Courtesy of Corky Laing
Life on the Rock Archive
By John Stanton
(July 25, 2014) One summer evening, a half-dozen or so years ago, at the Cape Cod Melody tent, there was a show called Hippie Fest. It featured a series of acts that were well out of their prime, the ghosts of classic rock radio: Country Joe McDonald (without the Fish) Mitch Ryder (without the Detroit Wheels, or his voice) the Zombies and Badfinger with only one or two of the original band members. It was a sad reminder that your old tie-dyed T-shirts should never again be taken out of the closet.
I began to wonder how it feels when your gold record, or your hit song, was in your 20s and you are now into your 60s. It is a question that has stayed with me since that concert. So this week I asked Corky Laing. He was the drummer for the hard-rock band Mountain. His big hit came in 1970, with the song "Mississippi Queen." He was 23 years old when the band got its first gold record.
“You can get so into yourself that you end up not knowing what you are saying sometimes,” he said. “I used to have to keep asking friends whether I had become an a-hole. Immaturity and success sometimes equals that. On top of that the testosterone aspect of rock and of drumming kicked in. It gets to be kind of an addiction.”
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