Author Archives: Chrissy Mauck

Bring Home the Midnight Special

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In the period between American Bandstand and MTV, several shows tried to bring rock ’n’ roll to television. In the wake of Elvis Presley and the Beatles’ debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, ’60s series like Hullabaloo, Shindig and The Music Scene featured rock and pop performers. But it wasn’t until The Midnight Special premiered on August 19, 1972, that rock ’n’ roll found its own home on the air.

Fans can again enjoy this seminal, groundbreaking live music TV show with the release of The Midnight Special Collector’s Edition, a beautifully-packaged 11-disc set that includes nearly five hours of specially-produced bonus features and a 32-page collector’s book. Amazon is also offering a 6-DVD set and a single DVD version.

The Midnight Special’s eclectic lineup reflected the show’s commitment not only to rock, but also to mirroring the Top 40 melting pot of the 70s, including genres such as folk, blues, R&B, soul, country and pop. For much of the run, the show was presided over by the legendary, gravelly-voiced DJ Wolfman Jack (Brooklyn-born Bob Smith), who was recruited as a permanent announcer and made his debut in episode 2; he would go on to become the living symbol of the show and a powerful draw for performers who were more than happy to share the stage with him.

A variety of guest hosts appeared along with Wolfman Jack over the years including such ‘70s music icons as the Bee Gees, David Bowie, Alice Cooper, Loggins and Messina, Richard Pryor, The O’Jays, Electric Light Orchestra, KC & the Sunshine Band, plus frequent host Helen Reddy. Viewers and members of the studio audience were treated to one-of-a-kind concert events direct from The Midnight Special stages such as Aerosmith, Earth, Wind & Fire Fleetwood Mac, Heart, Jim Croce or John Denver. Additionally, the show featured the day’s top comedic talents, such as Richard Pryor, Billy Crystal, George Carlin, Andy Kaufman, Steve Martin and Freddie Prinze, among many others.

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TracksAuction.com To Auction John Lennon’s Gretsch Guitar

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John Lennon

TracksAuction.com are set to auction John Lennon’s Gretsch 6120 guitar which Lennon gave to his cousin David Birch in 1967.

The Gretsch 6120 is a historically important instrument from the former Beatle’s personal collection, used and photographed during the April 1966 “Paperback Writer” session held at EMI Studio 3 at London’s Abbey Road.

Birch was given the guitar when he visited Lennon in Weybridge in November 1967. Interested in starting up a band, Birch asked his famous cousin if he had any spare guitars.

“I was just cheeky enough to ask John for one of his spare guitars,” recalled Birch.

Lennon then gifted Birch with a Gretsch 6120, serial number 53940, that he’s owned ever since.

Beatles historian and author Mark Lewisohn and Birch discuss the instrument in the video clip below.

Online bidding begins on Nov. 14 at www.TracksAuction.com, concluding with a live auction at Le Meridien Hotel in London on Nov. 23.

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Acoustic Guitar Sessions: Eric Bibb

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Eric Bibb
In this Acoustic Guitar Session, Grammy-nominated bluesman Eric Bibb talks about his development as a musician, shares a piece of advice he received from Bob Dylan and performs “Turner Station” from latest album Jericho Road. For the number, Bibb relied on his “Gretsch (Jim) Dandy to the rescue model,” which he found on Haight Street in San Francisco only hours before the session.

Watch the session here.

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Tom Petersson and Chris Fleming on the G5034TFT Rancher

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In this video clip, Cheap Trick bassist Tom Petersson and Gretsch’s Chris Fleming discuss the Gretsch G5034TFT Rancher.

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Rancid Release Album Details and New Video

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Punk stalwarts Rancid have offered up a sampler video featuring three new songs to announce their upcoming eighth studio album, …Honor Is All We Know, due out Oct. 27.

The black-and-white clip features the quartet playing “Collision Course,” “Honor Is All We Know” and “Evil’s My Friend.”

Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz produced the new album, which marks Rancid’s first since 2009′s Let the Dominoes Fall.

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