Interview: Young Wings fan writes Jimmy McCulloch biography

The¬†first interview on The Diversity of Classic Rock is author Paul Salley. Hope you enjoy it! ūüôā

But before we get to the interview, I’ll give you a little context and history about Jimmy McCulloch. I’ve mentioned him before on the blog, but as a recap, Jimmy McCulloch was born on 4 June 1953 in Dumbarton, Scotland. He started playing the guitar as a kid and a few years later was the guitarist for the Jaygars/One in a Million. In 1967, Jimmy McCulloch’s band opened for The Who when they toured Scotland. Pete Townshend really liked Jimmy McCulloch and two years later, 1969 – Jimmy joined Pete Townshend’s friends Andy “Thunderclap” Newman and John “Speedy” Keen to join the band Thunderclap Newman. They released one album in 1970,¬†Hollywood Dream, produced by Pete Townshend. The anti-war song “Something in the Air” went to #1 in the UK. Jimmy McCulloch was only 15 when he played on that song, making him the one of the youngest people to play on a #1 UK hit single.¬†At the age of 21 Jimmy McCulloch joined Wings. Jimmy McCulloch¬†worked with many famous musicians besides Paul McCartney. He worked with Steve Marriott (Small Faces/Humble Pie), Maggie Bell (Stone the Crows), Kenney Jones (Small Faces), Brian Robertson (Thin Lizzy/Mot√∂rhead), Ricci Martin (son of Dean Martin), and Jimmy Bain (Rainbow/Dio). Jimmy McCulloch died at the age of 26 in London.
Continue reading “Interview: Young Wings fan writes Jimmy McCulloch biography”

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Romani Classic Rock musicians

The Romani are an ethnicity mostly living in Europe (although there are some Americans of Romani descent). They originated in India and were nomadic, eventually reaching Europe. The Romani live all over Europe, with populations in countries such as England, Spain, France, Italy, and Romania. Sadly, they have been persecuted for centuries and there are estimates that anywhere from 220,000 to 1.5 million Romani died in the Holocaust (not much is known and it is difficult to find exact numbers). To this day there still is persecution because of far right wing parties being elected in parts of Europe.

Romani music itself has a wide variety of influences from Indian to Greek to Persian to Slavic to French and Spanish. Romani music was even the basis for the Spanish flamenco. Django Reinhardt, a Belgian jazz guitarist of Romani descent was very influential to rock musicians such as Denny Laine, Jimmy McCulloch, Dickey Betts, Jeff Beck, and Jerry Garcia. Django Reinhardt was the inventor of the genre “jazz manouche” in the 30s. Jazz pianist John Lewis said of Django “He was the first great European jazz musician”. Another interesting thing about him is that in a fire he lost a few fingers but continued to play guitar. He died in 1953 at the age of 43. Here’s a video of some Django Reinhardt songs:

There are a few musicians of Romani descent who have made contributions to classic rock, let’s explore! Disclaimer: There will be quotes from musicians about their backgrounds. Some of them have reclaimed the word “gypsy” to describe their ethnic backgrounds.¬†This is how they wish to identify.¬†The only usage of the word “gypsy” will be in quotes from musicians or in one case a band name. Otherwise I will not use it. Thank you. Continue reading “Romani Classic Rock musicians”

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