if you have an overture, do you also need an underture?

AlKooper BloodSweatTears 1500

ON QUORA, it ap­pears that most people ask a ques­tion hoping for an in­tel­li­gent an­swer. The ques­tion is a gen­uine search for in­for­ma­tion. But it’s ap­parent that some people ask a ques­tion and then an­swer their own ques­tion. This seems to be a rhetor­ical de­vice to im­part in­for­ma­tion, to ex­press an opinion, or to seek af­fir­ma­tion of an opinion. READ MORE

on musicians who ruined their careers (and lives) with “reckless behavior”

TheWho posed 1969 SteveWood 1500 crop

A YOUNGER MEMBER of Quora—meaning sig­nif­i­cantly younger than me—asked me to an­swer the ques­tion, “Which mu­si­cians ru­ined their ca­reers with their reck­less be­havior?” Quora is the place I seem to get rather easily dragged into on an al­most daily basis, gen­er­ally an­swering ques­tions about Elvis. This ques­tion was more gen­eral but ac­tu­ally en­com­passed Presley. READ MORE

was beach boy mike love one of rock & roll’s greatest frontmen?

BeachBoys on stage 1971 1500

OPINION QUESTIONS are big on Quora and I try to pro­vide an­swers that are ac­cu­rate but some­what off the beaten path. The ques­tion I re­ceived this morning was, “Who are the all-time great frontmen in music?” I read the ques­tion as who are the great lead singers of rock groups, as both vocal and vi­sual per­formers. READ MORE

this was a time when it would benefit an artist to stand up

JethroTull Devonshire1970 1500 crop

I WAS ONE OF THOSE TEENS who prided them­selves in having a re­ally cool record col­lec­tion, brag­ging about al­bums and sin­gles few of my clue­less high school peers had ever heard of. So, of course, I was a big fan of Warner/Reprise Records in the late ’60s. Aside from cham­pi­oning my beloved Kinks (and Grom­mett save them!), READ MORE

did paul mccartney really blow his mind out in a car in 1966?

VanillaSky CruzKissingCruise 1500

A QUORA READER asked me to an­swer the ques­tion, “What is some­thing that needs to be said about Paul Mc­Cartney?” This is both an open-ended ques­tion and, for those of us who will go to our graves in awe of Beat­lepaul but will prob­ably go there also still trying to come to grips with Wing­paul, it’s also a loaded ques­tion. READ MORE

isn’t it a shame that pat boone gets no r-e-s-p-e-c-t? (or, should pat boone be in the rock & roll hall of fame?)

PatBoone 1955 PublicityPhoto 1500

THE QUESTION ON QUORA was “Who was the first rock & roll su­per­star to be dis­carded and for­gotten to time?” I an­swered with Bill Haley, Pat Boone, and Connie Francis. Each singer was a big star in their heyday—the word “su­per­star” did not exist then—but each has been under-appreciated by most critics and his­to­rians since rock & roll be­came self-reflective decades ago. READ MORE

the first discarded and forgotten superstars of rock & roll

ATOG TS header 1955 Haley 1500 crop

THE BURNING QUESTION on Quora today was “Who was the first rock & roll su­per­star to be dis­carded and for­gotten to time?” Of course, I couldn’t re­sist, al­though my an­swer may not have been ex­actly what the ques­tioner was looking for in for­gotten su­per­stars. But who knows—maybe this is ex­actly the kind of thinking-provoking an­swer the asker wanted? READ MORE

should connie francis be in the rock & roll hall of fame?

ConnieFrancis 1961 1500 crop

THE READERS AT QUORA have been keeping me busy—once I an­swered a ques­tion or two in­tel­li­gently and fairly, I’ve been get­ting re­quests to an­swer others. An­swer one ques­tion, and an­other pops up, even if it wasn’t asked di­rectly of me. Many ques­tions I just pass by, but this one was right in my ball­park: “Why isn’t Connie Francis in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?” READ MORE