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This week in Music History: week in review button

Teddy Pendergrass dead at 59

Filed under: Guitar-Antics,Music News — rat January 14, 2010 @ 4:27 am

More sad news in the music world was released today as Teddy Pendergrass dies at the young age of 59.  Teddy Pendergrass

Pendergrass suffered a spinal cord injury and was paralyzed from the waist down in the 1982 car accident. He spent six months in a hospital but returned to recording the next year with the album “Love Language.”

He returned to the stage at the Live Aid concert in 1985, performing from his wheelchair.

His lyrics were never coarse, as those of later male R&B stars would be, but they had a sensual nature that bordered on erotic without being explicit.

Pendergrass, the first black male singer to record five consecutive multi-platinum albums, made women swoon with each note, and his concerts were a testament to that adulation, with infamous stories of women throwing their underwear on stage for his affection.

Following the car accident, it was 19 years before Pendergrass resumed performing concerts. He made his return on Memorial Day weekend in 2001, with two sold-out shows in Atlantic City, N.J.

Pendergrass is survived by his son, two daughters, his wife, his mother and nine grandchildren.

Zac Brown Band politically correct ?

Filed under: Guitar-Antics,Music News — rat November 7, 2009 @ 4:03 pm

I have been listening to the latest song by the Zac Brown Band called ‘Toes’ and it seems there are a few new versions since it originally aired.  It seems this is due to the line “i got my toes in the water, ass in the Sand,,” as the new versions say things like ” toes in the water, toes in the Sand,,”  and “toes in the water, glass in the Sand,,” , etc. I am sure this is due to some people calling in to the radio stations complaining that the word ‘ass’ is offensive. This is censorship in my opinion which I do not agree to when it comes to music, arts etc. The word ‘ass’ is in the dictionary so it is not a cuss word or slang and I see no trouble with it being used in this context. zac_brown_band

My main question is:  why is it alright to say this line: ” Gonna lay in the hot sun and roll a big fat one And grab my guitar and play,,, “  but it’s not ok to say ‘ass’ ????? I do not disagree with either of them personally but it seems those people who don’t like ‘ass’ should probably not want to hear “roll a big fat one’ ? I also wonder who decided to give in to this ‘political correctness’ , the band or the record label/producers.

You will also notice there are MANY movies and shows aired on regular TV (some during prime time) that use the ‘GD’ word (not to mention many other strong cuss words) quite often yet we can not say ‘ass’ in a song ??

Just something to think about.

Recent Happenings

Filed under: Guitar-Antics,Music News — rat September 17, 2009 @ 6:24 pm

On a positive note,  I recently took 5 days off from work and went hiking through the Grayson Highlands where the wild feral ponies live, then over Mount Rogers and Whitetop mountains to Damascus Virginia for a total trek of 34 miles. All I can say is it was strenuous considering I am out of shape but was totally awesome. You can see pics here.


On a sadder note, there have been some recent losses in the entertainment world.

Patrick Swayze died on September 14, 2009 at age 57 having lost his battle with prostrate cancer.    patrick_swayze

Also Mary Travers of Peter, Paul, and Mary died on September 16, 2009 at age 72. Another cancer victim this time being Leukemia. I can still here such greats as ‘Leaving on a jet Plane’, ‘Puff the magic Dragon’, ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’, ‘If I had a Hammer’, and ‘Where have all the flowers Gone?’. She recovered from a stem cell transplant but succombed to the side effects of the chemotherapy. She will be sorely missed.


Notable mention, Ted Kennedy died on August 25, 2009 at age 77 after battling a cancerous brain tumor. The Kennedy family has done a lot for this country.

Catching up ?

Filed under: Guitar-Antics,Music News,RAT's Personal Blog ! — rat July 26, 2009 @ 2:37 am

Is that even possible ? I can’t believe it’s been since Nov. 2008 since I last updated this blog but I have been very busy working and doing several other sites, blogs etc. I thought I would post something here just to show that I haven’t forgotten about this blog ! A lot has happened since November, let me see if I can recall,,,,, let’s see,,,ummm, spent Thanksgiving with my kids, cooked some stuff, it was all good. My daughter turned 18 on Nov. 24th, that was good. I don’t think I got anything for Christmas, that was  bad :(  I also don’t recall any notable deaths in the latter part of 2008 but 2009 has surely made up for it already.

January started off with the worlds oldest woman passing on. Maria De Jesus was a Portuguese supercentenarian who was the world’s oldest verified living person for five weeks, until her death at 115 years and 114 days. She inherited this status after the 26 November 2008 death of American Edna Parker, who was 115 years and 220 days old. She was the only verified person born in 1893 to live into 2009.  I can’t imagine living that long.

January also was the month that Jett Travolta, 16-year-old son of American actor John Travolta, dies suddenly of a seizure while on a family holiday in the Bahamas.

Let’s see, February lost  great people as well such as James Whitmore, and Paul Harvey.

March news announced the loss of Hank Locklin, American country and western music singer (“Please Help Me, I’m Falling”), at age 91. I remember listening to all his tunes when I was very young as I was learning to play. I recall “Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On”.

April, May, and June were the months we lost several TV legends such as Bea Arthur, Dominick “Dom” DeLuise, David Carradine, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and last but surely not the least was the tragic sudden death of pop star Michael Jackson. Whether you liked him or not, you have to acknowledge his talent and the effect he had on the music world and his humanitarian efforts. Despite his eccentricity he will be surely missed.


Hiking the Lone Oak Trail

Filed under: Guitar-Antics,RAT's Personal Blog ! — rat November 9, 2008 @ 1:19 am

My son Tyler and I recently hiked the Lone Oak Trail to the top of Buffalo Mountain that was burned last summer. You can see the burn photos here: There is still a lot of black trees and ground but it is rehabilitating very nicely with hardwoods and was very colorful to hike through during this late Fall time. We have hiked to the Tip Top before from the buffalo Park side but the Lone Oak Trail is fairly new and comes in from the other side beginning in Dry Creek (aka Lone Oak Road). The trail is very primitive, very narrow and sloped outwards with very little trail construction and is difficult to hike due to that and the sheer steepness of it. We got a late a start about 4:30 pm and hiked really hard and fast to make it to the Tip Top before dark. Seen a nice sunset then walked back down in the dark ! Enjoyed the last 70 degree day for while and was out by 6:30pm ! Quite an adventure and a good workout. Photos can be seen in my gallery here:

Lone Oak Trail

Lone Oak Trail

Rat News

Filed under: Guitar-Antics,RAT's Personal Blog ! — rat October 26, 2008 @ 12:30 am

Lots happening around the Rat’s Hole lately. I have been trying a low carb diet since June 17, 2008 and so far it has been 4 months and I have lost 35 lbs ! From 236 down to 201 and I can’t wait to see under 200 ! No Atkins here, just no bread, sugars, or anything with any significant amounts of carbs and eat plenty of anything else ! I have also tried to walk 4 miles every couple days in about an hour but lately have also been doing some hiking in the form of work trips to my trail section of the AT and I also recently went on a 4 day trek for my birthday in Sept./Oct. You can see photos of the trip from Devil Fork Gap to Allen Gap (20+ miles) here: .

My last work trip on my part of the AT was on 10-15-2008 starting on the summit of Big Bald on the last 80+ degree day of the summer and I painted some blazes all the way to Spivey Gap. It was a most awesome day with some wonderful Fall colors. Photos of that trip can be seen here: .

I have also finally basically finished my dune buggy project, at least its on the road now. Still some minor things to be done over time, but it’s getting cold now and it is out of the garage and has a new home under the porch as seen here: .

I have started a new project with my 1967 Chevelle Super Sport which after many years of sitting under a tarp out back, and much work, is now in the garage and ready for my magic to be worked on it. You can follow this project here: .

Other than that it’s the same routine of working 6pm to 3am for , spending alternate weekends with my kids in TN. and my girlfriend in Virginia, and taking care of my dad and the property here. I did manage to get out last night and jamm with the Jones Boys Band : .

Sometimes the news just sucks

Filed under: Guitar-Antics,Music News,RAT's Personal Blog ! — rat September 13, 2008 @ 5:45 am

I am sorry it has been awhile since my last post, of course it’s not like very many people visit this blog, ha ha, but recently the news has just been so depressing it’s just not easy writing about it. It seems all I hear lately is bad or sad news. Issac Hayes passed away at age 65 on Sunday August 10, 2008. I can remember him from the 70`s some of the best years I have memories of, his Academy award winning theme from ‘Shaft’ not to mention the career stretched far beyond soundtracks. For much of the 1960s and into the ’70s he was one of the principal songwriters and performers for Stax Records, the trailblazing Memphis R&B label, and in the 1990s he revived his career by providing the voice for the amorous and wise Chef on the cable television show “South Park.” Seems he was found next to a running treadmill, most likely a heart attack. sad news indeed.isaac hayes

Then there was the news of Jerry Reed passing way.Brings back memories of Amos Moses, The Bird, When you`re Hot you`re Hot, She got the Goldmine, I got the shaft, the list just goes on and on, not to mention all the tracks of him and Chet Atkins, who was his mentor, what an artist and guitar legend. One of my guitar heroes, was not good news to me at all. His parents separated 4 months after his birth and he and his sister spent seven years in foster homes or orphanages and he used to run around playing the guitar and was quoted to have said “”I am gonna be a star. I’m gonna go to Nashville and be a star.” Reed was reunited with his mother and stepfather in 1944. Music and impromptu performances helped ease the stressful times the new family was under.After a two-year stint in the military, Reed moved to Nashville in 1961 to continue his songwriting career, which had continued to gather steam while he was in the armed forces, thanks to Brenda Lee’s (my cousin who shares my last name, Tarpley) 1960 cover of his “That’s All You Got to Do.” He also became a popular session and tour guitarist. In 1962, he scored some success with the singles “Goodnight Irene” and “Hully Gully Guitar,” which found their way to Chet Atkins, who produced Reed’s 1965 “If I Don’t Live Up to It.” Such a unique hybrid style of ‘Swampabilly, Rockabilly, Cajun’ style of playing he created; I remember “Guitar Man” and sitting for hours as a kid trying to duplicate his licks, he will be sorely missed by this guitar player for sure. Seems he died of complications due to emphysema (smoke smoke smoke those cigarettes people). jerry reed

Then there was the death of the wife of a Trail Angel friend of mine, Gloria Peoples, who died suddenly of cancer, wife of Bob Peoples who has done so much for the Appalachian Trail community that I am so close to. Also another close friend of mine who hiked the whole trail back in the 90`s whose dear canine friend “Nicky” who hiked at least 1000 miles of it with him, including parts of New Hampshire recently died basically of old age. Such a dear friend, such a perfect dog, the world wont be the same without her. nicky

Not to mention the recent gas prices, hurricanes and presidential election issues that are going on right now, nothing positive in the news that I can find. When I hear something good I will post it here asap, until then keep you chin up, things will have to get better to get worse ! HAIRNT !

political humor

Hear the RAT here !

Filed under: Guitar-Antics,RAT's Personal Blog ! — rat June 22, 2008 @ 12:39 am

I finally got around to uploading some jams so you can now hear the RAT doin’ his thing! This first track was done about 10 years ago when I was playing locally with a 3 piece band called the Tommy Lyons Band.

tommy lyons band

The following recording was done very primitively in a basement with no effects simply for a homemade demo tape:

More to come,,,,,

Eddy Arnold 1918 – 2008

Filed under: Guitar-Antics,Music News — rat May 10, 2008 @ 12:30 am

Music legend Eddy Arnold died Thursday, one week before his 90th birthday. He was married and influenced by the same lady (Miss Sally) since 1942 (nearly 66 years) who died only 2 months earlier after hip replacement surgery at age 87. Not many people in this day and time will even know who he is (part of that’s surely due to him having outlived his commercial peak by so many decades — refusing to die young does diminish one’s legend, right?) but in my opinion he should be considered the most successful country singer of all time, if you combine record sales (85 million sold) with radio successes (145 chart hits, including 28 No. 1s) spanning 7 decades. Starting off and often being considered a country singer he went on to cross over into the pop world and he was the first country singer to become renowned as a Vegas headliner. Wearing a tuxedo and singing from the diaphragm and not through his nose he was Influenced by crooners like Bing Crosby and Gene Autry, he favored romantic ballads and novelties over songs about drinking and cheating. Intimacy was his calling card. Some may remember not too long ago when LeAnn Rimes did a duet with him doing the famous ‘Cattle Call’ song although I remember him in his first band ‘The Tennessee Plowboys’ and such hits as “Make The World go Away” penned by Hank Cochran. Now them’s real lyrics right there ! Others include “I’ll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)” and “I Wanna Play House With You,” were later recorded by Elvis Presley, who patterned his crooning style after Mr. Arnold’s. Born in Tennessee, inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1966, recorded his last album in 2005, he will be remembered as a one of a kind, unique, singer songwriter and just another one of those sounds I heard as a kid growing up that I learned to sing and play to. He is survived by his two children, son Richard and daughter Jo Ann. Another one my musical influences that I will surely miss.

eddy arnold

Jeff Healey dies at 41

Filed under: Guitar-Antics,Music News — rat March 4, 2008 @ 5:27 am

Sad news came to me today. Blind guitar wizard Jeff Healey of Toronto died Sunday of cancer. He was 41. Arguably one of the most distinctive jazz and blues rock guitar players of our time has left our midst to join that all star band in the great hall of fame in the sky. Healey had battled with cancer since the age of one when a rare form of retinal cancer known as Retinoblastoma claimed his eyesight. Healey had undergone numerous operations in recent years to remove tumours from his lungs and leg. This comes on the eve of the release of a brand new blues rock album “Mess of Blues”. He started to play guitar when he was three, holding the instrument unconventionally across his lap. He formed his first band at 17, but soon formed a trio which was named the Jeff Healey Band. I have enjoyed his playing ever since. He will be sorely missed by this fellow guitarist. This spikes my awareness to cancer, something we all try not to think about as we hope it wont happen to us or anyone we know but after my dad’s recent bout with throat cancer I am all too aware of it and it seems every day we read about another victim claimed by this dreaded killer. Healey died Sunday evening in a Toronto hospital surrounded by family and a bandmate, Colin Bray. May he rest in peace.

jeff healey

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