by Robert Wilkinson
Today's the birthday of "the Greatest," as well as one of the truly great electric blues guitarists in history.
The amazing human once known as "Cassius Clay," now known as the remarkable Muhammad Ali (January 17, 1942), was one of the greatest boxers in history. A true humanitarian, champion of human rights, and antiwar icon, he swapped a bit of his cognition to fund his charity for years, which has done immeasurable good for inner city kids. He is truly "the Greatest" even to this day.
Here are a few quotes from this very beautiful man:
”A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.”
”Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.”
”The man who has no imagination has no wings.”
”Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.”
”To be able to give away riches is mandatory if you wish to possess them. This is the only way that you will be truly rich.”
”Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”
”He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
”It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.”
”It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”
”It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”
”Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams – they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do – they all contain truths.”
”Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
”We have one life; it soon will be past; what we do for God is all that will last.”
We'll close this birthday celebration with something I posted last year, Nothing Is Impossible.
And now we turn to our other birthday boy, the amazing slide guitarist Mick Taylor (17 January 1949.) This truly great talent has played on some of the most well known recordings in history. Lead guitar for John Mayall after Peter Green left to form Fleetwood Mac, he gave us great leads then, followed by some extraordinary work with the Rolling Stones in the late 60s and early 70s. He did the amazing guitar work on 1969's "Let It Bleed," 1970's "Get Yer Ya Ya's Out," 1971's "Sticky Fingers," and 1972's "Exile on Main St." These days he’s doing his thing with his own band, and I found more than a few gems:
From Pop Goes the 60s, Here's a great live performance by the Stones and Mick Taylor in 1969 of the harrowing "Gimmie shelter."
From the David Frost Show in 1969, a live performance by the Rolling Stones with Mick Taylor on lead doing "You Can't Always Get What You Want." (Mick Jagger's voice is shot!)
Here’s a gem! It’s the entire 53 minute concert featuring the Stones with Mick Taylor performing live in “The 1969 Hyde Park Rolling Stones concert featuring Mick Taylor"
From the 1972 Rolling Stones tour (I saw them in both Houston and Ft. Worth), here are some great performances from one of the Texas shows! This tour was where they first became "the world's greatest rock and roll band," and these performances show why!
First, featuring Mick Taylor’s utterly smoking slide guitar and the Stones, here’s a fantastic live performance of “All Down the Line”
From the same gig:
Also from a 1972 tour show, “Love In Vain”
From 1973, here’s a great live performance by Mick and the Stones of “Street Fighting Man”
A live performance set to stills of Mick and the Stones doing "Sympathy for the Devil."
Said to be one of Mick Taylor's last live performances with the Stones, set to stills, here's "Star Star."
From his stint as John Mayall’s lead guitarist, here’s a great audio-only live performance in 1968 by John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers with Mick cranking out a harrowing blues wail, “So Many Roads”
From 1975 on The Old Grey Whistle Test, Mick Taylor and Jack Bruce in a live performance of "Spirit."
From the same show:"Without A Word."
We'll finish this concert with “Smiles and Grins Pt 1”
We now find him with the Stones, but not entirely. In a live performance With Ron Wood, Charlie Watts, and Bill Wyman (in other words, the instrumental core of the Rolling Stones minus Keith), here's Mick doing their Tribute to Ian Stewart.
Mick Taylor and Ron Wood in a live performance of "Stop Breakin' Down."
From his 1979 album, set to stills, here's the superb instrumental "Spanish."
From 1981 in Italy, a live performance set to stills of Mick Taylor and Alvin Lee doing a smokin' version of Larry Williams’ classic “Slow Down”
And we’ll close with the classic “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”
From 1982, a great live performance of John Mayall, Mick Taylor and John McVie doing “An Eye for an Eye”
From 1982, here’s a live performance video of Mick Taylor and Etta James in Concert
Live in 1983 set to stills, here's Mick and John Mayall doing "Have You Heard."
From 1986, the Mick Taylor Band in a live, utterly smoking performance of “Reelin’ and Rockin’”
From the same gig, here’s “Got My Mojo Working”
Live in Toronto in 1990, Mick live doing "Little Red Rooster."
From 1994, the Mick Taylor band live doing "You got to Move
From July 2003, Mick and John Mayall reunited in a live performance of “Oh Pretty Woman” (NOT the Roy Orbison monster hit!)
Last year I found the entire 2 hour live video of John Mayall’s 70th birthday party with Mick and Eric Clapton, but it’s nowhere to be found this year. However, I did find a 36 minute clip of Mick’s playing where he really smokes! Here's the Mick Taylor performance at John Mayall's 70th Birthday Party (In the 2 hour show, Mick leaves the stage about an hour in, and Eric Clapton, another original Bluesbreaker, comes on for the second hour.) This is some REAL electric blues playing, so enjoy!
From 2009, here's Mick live doing his version of "Love In Vain."
From 2012, here’s Mick reunited with the Rolling Stones in a great live performance of “Midnight Rambler”
For a finale, we'll close these performances with what the Master's up to now. Here's the Mick Taylor Band live in May 2012 at the Iridium Jazz Club in NYC doing an updated version of a Stones tune from back when Mick played with them. It's 9+ minutes of a great jazz rock performance!
For an encore, we'll close Mick's birthday tribute with a 2 part special featuring great pieces of guitar work by Mick titled
Copyright © 2014 Robert Wilkinson
ps - I just found out that it's also the birthday of the legendary country and rockabilly session guitar slinger Grady Martin (January 17, 1929 – December 3, 2001). From Wikipedia, we find out just how good he was:
A member of The Nashville A-Team, he played guitar on hits such as Marty Robbins' "El Paso", Loretta Lynn's "Coal Miner's Daughter" and Sammi Smith's "Help Me Make It Through the Night". During a nearly 50-year career, Martin backed such names as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Johnny Burnette, Don Woody and Arlo Guthrie, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and Bing Crosby. He is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.
So he's a big one for you, Grady! Anyone who played with Elvis, Buddy, the two Johnnys and Patsy is all right!