What was it about the bands of the late 60's & 70's...

Posted by: Spacehead

What was it about the bands of the late 60's & 70's... - 03/10/02 03:49 AM

... that there were so many making great music? Think about it, (just to name a few) Yes, Genesis, The Who , The Doors, the Stones, Zeppelin, Hendrix, Zappa the list goes on & on. The shear amount of talent that came out of that era is amazing!

I don't want to sound like i'm stuck in the "classic rock" era, 'cause i'm not. I get tired of hearing the same classic rock tunes day after day at work. And i really enjoy hearing new music as often as i can also.

Back then, these bands seemed to have the combination of talent & popularity of the masses which is so rare these days.

We were born to go as far as we can fly; Turn electric dreams into reality... -Hawkwind-
Posted by: OldSchool

Re: What was it about the bands of the late 60's & 70's... - 03/10/02 09:25 AM

One must be careful...there are several things that the perspective of time gives to history. Two are: a forgiveness of sins, and a narrowing of scope.

Forgiveness of sins
I saw Jefferson Airplane, Cream, and an assortment of other such bands of the 60's in concert during that time. Such performances were almost invariably awful - a combination of technical problems, drugs, and the fact that live music failed to hide a host of musicianship ills. Crosby, Stills and Nash, even if they were sober (Nash usually was, the other two invariably weren't), were almost always desperately out of tune. The vabulous recordings from that era are equal parts genius, dumb luck, and good studio production.

Narrowing of scope
Music stations that thrive on the reprising ad nauseum of 60's music play probably about 2 or 3% of the bands and material that was getting air play then. There was a lot of trash. The older an era gets, the more the bad stuff gets relegated to the dustbin, and so the "golden era" seems a lot more golden than it really was.

As hard as it is for me to acknowledge, the era in which we currently reside may, indeed, take on a "golden" tinge from the distance of 40 years or so - though, frankly, I doubt it, and I'm quite glad I won't be around to witness it if I'm wrong . . .

"The problem with the world is that the ignorant are cock-sure, whereas the intelligent are full of doubt." - Bertrand Russell
Posted by: Uncle Dave

Re: What was it about the bands of the late 60's & 70's... - 03/10/02 12:32 PM

I think the key to the success was musicianship. There were very few "shortcuts" in terms of technology. There were archaic arpeggiators, but not much else in terms of "auto" anything. If you wanted to play something difficult .... you had to actually LEARN to play it. What a concept!
Todays players use lots of auto help to get the sound, and most new music is impossible to perform live. That's not really a bad thing, in itself, but the lack of chops is certainly more evident with todays generation of players.
It's a shame too - these guys are missing out on a lot of fun.
Posted by: Bluezplayer

Re: What was it about the bands of the late 60's & 70's... - 03/10/02 07:22 PM

I suspect that there is still a lot of "good" music being made today, however subjective that "good" may be. I also believe that there are still people who have the desire to learn their instruments including a few with the musical abilities of the Frank Zappa's, Chopins, Mozarts, or whichever era you choose.

I also think that everything is so canned now, that many good musicians may never be heard, at least through the mediums that we've become accustomed to using. Don't our choices become limited when a small few major record companies control the ocverwhelming majority of what we are allowed to hear ? On top of that a very small amount of huge corporations control virtually all of the commercial radio stations in nearly every major market in the US ( Clear Channel - 1170 stations and counting )

Old School: I LOVED listening to CSN music in their heyday, but it nearly broke my heart to see or hear them live, because every time I did they sounded awful.

Posted by: Uncle Dave

Re: What was it about the bands of the late 60's & 70's... - 03/11/02 01:49 AM

Of course there will always be great players from every era of history. My comment is that there are not as many, because there is no need to HAVE to learn to play to create a marketable product. I'm all for progress, and invention but I am also very sad that many music majors in todays class of college students probably counldn't play the "Popeye" theme or the "Jetsons" music .... just to name a few. These pieces had tons of articulated 16th notes at break-neck speed, and I just don't think the current class of cats are up to the task.
(Sure, there are SOME)
I'm not a "When I was young..." kind of person. I love the way technology has aided my business, and I adore getting new toys, but I put in my time on the basics for ages before I had any auto-anythings.
There is lots of music being written and performed today that I really enjoy, so it's not a case of nostalgia. If I had to pick an era to get "stuck in" - It would be really difficult for me to do. I'm somewhere in between the dixieland/big band swing era and the funk/jazz/blues of the 70's. Mostly, I am motivated by horns. I think there is no substitute for a blaring horn section in ANY style of music. Each note played in real time, by real musicians, on real instruments. It's a thrill to watch, and a joy to listen to. I was a Woodwind major at Temple in the 70's - any other converted horn guys playing keys now? I still drag the clarinet and the flute to gigs once in a while, but I sold all my saxes for keyboard gear over the years. (snif....snif)
I miss my Mark VI, but I've lost the "edge" in my lip - so it would just depress me to play it and sound like a string band player.
(Don't start yelling ! I played in string bands too! All I mean is that it's COLD, and you're marching around, some guys are drinking and it's NOT the most musical of experiences!!! An there's all that Banjo strummin' too ... out of tune and all yukky))
Posted by: Bluezplayer

Re: What was it about the bands of the late 60's & 70's... - 03/11/02 03:41 AM

Thanks A LOT Uncle Dave. Now I can't get that &^%$#@! Jetsons theme out of my head. Oh well, guess maybe if I PLAY the melody a few times on the keys and make a synth sound up for the stupid little whoosh of the spaceship... maybe I'll get sick of it and it'll go away.

I kinda am stuck in that 70's funk / blues era though too a lot UD. I'm not that " when I was young " kinda guy either. It's just that I'm sure that I remember years ago I could turn on a radio on FM and actually find a station somewhere that played something different other than the top 40 top 100 or whatever. I know that when I mention this, one might think that I'm straying in a different direction than the topic, but actually I'm not. I was inspired to learn different techniques and styles BECAUSE of what I was able to hear as a kid.

Sometimes I'll give a listen to what's out there on things like Spinner Plus and other internet mediums. There is a lot of good music out there yet. It's just that you'll rarely EVER hear any of it from the force fed garbage radio stations here in the US. Every morning if I turn on the radio I can sample what radio wants our our vast culture to become by listening to the radio and programs like " Howard Stern " or some moronic morning zoo crew ( What major market here doesn't have at least one of those ? )

Heck, listen to a few commercial foreign stations online. Some sound just like ours, but then others, hmm I can still find some magical stuff.

This is what our current mediums force feed our kids. There is virtually NOTHING out there that I hear coming from our mass media that encourages creativity or individuality, so what motivates them to learn playing an instrument ? If we as parents, teachers, instructors, and generally people who are "carrying the ball" aren't capable or in some cases even willing to try to do it even if it's just by helping to open their minds to new or different experiences, then I suspect nothing will. The money driven media isn't going to do the job for us. A huge part of the challenge includes making it interesting and fresh enough to grab and sustain their interest.


[This message has been edited by Bluezplayer (edited 03-11-2002).]
Posted by: Uncle Dave

Re: What was it about the bands of the late 60's & 70's... - 03/11/02 05:15 AM

Hey AJ,
Here in Philly, two of the hottest stations are from local colleges. U of P has a rock/alternative station(WXPN) and Temple has a jazz/classical station(WRTI).
These are on most of the time in my car, just so I don't get over-exposed to "hits". I like to listen to stuff that I don't play everyday. It helps clear my head.
There must be a progressive, radical station nearby that won't bore you to tears.
Posted by: kaboombahchuck

Re: What was it about the bands of the late 60's & 70's... - 03/11/02 08:43 AM

Hi Uncle Dave,
I'm a converted player. I still play on my sax every once in a while (crummy little soprano). The selmer mark 6 had to be the best sax ever created (wish I had one). Unfortunatly a sax cost way too much these days. Now I use a yamaha wx5 wind midi controller hooked up to a yamaha vl70m virtual acustic tone generator.

There is a lot of good music out there. It's just so hard to find. I make it a point to spend time at some of the mp3 sites just listening to whats going on out there.

Posted by: Uncle Dave

Re: What was it about the bands of the late 60's & 70's... - 03/11/02 11:55 AM

I've had several wind controllers too, but I just love the feel of a wooden clarinet under my fingers. Plus, they all use the sax fingering, and I'm really a clarinetist first. Sax was just a way to play in the jazz band. I played Bari. (and LOVED it !)
Posted by: danb

Re: What was it about the bands of the late 60's & 70's... - 03/11/02 02:56 PM

How about a converted sax player. I wish I could play sax ala Dave Coz, David Sanborn, Tom Scott, Groover Washington style. I have a passion of playing sax since then but the sax cost too much. Playing keyboard for more than 20 years can I still learn to play sax?

Good sounds from 60's and 70's. I wish we can bring back those years. I always miss my early bands composed of 9 to 10 members doing covers of Chicago, BS&T, Tower Of Power, EW&F. I tried to do this again but it seems like it's hard to get a booking for 9 piece band in today's DJ and sequencer era. Do we ran out of good tunes like those from our old favorite band? Or what's happening now is the result of technological change, auto-help, click and drag, cut and paste culture.

Hey... some of todays group or solo musicians add some 60's and 70's delight. How did they do that? Did Sugar Ray ask Carlo Santana's brother to use that la, la la , la, on one of his song? Janet J. on Ventura Highway? I'm a Believer? I don't know who did that. Well...those are memories. So long guys, I have to go to the attic and find my Blue Magic and Uriah Heep album. I'm craving to hear them now once again. Good night guys. This board's been great since its creation.
Posted by: Uncle Dave

Re: What was it about the bands of the late 60's & 70's... - 03/11/02 03:30 PM

"I'm a believer" got new life when Smashmouth put it in the movie "Shrek".
The kids just seem to love that song....even by the Monkees, or the author, Neil Diamond. His version really rocks too.
I'd stay away from learning ANY wind instrument if you don't have at least an hour a day to practice. It takes years and years to develope the muscles in the lip, and even longer to get them to do their thing in sync with your fingers !
As an adult student, I'd really recommend that yopu spend the time on the instrument you play the most - learning something new will put you back as a Freshman, and that's a tough transition for some to make.
The main reason I don't play much sax anymore is because I DON'T have that extra time to maintain my chops. It's embarassing to have the notes in your head, but your hands and lips won't cooperate!!!! Winds take time, and dedication - it won't come easy, or fast...so if you really want to learn sax - better make a schedule of time just for "you & the horn". You'll need it.
Posted by: Bluezplayer

Re: What was it about the bands of the late 60's & 70's... - 03/11/02 04:33 PM

Uncle Dave,

Up here in "Gods Country", there are quite a few stations that can be heard but only one with choices like you mention.... one of WRTI's remote links. I can get it clearly at times up here as it has a remote transmitter just over the border in Pensylvania. WRTI is by far the best station for hearing anything out of the noramal playlists that I can get, but at times the signal isn't all that good. A lot of typical " sounds the same no matter where you go" type stations also come in from Scranton. There just aren't enough "WRTI's" to go around though.

My daughter is a typical 17 year old. She likes the modern music and culture that she is exposed to, as most kids do. A lot of her activity time is devoted to learning and playing piano and flute. No " does it all for you Music Machines " for her. That's by her choice though, not because of any pressure from me. All I ever told her was how I learned to play. Then I left it up to her. She is busier than ever which means less time for us. Still, one of the things that gives me the most joy is that she wants to be around me and she likes to listen to my music. Better still, she truly enjoys the arts museums and other cultural events that we have attended. If I don't make enough of that available, she'll be quick to let me hear about it. I couldn't be more grateful or feel more lucky or blessed. I know that it's part luck but also in large part our commitment to try to bring these things into her life while at the same time trying not to make them boring for her.

Danb .. Try as I may, I haven't really been able to play more than one instrument at a really good level in 35 + years of trying. I play some guitar and have dabbled with some wind instruments, but I certainly wouldn't try to bring those skills ( or lack thereof ) to a live stage, although I can and will do a bit on the harmonica. Not that I've totally mastered keyboards either. God help me the day I think I have.. The lucky thing for me is that my primary instrument ( keyboards ) allows me to emulate pretty nicely some of the instruments that I only wish I could play well. That's one of the things about today's world that I'd never want to trade away. I wanted to be a guitarist first and foremost but I chose keyboards primarily because an organ was what we had in the house to play when I was growing up. In that way, it's kind of dumb luck that I ended up playing keys whent a lot of midi and modern music machinery happens to be centered around keys. Back then, I never dreamed of some of the stuff that is possible today. Ok so I can't play a blazing guitar solo ala an Alvin Lee or a Zappa on a real guitar, but it's still a lot of fun for me when I can emulate it pretty closely on my keys.


[This message has been edited by Bluezplayer (edited 03-11-2002).]
Posted by: kaboombahchuck

Re: What was it about the bands of the late 60's & 70's... - 03/12/02 03:49 AM

The wx5 has several ways to go, easy sax, sax with alt. fingerings, sax with a whole slew of tricks (my fav.), claranet, and flute.

The only thing I liked about the bari was the brain rattle, and the power. My favorite will always be the tenor. I will agree that there will probably never be anything that will replace the real thing, but the wx5 comes pretty close.

I'm gonna agree with you about the time that has to be spent on a sax. It is truly a love affair. The same goes for the wind midi. I have mine set up so close to the real thing sometimes I forget that I'm not playing a sax. They do , however, make a breath controller for keyboards. I don't know anyone that uses one, so I can't recomend.

Anyway time to go blow my brains out.
Posted by: Uncle Dave

Re: What was it about the bands of the late 60's & 70's... - 03/12/02 04:31 AM

Funny thing about sax's. Most players I know prefer Tenor too, and that's the only one I ever use in a band, but growing up as a woodwind doubler - I never could get my brain around the Tenor! I wanted to, but the sound was never there. I was the lead Alto in many jazz ensembles through HS & College, but the Tenor & I just never clicked. Coming from a background of guitar & bass, it was only natural that the lower winds enticed me, so I really concentrated on Bari, Bass Clarinet, and even Contralto Clarinet!

My teachers were all Philly Union honchos, and it was an easy career choice for me (early on) to follow their direction. Unfortunately ........ when I finished school, the clarinet world was not as "fertile" with opportunity as the top 40 world, so I struck out on the bass in a 5 pc band playing disco top 40 tunes all around the Tri-State area. The Hustle was one of the first big disco dances, so it was very natural for me to play the flute solo live on that one, and the keyboard man did the bass with his left hand (hmmmm, I thought ?) That was the FIRST hint I received that I might end up as a solo artist one day ....... that, and the fact that I was always butting heads with female singers.

Ahhhh, female singers - now THERE'S a topic for another day.

( In all fairness, This is NOT a sexual dig ..... it's just a painfully consistent pattern of behavior that I've noticed through the years. In fact, one of the most commonly misunderstood acronyms came about from this rare breed of woman, and is often confused with an anatomical area ... but I assure you, most "chick singers" just
Thinking !!! ) It's NOT a sexist thing at all !

(Ladies .... you know this was all a big setup for a reeeeealy bad joke, right ? )
Posted by: Bluezplayer

Re: What was it about the bands of the late 60's & 70's... - 03/12/02 08:24 AM

I have tried using that VL synthesis thing that Yamaha has for wind controlling, but I am just not all that proficient with it I'm afraid. Maybe getting the timing of it and setting it right is a skill unto itself that I haven't mastered. I do emulate guitar and sax solos pretty well I think without it, but I always strive to improve a sound. Unfortunately, when I used the VL synthesis the sound was not improved, but not because there is anyrthing wrong with the program..

Posted by: Equalizer

Re: What was it about the bands of the late 60's & 70's... - 03/12/02 08:58 AM

Yes, the 60s and 70s were great. Yes, I agree, today's music is crud by comparison. BUT, contruary to popular opinion I think this is the most exciting time EVER for being into music and a great time to be a musician. Why? Cos, for the first time ever, there are technologies available which give the common dude on the street the tools and opportunity to produce a hit record in his own bedroom and distribute his music on a global scale.

So far there are already a few who have made it this way. Look at David Grey for example! His album White Ladder was literally made in his bedroom with a computer and some cheap synth gear and now he's sold millions upon millions of albums all over the world.

I believe we are at the beginning of a new era of empowerment for the common musician. I am very excited about the idea of people from all walks of life, rich and poor, being able to in effect sign themselves to their own homemade record labels.

I am very positive about the future.

T. Equalizer

[This message has been edited by Equalizer (edited 03-12-2002).]
Posted by: Bluezplayer

Re: What was it about the bands of the late 60's & 70's... - 03/12/02 09:33 AM

Somewhere inside there is a part of me that wants to say .. It's sooooo wrong.. I worked my %&^ off to make my chops what they are and aren't today. But, in another way that would be rather contradictory too. Times DO change and I do use the tools available to do a pretty fair emulation of a flute or a sax via my keyboards. I'd have no business trying to play the real thing anywhere but in my basement where noone else would have to be subjected to it.

I also like that thje possibility exists that maybe, just maybe, good musicians / songwriters trying to put something out there that people can enjoy can now escape the death grip of the traditional process of making a CD and having to try to get a record company deal. I loved the music of the 60s and 70s, but I don't wanna go back to that era. Back then so often I heard how the music of that era sucked too compared to what was around before it. ( Old School is right on the money.. a good bit of it did )

Record sales have fallen recently. Maybe a lot of that coincides with the economy being a little less fertile than it had been for quite a while, but maybe also people are finally seeking alternative ways to get to music that they are not being offered via traditional mediums.

Posted by: optinone

Re: What was it about the bands of the late 60's & 70's... - 03/18/02 09:59 AM

I don't think its about being a good musician or piano player, its about how you control particles in an invironment to make acoustic sound, doing something someones never done before. Yeah, having the skills is a bonus, but your knowledge of sound scaping is also a must.
But in my opinion, and im only 21, The 70s have definitly produced some of my favorite songs to listen to.
Posted by: Leon

Re: What was it about the bands of the late 60's & 70's... - 03/18/02 12:59 PM

I think there was a period there when everything went for sh*t musically, but then rebounded. That's not to say everything today is terrific. I still wouldn't cross the street to watch a rap "artist" for free, the boy bands (bands???)don't do it for me, don't get me started on the Britany's, and the Nelly's. The 70's, yeah I'd have to say the musicianship was well above todays mark, but again, I can't saddle every band with that critique.
I had the unbelievable experience of catching Dire Straits in concert...now that was an unbelievable experience. Not only the musicianship but whoever was running sound deserves some kind of award. The sound was dynamically incredible.
Just my thots....
Posted by: dwrudder

Re: What was it about the bands of the late 60's & 70's... - 03/26/02 01:41 AM

I love some of the 60's and 70's music,some of it I loath as much as I do the over sampled,rapped over,generaly redundant crap that charts every time.I was frowned upon when I started on this musical journey,classical guitar was considered for p*&^*&sies and fags.My dear ol' dad has an unbelievable collection of music,from Joan Biaz,to Bob Dylan,to Steve Ray Vaghn.In the eighties I followed that dream of being a heavy metal guitar god,funny thing though,the set always included Cream,Jefferson Airplane,Hindryx.I spent hour upon hour on licks and chops,I could burn the fretts off my trusty Les Paul,and in the end,I rarely have to play like that.Now I spend my time in the basics,and learning how to use the damn midi you keyboardest make look and sound so easy.One day I'll catch up with the rest of you,about the same time as you leave me behind.
Posted by: Uncle Dave

Re: What was it about the bands of the late 60's & 70's... - 03/26/02 04:19 AM

Midi or not ......... we're all tying hard to get the keyboard to sound ALMOST like that screaming Les Paul of your's. What you can do .... keyboards STILL can't - don't throw it all away just to join the masses. Why not do a midi with gtr act?