Saturday Night Live

The Clash live in Tokyo in 1982- fully embracing both much larger arenas and the Apocalypse Now! look. This gig lacks the ragged, close up, immediacy of the 1980 Paris one I posted two weeks ago but is still pretty tasty. Considering Topper would be ejected from the drum stool within the next year for heroin problems he’s bang on the beat here. Joe is in full on front man mode and Mick works his way through the guitar handbook and volume control. Pearl Harbour (of And The Explosions and Mrs Simonon) pops up for a bash through Wanda Jackson’s Fujiyama Mama, they finish with White Riot and everyone goes home happy.

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 107

Wanda Jackson is the rockabilly queen, the First lady of Rockabilly no less, and still out treading the boards in her 80s. She released an album last year, produced by Justin Townes Earle, going back to her rockabilly and country roots, and in 2009 Oklahoma City renamed an alley in  her honour- Wanda Jackson Way. Any decent Wanda compilation will be packed full of goodies- Fujiyama Mama, Riot In Cell Block 9, Funnel Of Love, Whirlpool, This Gun Don’t Care, Baby Loves Him, Honey Bop… and this one…

Hard Headed Woman

Pour me a gin and tonic, it is Friday, I have not smoked since Sunday and I require alcohol. And music.

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 46

Pfft. Walk, tube, walk, train, tram, walk. Still better late than never eh?
Wanda Jackson, on fire for two minutes with some scathing notes on ‘baby’. The guitarist’s scorching too.

Nice dress.

Baby Loves Him

Funnel Of Slow

A good while ago DJ Diddy Wah who runs the excellent vintage sounds of the Diddy Wah blog had a short run of posts where he slowed down 45rpm singles to 33 rpm. This one came up on the way home today and it has to be heard to be believed- Wanda Jackson’s classic Funnel Of Love at 33rpm, slowed down to crawl and sung by a blues wracked man. You’ll love it.

Funnel Of Love 33

Thanks to DJ Diddy Wah- hope he doesn’t mind me re-presenting it here.

The Wanda Of You

Following on from this morning, not one but two Wanda Jackson items. First up Wanda’s classic Funnel Of Love, but not in it’s 1961 form. This version is from an album in 2003 where Wanda revisited her early songs with help from various people, including Elvis Costello (boo) and The Cramps (hooray). This version of Funnel is Wanda Jackson backed by The Cramps, and it’s good stuff with Poison Ivy’s guitar sounding particularly fine. They also did Riot In Cell Block 9 for the same record.

Second, you need to head on over to Diddywah.blogspot (link down and to the right), where DJ Diddywah hosts a goldmine of 50s and 60s singles- mod, psyche, blues, r’n’b, rockabilly, surf and much more. Scroll down to last Thursday and you’ll find a post featuring the original version of Funnel Of Love, and Diddywah’s 45 rpm Funnel Of Love single played at 33rpm. The results are astounding and have to be heard to be believed. Totally different record and feel. It’s well worth a couple of clicks and a few minutes of your webtime. Go on, off with you. Meanwhile I’m going to begin playing all my 45s at 33…

Wanda Jackson_03_Funnel of Love.mp3

I’m Just About To Blow My Top

There’s an interesting article by Jon Savage at the Guardian’s music blog about pop music in the atomic age, and musicians responses to imminent nuclear destruction from the early 50s through to now. In the article he mentions this fantastic record by rockabilly’s first lady Wanda Jackson. Savage writes she ‘yokes the explosive power of 1000 suns to her orgasm’. Which isn’t a sentence I’d have thought of, or one I can top.


Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 27

This week’s rockabilly rave-up comes from 1981, covered in Clash connections. That’s Pearl and Mick Jones in the picture above. Pearl Harbour had fronted what the Americans call a ‘new wave’ band (Pearl Harbour and The Explosions) who made a mediocre album. By 1980 she had fallen in with The Clash, and recorded a rockabilly inspired album called Don’t Follow Me… I’m Lost Too, much of which which sounds surprisingly good today, 29 years later. It bombed at the time. Pearl’s boyfriend Kosmo Vinyl (Clash tour manager and self styled ‘consiglieri’) and Pearl decided she and the album should stand on their two feet, and so there were few credits on the album’s sleeve despite it’s stellar line-up which would surely have gained it more attention. Produced by Blockhead and Clash touring keyboardist Mickey Gallagher, and with Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, and Topper Headon from The Clash and Wilco Johnson (ex-Dr Feelgood) amongst others playing the instruments. Pearl and Paul Simonon were married for much of the 80s, and she appeared on stage with The Clash. There’s youtube footage of her performing this song, Fujiyama Mama, with The Clash in Japan. Fujiyama Mama was a hit in the 50s for rockabilly Queen Wanda Jackson, whose songs have popped up on Friday nights here before. Anyway, take it away Pearl…

02 Fujiyama Mama (Album Version).mp3