Okay, the photo below still fascinates me. As mentioned in the previous blog post, I was at the party where this picture was taken more than 35 years ago. However, beyond my Popeye comic and Silly Putty I can't really remember a lot about it.
Let's don our Sherlock Holmes deerstalker caps and try to do deduce as much as we can from this photo.
First off, either they've got ugly wallpaper or the inner wall of the basement has been dismantled - leaving the old newspapers used for insulation when the house was built exposed to sight. Hmmm it's the early 70s so let's go for ugly wallpaper.
Part of what confuses me is the make-up of these four gents. This was back in the day when there were two kinds of people - hip and square. The two guys on the sides are obviously in the hip camp. They're wearing groovy paisley tops - the kind which were relocated from the women's section to the men's department in fall of 1971 at the local Beamish department store. The dude on the right is also playing a cool white Vox Phantom-style guitar which would normally get use playing psychedelic pop or some gritty early Stones tunes.
Contrast that with the other two. The fellow on drums looks like the deputy sheriff from some backwater county in Georgia. Finally, the front-man playing the hollow-body electric guitar looks far short of hippness due to his lack of hair and plain brown shirt. Yep those two are square.
What's even more baffling is the fact that Mr Paisley Blouse is playing the sax. The saxophone was considered decidedly old-school by most bands at this time, which is why there are no sax solos on the first Black Sabbath record.
So what the heck kind of music would these guys have been playing when this photo was taken?
One thing we can tell is that the tune is in F, because both guitarists seem to be strangling their guitar necks to make that F chord.
The guy up front looks decidedly country - but the sax doesn't really work on a country tune. Jazz ? A slim possibility but the instrumentation still seems off. A Herb Alpert tune? mmmmm Spanish Flea seems a little improbable.
The one thing all those guys would have had in common is rockabilly. Two guitarists, a drummer and a sax can really do justice to an early rock and roll number. In my mind now when I see this photo, I think of them playing something by my favorite early rocker Eddie Cochrane. Maybe even C'mon Everybody. It won't let me embed the movie but here's the link.
For those who are interested. You can follow the following links to see the same song played by:
U2, Led Zeppelin, Sid Vicious, Humble Pie and of course The Stray Cats. Eddie's stuff is great and his music has been covered consistently by major artists. If he hadn't left us so early he would have easily been as legendary as Elvis.