Saturday, November 8, 2008

Faves: Everybody's Rockin'

I've got a soft spot for both Neil Young and Rockabilly.  So his 1983 Rockabilly album Everybody's Rockin' was a favorite from day one.

Rockabilly is the forgotten genre of American music.  Its an article of faith that Elvis' success came from re-packaging "colored" music for white audiences.  I've never agreed, because Elvis was Rockabilly through and through from the beginning.  His earliest and best records were made in Sam Phillips' Sun Records studios, the capitol of Rockabilly.  The same place that a young Johnny Cash was also making Rockabilly records before he went Country.

Neil Young captured the weird undercurrents in Rockabilly on Everybody's Rockin'.  You can see in Rockabilly the precursors of Las Vegas, Liberace, and over-the-top elements of white working class culture.  Fins, pompadours, leather jackets, motorcycles, electric guitars.  See exhibit A below:

    Gene Vincent and his Blue Caps in the studio, mid '50s.  These guys are intense.

Neil Young has been the most consistently inconsistent musician out there.  Going his own way has often left his fans behind.  Its been a struggle for relevance. I sympathize.  Getting people to pay attention has been a struggle in my various creative endevours.

Anyway, a Rockabilly album was natural for Young, and he delivered.  He made a bizarre and funny video for the single Wonderin'.  The only version online is this poor quality one, but its a little better than nothing.