Poetry – Goodbye Little Richard

Little Richard was the King

 

Chuck and Bo now Little Richard;

Elvis, Gene and Buddy,

Rock ‘n’ Roll is decimated

Soon they’ll be nobody.

 

Little Richard was the King

Who really rocked the joint.

We could argue over that

But what’s the point?

 

Goodbye Richard Penniman

The world’s a sadder place

You sent me rockin’

Into outer space!

 

I’ll miss you man!!

 

Opher – 9.5.2020

Little Richard – Rip It Up!!

Little Richard – Rip It Up!!

What does Little Richard mean to me? – High energy, visceral excitement!!

I first heard Little Richard when I was thirteen way back in 1962 prior to the Beatles.

The charts were full of tidied up Pop-Rock in the form of Tommy Roe, Bobby Vee, Bobby Rydell, Fabian and Pat Boone – the sanitised Pop Idols. Then there were the British equivalents – Cliff Richard, Billy Fury and Tommy Steele whose brief Rock excursions had been guided back to the middle of the road. That cleaned up Pop had never done much for me. I had been introduced to Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran. I liked the excitement of real Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Auntie BBC had hardly played any of that raucous vulgar Rock ‘n’ Roll, particularly of the black variety, so it was all underground and undiscovered – a lodestone of genius waiting to be discovered.

That was when those trembling little thirteen year old fingers somehow alighted on ‘Here’s Little Richard’. I can’t even remember back through fifty five years of life to where I got it from. I think it was an older boy in school who sported a huge pompadour quiff and was also into Chuck Berry who sold it to me.

From the first moment that needle hit the groove with that introductory click and crackle before Tutti Frutti roared out and I was hooked.

I played that album to death. My stand-out tracks were Long Tall Sally, Ready Teddy, Jenny Jenny, She Got it, Tutti Frutti, Slippin’ and Slidin’ and Rip it up. That isn’t to say that the others weren’t great but I was young and I loved the fast stuff – the stuff with that vitality.

I’d never heard anything with such power. That voice blew me away. This was the energy I craved.

At the school fete I set up my dansette and was a jukebox all day. I took all my records but the only one I played was Little Richard. People came along and paid their 6d to hear him booming out and frightening the old folks.

I still have that original album. I’m holding it in my hand this minute. It’s bit scratched up and battered. The cover is a bit tatty and something’s been spilt on it. But I cherish it still. It holds more memories than music.

I took that album along to get it signed by the great man. I got threatened by his heavies who assured me that they’d break it if I dared to take it out. I couldn’t risk that could I? Never mind. He signed my poster (even though it cost me £25!). That’s good enough.

Little Richard was the epitome of Rock and Roll. No-one has surpassed that raw energy.

I’ve got Rip It Up marked out for my remembrance service!

“Rip It Up”

Well, it’s Saturday night and I just got paid,
Fool about my money, don’t try to save,
My heart says go go, have a time,
Saturday night and I’m feelin’ fine,I’m gonna rock it up, I’m gonna rip it up,
I’m gonna shake it up, gonna ball it up,
I’m gonna rock it up, and ball tonight.Got me a date and I won’t be late,
Picked her up in my 88,
Shag on down by the union hall,
When the joint starts jumpin’ I’ll have a ball,
I’m gonna rock it up…

‘Long about ten I’ll be flying high,
Walk on out unto the sky,
But I don’t care if I spend my dough,
‘Cause tonight I’m gonna be one happy soul,
I’m gonna rock it up……….

Today’s music to keep me SANE in Isolation – Elvis Presley

There’s only one Elvis Presley for me – that’s the real one who recorded for Sun.

The later ones were all parodies.

All I listen to are the Sun recordings and the RCA ones he recorded before joining the army. After that he made all those dreadful films and became a Pop singer – all the glitz and plastic.

But in those first years he was original. His look with the greased hair, the ducktail and quiff, the long sideburns and contrasting clothes (pink jacket, black shirt) was highly original and striking. His movements were different. The material and excitement was incredible.

But the success caused him to become self-conscious. What had been natural became a performance – a parody. Management altered his appearance, his material, his sound and guided him into the middle of the road.

Such a shame.

But that early stuff was superb. That is what I will be playing loud!!

Today’s Music to Cheer me up in Isolation – Eddie Cochran

I fell in love with Eddie (or at least his music) when I first heard him sing those great songs – Something Else, C’mon Everybody and Summertime Blues. I was about twelve at the time and I liked stuff that rocked. Eddie rocked for me.

Here’s a rare clip.

What a loss!! He’d only been going a short while. Just think what we might have had with twenty years of Eddie! He really could play that guitar and had a distinctive style.

But Eddie is Something Else.

I’ll be playing him loud all day!! Rock it Eddie!!

Today’s music to keep me going insane in Isolation (Too late!) – The Ramones

Well Damone Ramone had a great post and left a message on my blog which turned my mind back to the Ramones.

During the seventies when music had gone a bit up its own backside, the energy and drive had gone as the sixties idyll died, the Ramones went back to basics. They returned to the idea of a high energy two and a half minute burst of exuberant Rock.

Rock was rebellion. Elvis and John Lennon were rebel punks. Punk was about rebellion.

The Ramones brought back excitement!

They’ll rock my day today!! I need something to liven me up!!

Gabba Gabba  Hey!!  So Hey Ho Let’s Go!!!

This’ll blow out the cobwebs!!

Today’s Music to Cheer Me Up in Isolation!!

Today I shall be playing Buddy Holly – REAL LOUD!!

I first discovered Buddy Holly in 1959 when I was ten. My older friend Clive used to buy all Buddy Holly and Adam Faith singles. When he got tired of them he sold them to me for a few pennies. I still have them all!!

Buddy is the man who put melody into Rock. He was a superb songwriter. His music lives on. In such a few short years he produced tens of brilliant songs. I never get fed-up with them. He’ll raise my spirits today!!

Rock On Buddy!!

Today’s Music to Cheer me up in Isolation!! – Little Richard!!

Funny how I seem to be going back to the old Rock ‘n’ Roll at a time like this. I guess it’s because it is so vital, alive and visceral!! It makes you want to dance and sing.

I first discovered Little Richard when I was twelve. He was a revelation – so exciting!

We had a school fete when I was thirteen (pre-Beatles) and were asked to run a stall. I took my Dansette in and ran a juke box. I took in my Shadows, Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly and Little Richard LPs and ended up playing Little Richard all afternoon!! I did not make much money but I had a great time. Loads of girls were hanging round my stall!

So today the house will ring to the sound of Little Richard’s jive!!

Today’s Music – Bo Diddley!!

Bo was unique, experimental and brilliant – what a character!! What a showman!! I fell in love with Bo the first time I heard him way back in 1961. I was only a kid but I connected.

I shall be playing his music loud all day today!!

You can’t beat a good Rock ‘n’ Roll beat to raise the spirits.

Play it LOUD!!! It drives Covid away!

Today’s Music to raise my spirits in isolation – Chuck Berry!!!

What could be better than the rockin’ of Chuck’s infectious beat to raise the spirits??

Play it loud!!!

Yesterday was Elmore blasting out!! Today it’s Chuck who is the background to my day!!

Poetry – A Soundtrack

A Soundtrack

 

There’s a soundtrack to my life,

Illustrating my feelings,

Feeding my mind,

Nourishing my spirit.

 

A soundtrack to love.

A background to work.

 

It is the music,

Intertwined with memories,

That gives colour,

Awakens emotions,

Stokes the fires inside,

To bring me fully alive.

 

That soundtrack contains my essence.

 

Opher – 2.1.2020

 

 

As I have grown up music has played a huge role in my development. The lyrics, the poems, the sounds, have entered into me, expanding my vision, intensifying my experience.

Now, when I hear a certain track, it conjures up memories, feelings and thoughts.

Music is inextricably linked to my life and inner being.