Every year on Veteran’s Day since I met him about 10 years ago, I think of my dear friend and River listener George Fisher, who had been stationed in Iraq. George sent this story to me along with the pictures, and I’ve never forgotten it! It is such a sweet nugget to share about one of our veterans who knows how blessed he is to have come home. God bless all of our American men and women who have sacrificed their lives for us – we will always remember and love you!
Quite possibly THE best Rock & Roll Comeback Story ever! Happy 53rd birthday to Rick Allen… the one-armed drummer for Def Leppard! Rick lost his left arm in a terrible car crash on New Year’s Eve 1984… they tried to re-attach it, but an infection set in and they eventually had to amputate. The guys in the band never gave up on him… encouraging Rick to figure out a way to continue with some drum kit set-up ideas… It was the drummer for the band “Status Quo”, Jeff Rich who designed the first special drum set that gave Rick the ability to use a “pedal-snare”… After a year of practice, Rick made his triumphant return at the 1986 “Monsters of Rock” concert festival at Castle Donington in England… He wasn’t sure the fans would support him… but was he in for a surprise when over 100-thousand fans erupted when he first hit the stage! Check out that magnificent return!!
Happy Birthday to these Legendary… and some VERY Underrated Rockers… Manfred Mann of the Earth Band is 76 today… Not just “Blinded By The Light”… remember “Do Wah Diddy-Diddy”? and maybe “Quinn The Eskimo”? Steve Cropper is 75… Legendary guitarist with Booker T. & The MG’s, Sam & Dave, and The Blues Brothers! (“Play It Steve!”) Lee Loughnane – Rock Trumpeter, Founding member and horn section leader of Chicago is 70! Steve Lukather – Lead guitarist with Toto is 59…. When he was only 19, he started Toto with his school buddies David Paich and the Porcaro Brothers… Aside from Toto, he’s one of the most prolific session guitarists in rock! he’s played on, collaborated and produced over 1500 albums from nearly everyone in Rock! and last but not least… one of the most underrated guitarists out there… Elvin Bishop is 74! Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and, sadly… a one-hit wonder. Charlie Daniels wrote about him in his song, The South’s Gonna Do It… “Elvin Bishop sittin’ on some hay… He ain’t good-lookin’ but he sure can play…” Here’s proof! Note Mickey Thomas singin’ lead before he jumped into the Jefferson Starship…
It’s a very sad and tragic remembrance today of a band that was cut down during their rise in popularity… October 20th in 1977, the plane carrying all the members of Lynyrd Skynyrd crashed in a a swampy, remote area of Southern Mississippi while enroute to a concert at LSU in Baton Rouge. The official cause of the crash was “Fuel Exhaustion”. We lost the lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, his sister Cassie, road manager Dean Kilpatrick and the 2 pilots. The rest of the band members were all severely injured, but survived to tell the tale and carry on. I found a great story from 1988 in the Orlando Sentinel that tells of what happened… the premonitions, the crash, the brave rescue and more. It’s a very interesting read… CHECK IT OUT HERE