their live album?). Chris Squire, his family, and his bandmates are in my thoughts.

Continue reading “Get Well Wishes For The Fish”

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