Happiness Stan, I’m counting on you and your eccentric countrymen to explain the origin of this video. Is this part of a larger promotional film covering the entire Boulders album, by any chance? Please tell me it is. Thank you.
In this week’s edition of Saturday Night Shut-In a road-weary Mr. Moderator finds that extra gear and ends up taking the show into overtime. If only he can keep his audience hanging in for 7 minutes beginning around the 11:25 mark…
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Sid and Marty Krofft couldn’t dream up this performance! We’ve got our share of Move and Roy Wood fans around here, myself included, but can anyone explain Wizzard? Must one be English to get what Wood was up to by this point? I don’t know if there’s any artist I love whose work past a certain point I love less than Roy Wood’s Wizzard recordings. Please explain. Show me the light, if even a faint glimmer.
Townspeople, I just came across this abbreviated, super-charged version of The Move‘s “Hello Susie,” by a band I’d long heard of but never heard, Amen Corner, led by a musician I’d long heard of and knew of as a sort of Oliver, I believe, for big British bands in the ’70s but never heard play on his own, Andy Fairweather Low.
Hearing this version of “Hello Susie” for the first time was pretty exciting, primarily for the fact that Bev Bevan is not paradiddling all over the tune. As loyal as I am to The Move (and as tolerant as I am of their excesses), Bevan’s sloppy, sludgey style sometimes aggravates me. Amen Corner’s arrangement gets to the chugging, cascading heart of the song and doesn’t overdo it. Ultimately it makes for a “lighter” approach in scope as well as the song’s inherent ability to celebrate The Power and Glory of Rock, but tonight I was intrigued and wanted to hear more.
As many of you know, I’m a big fan of Roy Wood, in particular his work with The Move and his solo album Boulders. However, once he crossed the line into ridiculous, futuristic-retro glam with Wizzard, I have trouble keeping up with the guy. First of all, his recordings sound worse than ever. I’m no audiophile, and I’ve always found something charming about the overloaded sound of The Move records and the claustrophobic Boulders, but Wizzard simply sounds terrible – and not in a good way.
More troubling is the progression of Wood’s Look and what it says about his interest in communicating with humans on any level. As seen in this 1972 ELO video, the guy was pushing it a few years before Wizzard and his Mustard solo album. It’s one thing to be “eccentric,” quite another to announce to the world that you do not intend to ever be taken seriously, not even in a joking way.
Anyhow, I’ve rarely found interviews with Wood, and my attempts at reaching him myself have not been fruitful. I’m all for rock’s outsiders, wildmen, and such, but someone needs to put a little scrutiny on Roy Wood, someone needs to ask him one question:
“Christmas spirit” means different things in different cultures. In England, people still dig Roy Wood‘s Christmas hit, “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday.” Although the song made no splash in the US, it’s still so beloved in the UK that to coincide with the holiday, Pringles has chosen Wood to serve as its “Jingles for Pringles Ambassador.”
Like teaching a curveball to a young boy whose arm has not yet matured – or starting that same preteen boy on a heavy course of weightlifting – are there bands or albums that can be harmful to a young person’s musical development if exposed at too young an age?
This came up in a recent discussion with Townsman Andyr. I was telling him about our preadolescent boy getting into ELO‘s “Do Ya” and “Living Thing” and asking me to play him more of their music. When I told Andyr that my son asked me if “Do Ya” was the first heavy metal song, Andyr said, “Did you use this as an opportunity to open a discussion with him on The Move vs ELO?” My old friend knows me too well. Of course I did, and I made a mental note to play him the original “Do Ya” in the coming days!
Then Andyr asked me if I was going to turn him onto Roy Wood‘s Boulders. “No,” was my immediate reply, “he’s too young for that one.” That’s when Andyr brought up the curveball analogy. Having my boy jump ahead to a premature appreciation for Boulders (longshot that it might be) could mess up his musical development. It’s not that the material is “inappropriate,” in some prudish sense, but possibly loving it before working his way through the fundamentals of that strain of British pop music might give him a skewed idea of rock ‘n roll. He might blow out a forearm muscle and never learn to properly play power chords. You know what I mean?
I once had a similar feeling as a flea market, when a 12-year-old boy wanted to buy a used copy of John Cale‘s Slow Dazzle from a bin I was manning. Beside the fact that I didn’t want this boy leaving with a copy of an album I felt sucked and didn’t deserve to ever be resold (even if it was my own dreaded copy I was looking to move), I was worried that his possibly liking that album without first liking a great John Cale album might hinder his ability to ever discern good from bad Cale albums.
To those of you who’ve been entrusted with the musical development of young people, have you ever faced such a dilemma? I look forward to your sharing.