One of the giants of rock and roll history, Paul Kantner is celebrating his 72nd birthday the same way he has spent much of his life: on stage, performing the music of the group he helped found, Jefferson Airplane, and its successor, Jefferson Starship. So what if was longtime collaborator — collaborator underlined — Grace Slick who contended that rockers should have mandatory retirements after 50?
On Tuesday December 4, 1956 at the Sun Record Studios in Memphis, Tennessee - a few guys you may have heard of - Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash – had an impromptu jam session.
Million Dollar Quartet is the musical - written by Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott - that brings you inside the recording studio with those four major talents who came together as a red-hot rock 'n' roll band for one unforgettable night.
Before he was a stadium-packing megastar, Bruce Springsteen was an introvert, desperate to strike a balance between his nuanced songwriting and the heft of his backing band. Clinton Heylin’s revelatory biography, E Street Shuffle: The Glory Days of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, chronicles the evolution and influence of Springsteen’s E Street Band as they rose from blue-collar New Jersey to the heights of rock stardom.
WAMC's Ian Pickus speaks with Keith Elliot Greenberg, author of December 8, 1980: The Day John Lennon Died, now out in paperback from Backbeat Books.
Lennon was cut down 32 years ago this week, the victim of a crazed fan who flew to New York from Hawaii and waited for the ex-Beatle outside his home at the Dakota, where Lennon and Yoko Ono were living a mostly quiet life with their young son.
WAMC's Ian Pickus and guest Jeremy Simmonds examine the always growing list of dead rock stars. A BBC television writer and producer, Simmonds is the author of The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars: Heroin, Handguns, Ham Sandwiches, now out in its second edition from Chicago Review Press.
The fast-paced life of rock and roll has led to untold numbers of untimely deaths, from the tragic to the tragic-comic. The accidents, suicides, murders and overdoses have inflated the genre with an aura of mystique and melancholy, from the day the music died in 1959 to Amy Winehouse.