Tag Archives: scandalous lives

God vs The Devil: U2 and Led Zeppelin

U2 vs Zep

My two favourite bands couldn’t be more of a study in contrasts. Led Zeppelin was a hard-rocking, drug-taking, groupie-banging maelstrom of bombastic sound. U2’s music, on the other hand, is infused with spirituality, soaring melodies, and the quest for a connection with a higher power.

And yet I love them both. Which is why I think it’s important to celebrate many different styles of music, from the highly spiritual to the down-and-dirty. And how better to do so than by comparing and contrasting one band of self-professed Christian rockers with another band that was plagued throughout their career by lurid tales of dark arts and devil worship.

Now, I’m not trying to turn this into an epic battle between the forces of Good and Evil…but just for the hell of it, I wonder who would win? Clearly the only way to judge is by employing the objective powers of Science to sort it out.

Therefore, I will be examining each band based on a variety of categories, and totally choosing my favourites utilizing a highly scientifical method that is not at all biased in order to establish the winner in each category. Points from all of the categories will be tabulated at the conclusion of our study to determine the ultimate victor. So without further ado, I present to you our first category:

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Ricky Jehovah’s Witness

trouble

Whenever I hear a song by Cat Stevens, I think of the following conversation that DamnYouSkylon had in high school with his friend Brian:

DYS: “Dude, so Cat Stevens gave away all his money, converted to Islam, and changed his name to Yusuf Islam”.

Brian: “Really? He changed his last name to the same name as his religion?”

DYS: “Yeah man, I guess that’d be like changing your name to, like, John Christian or whatever”.

Brian: “Or Bob Hindu…”

DYS: “Richard Buddhist…”

Brian: “Ricky Jehova’s Witness…!”

Now every time I think of Cat Stevens I hear a little voice in my head saying “Ricky Jehova’s Witness!” and it totally makes me laugh. You could say I’m being disrespectful of Stevens’ (Islam’s) life choices, but to be honest with you I think that “Spencer Christian” has a nice ring to it, so I might change my name too. I’m not renouncing all my worldly possessions though. I’m no dummy. My collection of old Sweet Valley High books might be worth something someday*, you know.

*They will never, ever be worth anything.

Anyway, when it comes to Stevens’ (Islam’s) music, I am totally divided. I love some of his songs (‘Morning Has Broken,’ ‘Another Saturday Night,’ ‘Father and Son’ — which always, always makes me cry) but others annoy the f*ck out of me (‘Wild World,’ for example, literally makes me want to punch myself in the face).

However, my very favorite Stevens (Islam) song is this one, ‘Trouble’. The lyrics are so sad and dejected, and yet the song is somehow uplifting. You can hear the weariness in his voice during the verses, but then all of a sudden he’s got this amazing harmonizing thing going on and it sounds so pretty and hopeful. It’s the perfect song to listen to when you’re feeling down…in fact, I’ve always thought that it was written about depression. Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know, but with lines like “You have made me a wreck / Now won’t you leave me in my misery” I have to think that he’s pleading with the “black dog” of depression (as Winston Churchill so aptly described it) to move on and let him be. Anyone who has experienced a depressive episode will be able to relate to this sentiment, the feeling of being “Shattered and tossed and worn,” and the desire to have the cloud lifted.

But even if you’re not sad, it’s a great song — simple yet eloquent, haunting yet hopeful.

And as a bonus, here’s my boyfriend, Eddie Vedder, performing his take on the song:


Peaceful, Easy Feeling…

The Finn

Go west, young man

Hola amigos, and Happy Monday! We hope you all had a great weekend & hope you enjoyed Part 1 of our California playlist, ‘California Über Alles’. If you missed it, you can listen to it here. And now we move on to Part 2! Honestly y’all, there are so many songs that have been written about California, it’s kind of crazy. I guess it still holds a certain mystique as the land of opportunity, probably a carryover from the old days of frontierism and the fervour of the California gold rush. You have to admit it’d be kind of cool to be out there prospecting for gold, and I can only imagine that when people got there and saw how beautiful it was they’d be hard pressed to want to leave.

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Hurts So Good

BOOK REVIEW FOR: This Is Gonna Hurt

Author: Nikki Sixx

this is gonna hurt
What’s the Story, Morning Glory: the continuing saga of a rock ‘n roll icon

Who Are You: a modern-day Renaissance man

Do Ya Think I’m Sexy: both in print and in person, a resounding yes

Le’ts Give Them Something To Talk About: the state of the Crüe

Paperback Writer: no holds barred

Add It Up: truly a delightful surprise


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My Bloody Valentine

sid & nancy

Lest you think that we here at Let Them Eat Vinyl are only about music, let us reassure you that we are also very well versed in the matters of the heart. In fact, we are currently lounging at LTEV headquarters drinking red wine, listening to Serge Gainsbourg records, and making out with each other.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we got to thinking about famous/infamous partnerships in music. Here, a roundup of celebrated musical couplings:

Love Will Tear Us Apart

Even though their passion burned brightly, in the end these couples just couldn’t go the distance:

  • Mick Jagger & Marianne Faithfull – He was pretty, she was pretty, but it wasn’t meant to be
  • George Harrison & Patti Boyd – Boyd left Harrison for Clapton
  • Eric Clapton & Patti Boyd – Boyd left Clapton for Harrison

You Give Love a Bad Name

Rock & roll’s most dysfunctional relationships:

  • Ike & Tina turner – Domestic abuse is always tragic, but fortunately Tina got the last laugh
  • Liam & Noel Gallagher – Taking sibling rivalry to the extreme
  • Phil Spector & rational thought – PHIL:  “Should I pull a gun on John Lennon?” PHIL’S BRAIN:  “I can’t see any reason why not!”

does this man look sane to you?

Love is the Drug

Co-dependent much? Famous junkie relationships in rock & roll:

  • Steven Tyler & Joe Perry – Heroin, rehab
  • Kurt & Courtney – Heroin, suicide
  • Sid & Nancy – Heroin, homicide

toxic twins

It’s a Family Affair

Groups famous for their inter-band relationships:

  • Fleetwood Mac – Between Lindsey & Stevie, Stevie & Mick, and John & Christine Mcvie’s divorce  — it’s a wonder any music was getting made at all.
  • The Mamas & the Papas – Look, I’m sorry, but if I were around back then I would have run off with Michelle Phillips too. She was SO PRETTY.
  • The White Stripes – The self-proclaimed brother and sister were actually ex- husband and wife. An intriguing yet confusing ruse.

who's zoomin who?

Let Love Rule

Because it’s not all dysfunction & hearbreak:

  • Paul & Linda McCartneyy – You guys, they were only apart for like 8 days during their entire marriage. That’s devotion.
  • John & Yoko – Two wacky kids who were perfect for each other. Only an assassin’s bullet could keep them apart.
  • Bruce Springsteen & Patti Scialfa – Okay, so their relationship started out as adultery, but these two have been together for twenty years & counting.

obviously meant to be

Now, dear readers, you tell us:


Who’s Your Valentine?

Let Them Eat Vinyl’s Celebrity Crushes:

Spencer:

For me it always has been & always will be Paul Simonon of The Clash. He had incredible style and attitude. And oh yeah, he was SUPER hot…

spencer's future husband

The Finn:

Seventies-era Stevie Nicks. I couldn’t stop looking at the front cover of Rumors and the picture of her in the inside sleeve. She sorta had a Farah Fawcett thing going on for me, but with that haunting voice.

young Finn's fantasy woman

And you, sweet reader? Who’s your valentine? Can be anyone past or present, dead or alive (hey, if Mozart rocks your socks, who are we to judge). Tell us all about it in the comments! We absolutely will not think any less of you (unless you are over the age of 12 and pick Justin Bieber).


Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga

hammer of the gods

Author: Stephen Davis

What’s the Story, Morning Glory: Setting the bar for rock star excess

Who Are You: Four very talented musicians who weren’t afraid to sell their souls to the devil

Do Ya Think I’m Sexy: I actually just wanna be Jimmy Page

Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About: The “red snapper” incident, underage groupies, the occult

Paperback Writer: Spellbinder

Add It Up: One of my all-time faves



Heavier Than Heaven

Heavier Than Heaven

Author: Charles R. Cross

What’s the Story, Morning Glory: The very sad story of a brilliant, troubled, fragile soul

Who Are You: The reluctant voice of a generation

Do Ya Think I’m Sexy: Surprisingly…no

Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About: Two words — Courtney & heroin

Paperback Writer: The big leagues

Add It Up: Put it on your reading list

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