…then it’s a gem. They all are, but usually I have a better rationale.
This version of Deuce and a Quarter song has everything: It’s a great song (written by Kevin Gordon and Gwil Owen), is accompanied by great photos and is performed by Scotty Moore, Levon Helm, DJ Fontana, Keith Richards, Marshall Crenshaw, Rick Danko and Garth Hudson.
Deuce and a quarter, according to the Urban Dictionary, is slang for a Buick Electra 225.
George Harrison was born on this day in 1943. I may be reading too much into it, but it seems that the comment at the very end and the plaintive look Richards gives the interviewer is revealing.
Yesterday, I mistakenly set out to write a post about Paul Robeson’s birthday, which isn’t for eight months. I had the good sense (if I do say so myself) of posting the clip I had selected before I discovered my mistake. Today, though, I got it right. I found out (through a posting at DailyKos) that it is the 103rd birthday of Clarence Leonidas “Leo” Fender, the inventor of the Telecaster and the Stratocaster. He, along with Les Paul, essentially made rock-and-roll possible.
Here is a terrific and suitably adoring profile of the Telecaster. There is a lot of great guitar squeezed into the clip, which seems to be part of a longer video. This clip features Albert Lee, Steve Cropper, James Burton, Keith Richards, Sue Foley, Redd Volkaert, Jerry Donahue, Chantel McGregor, John 5 (who I guess is a better guitarist than John 4 but not quite as good as John 6), Deborah Coleman, Wilko Johnson, Jeff Beck, GE Smith and Greg Koch. The video has the URL www.stratmasters.com superimposed on top, but the domain is vacant.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and Case Western Reserve University have announced that Chuck Berry will be honored as the 17th Annual American Music Masters series.
The series starts on Monday, Oct. 22 and culminates in a concert on Saturday, Oct. 27. No disrespect to any of the previous 16 honorees, but there simply aren’t 16 acts or performers in rock and roll history more important than Chuck Berry.
Here is Sweet Little Sixteen from a 1967 concert at Winterland:
The Rolling Stones — actually Jagger and Richards — played The Marquee Jazz Club in London on this day in 1962. The set list, according to Rolling Stone:
1. “Kansas City” 2. “Baby What’s Wrong” 3. “Confessin’ the Blues” 4. “Bright Lights, Big City” 5. “Dust My Broom” 6. “Down the Road Apiece” 7. “I’m a Love You” 8. “Bad Boy” 9. “I Ain’t Got You” 10. “Hush-Hush” 11. “Ride ‘Em on Down” 12. “Back in the U.S.A.” 13. “Kind of Lonesome” 14. “Blues Before Sunrise” 15. “Big Boss Man” 16. “Don’t Stay Out All Night” 17. “Tell Me You Love Me” 18. “Happy Home”
The story says that the list essentially corresponds to Richards’ recollection in his autobiography, Life. It links to a picture of the current band at The Marquee. I’m tempted to make a snarky comment, but none of us look better now than when we were in our twenties.
There is so much out there about Johnny Cash that it doesn’t make sense to discuss it much here. The main reason, of course, was that he was an American original. It doesn’t hurt that he hosted a television show from 1969 to 1971, which produced a mountain of video. Much of it is with folks you wouldn’t associate with Cash.
Here is the song Cocaine Blues. It’s amazing that a song by that name, based on a drug-induced murder, was featured on a network television program. In any case, it’s a song that pops up, in one form or another, all over the place. Check out Little Sadie by John Renbourn. There also is an apparently separate song by the same name done by many artists, including Keith Richards. Wikipedia, of course, has chapter and verse.
Two Cash videos are worth mentioning: Hurt, a song written by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, has been voted the best video ever in some polls. God’s Gonna Cut You Down is equal parts brilliant and weird.
One of Cash’s biggest hits was A Boy Named Sue. Believe it or not, the song was written by Shel Silverstein, the author or The Giving Tree and A Light in the Attic. Here are the two playing the song together.