Tag Archives: Boston

Saturday Top 5: Rock and Roll Guitar Solos

I love music. And of all music, I like rock and roll most. At the heart of all great rock is the guitar, and the guitar shines today in the top 5 greatest guitar solos. Included in the list are a few songs that had the juice to make honorable mention, but not enough to crack the list.

Honorable Mention:

Hotel California – The Eagles Easy sounds from this southern rock band gave it such a nice feel. I still haven’t figured out what the song is about, though I have read things ranging from Satanism to music history (with references to Steely Dan and many other rock greats in the song). But the solo is just killer. Definitely one of the greatest rock solos ever.

Reelin’ in the Years- Steely Dan This is the closest to pop of any songs on my list. It actually was the #1 pop tune of 1973. But the guitar solo is totally rock. Steely Dan is jazzy enough for your mom and dad to enjoy, rockin enough for me, and about the most sophisticated rock and roll created. The solo on this track is Jimmy Page’s favorite solo of all time. It’s not every day you can find a guitarist who can come close to replicating it.

Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin There are many who say Jimmy Page’s hammering on Stairway was the best solo of all the Led Zep tunes, but this one had more emphasis with the breaks. I gotta whole lotta love for this song and this solo!

Long Time – Boston Off the self titled album, this was the best of Boston’s killer guitar solos in my opinion, and there were plenty to choose from.

Europa – Santana This song was the closest of the honorable mention selections to making the top 5. If you think Black Magic Woman contained his best solo work, you are incorrect. You can feel the heat coming off those tubes in his Mesa Boogie. Wikipedia has the parameters for attaining the sound Santana had on Europa, supposedly. He really makes the guitar sing, scream, and then cry.

Do You Feel Like We Do – Peter Frampton This was the best video I could find of this. The sound quality isn’t the best, but it still has the voice box and guitar solo. This tune is energetic, and the solo rocks in a big way that is worthy of mention on my list.

The “Top 5”

#5 Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd The smoothest work by a seriously smooth guitar player. Quite a few regard this as the best guitar solo ever laid to vinyl in the Rock and Roll genre. David Gilmour punctuates a song about an apparent injection of something that takes away pain. According to some of the information I found, there was nothing to the drug rumors other than that it was about a child that got sick and got shot up with some medicine to feel better. Of course, the term “acid rock” is actually a description of the effects of acid rain on a sheer mountain face. YEA RIGHT! Any way you slice it, the solo is one of the best ever.

#4 Eruption – Van Halen Eddie sets the fretboard on fire with some of the fastest hammering ever recorded. Actually, he was so fast many of the notes were supersonic and undetectable to the human ear. That’s how amazing this solo was! The link is to a live version with a little more than the original recorded version.

#3 Sultans of Swing – Dire Straits Is it rock and roll? You better believe it! There’s no trumpet playing in this song, and the solo(s) are just as effortlessly smooth and fast as the combination can be. One of my gun range instructors used to say “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast!”. I love the clean bends and flat picking Knopfler brings with his guitar here on this slightly altered live extended version.

#2 Free Bird – Lynyrd Skynyrd It’s technically not a guitar solo when played live since it’s a duel between Allen Collins and Steve Gaines (Ed King originally), but the recorded version was double tracked and recorded by Allen Collins alone (still not exactly a solo). But since the 5 minute guitar piece at the end of the song is one of the most recognizable portions of rock and roll picking in rock’s history, I have to include it. The haunting slide played in the beginning of the tune is by Gary Rossington. That makes it a three part solo. 🙂

#1Little Wing – Stevie Ray Vaughan This is the ultimate in Rock and Roll guitar solo, an extended version of Hendrix’ Little wing with a portion of Third Stone from the Sun at the end. It’s a buffet of all you can eat blues/rock! It has some serious rock foundation to it, but the soul of this jam session is pure blues. It’s sad that such a talented guy (the greatest guitarist to live) didn’t live longer. To quote Bill, how much music was lost when he died? He had years of creativity, writing, recording, and performing taken away when he died in a helicopter crash at the age of 35. When you watch him play, he makes it look so easy.

There you have another controversial edition of Saturday Top 5. If you think I am wrong, then you are wrong, obviously. I welcome anyone to challenge my list so I can prove to them why I am right.

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Lakers get a taste of Home Cookin

The chickens came home to roost for the Lakers… in Boston! The Celtics almost blew a gigantic third quarter lead, but with the help of the non-striped zebras held on for a 108-102 win to go up 2-0 in the best of 7 finals. That makes them historically better than 90% likely to win the shole thing. Now, the Lakers will get their share of calls in LA over the next 3 games and perhaps it will be the Celtics players getting mauled under the basket with no call forthcoming. Or perhaps the Lakers will have a similar 38-10 freethrow advantage over their opposition (like the Celtics did last night).

That said, the Lakers played a style last night that got them in some trouble last year, and earlier this year. They did not play body defense. They defended with their hands. Th( will get more calls. They also settled for jumpers and didn’t really attack the rim until the 3rd quarter. That will leave you with fewer calls. That helps to understand, but does not fully explain the 38-10 gap in freethrows.

Like I have been saying this whole playoff season, the home teams have gotten nearly every break possible. It’s getting old. I want to see some legit b-ball, not this version that is filtered through the dirty lense of these crooked refs.

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Game One NBA Finals

The Celtics started off hot and jumped to an early lead. With a good solid run in the first half led by Kobe, the Lakers took a 6 point halftime lead. I fell asleep at the half fully expecting to wake up and see that the Lakers had won. Paul Pierce being the great player he is hits a third quarter 4 point play and the Celtics were looking good. Next was what I missed, a Willis Reed type of moment. In the third quarter, the Celtics Captain/shooting forward Paul Pier collided with a teammate and had to be wheeled off the court to the locker room. Had I been watching I would have thought the Celtics were finished. Then Pierce hobbles back on the court and proceeds to nail two three point baskets and inspires his team to a 10 point win.

Game 1 goes to the home team. I believe the Celtics need to hold home court especially in game two. If the Lakers win the next game, we will see a series that is over in 5.

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Classic matchups.

LA is taking on San Antonio in the conference finals for the 4th time. So far the Lakers have had the upper hand 3 times, most recently in 2004. The possibility of the classic LA vs Boston final matchup has to have the NBA salivating over the potential revenue and ratings. LA has the home advantage and is playing lights-out right now, so SA will have another huge task ahead of them if they are to advance. The Spurs won at New Orleans last night marking only the 5th time this post season that a road team has won and becoming the first team to advance as a lower seed without home advantage. Their playoff experience was huge!

Detroit will face Boston on the road in the East final. The game features a superstar stacked Boston Celtics team that was thrown together this year to make a run at the championship vs the veteran defense-oriented Detroit team that has gone to battle together numerous times in the playoffs. They always tend to play to the level of their competition so this should be a hard fought series. Detroit has won on the road and Boston has not. I believe Detroit can take Boston out, but it’s going to be nasty. I don’t think they have a legit chance at winning without Billups. I’m sure the rest was beneficial, so Detroit is probably thanking Cleveland for stretching the series to 7 against the Celtics.

My picks…
I am going to equivocate here but my head tells me LA will take out SA in 7 and Boston will advance in 7 as well. These are two evenly matched series though. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see SA or Detroit steal one on the road and take their series. I’m pulling for SA in the long run.

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NBA Playoff stuff

Well, unfortunately Lebron James didn’t quite have enough juice to pull Cleveland through on his own. He put together an incredible offensive and defensive performance but came up short. Boston will now have to face a well rested Detroit team in the conference finals. Billups’ sore hamstring needed the break. Now Boston who has faced two 7 game series (Atlanta and Cleveland) still has not won a single road game. If they don’t at least advance to the finals, you have to wonder what happened. This was a 66 win team with three super stud ballers. Anything less than an NBA championship will be the city’s second heartbreak. This obviously won’t be as monumental as the Patriots Superbowl Choke, but this is still bad. This is one of the NBA’s best regular season records in its history.

On the Western front, Tim Duncan is trying to pull off a big win in New Orleans. LA has been waiting for the winner of this series since they finished off the Jazz in 6 games. Do Tim, Tony, and Manu have what it takes? Yes they do! Unfortunately, the homecooking has been in full effect this year. Ref’s are making it extremely hard to win on the road. The freethrow disparity is sick in almost all the series. All teams with home court advantage have advanced in every series. I have not ever seen that happen before. To sum it up, it will take a lot more than an average performance from SA’s big 3 to win tonight, but I’ll be pulling for them.

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On the NBA playoff front

  1. Round 1 is in the books. All the favorites have advanced. I don’t know when the last time that has happened, but I will have to research it.
  2. Round two is going to be excellent. All the match ups are exciting. I am particularly interested in the east with Detroit playing Orlando and Celtics against the Cavs.
  3. The Cavs and the Celtics each won their regular season home games. The season record is 2-2.
  4. The Lakers beat Utah Jazz and have yet to lose a game in the playoffs. Victor is ecstatic.
  5. The Celtics avoided the biggest choke in NBA history beating the Hawks in game 7 to advance to round two. Essentially, the Celtics have to win the championship this season or it would be monumentally disappointing to the city of Boston. First the Patriots put together the most dominating regular season in NFL history and lose the championship. Now you have the Celtics with the third best record in NBA history. They have to win the title or this will only be a smidge less disappointing than the choke job the Patriots came up with this year. Could Boston handle the embarrassment for a second time in the same year?
  6. KG looked like a TE laying a blindside block on a corner trying to defend the double reverse. I forget who he put the pick on, but he laid his shoulder into it and leveled the poor guy.
  7. The defending champion San Antonio Spurs are down 1-0 against the Hornets. ESPN speculates that if SA loses game 2, it’s over! I don’t if I would take it that far, but certainly SA does not want to lose game 2!

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