Duff McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb.
I had the chance to take part in a Camp Freddy gig down in L.A. last weekend at the House of Blues. Camp Freddy is a sort of rock-and-roll collective that gets together once in a while to play some gig or another (from fundraisers to straight-up "money gigs" for something like the X-Games or Nintendo). This time, Camp Freddy featured Steve Jones (Pistols), Justin Hawkins (the Darkness), Ace Fuckin' Frehley, Steve Stevens, and yes, Ozzy Osbourne. The shit was KILLER.
Duff McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb.
When I got to the soundcheck on Saturday, KISS' "Cold Gin" was being played and Ace was there, larger than life. I knew then and there that I was indeed having a very good day. Good rock 'n' roll from yesteryear seems to hit you in a different place. Good rock has most likely already trod a well-worn groove into my psyche that is now just a comfortable place for a song like "War Pigs" or "God Save the Queen" to revisit. Whatever--it fuckin' feels good and RIGHT. Here is what's on my iPod right now (this is NOT the time for vinyl purists and alternate mp3 players and/or the conversation regarding digital vs. analog. Let us just rock, mofos). Listen to many of the songs after the jump.
The Germs, M.I.A.(the Complete Germs): I like this full collection of the Germs simply because "No God" is included. The Germs' G.I. changed the shape of American punk rock back then, and this collection has stood the test of time for sure.
Loudermilk, Red Record: These guys from the Tri-Cities took the rock world by storm a decade or so ago, and rightly or wrongly were tagged as the fathers of emo. I say who gives a damn what they call it, it's genius! Sometimes brilliance shines too brightly and suddenly disappears. Loudermilk were gone before they had a chance to do much more than the Red Record.
Mötorhead, Aces of Spades: Uh-huh.
The Stooges, Raw Power and Funhouse: I am not sure which songs are on which record anymore, and that is probably a function of me being immersed in "shuffle all" for too long now. With the Stooges or ANY Iggy Pop record, it just doesn't matter, though. This is honest, pure, brutal, and sometimes beautiful and artistic rock 'n' roll. All you have to do is CRANK IT!
Judas Priest, British Steel: Yeah? Suck it...
Queens of the Stone Age, Rated R and Songs for the Deaf: Two kick-ass and timeless rock records that can stand up on their own. Queens forged a new groove into the sound of rock and roll, and we must hail the originals (or are Masters of Reality the originals?).
Refused, Shape of Punk to Come: In my opinion, this is the last real punk-rock record, and has the ability to lift one above the woof and splatter of obeying and adhering to the man and his ilk. Hey, if there is a punk-rock record since, please share.
The Saints, Stranded: 1977 garage/punk from Down Under. Without the Saints, the world would definitely have lost much of its color.
ZZ Top, Tres Hombres: I had the best time a couple of years back listening to this record critically as I was trying to learn the art of shuffle-blues on the bass guitar. Last year, Dave Grohl and I were at a ZZ show when suddenly Billy Gibbons invited both of us to guest-guitar on "La Grange" and "Tush." For some reason, Gibbons thought me a lead guitarist and called out for me to "take it" during a solo section. I don't think he will do that again! ZZ Top will be at the White River on the 17th, and they are not to be missed.
Van Halen: The David Lee Roth era: I was in eastern Washington recently for a few days, and just left my "shuffle all" on Van Halen the whole time. There is nothing better than a little "Eruption" or "Jamie's Cryin."
Led Zeppelin: The Complete Led Zeppelin: I own the Zep catalogue on vinyl, cassette, and CD. I bought this complete collection on iTunes when I was away from home and needed something familiar. Led Zeppelin has been that touchstone for me since I was probably 12.
Cheap Trick, At Budokan: The best pop songs ever written after the Beatles, for my money. Oh, wait--what about Badfinger?
Buzzcocks, Singles Going Steady: If you are in your teens or 20s and have yet to listen to the Buzzcocks, do yourself a favor and at least listen to "Orgasm Addict." Whoever does the music for the show Entourage is pretty cool and deserves a shout-out. They used "Why Can't I Touch It" at the end of the show a couple weeks back.
Thin Lizzy, Dedication (the Very Best of Thin Lizzy): On this last tour we did in Europe in June, we had a Thin Lizzy concert DVD on constantly in the back lounge of our bus. It just set a tone.
Richard Hell, "Blank Generation": '70s New Yawk Trash. The good shit.
Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, L.A.M.F.: This first record from JT after the DOLLS showed that he was indeed not a one-trick pony. Try "So Alone" and "Que Sera, Sera," too.
D.O.A., Something Better Change: A comprehensive view of maybe the Northwest's most important band ever. Without D.O.A., there very well may never have been a scene in Seattle at all.
The Dead Boys
The Dead Boys, Young, Loud, and Snotty: "Down in flames, down in flames"!!!!!!!
Prince, 1999: Get your groove on and rejoice in the musical genius that is Prince.
Cameo, Word Up!: Good-time party jams that have stood the test of a generation or two.
Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street: By the campfire or driving in the car, Exile is the classic Stones record that sort of bridges the gap from the '60s to the '70s.
The Beatles, anything: It almost goes without saying.
Black Flag, My War: The record that epitomizes what Black Flag was all about--a must-have for all rock fans.
All right, then. This is by no means a complete list, and I have purposefully left out an endless list of gems and classics. What do you have? Turn me and the readers on to something that maybe we have yet to hear about, something that is classic and has stood the test of time and studio technology.