Aug 152008

NOT slapback friendly

Can you imagine a Rockabilly band performing songs with emotionally rich lyrics and positive references to a bitchin’ Smart Car? Ain’t gonna happen! You smartypants types may be itching to point to a Rockabilly-influenced tune by some enlightened cat like Steve Earle, but the Rockabilly judges would not deem his routine worthy of their scoring system. Here’s an example of a Rockabilly-based performance that, because of its originality, comes nowhere close to competing in Lillehammer.

That cat’s better fit for the RoXabilly Games in San Diego. The following Rockabilly revivalists are much more attunded to what the judges will be assessing.

There’s a fun story about Dave Edmunds, a true Olympic musician, playing with one of his idols, Carl Perkins. Edmunds was leading the band that would be backing Perkins, and when they first ran through “Blue Suede Shoes” Edmunds stopped the band and told Perkins that he played the solo wrong. Perkins was perplexed. Edmunds explained to the Master that he was playing Scotty Moore’s solo from Elvis’ version of the song rather than Perkins’ own, original solo. Now that’s the power of Olympic Rock.


  5 Responses to “Olympic Rock”

  1. The rockabilly/Olympics parallel works well because all those band requirements can be considered the “compulsories” like you find in judged Olympic sports. At a minimum you must be able to successfully perform the compulsories within the confines of how those moves have been defined.

    Also, Rockabilly typically has a high degree of difficulty as far as guitar playing. Hot Rod Lincoln is hard to play! Your not going to have too many Olympian garage bands because the degree of difficulty is too low.

    You’ll never hear an Olympian jazz fusion guy. Clearly examples of guys who have given up amateur status and “gone pro.”

  2. hrrundivbakshi

    Mod, that was a post of Olympian humor! 10 points!

    I think all the revivalist-du-jour bands that pop up as soon as a certain historical genre becomes *just* cool enough to be rehashed (Mr. Dog, or whatever your band’s name is, I’m looking at you) are the musical equivalent of Olympic exhibition sports. So, you see, there *is* a line connecting The Polyphonic Spree and bowling.

  3. alexmagic

    So the standup bass is kinda like the luge or the skeleton?

  4. And two guitar leads in harmony are like synchronized diving?

  5. Mr. Moderator

    Yes, Cherguevara! The Allman Brothers, Hunter and Wagner on Rock ‘n Roll Animal, the harmony leads on “The Boys Are Back in Town”…cue those 5 rings and the Olympic theme music. Raise the appropriate national flags.

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