Well, the summer is officially over, which means it's final exam time for the Summer School of Rock. It's been a great summer. I've learned a lot, heard a ton of new (old) music, and feel just one step closer to "capable" in a conversation about classic rock. Like I said at the outset of this experiment, my goal this summer was simply to "catch up" on the era of 60's and 70's rock that I missed out on as a twenty-something. I still have a lot to learn, of course, but I think I accomplished my goal fairly efficiently. If I gave myself a letter grade for the course, I think it would be a B+. If I had had more time to commit to it, it would have been a solid A, but alas, I'm not paid to read about Zeppelin or study Pink Floyd CDs.
What would your grade be? Below is a test from my School of Rock learnings:
1. Who is the lead singer of AC/DC?
2. On the famous “Cowbell” sketch on SNL, what 70’s rock band does the cast portray and what’s the name of the song needing “more cowbell”?
3. The name of the Southern Rock band whose lead singer, Ronnie Van Zant, along with several other members of the band and crew died in a plan crash in 1977?
4. The name of the band and the album that can, reportedly, be played simultaneously with The Wizard of Oz as a sort of psychedelic soundtrack?
5. Since most of you know the answer to #4: Same band, who was their chief songwriter through the 70’s and beginning of the 80’s?
6. Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones: what was their band called?
7. What highly influential English punk rock band was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and credited with initiating the punk rock movement in the
8. This duo formed in 1957 and were together through 1970, and their hit list includes “The Sound of Silence,” “Mrs. Robinson,” and “Bridge over Troubled Water.” Hall of Fame-rs and #40 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.9. Name the band whose hits include “Come Sail Away” and “Mr. Roboto.” (Hint: it’s one misspelled word, four letters)
10. Pete Townshend was the guitarist and principal songwriter for this band that has been called “the greatest and most influential rock band of all time.”
11. What genre did the band Deep Purple help pioneer?12. What band released that single that gets in your head and never leaves you alone, “More Than a Feeling”?
13. It is estimated that by 1985, this band had sold over one billion discs and tapes worldwide. They are #1 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
14. Regarded by some as “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band,” this group nearly fell apart between 1979 and 1984 due to substance abuse, except for the tireless efforts of then manager, Tim Collins, who reformed the band, got them help for their addictions, and made it possible for this now 38 year old rock band to still perform concerts today to sell-out crowds. (Hint: the lead singer has a daughter in the movies)
15. If you were stranded on an island and could only have one CD to listen to, which would it be?
It's been an eye-opening summer learning about these artists who shaped not only the direction of music but the culture at large. I've always known that music can change the world, but until I dug into researching these bands and saw how their music directly influenced movements, reforms, and the makeup of entire countries, I didn't fully appreciate how deep that truth runs. I look forward to semester 2 of Summer School of Rock in Summer, 2008.
Check back soon for the answers to the final exam questions above. Post your answers so we can all see how brilliant you are.