Hippiefest with Jack Bruce of Cream, War, Rare Earth, Mitch Ryder & Badfinger Featuring Joey Molland
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The last date listed for Hippiefest was Friday August 20, 2010 / 6:30pm.
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Quotes & Highlights
Watch a trailer for the Hippiefest tour at the official website.
The composer, the singer, the multi-instrumentalist, the Legend. Hailed as one of the most powerful vocalists and greatest bassists of his time, his improvisational skill and utterly unique, free-spirited approach to composition and performance would forever change electric music. His pioneering, full-toned, free-wheeling playing on the electric bass revolutionised the way the instrument is used and influenced the playing of countless bassists to today, including Sting and Jaco Pastorius. His work with bands such as Cream and the Tony Williams Lifetime, as well as his solo material, unlocked the doors to the pent-up energy of a new approach to the art of sound, breaking the barriers of tradition and creating a kind of music that had never been heard.
Known for songs like “Why Can’t We Be Friends,” “Spill the Wine” and “Low Rider,” legendary California band War has combined rock, funk, jazz, Latin music, R&B, and reggae to sell almost 50 million albums.
War’s consistent catalogue sales and thriving tour business is a tribute to the timelessness of its music and message. Perhaps, nothing epitomizes this truth greater than the fact that War has twice been honored by its hometown of Los Angeles, over twenty years apart, for its music making positive contributions to the betterment of the community.
“The world is still a ghetto”, says Lonnie Jordan, echoing the title of the early album and song. “There will always be a reason to play our songs. When you come back to reality, you pull down War, because War is reality. We have a lot of second-generation fans and they’re seeing the same things their parents saw. They’re hearing the same messages. We’re like Levi’s,” says Jordan, “and there’s nothing nostalgic about Levi’s. In fact, they’re not really good and funky until they’ve been worn awhile.”
Recently, Rare Earth decided to tour again – much to the applause of their many fans across the country. Rare Earth has their audiences up and out of their seats dancing and singing along with their million selling classics such as “Get Ready”, “Hey Big Brother”, “Losing You”, “Born to Wander”, and “I Just Want to Celebrate” creating an atmosphere reminiscent of the Madison Square Garden Concert in 1970, the Atlantic Pop Festival in 1971 or the California Jam which was one of their most memorable concerts broadcast nationally in 1974.
Rare Earth has an amazing track record over 3,000 concerts with such performances as the Ed Sullivan Show, The David Frost Show, Dick Clark’s American Bandstand and Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert. Rare Earth performed on the very first Midnight Special where they set the precedent in performing live instead of lip synchronization to a record. They have been asked back a total of three times by the producers of Midnight Special. Rare Earth – definitely crowd pleasers!
High octane, turbo, high performance, super charged Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels didn’t need to hail from the Motor City for those adjectives to be tossed their way, but it was certainly appropriate that they called Motown home. It was Mitch and The Wheels who served as the musical bridge between the Motown soul factory and the high energy, take no prisoners rock ‘n’ roll that would roar out of Detroit via Iggy & The Stooges, MC5, Ted Nugent and Bob Seger.
It would be a mistake to consign Mitch Ryder solely to the past- he’s shown too much resilience to be counted out. He is currently enjoying another surge in European popularity and continues to revisit for live performances. There’s certainly nothing nostalgic about the charged music here- no one, but no one, ever kicked out the rockin’ R&B jams better than Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels. The tragedy is that mismanagement, and show biz machinations sidetracked a great band and- the financial inequity aside- quite possibly prevented Mitch Ryder from tapping his full potential as a singer. But all these problems can’t erase the indelible rush of The Detroit Wheels shifting into over-drive with that imitatable, fiery voice flying over the top.
Badfinger featuring Joey Molland
Joey Molland is a survivor and, when he looks back on how what started out as a rock and roll fantasy and then turned into a bona fide nightmare, he tries to remain upbeat. He concedes that the story was tragic but prefers to focus on the good times: “I had a great time. I was very happy with the band and what we were doing. It was a bit of an ideal situation for a guy like myself, in his early 20s.”
Molland was one of three primary songwriters in Badfinger, revered by critics as one of the outstanding melodic pop bands of all time, proteges to the Beatles and the darlings of Apple Records. In the late 1960s, Badfinger stormed world pop charts with hits such as “Come and Get It”, “No Matter What”, “Day After Day” and “Baby Blue”.
After this very promising start, however, devious business dealings and litigation left the four members of the group left virtually penniless. Things did not get better, they got worse. Key songwriter Pete Ham committed suicide by hanging in 1975. Bassist Tom Evans did the same thing eight years later.
Since Badfinger’s golden era, which included headlining at Carnegie Hall and rubbing shoulders with the Beatles, Joey Molland has found himself broke at various times and working menial jobs in order to survive.
“Thank God I had guitars and I was able to sell some of that stuff,” he said. “We were flat broke, and that’s happened to me three times, where my wife and I have had to sell off everything and go and stay with her parents or do whatever. I installed carpeting for a while in Los Angeles and stuff like that. You do what you’ve got to do to survive.” And he has survived. He has also spoken out in the hope of helping upcoming musicians to avoid some of the pitfalls that he learned about the hard way.
Things began to pick up after a London court settlement in 1985 in which the two surviving members and the two estates agreed to patch up their differences over royalties. Badfinger’s six albums continue to sell well around the world.
Since then Molland has revived his career as a solo artist, record producer and leader of “Joey Molland’s Badfinger”. His 2001 CD “This Way Up” (Independent Artist) was very favorably received, in particular, “Isn’t it a Dream”. The trio plays up to 80 concerts a year. Joey says, “About 50 percent of the show is the old Badfinger stuff and then the rest of it is divided between my solo records and new songs that we’re working on now.”