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Masters Of The Past

Only 481 pages left on your journey to becoming a rock star!

So you think you know everything already...

At this point you may think that reading this chapter will be a complete waste of time, as you probably know everything about all of the good stuff of the past already. I thought the same when I first started working on this chapter, and I can tell you that there are always things you don’t know about, and there is always new stuff to discover.

Let’s start with a list of artists who are generally considered to be among the greatest and most influential musicians of all time. You should know all of them, and you should be able to name at least one or two songs per artist instantly. If there’s only ONE artist you don’t know, of if you can’t name a single song by only ONE of those artists, then this shows that you lack some important knowledge already. Here’s the list:

  1. The Beatles
  2. Bob Dylan
  3. The Rolling Stones
  4. Jimi Hendrix
  5. Led Zeppelin
  6. James Brown
  7. Elvis Presley
  8. The Beach Boys
  9. Buddy Holly
  10. David Bowie
  11. Stevie Wonder
  12. Little Richard
  13. Sam Cooke
  14. Bob Marley
  15. Muddy Waters
  16. The Who
  17. Marvin Gaye
  18. The Velvet Underground
  19. Bo Diddley
  20. Otis Redding
  21. Pink Floyd
  22. Chuck Berry
  23. U2
  24. Bruce Springsteen
  25. Ray Charles
  26. Queen
  27. Fats Domino
  28. The Ramones
  29. Prince
  30. The Clash
  31. Nirvana
  32. Michael Jackson
  33. Johnny Cash
  34. Smokey Robinson
  35. The Everly Brothers
  36. Madonna
  37. Neil Young
  38. Aretha Franklin
  39. Roy Orbison
  40. John Lennon
  41. Simon And Garfunkel
  42. The Doors
  43. Al Green
  44. Van Morrison
  45. Sly And The Family Stone
  46. The Byrds
  47. Janis Joplin
  48. Patti Smith
  49. Jerry Lee Lewis
  50. Elton John

And then I have a list of songs for you, they are considered to be the best songs of all times and you need to know every single one of them (note that there is only one song per artist though, to prevent flooding the list with songs by the Beatles and the Stones). If there is just ONE song on this list you don’t know, then you’re in deep trouble already and only reading the entire chapter may save you:

  1. Bob Dylan - Like a Rolling Stone
  2. The Rolling Stones - (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
  3. John Lennon - Imagine
  4. Marvin Gaye - What’s Going On
  5. Aretha Franklin - Respect
  6. The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations
  7. Chuck Berry - Johnny B. Goode
  8. The Beatles - Hey Jude
  9. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
  10. Ray Charles - What’d I Say
  11. The Who - My Generation
  12. Sam Cooke - A Change Is Gonna Come
  13. The Clash - London Calling
  14. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Purple Haze
  15. Elvis Presley - Hound Dog
  16. Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run
  17. The Ronettes - Be My Baby
  18. The Impressions - People Get Ready
  19. Johnny Cash - I Walk The Line
  20. Otis Redding - (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay
  21. Derek And The Dominos - Layla
  22. Ike And Tina Turner - River Deep Mountain High
  23. The Band - The Weight
  24. Little Richard - Tutti Frutti
  25. The Righteous Brothers - You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’

If you know all artists and all songs on those two lists, then this is already a good start. Nonetheless it will still be a good idea to read the entire chapter, as there will still be some new stuff to discover and you will still learn about some important evolutions.

The shocking truth, however, is that most amateur artists (and maybe even many professional artists) don’t even know 50% of the stuff that’s on this list. It’s like dreaming of becoming a professional writer while you’ve never even heard of Shakespeare, Joyce, Tolstoy, Faulkner, Woolf, Hemingway, Orwell, Tolkien, or King before. So if you only know 80% or less of the stuff listed above, then you’re in deep trouble already.

But that’s not a problem at this point, consider chapter 3 to be a condensed crash course that will introduce you to all of the basic stuff you’ll need to know. Don’t forget the following:

  1. You will need to read the entire chapter NO MATTER WHAT MUSIC GENRE you will be doing.
  2. All of today’s music genres have COMMON ROOTS, and you need to know them.
  3. Other genres may also be a GREAT SOURCE OF INSPIRATION if you intend to create something new.
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Chapter 3   •   Page 3 of 9

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