The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Johnny Marr and Billy Duffy were mates from Wythenshawe, south Manchester before either of them got famous. Billy, a few years older, sold Johnny his first amp and gave him a pink shirt stuffed in the back of the amp that Johnny had been pestering him about. Marr formed The Smiths (Duffy having introduced him a couple of years earlier to Morrissey at a Patti Smith gig at the Apollo). Duffy became guitar-slinger in The Cult. The picture above shows the pair reunited in 1990 backstage at a Depeche Mode gig at a baseball stadium in L.A. Electronic were about to play support, despite not having worked out how all the songs went. The pair recorded a cover version of Ennio Morricone’s famous spaghetti western theme in 1992 for an NME cassette celebrating the music paper’s 40th birthday, the two duelling it out over a drum machine.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Sacco e Vanzetti

I love a rummage in a good charity shop vinyl box. In an Oxfam record and book shop the other day (Nantwich as it happens, visiting family) I found an album which intrigued me- a Spanish pressing of an Italian film soundtrack, Sacco e Vanzetti, by Ennio Morricone and Joan Baez. At £6.99 I couldn’t resist and a bit of research on Discogs and elsewhere shows mint copies selling for upwards of £30. Mine isn’t mint but apart from some crackle on the first song plays really well and the sleeve’s in good condition too.

Sacco and Vanzetti were two Italian immigrants executed in the USA in 1925 for murder, on flimsy, politically and racially motivated evidence. One witness said he could tell the pair were foreign ‘by the way they ran’. Neither man spoke English and the judge was well known for anti-Communist, anti-anarchist, anti-foreigner prejudices. I think I may have typed these exact words before in a different post.

The soundtrack is rather nice, understated in parts, dramatic and filmic in others with some typically Morricone touches and flourishes, and Joan Baez’s cut glass voice on half the songs. I find her an acquired taste to be honest but Morricone’s music carries the whole thing off regardless. Try this one…

La Ballatta Di Sacco E Vanzetti II Parte (Italian grammar corrected, grazie Luca)