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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Favorite rockers that didn't become the star you expected them to become...

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by rjtwangs, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. TMMC

    TMMC Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 3, 2013
    Julian Casablancas. I mean, he's big time, but I thought he'd be big big big time, you know?
  2. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    Chris Whitley was big out of the gate. Lots of bands or artists would kill to have the success that he had .

    I saw him many times and he made choices some careerwise some personal-wise that limited further success. Does it mean that dirt floor isnt a classic record ? No, but it’s not gonna get played on the radio.

    One thing that I think he and other people missed was he could’ve been a songwriter for other artists. He had an ear for a hook . Paired with the right lyricist or even someone to help with lyrics ( I really loved his words but they were beatnik poetry) I definitely think he could have penned solid tunes for other people. At a couple points in his career he also could’ve used a really solid producer to edit and/or shape his ideas.

    I know he didn’t like rocket house but there were tunes on there that couldve gotten played on the radio.

    He inspired me - along with a couple other artists, to own over 10 vintage national guitars.

    And for a dude who picked one of those unwieldy beasts as his main axe I think he had a hell of a lot of success.

    RIP Chris . 12 years this month. RIP Fran. My mom died a couple weeks after him and I was listening to his stuff driving down seeing her in the hospital - that’s pretty raw sh*t right there gentlemen.
  3. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Doctor of Teleocity

    Apr 28, 2003
    Nashville, TN

    In the early 90s there was an Austin blues-rock guy that came onto the scene - Ian Moore.

    Ian was doing this Freddie King meets Jimi Hendrix thing... with vocals like Al Green and Aaron Nevile... with some Curtis Mayfield and Sly Stone thrown in for good measure. And he was a tremendous song writer too. In fact, I think he liked song writing more than anything else. He was a peer of Doyle Bramhall II, Chris Duarte, and even David Grissom. Ian even did a stint with Joe Ely.

    I must have seen Ian Moore & Moment's Notice (later, The Ian Moore Band) a 25 times during this period. He was even the opening act for The Rolling Stones & Bryan Adams at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas in 1994 (I was there).

    But all of this happened in the wake of Stevie's death, and so many people had this emotional need to place the SRV crown atop the head of a new guy (see: Kenny Wayne Shepherd). So... the natural result was... Austin-based blues guitar slinger... THIS MUST BE THE NEXT SRV! And Ian hated that.

    At the same time, he had some serious record label challenges, almost all of which were outside of his control. They refused to release an album, and refused to released Ian from a contract. Such a mess.

    But Ian toured relentlessly. I mean, the guy was a road machine. He was everywhere, and developed a huge underground following.

    But by the time he was able to get some artistic freedom, and follow his heart... the SRV-crown was stale. What I mean is... it grew tiresome for him. Even when he did acoustic only shows... he could not escape the drunks who just wanted a SRV copy. He was getting very little in the way of artistic appreciation.

    So he moved to a new scene - Seattle. I think he had some family there too. And he started writing even more. And he sort of re-invented himself to the public. It took a decade or more to do, but he was finally able to shake off the SRV people for the most part and keep a strong base of people who want to hear Ian's heart through song writing.

    I saw him last month here in Nashville. There were about 100 people at the show. He's every bit the artist that Tom Petty was. And I don't mean that flippantly. I really mean it. The guy is a song crafter... a composer... Yes, he can still burn, burn, burn on guitar... and he's a guitar geek like the rest of us... but he's in a good spot now. I don't think he'll ever become the next big anything... and I think that's exactly where he wants to be.
  4. kafka

    kafka Tele-Holic

    Oct 18, 2013
    Crack the Sky

    Man, such a tight group, interesting, skilled writing, killer chops. We in Baltimore were sure they were going to make it big, they were so regionally huge for so long. But poor distribution, weak label, and maybe too quirky for the mass market. They're still together and gigging, though, with mostly the classic lineup.
  5. CFFF

    CFFF Tele-Meister

    Oct 31, 2016
  6. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Doctor of Teleocity

    Apr 28, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Mid-90s blues rock band... Cry of Love.

    Man those guys rocked. I saw them open for ZZ Top in Shreveport, LA... 1995?? They did two albums... that were very different. Different lead singer on both albums, and different production. The first album was titled "Brother"... and is raw, raw, raw. It has a 70s rock feel to it... like Free, or Humble Pie, or even Bad Company.

    Audley Freed was the guitar player... and wrote all the songs too.

    You may remember Audley as the guy who took Marc Ford's place in the revolving door of Black Crowes lead guitarists. He recorded one studio album with the Crowes... Lions. But his biggest work with them was on the Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes, Live at the Greek album... which is just a fantastic album.

    Audley lives in Nashville now and does a lot of work as a sideman. There won't be a Cry of Love reunion, I'm afraid. The original lead singer, Kelly Holland passed away in 2014.
  7. Chris S.

    Chris S. Asst. Admin Staff Member Ad Free Member

    Mar 26, 2005
    Near TELE-Town (Wash. DC)
    Admin Post
    You and me both. I've been watching him since we were both 15, and he had all the talent way back then. CS
  8. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Friend of Leo's

    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    Thanks, GoodTexan....I'm glad someone else appreciated him back "in the day". I actually opened for Ian once at a private club party for some well-to do lawyer....he and band drove up here from Austin. He spent all of his time before playing outside watching people practice their cutting horses. (this was a place in the Stockyards) He put on an awe-inspiring show for about 200 people. Used his famous Strat w/ a Tele neck, and a Super Reverb cut down to a head, with a Marshall cab. He later went with Matchless amps.
    TheGoodTexan likes this.
  9. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 16, 2014
    Auburn, California
    I too thought I was ready for the Standard Rich and Famous contract, but Orson Welles never showed up.
    CFFF and nojazzhere like this.
  10. Telecasterless

    Telecasterless Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 29, 2011
    los angeles
    I was always curious what goes down in church. Good to know.
  11. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Doctor of Teleocity

    Apr 28, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    I have been fortunate enough to speak personally with Ian on numerous occasions. He’s the first guy to ever tell me to stop listening to guitar players exclusively. He’s the guy that first introduced me to The Meters. He’s the guy that first introduced me to Michael Fuller (Fulltone). And yeah, I was there at Stubbs on the first night that he stopped using the Super and started using Matchless amps. And you couldn’t tell the difference.
    nojazzhere likes this.
  12. Geo

    Geo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Hendersonville, TN
    I thought Webb Wilder would have been a bigger known act but hadn't happened.
    He is still out and about touring mostly around the SE US.
    Dennyf, Doug 54 and Johnson johnson like this.
  13. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Doctor of Teleocity

    Apr 28, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Webb used to come in the old guitar store I worked in... Guitar Heaven.... circa 1999-2000. Super guy... eccentric and funny... and kind.
    Geo likes this.
  14. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2014
    Late 80s band from Memphis called Tora Tora. They had a great singer and some great songs in spite of a somewhat mediocre lead guitarist who was a little heavy handed with flanger on some of his solos. In other places, he was quite tastefully restrained. They were better than a number of other acts that got much bigger. But they had poor label promotion, low budget cheesy videos and were just starting to hit their stride when grunge arrived to take a dump on the entire industry.

    Also a NYC punk/rock band called Heap. They got to open for a few big people but never blew up. D-Generation did better and went farther, but they too should have gone bigger than they did.
  15. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Tele-Meister

    Sep 28, 2017
  16. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Doctor of Teleocity

    Apr 28, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    The most curious thing about that guy is that he is the one that released and promoted those videos. He did not know he was bad.
  17. Johnson johnson

    Johnson johnson Tele-Holic

    Dec 30, 2016
    I like this times 10, he is sorely missed around here. My wife claims when I play his record "Living with the Law" she knows she's getting lucky later. Bad thing is I can't argue the point...

    Good choice
    GuitarsFromMars likes this.
  18. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Tele-Meister

    Sep 28, 2017
    Problem with Kenny Wayne Shepherd is he cant sing.
    When I first heard Johnny Lang sing "lie to me" I was sure he was going to be SRV huge. and he's a Tele guy

    Hey isn't that an Esquire?
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
    Bruxist, Grux, CFFF and 4 others like this.
  19. 6stringcowboy

    6stringcowboy Tele-Afflicted

    You beat me to it. I lived in Raleigh in the 90s and just knew they were going to make it big. There was a time you could have seen them, The Backsliders, Whiskeytown, Six String Drag, and Southern Culture On The Skids in the span of a week or two. Audley is a killer guitar player, and a super nice guy to boot.
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