Q: Where did the band Depeche Mode get its name?
A: Although the roots of Depeche Mode stretch back to 1976, the band formed in Basildon, England, in 1980. Their sound was almost entirely built around the synthesizer and they soon became one of the most successful of the techno-pop bands of the 1980s. Martin Gore, the group’s principle songwriter, has said that the band’s name was taken from a French fashion magazine. The name means “hurried fashion” or “fashion dispatch,” concepts that appealed to him and his band mates.
Q: I remember hearing that Stephen Stills had found some old recordings that he made with Jimi Hendrix prior to his death in 1970. Have the recordings ever been released to the public?
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A: In 2008, Graham Nash, one of Stephen Stills’ band mates in Crosby Stills & Nash, said in an interview that Stills had discovered an album’s worth of material while reviewing tapes from his massive vault of old recordings. Hendrix and Stills had jammed together periodically from post-Experience 1968 until Hendrix’s death in 1970. In March 2013, the album “People, Hell and Angels” was released. It features several other musicians, including Stills, Billy Cox and Buddy Miles. Cox served with Hendrix in the 101st US Army Airborne. He and Miles would later form Band of Gypsys.
Q: Prior to the release of the Byrds’ “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” album, Gram Parsons’ vocals were replaced by Roger McGuinn for legal reasons. Were the original songs with Parsons’ vocals ever released?
A: After the departure of founding members David Crosby and Michael Clarke in 1967, the Byrds recruited Gram Parsons and Kevin Kelley to take their place. With this new lineup, they began a shift to a more country-flavored sound that culminated with the release of “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” in 1968. Prior to the album’s release, the band was threatened with legal action by LHI Records which claimed that Parsons was still under contract to them. With this threat looming, McGuinn replaced Parson’s lead vocals on three songs. There has been some speculation that the removal of Parsons’ vocals was due more to giving Parsons less of the spotlight than the threat of legal action. Regardless of the reason, the original release of “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” contained three songs with Parsons on lead rather than six as was originally planned. Parsons would quit the Byrds a few months later and form the Flying Burrito Brothers. After two years with that group and three as a solo artist, Parsons died of a drug overdose in 1973. In 2003, a 35th anniversary Legacy Edition of “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” was released and contains “The Christian Life,” “You Don't Miss Your Water,” and “One Hundred Years from Now” with Parsons’ original vocals as well as outtakes and rehearsal versions of other songs. Although it was not commercially successful at the time, the album has become very influential and it is commonly regarded as one of the first country-rock albums.