Friday Night Music

Atlantic Show Band didn’t do much in the way of 50s-era rock ‘n roll, I think because that 12-bar stuff was relatively easy to play — and as musicians who grew up (musically speaking) more in the Beatles / Stones era, the 50s were “old” music, so it was kinda infra dig.  Still, we did play quite a lot — but when we got sick of them, we finally just combined parts of all of them into a 20-minute medley, which never failed to bring the house down.  Here are those that I can remember:

Johnny B. Goode — Chuck Berry  (LOL one night some Afrikaner came up to us when we’d just finished this song, and begged us to stop playing “that Kaffir music”.  So we played it again, “by request”.)

Jailhouse Rock — Elvis Presley (the opening bars of this song filled the dance floor every time we played it — everybody knew what was coming)

Jenny Jenny — Little Richard (I sang this as a heterosexual male, as opposed to Little Richard, who didn’t)

Time Is Tight — Booker T and the MGs (how could it fail?  Donald “Duck” Dunn on bass and Booker T’s Hammond organ, baby!)

Shake Rattle & Roll — Elvis Presley (we used to take it in turns to sing this one, to see who could do the worst / most cheesy Elvis impersonation)

Blueberry Hill — Fats Domino (another dance-floor filler)

Whole Lotta Shakin’ — Jerry Lee Lewis  (I swear, Drummer Knob fell asleep while playing this song one night, and he wasn’t drunk either)

Good Night Sweetheart — Sha Na Na / The Spaniels (we combined the best of both versions into our own, and this was our “quiet” end-of-gig closer, when not doing the Kiki Dee thing)

Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight — Fleetwood Mac (we sounded better, with added “awop-do-wop, awop-bop-do-wop” harmonies. Sometimes, when we were drunk and the crowd was rough, we’d substitute “Cock-sucker, mother-mother fucker” for the doo-wop.  It was the Seventies.)

Next week: the Hogwash Interlude.

Wait A Minute

From Z-man, talking about conspiracy theorists:

“People don’t like simple answers.  If they did, Hollywood thrillers would feature no plot, just stuff exploding in between sex scenes.”

Actually, that’s about as succinct a description of modern Hollywood thrillers as I’ve ever read.  Unless of course Tom Cruise, Michael Bay or Marvel Comics are involved, in which case there’s no sex at all, just a series of witty one-liners between (and often during) the explosions.  And Tom Clancy must be turbo-spinning in his grave after what Hollywood has done to Jack Ryan.

I’d talk more on the topic, but I’m busy re-reading historian Paul Johnson’s Modern Times, and that takes concentration.

Worldly Goods

Not many people can tell a story like Taki, and this excerpt, about him signing his will at a lawyer’s office in Switzerland, is one of his gems:

An eerie business is the one about death and making a will.  One becomes a judge and jury of one’s friends, dispassionate and coldly rational, “reward and revenge standing at his elbow ready to nudge his pen.”
Not in my case. I’ve already made a will long ago and turned everything over to the mother of my children.  Let her deal with it, I simply cannot face it.
When I signed the will in front of a lawyer and notary public, the lawyer asked time and again if I was in my right mind.  (It’s a Swiss requirement.)  “Not really,” I answered, “but she’s got a gun pointed at me under the table.”
The Swiss did not find it funny and demanded I get serious.
“I’m seriously out of my mind,” I repeated, “but I don’t wish to be shot in cold blood.”
They threatened to walk out, so I gave in and signed after categorically stating that I was turning all my assets over of my free will.
I could almost hear them thinking what an idiot I must be.  The Swiss do not believe in letting easily go the root of all envy.

It should be remembered that the old Greek fart is himself heir to a considerable fortune derived from his family’s shipping business — no wonder the Swiss thought he was crazy, leaving it all to one person.