Remembering Don Everly, a rock and roll pioneer


ABC News 23 August, 2021 - 07:10pm 16 views

How old is Don Everly?

Don Everly, the last surviving member of the Everly Brothers and a pioneer of rock 'n' roll, died at his home in Nashville on Saturday. He was 84. Los Angeles TimesDon Everly, of harmonizing Everly Brothers, dies at 84

How did Phil Everly die?

Rolling Stone magazine has described them as "the most important vocal duo in rock". Phil Everly died of pulmonary disease in 2014, aged 74. bbc.comEverly Brothers: US rock 'n' roll star Don Everly dies aged 84

Read full article at ABC News

Saluting Don Everly, a true original of pop’s penchant for a good sibling rival 24 August, 2021 - 05:21am

For a brief second, Caleb Followill looked at me like I’d just crashed down from Rigel V with no understanding whatsoever of humanoid familial interactions. In the midst of a discussion about the tensions at the heart of Kings Of Leon over the years, in their Nashville rehearsal room, I’d posited the idea that surely, as a band made up largely of brothers, they had a bond of blood that could never be shaken. “You got any siblings?” he asked me, side-eye. I have, I told him. “Hmm,” he said. “How often you see ‘em?”

Touché. Brothers and sisters – as we all secretly know but only openly admit eight sherries down at Christmas – are by and large irritating, emotionally stunted drains on our inheritance whom we’ve only recently forgiven for all that childhood mistreatment thanks to decades of expensive therapy. You might argue that you unconditionally love your siblings. But you’d be lying.

Now imagine being in a band with one. Stuck in a tour bus fetid with the same familial stench of fungal infection and contempt that wafted down throughout your most insecure teenage years from the top of a bunk bed. Placing your dreams of future wealth and success in the hands of someone who’d happily throw you under the bus over who once turned the dog into a Minion using poster paint and mustard. Spending 24 hours a day for months on end, while wrestling with performance anxiety, self-esteem issues and imposter syndrome, with someone who can recite every instance of you soiling yourself to any potential groupie from memory.

For exposing the horrors of such a scenario, we salute the late, great Don Everly of The Everly Brothers, who sadly left the stage this week. Following one argument which, his partner and brother Phil claimed in 1970, “[has] been lasting for 25 years”, their onstage break up in 1973 went down in legend. Turning up for the last show of a tour in LA pissed on tequila and champagne, Don forgot all the lyrics, prompting Phil to smash his guitar over his head and walk out of the band for 10 years. That night the lid was lifted on the pressures of rock brotherhood and a precedent set for a rich and thriving seam of rock’n’roll intrigue. The sibling rivalry.

At the time, it blew the 1960s façade of brotherly pop clean out of the water. Back then, well-scrubbed, blue-eyed soul brothers singing close-harmony love songs like they’ve been practicing at bath time since they were five years old was such a hit with pop fans that The Walker Brothers and The Righteous Brothers even faked a family connection despite sharing about as much DNA as Ashleigh and Pudsey. Even the notorious hatred between The Kinks’ Ray and Dave Davies was overshadowed, at that point, by other animosities within the group, such as when drummer Mick Avory tried to decapitate Dave with a cymbal onstage in 1965 for telling him he might as well be playing drums with his dick.

Pop music has always been about the pretence of perfection, be it soft-filters, tans and teeth or the unshakable gang unity of five people sharing a debilitating allergy to shirts. But its presentation of the family as a harmonious unit, free of all deep-seated resentment, was always going to be a fakery too far, impossible to maintain. When The Everly Brothers shattered the illusion, popular music instantly became more real and relatable and brotherly hatred a key thread of the rock’n’roll story.

If pop was about instant success, rock’n’roll was about struggle and graft, and a pair of siblings airing their smashed Furby issues through rock only made those bands more fascinating. Who could forget Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes going for his brother Rich with a broken bottle in an argument over a setlist? Ray Davies interrupting Dave’s 50th birthday party to make a speech honouring himself and then stamp on the cake? Or… um… I’m sure there’s another example but it escapes me. Remind me in the comments.

When bands of siblings break up, there’s an added layer of heartbreak; a family has been rent asunder by something as beautiful and dangerous as rock’n’roll. You spare no thought for their out of work managers or qualification bereft bassists, you worry for the tearful mums at subdued barbeques. They’re often the deepest and most bitter splits too, where entire lifetimes of suppressed animosity geyser to the surface at the merest nibble of the last red M&M. But that’s also when some of music’s greatest soap operas begin. The Twitter spats. The interview rooms draped liberally in dirty laundry. The desperate pleas for reconciliation, rising in direct proportion to the solo career slump.

For this added layer of pop honesty and emotion we have Don and Phil to thank. Let’s all raise a finger to our siblings in his honour.

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Gary Lewis recalls Everly Brothers' influence

KMAland 24 August, 2021 - 05:21am

Some clouds. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low 73F. Winds SE at 10 to 15 mph.

Some clouds. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low 73F. Winds SE at 10 to 15 mph.

The eldest half of the famed Everly Brothers died in Nashville over the weekend at the age of 84. With his brother Phil, who passed in 2014, the Everlys were among the founding fathers of rock and roll. And, a music legend that followed in their footsteps is recalling Don and Phil's legacy.

."This Diamond Ring," was one of the big hits from the 1960's from Gary Lewis and the Playboys. Gary Lewis is among those paying tribute to the Everlys in the wake of Don's passing. Lewis, who is scheduled to perform at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs next month, tells KMA News he was 11 when the duo scored their first hit. Saying they were a major influence on his musical career, Lewis says the Everlys paved a fine road for him and other performers.

"To me, the Everly Brothers had the same effect on me as when the Beatles came out," said Lewis. "It was the same kind of thing. I loved their music, absolutely loved it. I loved every song they ever did. Their harmonies were just flawless, and I loved it so much."

One night in 1971, Lewis watched the Everly Brothers perform at the Landmark Hotel in Las Vegas. He was then invited to their hotel room. What followed was a night Lewis will never forget.

"It was just a wonderful, wonderful night," he said. "We talked about everything--just music, you know. They told me, anyway, that they were thrilled to meet me, too, because I had my hits, and stuff. So, it was a wonderful night, and I loved it. I'm going to miss Don, you know."

Musical influence aside, Lewis says he enjoyed Don and Phil as people.

"As people, I liked them very much," said Lewis. "Their personalities were great. They were fun loving, didn't complain about anything. They always had smiles on their faces. I went through the same things they did. Time just keeps on going, and with all the music coming around and stuff, people wonder if this is enough, or do I have to change, or what I am going to do now? We both had those same feelings."

Lewis says the Everlys also understood the importance of fans.

"Everybody in this business knows that--the fans put you where you are," he said. "So, whenever you can get a chance to give back to the fans by, like, signing autographs at the end of the show, or coming out to the lobby of the theater to meet them, do it. That's my advice for everybody, do it, because the fans put you here."

KMA News interviewed Gary Lewis as part of an upcoming "Morning Line" program on his performance in Council Bluffs next month. You can hear that interview on "Morning Line" Wednesday morning at 7:35.

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