Monday, 4 June 2007

Some stuff never leaves you.

As a teenager, music was pretty much everything. Musical tastes defined not just what you listened to, but what you wore, your attitude to life and even what kind of beer you drank. This kind of tribalism is I think very much a male phenomenon; no woman I have spoken to remembers it the same way. And if it gripped you hard enough as a kid, it will stay with you forever.

Which is why at the moment I can’t stop playing Southern Rock Opera by the Drive-By Truckers. It’s an alt-country / Southern Rock concept album about the experience of growing up in late seventies Alabama as blue-collar liberals and Lynyrd Skynrd fans. The album is their own adolescent story, with Lynyrd Skynyrd as the heroes, and the racist five-times governor of Alabama, George Wallace as the villain.

I never got to see Led Zeppelin at Knebworth in 1979 although my mate did. But I can remember when John Bonham died; sneaking in to the local biker pub and drowning our sorrows in Carlsberg Special Brew. Listening to the tributes on Tommy Vance’s Friday Rock Show on the radio whilst we crashed out for the night in the pub car park. And I still have the Led Zeppelin back-catalogue on vinyl, cassette and CD. And I still wear the t-shirt. And last year I saw Robert Plant twice.

If reading any of this makes sense, check out Southern Rock Opera. Here's a taster ...

Dropped acid, Blue Oyster Cult concert, fourteen years old,
And I thought them lasers were a spider chasing me.
On my way home, got pulled over in Rogersville Alabama, with a half-ounce of weed and a case of Sterling Big Mouth.
My buddy Gene was driving, he just barely turned sixteen.
And I'd like to say, "I'm sorry", but we lived to tell about it
And we lived to do a whole lot more crazy, stupid, shit.

And I never saw Lynyrd Skynyrd but I sure saw Molly Hatchet
With 38 Special and the Johnny Van Zant Band.

One night when I was seventeen, I drank a fifth of vodka, on an empty stomach, then drove over to a friend's house. And I backed my car between his parent's Cadillac's without a scratch.
Then crawled to the back door and slithered threw the key hole, and sneaked up the stares
And puked in the toilet.
I passed out and nearly drowned but his sister, DD, pulled me out.

And I never saw Lynyrd Skynyrd but I sure saw Molly Hatchet
And the band that I was in played "The Boy's are Back in Town".

Skynyrd was set to play Huntsville, Alabama, in the spring of 77, I had a ticket but it got cancelled.
So, the show, it was rescheduled for the "Street Survivors Tour".
And the rest, as they say, is history.

So I never saw Lynyrd Skynyrd but I sure saw Ozzy Osbourne with Randy Rhoads in 82
Right before that plane crash.
And I never saw Lynyrd Skynyrd but I sure saw AC/DC
With Bon Scott singing, "Let There Be Rock Tour".

With Bon Scott singing, LET THERE BE ROCK!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Picture (in black and white) the towl slowly hitting the canvas in 'Raging bull'. Today I heard the' Today programe' will be broadcasting from Glastonbury this year.

Imagine Edward Sturton on acid.

If only the today programme had gone to Glastonbury. Unfortunately Glastonbury has gone to the 'Today programme'.

Fellow reveller