Source : https://dofollownet.com
Perhaps the most famous of all the music festivals in the world is the Isle of Wight Festival. Founded over forty years ago, it has a unique historical place in our culture. I grew up listening to the legends that have performed there, and many of these people have become my musical heroes. Sadly many are now dead, although their memories live on in my imaginary ‘dead beats’ group-from-beyond-the-grave. I call this group the ‘Ungrateful Dead’, on account of their untimely and premature demise. Who would be in your line-up?
The rhythm section of the group would be divided into two key players: Keith Moon and Mitch Mitchell. Both featured in the legendary 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, and musically, were in their prime. Keith Moon was the heartbeat of English rock band The Who, and was well known for his eccentric and self destructive behavior. In order to gain the attention that the band sought, Moon and guitarist Pete Townshend would climax their performances by smashing their instruments. This behavior was later imitated by Jimi Hendrix (our lead guitar hero), who was to sign to the same record label. One of Keith Moons most eccentric actions was to strap explosives to one of his bass drums – an action that could have accelerated his membership to the ‘Deadbeats’. Moon joined the band in September 1978, after an overdose of Clomethiazole whilst recovering from alcohol addiction.
Mitch Mitchell was a relatively late addition to the ‘Deadbeats’, having joined in November 2008 after falling into a one-way asleep. He was perhaps most well known for his work with the Jimi Hendrix experience, although he cut his cloth listening to Jazz and particularly Max Roach and Alvin Jones. Mitchell was part of the famous ‘trio’ – the Jimi Hendrix experience which headlined the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970.
The bass section of the band is led by Ron Asheton of the Stooges, who joined the ‘Deadbeats’ in 2009 after suffering a heart attack. Asheton was a founder member of the Stooges along with his brother Scott Asheton, Dave Alexander and Iggy Pop, and played on their classic songs including ‘No Fun’ and ‘Down on the Street’. Having started as a rhythm guitarist in the early days of the band, Asheton switched to bass with the recording of their third album ‘Raw Power’ (1973).
This position could only be filled effectively by one man, whose legendary performance at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 was to be his last. Jimi Hendrix joined the ‘Deadbeats’ in unexplained circumstances on September 18th 1970, after apparently taking a cocktail of sleeping pills and wine.
Hendrix was an exceptional musician – self-taught as a left-handed guitarist, he played with a right-handed Fender Stratocaster upside down and re-strung. One of his ‘trademark’ abilities was the use of the tremolo bar to create his blues-influenced sound, which complimented the deliberate feedback and distortion.
Perhaps a close second for lead guitar in the ‘Deadbeats’ would be Paul Kossoff, the original founder member of rock band ‘Free’. Kossoff joined the band at the tender age of 25 in 1976 as a result of drug related problems following the demise of the band. The big breakthrough for Kossoff and Free came with the recording of their third album – ‘Fire and Water’, which delivered their anthemic single ‘All right now’.
The lead singer of the ‘Deadbeats’ has to be Jim Morrison, formerly lead vocalist and lyricist of ‘The Doors’. They were among the 1960s most controversial rock acts, due mostly to Morrison's wild, poetic lyrics and charismatic but unpredictable stage persona. Morrison become ‘the ‘Dead’s’ lead singer in July 1971 after apparently overdosing on a cocktail of heroine and alcohol.
In July 1970, The Doors released their final album, Morrison Hotel, which was critically acclaimed for its thumping bluesy sound. Although set to go on trial in August of 1970 for alleged ‘gross indecency’ (he supposedly exposed himself on stage), the Doors still managed to perform at the Isle of Wight Festival.
When asked recently in an interview with festivalmonster.c om why the festival was so special, organizer John Giddings remarked: “I think it’s different from all other festivals because it’s on an island you can only reach by boat, so you’re put in a certain frame of mind before you even get there. It’s like going on holiday, and I think because of my age, I book an eclectic mix of artists, which appeals to people from age 5 – 50, it’s not all one genre.”
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