Saturday, March 26, 2011

Things That Rockabilly Has Taught Me.

This blog is mainly focused on various observations from a Rockabilly perspective. It has recently dawned on me that Rockabilly has taught a few fundamentals. Having been into Rockabilly and all things fifties for so long, I have taken many things for granted. In an introspective moment, I suddenly realized that I have learned many things as observed through this lens.

I think that the most glaring example, which is somewhat appalling when you think about it, is musical taste in general. Now some would say that taste (or lack thereof) is subjective. That may be so, but I am at once saddened and perplexed by the fact that most people have lost touch with the roots of music, and by association, their own roots.

1955 is not that long ago in the larger scheme of things, but it seems to have been lost in the dark passage of ancient history. I am not alleging that is generational, quite the contrary, some of the worst offenders are people of a generation who should know better.

It is probably altruistic to expect more. The status quo rules and is reinforced by trite classic rock stations, unimaginative movie soundtracks and annoying commercials targeting baby boomers. The narrow perspective by which the majority of these people view music as a whole is ridiculous, only reinforced by the fact that these people think that they possess much musical knowledge.

The so-called rock n roll that they profess to love so much is just the tip of the iceberg. Like an iceberg, it is 90% submerged and they cannot see it. Some have heard vague references to Rockabilly, but are unsure of what is really is and the importance that it holds. The groundwork that laid the foundation of Rock n Roll is unknown to these aging rockers.

If they happen to actually hear it, they usually don't like it. It sounds way too "country" for their bland palates. Even musicians are part of this sophomoric perception of music. After having performed at a local jam, I was approached by the sax player that had been onstage with me. He lamented the fact that the guitar player's immaculate 1955 Gibson sounded too twangy, " too Duane Eddy". I tried to explain that that was the general idea, but it seemed like an alien concept to this so-called Blues musician.

A music critic ( Lester Bangs) once said that Rockabilly was the only true Rock n Roll, because it never went anywhere. This may be true and hard core Rockabilly aficionados relish the fact that it remains obscure. That means that is remains untainted, pure and true to its roots, but it still is a shame that most folks will never dig it.

That is the cold reality of the masses and their vapid mass culture and there isn't a whole lot that greasy folk can do to change that. On a lighter note, here's a few more things that Rockabilly has taught me over the years.

1. Leather jackets are cool, leather pants, not so much. I've noticed that people who wear leather pants are usually narcissistic, crazy, or extreme douchebags.

2. Canadian Pabst will get you way more hammered than American Pabst, the upside is that you can party way longer in the U.S.

3. The drunker you are, the more guitar strings you will break.

4. People will stare at a big greasy pomp the same as big cleavage.

5. Drunken freaks will always want to touch your pomp.

6. The same drunken idiots will invariably ask you, " What is that, Brylcreem?"

7. Taking a bus to Vegas is fun. Returning from Vegas on the same bus is hell.

8. The shittier the song, the more "baby baby" will be in it.

9. No matter what house party you attend, 3 or 4 fuckers will show up without beer( and subsequently try to steal yours).

10. The nicer the paint job, the more idiots will want to touch it.

11. When you move into a new apartment, there is 75% chance that your neighbor will be a crackhead who like loud dance music.

12. Cops seem to associate a greasy demeanor with criminal behavior.

13. It's hard to be a bad ass when you're riding a bicycle.

14. The drunker the greaser, the louder the headphones.

15. A lot of people seem to think that an upright bass is a large fiddle.

16. Having a pomp is like a secret handshake, you will make friends all over the world.

17. It's OK to like bagpipes.

18. Jacked up Vegas with big ass engines are extremely stupid.

19. Cheap wine makes you puke.

20. The smell of patchouli almost makes me puke.

21. Bongos is fightin' words.

22. The more self-righteous the hippie, the more full of shit he is.

23. The dirtier the hippie, the more he is from a middle class background.

24. There is no good reason to make hot pink Jackson guitars.

25. Even if you are going to something as innocuous as traffic court, you must de-grease and de-pomp. ( better hide them neck tattoos, too).

26. As you get older you will desire larger and larger belt buckles.

27. It's never too loud.

28. Some of those Psychobilly cats are gonna hurt themselves.

29. Speaking of Psychobilly, it's OK to play air bass when you are drunk.

30. When you get a new job, make sure you say "Rockabilly" no later than two weeks after your start date.

31. Don't call your boss "daddy-o".

32. Better off not saying " dude ". " Dudeski" is still kind of OK. But not to a cop.

33. Doubling up on solos is good. Thirteen minute wankage solos sucks.

34. Speaking of solos, the bass player always gets one. It's the law.

35. It's the bass player's job to smuggle in the beer at the gig.

36. If some drunk idiot gets up on stage you have the right to  A) kick him in the kidney B) hit him in the throat with your guitar or C) have the bartender put all the band's beers on his tab.

37. Big greazy bowl of chili is good, big greazy chili farts, not so good.

38. No matter how much cash you bring to the bar, you will have none left the next day.

39. Good barbers are to find. It's best to own a few hats until you do find one

40. Everything sticks to hair grease.

41. Some hair grease is flammable ( trust me on this one).

42. Sit down shows suck. ( especially the dry ones).

43. Chicks don't respond well to the rhetorical question, " What're you, a retard?"

44. Dogs hate drunk people.

45. Squares assume that you ride a motorcycle.

46. Squares will assume that you are in the band ( useful if you want free drinks).

47. Bouncers will also assume that you are with the band. ( Telling him you're the band's truck driver also works).

48. Squares always seem to think that they can speak a second language when they are drunk.

49. Never agree to play a wedding.

50. Never take requests.

51. Never make requests.

52. Karaoke is for mental people.

53. If you play a skid bar, don't touch anything.

54. Beating on a computer and randomly hitting keys doesn't do anything.

55. Facebook and excessive inebriation are a bad combination.

57. Don't try to explain Rockabilly to squares ( I gave up long ago).

58. You will sometimes be invited to a party as a performing seal. The rule is one song in exchange for twelve beers.

59. Hide twelve more beers in your guitar case before you leave said party.

60. Always give a fake name at those parties.

61. Never bring your own guitar to those parties, it's way better to trash the shit out of some square's classical guitar.

62. Rockabillies don't camp, (unless really hammered).

63. You can always get a seat in the truck driver section at a truck stop if you swagger enough.

64.When you go out to see a band, do not wear that band's T-shirt.

65.If you see the band pull up in front of the bar, give them a hand with the gear.

66. If you meet a celebrity, don't act like a fucking retard.

67. If you meet a celebrity that you don't like, make sure they buy the drinks. (it's OK to act a little bit retarded).

68. Go out and see as many of the original Rockabilly musicians as you can. These cats are living history and many of them are already gone.

69. If you are lucky, you may get to speak to one of these cats,listen to what they have to say, they were there when Rockabilly was born.

70. Rockabilly will never die.

1 comment:

  1. #68... I saw Sonny Burgess & The Pacers at Viva Las Vegas 14 a few months ago. I also had the privilege to meet them and shake their hands. Mr. Burgess and his band were really cool cats, very down-to-earth. And yes, they put on a show!

    Amen to #68!