RHIANNON (AS, Benante, Menghi, McStine & featuring J. Cella)
Here’s something that feels good to share at the end of a difficult week:
"Rhiannon" by Fleetwood Mac, covered by a fine band (ok, I may be a little biased). My good pal, Mark Menghi began planning this back in late Summer, always with the target date of today, the first anniversary of his mom’s passing. “Rhiannon” was her favorite song and it is done in tribute to her. We kept it to a faithful rendition of the song (despite what some might assume because of our musical associations) and stretched out towards the end just as the real FM has done since the 70s. I’m proud that we were able to create the feel of a real “jam” despite Mark, Charlie, Randy, Jen and I being miles apart.This was a first for this line up (although I happen to have played with everyone in different situations) the first time for the others working with my longtime TSO partner, Jen, who had sang FM’s “Landslide” at a benefit show with me in duo & felt destined for this.
As fate would have it, a few days ago we lost Edward Van Halen, a favorite musician of mine & millions around the world. The was the first such loss to hit me as hard as the passing of John Lennon back when I was a kid. Also as fate would have it today is Lennon’s birthday, on what would have been his 80th. So as turns out we are honoring Eddie and John as well as Rosemary Menghi, who inspired the song (and for whom donations can be made in her name to fight cancer via kidneycancer.org or stjude.org).
Just a final guitar note (no pun intended): Lindsay Buckingham’s parts are HARD TO PLAY! You might not realize it in the full sound of the Fleetwood Mac records, but he’s playing multiple lines, which takes a lot of practice (for me anyway). And while his solo licks aren’t screaming on the mixes (live is another story), they are serious. Only a classic Les Paul Gold Top felt right for this. Final thought: back when all I wanted to do was listen to Van Halen, Fleetwood Mac felt too much like “adult music” for my tastes at the time. Well it’s good to be an adult and get to truly appreciate the greatness of Fleetwood Mac and explore the criminally underrated Lindsay Buckingham.
Hope you enjoy listening to this as much as we enjoyed playing It.