Tag Archives: Rolling Stone

Led Zeppelin – Slowly Rising

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Cameron gets the scoop on Led Zeppelin’s latest album, Presence. This August, 1976 story is brand new to the site and marks our 251st article/interview in the Journalism section. Happy Monday!

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Zeppelin Rising . . . Slowly

Jimmy Page tells how Led Zep turned an accident into an album: ‘We started screaming and never stopped’

Los Angeles – Had singer Robert Plant’s sedan not slammed into a tree on the Greek island of Rhodes, shattering his ankle and all the bone supporting his left leg, Led Zeppelin would surely have dwarfed all touring competition is golden rock & roll summer. But Plant, who is not one to perform from a chair, is still months away from complete recovery. Until that day, the band even Elton John calls “the world’s biggest act in music” is stilled.

Presence, Zeppelin’s seventh and latest album, remains one of the best-selling albums of the year, even without benefit of a tour, a single or even a photo of the band. A film of the band in concert, The Song Remains the Same, is set for release this fall. All this at a time when most heavy-metal heroes have either tempered their approach or died an unsuspecting death. Such is the enigma of Led Zeppelin.

Jimmy Page, the band’s guitarist and mentor, was on a working vacation in Los Angeles with Plant, drummer John “Bonzo” Bonham, manager Peter Grant and various members of Bad Company. Page was keeping a low profile. His easy pace of writing, relaxing and supervising a band called Detective, the newest act on Led Zep’s Swan Song label, was interrupted by only one nightclub visit – to the Roxy for Doctor Feelgood – and one interview.

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Sep 22, 2015

The Marshall Tucker Band

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Photo ©John Gellman – jgphoto.com.

Cameron talks about the rock and roll business with the Marshall Tucker Band for this 1974 Rolling Stone interview. Happy Tuesday everyone…

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Marshall Tucker: The South Also Rises

Atlanta, GA – It’s Friday night and Richard’s, the lively hotspot of Atlanta’s rock-club scene, is jumping. Onstage, a local favorite is grinding out rock raucous blue standards. The dance floor is an euphoric mass of squirming young bodies.

Welcome to the great lost teenage innocence. David Bowie may set the coasts afire with his 36 costume changes and the New York Dolls can mincingly sing of decadent trauma, but for this typically well-scrubbed Southern crowd, “drag” is when you’ve waited too long to buy your Allman Brothers tickets.

“That glitter shit,” drawls one sweat-drenched regular, “is for the people that don’t care about the music, dontcha think? Here in the South we got our own bands who don’t need any of those…gimmicks. Like Lynyrd Skynyrd or the Marshall Tucker Band or, acourse, the Brothers. Man, they just get out there and fuckin’ play.”

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Sep 8, 2015

Stills & Young Tour – Rolling Stone 1976

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Stephen Stills and Neil Young circa 1976.

In this new addition to the site, Cameron chronicles the on again/off again Stephen Stills and Neil Young tour for this 1976 Rolling Stone piece. Happy Friday everyone…

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Quick End to a Long Run

In which Neil Young and Stephen stills find that old magic and lose it all to a sore throat

Los Angeles – Forget the balding pate and those wisps of gray. Stephen Stills and Neil Young, their hair cut summer-short, looked eerily like they did on the cover of Buffalo Springfield Again. But gone, at least temporarily, was the carefree abandon of those days. This was serious business.

The scheduled three-month-long Stills-Young band tour had been rolling only two weeks, and while it came close to jelling in Boston just a few days before, the show still teetered on the edge of the magic that everyone knew they were capable of.

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Aug 28, 2015

Eagles: The Million Dollar View

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Cameron reflects on his 1975 Rolling Stone Eagles cover story just ahead of its 40th anniversary. He discusses his first encounter with the band in 1972 (for The Door) and his unprecedented access for the ’75 piece. Enjoy!

Cameron Crowe Looks Back on His 1975 Eagles Cover Story

Writer-director recalls unlimited access he enjoyed during research of definitive piece on California rock icons

“Take It Easy” had only been out a few months in the summer of 1972. I was a big fan of the song, and was still in high school when the Eagles came to the San Diego Civic Theatre. They were the opening act on a bill with Procol Harum and Cold Blood, and the Civic Theatre was a few blocks from my house. I bought a ticket, and brought my tape recorder. The idea was to slip backstage and talk the band into an interview for a local underground paper, The San Diego Door.

The Eagles opened the evening without an introduction. The lights lowered, and they began with an a cappella version of “Seven Bridges Road,” quickly adding instruments and swinging into “Take It Easy.” They were fierce and joyful, playing with all the piss and vinegar of a young band hitting its early stride. I slipped backstage with my photographer friend from high school, Gary Elam, and asked their road manager if I could interview the band. They were eager to talk. Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner all hung out in a tiny dressing room and spent hours detailing their history and their dreams of hitting the big-time. “If you like us, you should check out our friend Jackson Browne and John David Souther,” Glenn Frey said excitedly, clutching a long-neck Budweiser. They posed for a photo by the amps, arms around each other, and we exchanged phone numbers. I stayed in touch with them. (Little did I know, that fuzzy group shot would be one of the only known photos of all four original members hugging each other. Looking at it today, it has the same slightly surreal quality of one of those photos of the Loch Ness Monster.)

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Aug 24, 2015

Bob Marley – A Shower of Bullets

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Bob Marley, Santa Monica, 1979. Photo by Neal Preston.

In this piece from the archives, Cameron reports on the shooting of Bob Marley in a Rolling Stone story from January, 1977. Miraculously, Marley played a festival in Jamaica just days later.

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Bob Marley: the shooting of a Wailer

Los Angeles – Bob Marley, one of the world’s best-known reggae performers, and three other persons were shot December 3rd when seven gunmen burst onto the grounds of Marley’s home in Kingston, Jamaica, where he and his band, the Wailers, were rehearsing. Miraculously, amid a shower of bullets, there were no fatalities.

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Jul 22, 2015

Happy Birthday Linda Ronstadt!

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We want to wish Linda Ronstadt a very happy birthday today. Let’s celebrate with a look back at her December 2, 1976 Rolling Stone cover story with Cameron.  Pictures were taken by the amazing Annie Leibovitz.

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Linda Ronstadt: The Million-Dollar Woman

LOS ANGELES- “Miss Ronstadt’s line is busy. You’ll have to wait. I gotta check you.” The beefy guard at the front gate of Malibu Colony waits and dials again. Still busy.

Twenty minutes later, the guard gives up and waves me through. “You could be here all day,” he cracks mirthlessly. “But listen . . . if I don’t hear from her within five minutes” . . . he pauses for effect . . . “you’ll meet the sheriffs. You don’t want to meet the sheriffs.”

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Jul 15, 2015

Singles Archives #3: Rolling Stone Diary

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As we continue to celebrate the release of Singles on Blu-ray, today’s archives look back at Cameron’s Rolling Stone diary during the making of Singles. Enjoy!

Making the Scene
A Filmmakers Diary

“Andy’s dead,” the voice said flatly. It sounded so unlike my old friend Kelly. This dispassionate monotone on the answering machine. Kelly was one of the most excitable guys I knew. In recent years he’d become a rock manager, guiding the career of a fledgling Seattle band named Mother Love Bone. Its lead singer and frontman, Andy Wood, had been successfully battling a nagging heroin problem. But the night before Wood was to meet his boyhood idols Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of Kiss, he’d scored some deadly heroin on the street. They found him comatose in his apartment, his favorite T-shirt mysteriously ripped to pieces in the washer. After several days on a life-support machine, Andy Wood slipped away. “I’m still at the hospital,” Kelly said with a sad sigh. “I’ll be at home later.”

My wife and I stared at the answering machine. Within a few minutes, we’d psychoanalyzed Kelly’s voice. He was in trouble. No, worse, he was a ticking time bomb. He needed help. He needed friendship. We got in the car and drove to his house – immediately.

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Apr 10, 2015

Archives: Joni Mitchell – Never Boring…

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“Every journalist has their dream list of interview subjects. Mine was Marvin Gaye, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. I never got to Marvin Gaye, but Joni Mitchell more than made up for it. My last cover story for the magazine, and still my favorite. Years later, though, I was still chasing that elusive interview with Marvin Gaye. A mutual friend spoke to Gaye about it, and Gaye enigmatically sent me back a copy of What’s Going On signed in spangly colored pen. It read: ‘Dear Cameron – Keep Getting It On! Love Love Love, Marvin Gaye.’ A couple months later he was dead. Through earthquakes and rain damage, the record remains one of my most prized possessions.”
– Cameron Crowe – Summer 2000

Several days before beginning these interviews, I overheard two teenagers looking for a good party album in a record store. “How about this one,” said one, holding up Joni Mitchell’s ‘Miles of Aisles.’” “Naaaaaah,” said the other, “it’s got good songs on it, but it’s kind of like jazz.” They bought a Cheap Trick album.

When I told this story to Joni Mitchell later, I could see the disappointment flicker across her face for an instant. Then she laughed and took a long drag from her cigarette. “Here’s the thing, ” she said forcefully. “You have two options. You can stay the same and protect the formula that gave you your initial success. They’re going to crucify you for staying the same. If you change, they’re going to crucify you for changing. But staying the same is boring. And change is interesting. So of the two options,” she concluded cheerfully, “I’d rather he crucified for changing. ”

Joni Mitchell, thirty-six, has been living in exile from a mainstream audience for the last three years. Her last resoundingly successful album of new material was ‘Court and Spark,’ a landmark in poetic songwriting, performing and in the growth of an artist we had all watched mature. From folk ballads through Woodstock-era anthems to jazz-inflected experimentalism, Joni Mitchell had influenced a generation of musicians.

Then, in 1975, she released ‘The Hissing of Summer Lawns,’ her ambitious follow-up to ‘Court and Spark.’ She introduced jazz overtones, veered away from confessional songwriting and received a nearly unanimous critical drubbing. Mitchell reacted to the criticism by keeping an even lower personal profile. She spent most of her time traveling (the road album, ‘Hejira,’ was released in 1976), associating with progressive jazz artists and asking questions. With ‘Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter, ‘ a double album released in the winter of 1977, she and pop music had nearly parted ways. In a time when the record-buying public was rewarding craftsmen, Mitchell seemed to be steadfastly carrying the torch for art. Her sales suffered, but this direction was leading to a historic juncture in her career.

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Oct 12, 2014

Mike Finger’s The Blue and the Black