Since our readers have been more nice than naughty this year, we are presenting a second helping of good cheer, with another Top 10. Or, to paraphrase Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap, our Top Eleven (through 20) stories for 2019.
Their faces were familiar to Baby Boomers raised on TV situation comedies like Leave It To Beaver, the Dick Van Dyke Show and McHale’s Navy. Their private lives were not. In a way, though, they helped to blaze trails for which they were never given credit. This post by Burt Kearns and Jeff Abrahams ran on the last day of Gay Pride month and has been popular ever since.
Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith carry on, despite the loss of Davy Jones and, most recently, Peter Tork. PKM’s Crispin Kott caught the pair on their most recent tour, which was a tribute to lost friends, a celebration of their “Good Times!” in the present day, and a reminder that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has failed to acknowledge the truth of the Monkees’ greatness.
What started as an all-ages coffee bar and acoustic venue in 1989 turned into a must-play showcase for local and out of town bands. Jabberjaw’s roster included L7, Bikini Kill, Iggy Pop, Elliott Smith, Hole, Beck, and many others. In its nine-year run, Jabberjaw was beloved enough to inspire a book and is the subject of a documentary film currently being made. Lucretia Tye Jasmine sat down with Jabberjaw co-founder Michelle Carr to jabber about the club’s legacy.
Roger McGuinn, as a founding member and guiding force of The Byrds, had a huge impact on rock ‘n’ roll of the 1960s, before embarking on a long and distinguished solo career that continues today. His fellow member of the Rolling Thunder Revue, Larry “Ratso” Sloman, talked with Roger about the Byrds, going solo, Rolling Thunder Revue, Bobby Darin, Lenny Bruce, Tom Petty, Pete Seeger, Sweetheart of the Rodeo.
Deke Dickerson charts the birth of Rock & Roll music—as we know it—to the early 1950s, and a little seaside resort town called Wildwood, New Jersey. Long before Elvis stepped inside Sun Studio, Dickerson says it was a criminally underrated musical act called the Treniers who created Rock & Roll. Read on to see how the mix of rhythm & blues, jazz, swing, showbiz savvy, hillbilly, and country, all came together in a rowdy Jersey Shore resort town to create a music revolution.
Could any two musicians appear to be more different than the solidly grounded country music “outlaw” Waylon Jennings and The Who’s manic, sometimes maniacal drummer, Keith Moon? Pamela Des Barres found something to love in each of these men and remembers both fondly here.
Model, actress and singer Bebe Buell confronts the loss of one of her dearest friends and the guiding force of her own musical career. Even while Rick Ocasek, who died in September, was steering The Cars to success (and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year), he helped Bebe find her own path, in more than just music.
Often a new band member replacing an original player has, despite fans’ worst fears, actually turned out for the better (think: Ringo Starr for Pete Best). Here are 12 other examples of happy endings, from AC/DC to the Sex Pistols.
Nico (Christa Paffgen) was many things to many different people, including Andy Warhol, Lou Reed, Jim Morrison, Bob Dylan, Alain Delon and numerous other collaborators. But to performance artist Billy Hough, Nico was “the most underrated/overexposed tornado in the Holy Scriptures of Rock & Roll.” He explains why.
Cleveland’s vital and unsung punk scene would not be complete without a chapter on Peter Laughner. Laughner, who died in 1977 at the age of 24, co-founded legendary bands Rocket from the Tombs and Pere Ubu, among others. An amazing singer and songwriter, he has received little recognition. PKM’s Todd McGovern set out to find the man behind the myth, speaking with those closest to Lauhner, including Cheetah Chrome, Richard Hell, Craig Bell, Miriam Linna, Anton Fier, and Adele Bertei, among others. The resulting story has touched many lives since it appeared early in 2019.