The thing I love about rockabilly is the way it requires no explanation as to how it relates directly to the roots of rock'n'roll. No research, leaps of faith or imagination required. It is the ultimate naked, primitive, savage musical style.The thing I love about rockabilly is the way it requires no explanation as to how it relates directly to the roots of rock'n'roll. No research, leaps of faith or imagination required. It is the ultimate naked, primitive, savage musical style.
It's true whether it's Long Island, N.Y. (the Stray Cats), London (Dave Edmunds and Rockpile), Los Angeles (the Blasters), CBGB's Robert Gordon or the purveyors of our coolest song in the world this week, the Living End from Melbourne, Australia.
The rockabilly revival began simultaneously with the punk movement with Gordon, and then the Stray Cats (Edmunds was even earlier). But it would be the original rockabilly cats who would most influence punk, from the jeans, leather and animal print fashion to the deceptively simple song structure and minimal orchestration.
The Living End's fourth record, "State of Emergency," wanders into some new territory, but you know somewhere inside Scott Owen's stand-up double bass is Bill Black; looking over drummer Andy Strachan's shoulder is DJ Fontana; and guitarist Chris Cheney crosses himself and whispers a prayer to St. Scotty Moore before every solo.
I saw the band live a few years ago and it definitely had the defiant, liberated spirit of Johnny Burnette, Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran. The band needs to get here more often.
The Living End comes courtesy of Adeline Records, the record label Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong started with his wife, Adrienne, and skateboarder Jim Thiebaud. They've also signed former D Generation lead singer Jesse Malin, the Frustrators, the Soviettes and, you got to love the name, Pinhead Gunpowder.
See you on the radio.
COOLEST GARAGE SONGS
1. "Long Live the Weekend," the Living End
2. "Drive My Car/The Word/What You're Doing," the Beatles
3. "POD," Tenacious D
4. "Favorite Son," Green Day
5. "So Romantic," the Charms
6. "Dance Like a Monkey," New York Dolls
7. "Ridin' the Hook," Spongebob & the Hi-Seas
8. "Wreck This Heart," Bob Seger
9. "Stranger in the House," the Paybacks
10. "Wanna," the Stabilisers
COOLEST GARAGE ALBUMS
1. "Pick of Destiny," Tenacious D
2. "Last Man Standing," Jerry Lee Lewis
3. "Shine On," Jet
4. "Broken Boy Soldiers," the Raconteurs"
5. "One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This," New York Dolls
6. "Rockford," Cheap Trick
7. "Riot City Blues," Primal Scream
8. "Sinner," Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
9. "The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker & the Let's Go Out Tonites," Butch Walker & the Let's Go Out Tonites
10. "Astoria," the Shys