Making More Rock And Roll, Deconstructing Sgt. Pepper

Posted in The Beatles, Willie Simpson's Original Music on December 1st, 2012 by Willie

Well, I haven’t updated the ole’ website in a good while, and the reason is because I’m still making more rock and roll. The intention of this humble little corner of internet space was never to be a daily rock and roll blog, that happened more or less organically. The site was created to feature my music, and to that end, my album, which I’ve previewed extensively on this site, is nearly finished. The album in question, which I’ve named Funeral Business, is something I’m growing increasingly proud of. The album art, which the ever lovely Sonia Rapaport created, is the thing you’re looking at right above. Right now I’m collaborating on one last tune with Andrew Lee, and from there, the future promises to reflect the glimmering wonderfulness to be entailed within it. I’m planning a mini documentary movie in the coming weeks about the creation of the record, and a further reflection on my thoughts on rock and roll and what it means to me. Its a flourish of self centered activity that I find rather distasteful, but necessary to further spread the joy this music has brought to me. I want to thank all my friends and family who have helped me along the way here, and I also want to post this incredibly cool video someone made deconstructing the “Sgt. Pepper” song, because it goes against everything in my nature to provide an update without some music. This little video is really fascinating, breaking the song down into its component parts, giving you a sense of how the Beatles created their masterpieces. You will also be hypnotized by those groovy multicolored lines of sonic goodness. Enjoy.

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Willie Simpson, The Necrophiliac

Posted in Willie Simpson's Original Music on October 30th, 2012 by Willie

Are you OK? Did you survive the wrath of Hurricane Sandy? Somehow, in the middle of Brooklyn, I managed to hold onto power, internet, and hot water, a real miracle. I had never heard more menacing and frightening winds ever in my life. It was quite the experience. Well, I hope you are fine, and I hope you’d like to hear some new music. I wrote “The Necrophiliac” a long time ago in 2006, and like many songs I made in that era, when I was still learning how to be a good musician, it sat on the shelf. I always loved the pulsating rhythm and manic harmonized vocals, so I dusted it off for a remake. Like a lot of my recent releases, it fits in perfectly with the spooky season of Halloween, and is PERFECT for all your dance parties. The beautiful artwork was provided by Sonia Rapaport, and if you’d like to see more of her brilliance, just click on her name there, and you can explore her wonderful online gallery. The incredible rough and rumble guitar solo in the middle of the song was provided by my great friend, Matt S., who moonlights as a wanna Keith Richards when he’s not affecting government policy down in DC. Much thanks to him and his VOX sound-station.  So please, give a listen, I think you’ll like it, and lastly, I offer this one DISCLAIMER: The song “The Necrophiliac” was intended for artistic parody only. I do not support, endorse, or necrophilia or necrophiliacs of any kind. Having sex with dead things and corpses is horrible, and should never be attempted, or even thought about, may God have mercy on your soul.

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Willie Simpson, My Girlfriend Needs An Exorcism

Posted in Willie Simpson's Original Music on October 28th, 2012 by Willie

I wrote this song originally in 2007 (I think) in a fit of post break up madness. The song was my therapy for an otherwise sad separation. It went through a few iterations before I left it incomplete with shambling static laced vocals, unfinished drums, and an overall horrendous mix. I always kept the song on my back burner though because it had a good structure, and a funny message, and it being near Halloween, I thought it fitting to dust it off and completely re-record it. With the help of the beautiful guitar work of Andrew Lee, who provided me with gorgeous acoustic and electric slide work, not to mention a last minute brilliant backwards guitar solo, I was able to cobble together a more or less complete version of the tune. I’d also like to credit my old buddy Ken Kocses for helping me write the part the in the middle that starts, “what are you thinking?” Ken has always been an enthusiastic fan of my music, and anytime we have collaborated, its always been a fun and thoughtful experience. Anyway, the video below, is merely just the title card above with the song plodding away in the background. If you like what you hear, be sure to check out both the videos for “Funeral Business” and “Chain Letter,” my two other most recent rock and roll projects. Thanks for listening, and Happy Halloween.

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Big Mama Thorton, Budddy Guy, Hound Dog

Posted in Big Mama Thorton, Buddy Guy on October 25th, 2012 by Willie

“Hound Dog” is one of the greatest blues rock songs of all time, so it should come as no surprise that this is the third instance of me posting a version of it. The other two occasions involved the King Elvis Presley, but for this time, I have the superior version. Its Big Mama Thorton and Buddy Guy teaming up to play the song that Mama made a hit 4 years before Elvis. Her version just roasts with perfection. The way Big Mama just growls and bites into the verses, singing like no one else could sing it, even the King of Rock and Roll. This performance is almost too hip for this galaxy, proof of human artistic perfection, and America couldn’t help but agree as Willie Mae Thorton sold 2 million copies of it in 1952 and 1953, spending 7 weeks at #1; an ultra smash for the early era of rock and roll. I’ve played this video about eight times this week and I can’t get enough, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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Derek and the Dominos, Presence of the Lord, Covered by Andrew Lee

Posted in Andrew Lee, Derek and the Dominos, Eric Clapton on July 11th, 2012 by Willie

Andrew Lee is an amazing guitar player.  Better then amazing actually, a genius.  How do I know?  Well outside of the fact that he has played lead on a ton of my recordings, including this one, he has just today started making no frills videos showcasing his incredible talent.  The video below shows Andrew, matching Eric Clapton of Derek and the Dominos, note for bloody note.  Andrew’s casual perfection was attained through a hard earned, borderline servile dedication to blues music, a dedication that if you know him in person, is awe inspiring.  Andrew is a real talent who pours genuine emotion into everything he does with a guitar, so please, just take a few minutes to bask in the “Presence of the Lord,” and remember who brought you there, Andrew LEE!

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Battle of the Bands, Part 5, Stones Surrender to the Beatles in Cleveland, perform "I Saw Her Standing There," as Pennance

Posted in Battle of the Bands, Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones on March 29th, 2012 by Willie

As the battle raged for decades, with both bands suffering unspeakable tragedy (Brian Jones, John Lennon), the bloodshed just HAD to end.  And end it did with Mick Jagger’s historic concession in Cleveland, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Mick, clearly disgusted at being forced to admit bitter defeat, inducted the Beatles, minus Paul McCartney (who apparently was too busy to witness  Mick’s humiliation), in a ceremony of drunken revelry, and cheeky good humor.  Watch this hilarious clip below…

My favorite part is seeing Mick’s unabashed, yet good-natured jealousy as he recounts the Beatles story.  That’s actually not something to be underrated, as that jealousy fueled Mick Jagger to heights he probably never dreamed of attaining.  It’s brilliant that Mick agreed to induct the Beatles into the Rock Hall, as he hung out with the Beatles a lot in the 60s.  He was there in the early London club days, the early drug taking days, the Maharishi lectures, the “Day in the Life” recording party, and the “All You Need is Love” performance.  He was an intimate eye-witness to a lot of the behind the scene Beatle madness, and you can tell by this great speech.  He inducts the Beatles, but the only ones to show are George and Ringo.  John, being dead at the time, had Yoko, Sean, and Julian represent his presence, while Paul is mysteriously absent.  George, Ringo, and Yoko, all make subtle bitter jokes about Paul’s lack of being there, and its all actually quite hilarious, especially George.  Sean also has a brilliant line as well…watch!

That was great, and yes, Paul’s presence was missed sorely, but so was John’s…After all, the Beatles would never really ever exist anymore without the four of them, so who cares.  Imagine if he lived though?  I guarantee they would have all come to this ceremony, and rocked the shit out of this joint.  Instead we get Billy Joel, Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, and Bruce Springsteen taking a shot at “I Saw Her Standing There.”  Even with all that star power, it doesn’t come close to the power the original Beatles could have generated with just the four of them.  Ah well, its still a fun and rollicking performance, with George again being the main cut up, giving the patented Beatle head shaking “wooo!” a move he probably hadn’t pulled in 25 years.  It’s amazing, a perfect end to a glorious war, with the Beatles and the Stones coming together to agree that yes, we are all super gods enshrined in a museum of rock.

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Sly Stone, You Really Got Me, Fantastic Kinks Cover

Posted in Sly Stone, The Kinks, Youtube Favs on February 8th, 2012 by Willie

Sly Stone, I can safely say, is the funkiest man ever born in Texas.  Ray Davies, the mastermind behind the Kinks, was born of a more dainty British cloth.  Don’t get me wrong, Ray’s rebellious awesomeness cannot be questioned, but there is no doubt that he is crumpet eating, village green strolling, nostalgia reflecting English gentleman.  What was so great about the rock revolution of the 1960s was how world’s so seemingly divergent, could merge through music, in thrillingly unpredictable ways.  The song below is such an instance.  This is a fantastic, funky, and fresh studio outtake of Sly tackling Ray’s garage rock classic, “You Really Got Me.”  Words to describe what awaits you behind the play button are useless in the face of Sly’s sleek and sexy guitar playing.  So, do your soul a favor and groove to this.

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The Beatles, Tell Me Why

Posted in The Beatles, Youtube Favs on December 26th, 2011 by Willie

“Tell Me Why,” is the greatest black girl group doo-wop song ever.  John wrote it in Paris or New York, presumably influenced by his relationship with his then wife Cynthia, well, at least according to Paul McCartney.  John Lennon was a genius at creating the kind of propulsive and driving rock and roll that was also deliriously joyous.  “Tell Me Why” is like a massive bag of delicious candy in this regard, an unstoppable sugary confection of love, sadness, and exuberance.  The video below is from the “A Hard Day’s Night,” film, an excellent vehicle for the song.  Also, I noticed, YouTube started adding a 3D effect to some of its videos, and this one has it.  I couldn’t get it to work right, but maybe you can, in which case, the Beatles 3 pronged vocal attack will beam right out of your screen and into your face…pretty awesome, no?


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Bob Marley, Concrete Jungle

Posted in Bob Marley, Youtube Favs on December 1st, 2011 by Willie

I’ve never heard anyone but Bob Marley refer to the sun as the “high yellow moon.”  Fantastic poetry.  “Concrete Jungle,” from Catch a Fire, is one of the bleakest songs about urban dystopia you will ever hear.  It was the lead-off track from Bob’s 1973 masterpiece, Catch a Fire, and is an incredible piece of dark reggae funk.  Bob’s melody is 100% authentic emotion, and his brilliance lies in this fact.  Whenever I hear this song, Bob puts me in his shoes, and lets me stare right through his eyes.  The live performance below is culled from the “Old Grey Whistle Test,” whatever that was, and is just a strait up reminder of what the world is missing today, namely, Bob Marley and the Wailers giving you some of the best music the world has ever heard.  Enjoy.

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The Rolling Stones, Some Girls

Posted in The Rolling Stones, Youtube Favs on November 29th, 2011 by Willie

Some Girls is one of the best Rolling Stones records.  It’s sleazy, dirty, punky, and country.  It came out in 1978, and has just been reissued it a nice little collectors package.  You should get it; I know I will.  To celebrate its corporate repackaging, I present to you a thoroughly scandalous fan made music video of the title song from the record.  The video features classic films such as “Easy Rider,” “Backbeat,” “Quadrophenia,” “Death Proof,” “Goodfellas,” and “Dr. No.”  It also has great clips of the Sex Pistols, Blondie, and the Rolling Stones, all vamping it up for one of the Stones most booziest songs.

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