Famous Rock Concerts That Blew Minds — and Ears

Were you at the Cream reunion in New York in 1968? Think that might be where you lost your hearing? That’s where Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker say their hearing problems started. Clapton, who now suffers tinnitus — and most likely also hearing loss, which is often masked by tinnitus — has said, “I probably had two 100-watt stacks at the height of things and I would turn one on for guitar solos. It was just mad.” Baker, a band member, said of …

J.J. Cale: Rock Stars Made His Songs Into Hits

Somehow, J.J. Cale never became a rock superstar, even though the great Eric Clapton once confessed that he looked up to the Tulsa-born guitarist and songwriter as a role model and Neil Young ranked his 1972 rock classic “Crazy Mama” as the one song that most shaped his own songwriting. That superstardom bypassed Cale, who died on July 26 at age 74 in La Jolla, Calif., undoubtedly had something to do with fate but probably more to do with principles. …

Facebook: Judi Dench Is NOT Your Friend. Stop Asking!

Facebook hates me. I used to think of Facebook as a sort of friend to the friendless. Whatever its societal shortcomings, I reasoned, at least by redefining the term “friend” to mean “any being capable of hitting the ‘accept’ button on a computer screen” Facebook put friendship – or something like it – within reach of just about everybody, no matter how awkward, ugly, or generally unappealing they might be. In other words, it was the perfect place for me. …