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Tag Archives: nrbqAudio
Carole Bayer Sager and other topics…Quote Highlight: “No one can do our material exactly the way it’s supposed to be until they see us and talk to us. We give them the approval and then we let them go.”
We got the sad news about the passing of Tommy Ardolino yesterday morning. The NRBQ drummer was a perpetual wonder, the hard-hitting bottom of a rhythmically sophisticated band that made complex maneuvers – combining swing’s glide with rock ‘n’ roll’s thwap – seem as easy as pie. Moon Pie, too be exact. My Facebook comment was something like “he was determined to bring pleasure to every gig.” There’s no question about that.
The beloved outfit has been adrift for a while. A health crisis hiatus turned into a dangerous fissure and then into an insurmountable crack from what I hear. Joey lives on the Cape and plays strong music with Johnny under the name the Spampinato Brothers. Al, who left long ago, lives in Nashville, writes hits for chart dudes and shows up for occasional reunion fests in Western Mass. Terry has won a fight with cancer and has recently morphed his well regarded Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet into NRBQ – a gutsy move, and quite a legend to live up to, of course; the Q is one of the most revered rock groups around, so no wonder lots of people have their eyebrows raised about the nomenclature thing. There was a big story on the transition in the Boston Globe, and Adams was cast as a guy defending a controversial decision. On the newish Keep This Love Goin’ (Clang!) the band drives through a bunch of songs that are cut from the classique Q template. They’re jumping and fun, odd and entertaining. They tip the hat to zydeco kingpin Boozoo Chavis and raid Tin Pan Alley for “Gone With The Wind.”
Opinions differ as to whether the music is in the same ballpark as the group’s best work. One thing’s for sure: Adams is a charismatic bandleader who turns the stage into a hotbed of grooves. Jazz here, rockabilly there, pop all over the place. He knows a mess of tunes, and is a sage filter when it comes to connecting the dots. His new associates are an energetic lot. New Yorkers can sample the stuff for themselves at Iridium on Tuesday, 17 and Wednesday, 18. The group comes complete with the Whole Wheat Horns, this time around master trombonist Art Baron and wily tenor saxophonist Klem Klimek blending together. Wouldjaifyoucould? That’s good.
It always happens before the real gig…
Two in One’s polish, and 3-In-1’s oil.
Shirley: Tell me more about “I Got A Rocket in My Pocket.”
Terry: OK. I was in the backyard and my dad was washing the car in the front yard, and the sound either came over the roof of the house or around the sides (laughs), but it got to me, and I ran from the backyard up to where Dad had the car radio on, washing the car with the radio on. Back then you could have the car radio on without the ignition key. And he always listened to WTMT, which was country music and all I heard was, “I got a rocket in my pocket and the fuse is lit.”
And I wanted to hear that song again but it never happened. I made the mistake of trying to find it on the rock and roll stations, because it was obviously rock and roll, but I found out later they were only playing it on the country stations because of who it was, which I’ll get to later, but I spent a lot of energy and time trying to track down what that record was. And so that must have been 1958, I’m guessing.
I couldn’t find it. I asked everybody I knew. “You ever heard this record? ‘I got a rocket in my pocket and the fuse is lit…’” And no one knew.
I finally got up to New York City in 1967, and I started going down to Village Oldies and I asked these guys, Bleecker Bob and Broadway Al, two record experts, “Who did that record?” Neither of them knew. Nobody knew what it was and I just kept on looking for it, you know?
So I guess, I’m going to say in 1974, I decided to pick up the search again, when I was visiting Louisville, and I was in a record shop called King’s Records, which was actually run by Pee Wee King’s brother. Pee Wee King is a Louisville musician, on RCA Victor. I talked Tom Staley into singing one of his tunes, “Slowpoke,” on one of our home tapes, as a matter of fact.
Anyway, I decided to ask Gene King because he knew a lot about music. I was spending some time there, and I just asked him. I didn’t know why I had decided to ask him, [inaudible] he’d tell me. He said, “Oh, that was by a guy named Jimmy Lloyd, but his real name is Jimmy Logsdon.” Well, I knew who Jimmy Logsdon was. He was a country singer, musician in Louisville, a local guy.
So now I know who did it, what label it’s on… He didn’t have it, by the way.
So I started searching the auction lists and finally found it in… what at the time, I don’t know what that would be, back in 1974, Goldmine or something. It came up on auction, there it was. “I Got A Rocket in My Pocket” by Jimmy Lloyd.
And I kept track, in my mind, of how much I’d bid and all that, kept going up in increments, 50 cents, $1, because I couldn’t miss it. And I bid $28.53 on it. It doesn’t sound like a lot maybe today but in 1974 that was a lot of money to pay for a 45, to me.
I got it. I won the auction. As soon as I heard it, it was just what I thought it was. I talked Joey into singing it and we recorded it in 1975, and it eventually got released on All Hopped Up.
Now that gets to the thing about this story that I really like. I searched worldwide for something that was in Louisville in the first place, and Jimmy Logsdon lived about a mile and a half from my house the whole time. So how many times was I in town, and I didn’t know it was him. (Terry begins to sing “Back In Your Own Backyard”)
And what about this intro section?
Did the boys ever do Mr Acker Bilk’s “Stranger On The Shore”? Can’t remember…