essay Archive

Take Five: Michael Nesmith

Michael Nesmith would have celebrated his 80th birthday last December 30; he passed away in 2021 after an acclaimed tour with former bandmate Micky Dolenz. The talented musician and songwriter […]

Take Five: John Paul Jones

Though best known as Led Zeppelin’s bassist/keyboardist, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Paul Jones had a flourishing career as a session musician and arranger in the years before […]

Take Five: Jimmy Page

Five significant Jimmy Page sessions before Led Zeppelin Like his bandmate John Paul Jones, guitarist Jimmy Page was an in-demand session musician in the years before Led Zeppelin. Page’s journeyman […]

Take Five: Sir George Martin

George Martin will be best remembered for his landmark production work with the Beatles. But London-born Sir George – who was knighted in 1996 in recognition for his major contributions […]

Take 5: Christine McVie

Two-time Grammy Award winner Christine McVie passed away in November after a brief illness. The singer, songwriter and musician enjoyed widespread critical acclaim and commercial success for her work with […]

SF Music History: The Human Be-In

The Summer of Love has been a part of the popular lexicon for more than half a century. It is a shorthand for the era of good feeling that centered […]

Take 5: Dick Wagner

Guitarist Dick Wagner would have celebrated his 80th birthday on December 14. He is best known as a longtime collaborator of Alice Cooper. Wagner excelled at producing, playing guitar, arranging […]

Take 5: Duane Allman

Duane Allman is best known as co-leader of The Allman Brothers Band, the innovative collective that combined John Coltrane-style improvisation with searing melodies and superb songwriting. But Allman cut his […]

What’s ‘Wattstax’? Here’s the Answer

I grew up in the 1970s, and in the early part of that decade that meant listening to AM radio. In those days before market segmentation, pop radio played music […]

Take 5: Roy Wood

Though he’s comparatively unknown in the U.S., Roy Wood is an important figure in rock history. He founded and led The Move, a theatrical, melodic and hard-rocking band that scored […]