Monday, June 2, 2008

Bobby Cochran, you are no Bo Diddley, but you are forgiven

The Who - A Quick One
A small voice in my head this morning suggested rock 'n' roll legend "Bobby Cochran" to me and I really tried to find some handy, because the voices should generally be obeyed. But, I had a conversation with someone about understanding what is import about a question. In this case the question was "Where are you from" and he argued that the point of origin was only correct answer, but I offered that it is where you formed your identity that constitutes where you are "from." He said yeah, but 1 + 1 = 2. You need the 1 to get to 2, and I countered that there are a lot of ways to arrive at 2, and that the real point of the formula is the + and not the 1, the 2 or even the =. So to go back to the original statement, the formula by which you arrive as a solution is the real answer, thus, where you consciously formed is where you are from. I recall that I won the discussion, but then that would be my formula to remember it that way, wouldn't it?

I was dismayed that no legendary rock 'n' roll figure was coming up until I remembered it was Eddie Cochran. And searching around for both Bobby and Eddie and any other goddamn Cochran's turned up nothing but an "Explore Similar Artists" link pointing to this record by The Who, a kaleidoscopic trek through their many facets from sweet mod pop to mini operas to whatever "Boris the Spider" is. "

"A Quick One While He's Away" might be my favorite song by The Who, especially the glorious denouement of windmill guitars and the mountainous chant of you are forgiven! that tidily caps off this lovely romp of infidelity.

The Smithereens - Live in Concert! Greatest Hits and More

The best band that never quite made it has released a live album of their hits etc and like all their records, this is a succinct thesis on the innate properties of rock 'n' roll and their restorative powers.

I bet the Smithereens have some Eddie Cochran on their iPods right now. Possibly even some Bobby Cochran.

Assuming it has committed some crime for which they must apparently eternally suffer, New Jersey is hereby forgiven in recognition of being the "from" for The Smithereens.

The Bellmont Playboys - Hot Rod Heart
The Bellmont Playboy's variant of rockabilly is as flawless as a dune buggy's paint job...

The Mono Men - Ten Cool Ones
...whereas that of the Mono Men is covered in carb cleaner and chicken grease. Both are really good, and necessary, aspects of rock 'n' roll. Rockabilly guitars are instruments not unlike finely wrought razors - they can make the careful incisions necessary to solve important problems, yet they can wielded haphazardly to spectacularly messy effect.

The 13th Floor Elevators - The Psychedelic Sounds of...
Or they can be used as shovels for the psychic coal furnace of the universe. This album is about as perfect a rawk dawkument that exists. I wrote more about it here if yr into it.

Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley was a Gunslinger, The London Bo Diddley Sessions, The Super Super Blues Band
I wondered what sinister rift in the continuum was inspiring this good-time rock 'n' roll party. Maybe that voice was actually trying to shout "Bo Diddley," who apparently just died, over the din of all my watered-down rock 'n' roll deconstructions, and as usual, I wasn't really listening..

You know, not to be grim, but Yves St. Laurent died this morning as well. Since they come in threes, who is the fitting third here?

Among the various ends pursued in the Bo Diddley Catalog is this stagger(lee)ing record The Super Super Blues Band, where the songs are loose evil and sloppy. The tracks are populated with canned women's screams and a growl mean and raspy.

This infernal trio recording of Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley is given a drubbing by All Music Guide:
Featuring Bo Diddley stubbing his toe on a wah-wah pedal, Wolf and Muddy clearly ill at ease trying to sing songs they don't know and a super annoying female chorus giving out banshee shrieks approximately every 45 seconds, this is one very chaotic, untogether super session to try and wade through.
and largely, they are right, but all its flaws and loose threads make this record rather amazing. This is the kind of feral mess into which you wish every blues jam would somehow devolve. RIP Bo Diddley, and if you see Eddie Cochran in the sweet hereafter, tell him I'm sorry I thought his name was Bobby.

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