Bonjour and welcome to episode 198. Welcome home to DJ DJ.
A precautionary tale before I start. I went mountain biking on Monday night (yes, yes, in the dark). It's something I do quite often. I've got a good set of lights and I don't ride tracks that I don't know. However, recent rain had caused some serious rutting in some tracks. Unfortunately I didn't see a rut and my front wheel got jammed in it! My bike stopped and I didn't. Now I've got very sore ribs after they had an altercation with the handlebars. Oops. For years now other riders have been telling me that I need a light on the handlebars as well as the helmet mounted one. Apparently helmet light only plays havoc with your depth perception and ability to see holes...I can now confirm that theory. I'll get another light.
I've been playing some tunes with H and Chief...and we've got a gig coming up on 16th June, 6pm at Beyond Q in Curtin. Come along for a set (just one) that will have something for everyone. Thankfully the calluses on my fingers are finally hardening up. I won't give much away but here is one of the tunes we'll do in what is a fairly wide ranging show!
There's a theme this week; it's only rock 'n' roll but I like it. Whilst I'll happily listen to almost any kind of music it's no secret that the simplicity of drums, guitar, bass and vocals is my favourite. So, if you're looking for new releases, kooky obscure bands or hip-hop then you'd better log off now!
Rock 'n' roll is the bastard son of the blues. Let's start there.
Leadbelly – Midnight Special (1940)
There's a fantastic version of Little Richard playing Leadbelly's "Rock Island Line" on a Folkways compilation album I have. Seek it out folks, the album is great. It also features U2, Springsteen, Dylan and Mellencamp. Of course, Creedence Clearwater Revival did a pretty good job of "Midnight Special" as well.
Of course, Elvis is the king. I've got a pretty good double LP that trumps anything released on CD that I've seen. I'm a big fan of "Burning Love" but lets go back to 1957...
Johnny Cash was a rock star. It's just that he was also a Country & Western star and probably a Gospel star as well. He blurred the lines. I heard this song for the first time in the early 90's (I was a late blooming Cash fanatic) and it's probably my favourite live track. Funny and tragic at the same time.
Johnny Cash – Cocaine Blues (1968)
Rockers like cowboys as well. There's plenty of songs about them. Here's one of the best played by one of the best...
Thin Lizzy – Cowboy Song (1976)
Thin Lizzy have such a 'swagger' in their songs – it always gets my feet tapping and my head nodding along. There's probably a cheesy grin on my face as I'm typing. Hopefully Angus is too wrapped up in watching the football to notice!
Some songs are overplayed into oblivion by commercial radio. This next song is one of them. Since I haven't listened to commercial radio for a very, very long time I think it's time to crank this one up. The live version is a lot more fun than the original. I've got both on vinyl and yes, they do sound better.
The next tune was released in 1988. At the time AC/DC had released their "Blow Up Your Video" album which was a monumental disappointment. I remember seeing the clip for this song on MTV and thinking it was great. The band were Australian as well. Their album was great too. Simple rock and roll – good time.
We'll go a bit left field for the next tune. Certainly not your average pub rock 'n' roll but more than worthy of a listen. Spy vs Spy were an Australian band with some great songs. What attracted me to them, and still does, is the guitar sound and the honest vocal delivery. I was in a band that played one of their songs – it was a treat!
Spy vs Spy – Clarity of Mind (1988)
Almost at the end now, you can do it...keep reading, keep listening. Send me a comment!
I'm not a Foo Fighters fan. They annoy me no matter how much I try to like them. That's OK though, they have legions of people buying their stuff. I saw this next song on late night TV a long time ago now and it is almost the perfect rock song (and video). Very definitely their high point in my humble opinion.
Foo Fighters – Monkey Wrench (1997)
If I had to choose one artist or band who epitomise all that rock 'n' roll is about then I'd find it hard not to pick Tom Petty. DJ CurryManGarry is off to see him live in London very soon. Lucky so and so!
I'll be back next week with ribs that have healed I hope and a more eclectic range of tunes!