Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dos and Dudes of Diamond Days

With, perhaps, a tip of the flat cap to WAT, I've been working on a multi-disc compilation of favorite and sometimes weird Beatles covers. It's up to five discs already with no end in sight. There is little (though three to four) of the usual I Am Sam obvious ones, but more obscure stuff like Spooky Tooth's take of I Am the Walrus, Mrs. Miller's rockin' version of Hard Day's Night, Aretha Franklin singing Eleanor Rigby in the first persion, Ike and Tina Turner's very sexy Come Together, and an unexpectedly strong version of Yesterday by David Essex.

David Essex and Rock On. Okay, I want a show of hands of how many even remember him. In my youth, there was nothing slicker and sexier than this fellow. From 1973 to 1975, I was obsessed with David Essex, and replaced all the Mark Spitz posters in my room with homages to David. (The only thing that got me anywhere near as excited was Murray Head in Sunday, Bloody, Sunday.) And back then you could plop into just about any stylist's chair (Barber? Puh-leeze) and say "Give me an Essex" and you'd need explain no more. It was quite a bit after the mop top, just before the shag and a time when boy toys were gloriously androgynous and not yet fully glittery or swishing to full tilt disco. Amazingly, this weekend, Bryce Digdug told me he wasn't sure if he remembered Mr. Essex. Oh, Bryce, did you sleep through the Watergate era? Ah, but back in the day... Nixon was falling, Jane was back from Hanoi and braless and the recession, maxi-skirts, male chest hair, layaway, that new big box store Target and the Gran Torino were playing in Cinemascope. Oddly, what goes around comes around once more. Rock on...and where do we go from here...

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At 1:37 AM, Blogger WAT said...

OOOOOOOOOO! I had never heard of David Essex! My God! Such charisma! And kinda hot too I must say!

Okay, Mrs. Miller singing The Beatles is quite hilarious. I personally think TRAVIS' cover of LOVELY RITA is one of the best damn Beatles re-workings I think I have ever heard.

At 7:49 AM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

WAT - Glad I introduced you to the charms of Mr. Essex. The bass line and those pauses in "Rock On" are classic.

Yep, Mrs. Miller was a treasure. I agree on Travis and will add that to my play list. Worst cover I think I ever saw was Peggy Lee doing "Bang, Bang Maxwell's Silver Hammer". No, even worse was Streisand doing "A Little Help from My Friends". Heaven help her!

At 7:11 PM, Blogger Bryce Digdug said...

HOw bout the Four Preps version of "Lady Madonna"? I do remember the David Essex song now. He is sexy.

At 7:27 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Bryce - What the Four Preps didn't write "Lady Madonna"?


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