Wednesday, March 07, 2007

This I Believe

I believe that the only honorable option left us in this evil old world is to stand onstage on Ted Mack's Amateur Hour Alan Freed's "The Big Beat" in 1956 with Bry[l]creemed hair, bowtie, zoot jacket with velvet lapels, white bucks, whanging on a dreadnought guitar, legs spread, back foot beating a frantic tattoo on the floor while you howl "Lonesome Train."

I also believe that all our voices should come equipped with 1956-vintage slapback reverb. From birth.

Ladies and gentlemen, Johnny Burnette and the Rock and Roll Trio!



Jesus Christ, look at that geezer with the Tele! (Paul Burlison, if Wikipedia is to be believed; Johnny's brother Dorsey is on bass) He's HUGE! As far as I can tell that's a standard-sized Fender Telecaster (probably worth as much as my house, if it still exists). It looks like a goddamned ukelele on the guy!

(Wow: Apparently, Burlison accidentally discovered amp distortion in 1956 when he dropped his Fender Deluxe and a tube came loose...)

11 comments:

Akatabi said...

Appears to be lipsynched, but it doesn't matter. Love that rockabilly. Thanks for posting.

H. Rumbold, Master Barber

Bobby Lightfoot said...

Yeh, he's a big boy. Guys were all Golden Gloves boxers.

I love this band. I think the Burnetts were fantastic songwriters and stylists. It was that Fabs BBC recording of "Lonesome Tears" that left me gasping with its perfection what sent me off in search of th' Trio. Amazing goddamn band.

Tell ya, that Beatles At The BBC is maybe my favorite Beatles record period. I still only have it on cassette. You're exposed to so many dozens of writers who have been inexplicably eaten by time. What a fuckin' amazing document. And that "Honeymoon Song". Oh, my Christ.

Rock And Roll Trio! Often immitated, never equalled. Except on th' BBC record.

Roger D. Parish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger D. Parish said...

Umm, you left out an "L" from the name of the hair cream, Neddie.

Brylcreem, a little dab'll do ya.
Brylcreem, you'll look so debonair.
Brylcreem, the gals will all persue ya!
They love to get their fingers in your hair.

Will Divide said...

I'm with Bobby re: the Beats at the Beeb, probably as close to hearing what they sounded like in Hamburg as we will ever get.

And you do know that is the great and persecuted Alan Freed, not Ted Mack. . .

I know this because I am old.

Kevin Wolf said...

Damn great clip. Is it just me or would the world also be improved if much of it was in black and white?

Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

"It looks like a goddamned ukelele on the guy!"

No doubt... As undeniably cool as that video is, the sheer SIZE of that MFer is just mind-boggling. Hep cats, man...

Neddie said...

Umm, you left out an "L" from the name of the hair cream, Neddie.

Hah! An honest typo, Roger. I did know this, although I've never had any in my own personal mop.

Wonder if you can still get Brylcreem? (Answer: Yes! I'm betting Wonder Woman is rolling her eyes in high dudgeon right about now...) There's a guy at Nichols Hardware who looks like he's using it, and not in an ironic-hipster sort of way, either -- he's had that quiff since 1956.

I'm with Bobby re: the Beats at the Beeb, probably as close to hearing what they sounded like in Hamburg as we will ever get.

The Beeb sessions are a bit more, er, sedate than the Star Club set that gets reissued every so often. Although recorded very late in the Fabs' Hamburg days -- it's got Ringo on drums, and I believe was done after they'd recorded "Love Me Do" -- it's a pretty fine document of what they sounded like: Shambolic and very loose. Highly recommended.

I think the best live recording of the early Beatles I've heard is the set done in Stockholm that's included on the Anthology Volume 1. Recorded before the real onset of Beatlemania, and the lads could still hear themselves over the crowd: A fierce, fierce, fierce little rock band. Vicious!

And you do know that is the great and persecuted Alan Freed, not Ted Mack. . .

Oy. That's embarrassing. S'what you get for trusting Wikipedia...

Will Divide said...

That Star Club boot is news to me, as is the Stockholm set. Somethings to look forward to.

Freed was hounded to death by a music industry that hated rock 'n' roll. His mortal remains, you may be interested to know, rest in a small box in a niche on the 3rd floor of the Rock Hall o' Fame, near a very good exhibit on his life, and adjacent to the shrine to Les Paul.

Ronzoni Rigatoni said...

Hey, ol' Jeddie Ningo. I can't b'lieve we are discussin' J. Burnette. Coincidence coincidence coincidence. I was lookin' ferra "pirate" version of Burnette's "You're Sixteen" for my kiddo's 16th birfday (Yah, I can remember when the song first came out), and whaddya know? It was also recorded by none other than (drum roll, heh) Ringo Starr. Wheee! I personally liked Ringo's version better, but thass jus' me.

You never tol' us. Is the leg re-attached? Does it swivel?

El Jefe said...

>> Jesus Christ, look at that geezer with the Tele! It looks like a goddamned ukelele on the guy!

Feh! You ever seen David Hidalgo of Los Lobos? Talk about someone who dwarfs a Tele; looks like a goddamned ... uh ... really tiny ukelele on the guy!