Music on Mondays (2-9-15)—If Paul liked them, I might like them too

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

I have never watched the Grammys, or the Emmys, or the Oscars, or any other award shows.

They just never interested me.

I do read through the list of winners and sometimes explore the artists if I’m not familiar with them.

For the 2015 Grammys, I wasn’t familiar with most of the artists, and after exploring a few with whom I was not familiar, I gave up. None of them or their songs were doing anything for me.

So I thought I would reach into Grammys of the past for today’s Music on Mondays post.

Paul McCartney was on the Grammys last night, which reminded me that Paul McCartney & Wings won the 1980 Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for “Rockestra Theme.” I loved that he won, but I didn’t consider “Rocekstra Theme” to be an instrumental.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Rockestra Theme” is from the seventh and final album by Paul McCartney & Wings. It was not well received critically at the time although it made it to #8 on the Billboard 200 album chart. I, of course, being a huge Beatles fan, could not get enough of McCartney & Wings. I thought it was an awesome album.

What is most interesting about “Rockestra Theme” is the artists playing on the song.

(McCartney has issued two albums on which he played every instrument: “McCartney” from 1970 and “McCartney II” from 1980. I consider those the two worst albums in his music catalog.)

On “Rockestra Theme,” released as a single only in Europe, the artists beyond the Wings personnel included:

Guitars: David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, Peter Townshend of The Who, Hank Marvin of The Shadows (backing band for Cliff Richard)

Drums: John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, Kenny Jones of Small Faces

Basses: John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, Ronnie Lane of Small Faces, Bruce Thomas of The Attractions

Piano: Gary Brooker of Procol Harum

Percussion: Ray Cooper, arguably history’s greatest percussion session musician

Saxophone: Howie Casey of Howie Casey & The Seniors

There were many more musicians playing on “Rockestra Theme” but the ones I named here are the ones I was familiar with at the time (Pink Floyd, The Who, Led Zeppelin) or, after reading the musician list for the album back in 1979, I searched out. I figured if Paul liked them, I might like them, too. And I did.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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