Decade of Classic Rock 2000-2009

I read plenty of music reviews about the end-of-the-year and end-of-the-decade, but none of them really captured what I felt was a good look at the classic rock scene in the past ten years. So here’s my take on the past decade in classic rock…

2000: Santana wins a record nine Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year for Supernatural.

2001: Apple introduces the iPod, which becomes the best-selling digital audio player in history. iTunes, by default, also gains major popularity as it’s media player application.

November 29, 2001: George Harrison passes away from lung cancer at age 58.

November 29, 2002: The Concert for George took place at the Royal Albert Hall in London, a touching memorial to George Harrison who passed away the previous year from cancer. The concert featured a who’s who of rock royalty; Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Billy Preston, Gary Brooker and many more distingushed guests. A DVD was released a year later.

May 2002: Paul McCartney tours the U.S., I attend both shows at Reunion Arena in Dallas. The concerts are a huge hit parade of Beatles and Wings songs; it’s the first time I’ve seen McCartney live in concert.

June 2004: Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival takes place at the Dallas Cotton Bowl, in one fabulous weekend, featuring an amazing array of guitarists and musicians, all hand picked by Clapton. Favorite moment is the jam between Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, B.B. King and Jimmie Vaughan. It’s the best music festival I’ve ever attended. The last act of the night, ZZ Top cuts their performance short when a thunderstorm springs up over the stadium.

May 2005: The reunion of Cream, who played four sold-out shows at the Royal Albert Hall in London, the same venue of their final concert in 1968. The band also played two shows in October at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

February 2005: YouTube debuts and is an instant success. Paul McCartney plays the half-time show at SuperBowl XXXIX. There’s no wardrobe malfunction this year.

July 2005: Live 8 concerts take place, when Pink Floyd reunites with bassist Roger Waters at
the London Hyde Park show.

2006: Tower Records closes it’s stores in the U.S., after filing for bankruptcy. The Rolling Stones play three songs during the halftime show at Super Bowl XL in Detroit, and are watched by 89 million viewers.

June 2006: The Beatles theatrical production by Cirque du Soleil opened at the Mirage in Las Vegas. The soundtrack album was released in November 2006. Musical directors George and Giles Martin remixed and resampled the Beatles entire recorded catalog to come up with the final mix of 26 songs for the album, which wins a Grammy the following year.

2007: Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford reunite Genesis for 20 concerts across Europe and North America. Genesis also plays a free concert at Rome’s Circo Massimo in front of 500,000 fans. Genesis will also be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

July 2007: Genesis and Spinal Tap appear at Live Earth concerts. It’s a joyful reunion for both bands.

Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival takes place near Chicago in July, 2007. Favorite moments: The Derek Trucks Band featuring Susan Tedeschi, and Jeff Beck’s group with Vinnie Colaiuta on drums and Tal Wilkenfeld on bass.

December 10, 2007: Led Zeppelin play their first concert in 25 years at The O2 arena in London, with Jason Bonham on drums. The show is a tribute to Ahmet Ertegun, a founder of Atlantic Records who passed away in 2006. Ertegun signed the group to the label in 1968 for an initial advance of $200,000, a big deal at the time.

February 2008: Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood play a series of concerts at Madison Square Garden, performing music from Blind Faith, Derek and the Dominos and Traffic. A double DVD package “Live from Madison Square Garden” is released in May 2009.

April 2009: Jeff Beck is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney perform together for the David Lynch Foundation at Radio City Music Hall. It’s the first time they’ve performed together since the Concert for George in 2002.

June 23, 2009: Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood @ American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas. Fantastic concert, lots of songs performed from Blind Faith, Traffic and Derek and the Dominos.

July 2009: Paul McCartney reignites Beatlemania with shows in New York at the Ed Sullivan Theater and three sold-out concerts at CitiField. He opens the new stadium, just like The Beatles did at Shea in 1965.

August 12, 2009: American guitarist, songwriter and inventor, Les Paul dies. He’s considered the architect of the electric guitar and multi-track recording.

August 15, 2009: Woodstock Music & Art Festival 40th Anniversary; a tribute concert is held at the Bethel Center for the Arts, featuring Big Brother and the Holding Company, Canned Heat, Ten Years After, Jefferson Starship, Mountain and the Levon Helm Band. A number of anniversary Woodstock box sets are released.

August 19, 2009: Paul McCartney show at Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas; it’s a great show, and the third time I get to see McCartney live in concert.

September 2009: The Beatles complete album catalog are released in stereo and mono box sets. The remastered albums are the result of a four year project by Abbey Road Studios. The Beatles: Rock Band is also released, selling over one million video games worldwide. It’s release is considered a landmark; it’s only the second time Apple Corps. has allowed outside access to the Beatles music. Music production is supervised by Giles Martin at Abbey Road Studios.

Friday, January 1st, 2010
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