All posts tagged: Steven Rosen

Caught on Tape: The Day I Didn’t Disappear in Front of George Harrison

It was a day of unmatched California beauty; a startling and fiery sun perched high above in a crystal blue sky and blazed down promise. It was an essential day, a meteorological marvel meant to be stored away for future reference. “Dude,” a friend would ask the following week, “do you remember how amazing it was last Tuesday?” And of course you do. Even if the day itself was all you’d been given, that would have been gift enough. But the weather was merely an underscoring for the occasion, a gilded and golden opportunity to spend an hour with George Harrison. You’ll forget how to breathe before you forget this. Simply saying the words out loud (actually you’re reduced to mumbling them sotto voce because you’re afraid that anything above a whisper might reduce the reality to mirage) – “I am hanging with a Beatle” – is enough to render you stupid. Then you start considering the notion that maybe Harrison himself ordered up the perfect day as an interview-ambience backdrop. We all knew that …

Caught on Tape: Slash and Burn

The interview is set for 2:00 PM. At a quarter ‘til, the black hat, cascading curls, and nose ring saunter through the management office’s front doors. The receptionist raises eyes from a computer monitor and is momentarily stuck to her chair. She fights through the inertia of awe and approaches. Her hand is extended tremulously, but Slash ignores the shake and encloses her in a friendly embrace. He sees me sitting on the couch, walks over, and shakes my hand heartily. He even apologizes for being late when he’s 15 minutes early. This is who Slash is. He understands the importance of keeping business appointments and hugging the people who work for you. Twenty years ago, back in ’87, when he recorded Guns N’ Roses’ debut, Appetite For Destruction, he set in motion the ritual beheading of the ’80s metal hair bands. With Velvet Revolver, he has synthesized the electric blues and R&B raunchiness of the Stones and Aerosmith and almost single-handedly brought about the Renaissance of the Les Paul. At that moment in time, …

Caught on Tape: Ritchie Blackmore — Happiness Is a Warm Bun

November 1974, St. Paul, Minnesota – In the fall of 1974, Creem magazine flew me out to the Twin Cities to interview Ritchie Blackmore. There had been a renewed interest in Deep Purple after they made a killer appearance at the Cal Jam concert seven months earlier. On that seventh day of April, the band stunned a crowd of 200,000 Ontario Motor Speedway fans when Ritchie shoved Marshall cabinets into the photographer’s pit and trashed his guitar Hendrix-style. He pushed the headstock of his Strat into a TV camera lens and shattered it, and then was nearly blown up when a flash pot ignited just inches from where he was standing. It was rock and roll full throttle; it was Ritchie Blackmore without a leash. The show was bigger than life and crazier than hell, the elements that have been a part of every memorable concert from the Stones to Zeppelin. Purple was the greatest band in the world that evening, tearing up the night with a set list made up of songs from the …

Caught on Tape: Paul Kossoff, Free Man at Last

January 1976, Hollywood, California – The first time I saw Paul Kossoff play was back in 1969. Free were opening for Blind Faith on their first (and only) US tour. They were appearing at the 17,000-seat Inglewood Forum, a huge arena where the Los Angeles Lakers played. This was years before I started writing and I really didn’t know much about guitar players. I didn’t remember too much from the show but I did recall Kossoff having this really aggressive rhythm style and a simple melodic approach to his soloing. You could hear the Clapton connection in his approach. I did learn that Paul was absolutely enamored with Eric’s playing. When I finally met Koss about seven years later, he couldn’t stop his gushing. “The first real inspiration I had to get into it was seeing Eric Clapton with John Mayall at a small club. I didn’t know who he was or what had gone down, but here’s all these people yelling, ‘God, God!’ He really caught my attention and then I wanted to play.” …