well, here we are boys and girls on the final
stretch of the underground garage au go-go rolling
rock’n’roll tour…getting back to my stomping grounds
in the beautiful south. we crossed the mason-dixon
line today after having played washington d.c. last
evening, now headed for charleston s.c.
of course, we insisted the zombies stop for dinner
at “south of the border” (for those of you that don’t
know, south of the border is an extremely kitschy
tourist trap. it features an entire fake mexican village, complete a with a trading post & questionable mexican cafes but with nary a real mexican in sight).
what a glorious world it is that would have the
woggles on tour with the zombies! thank god for little
it would be an extreme understatement to say
that this has been fun. four weeks of mornings spent
sitting across the breakfast table from rod argent and
colin blunstone. four weeks of watching the zombies
every show from the front row, and every night ending
with tossing back nightcaps with them in the pub. it’s
a tough gig, holding up the bar with a load of
englishmen. but i’m glad to report that the woggles
have lived up to the challenge and when it comes to
carousing, the americans are still very much in the
every day is spent listening to them tell more stories from rock history 101 than i could ever hope to remember. they’re more than happy to talk about the old days, and they have patiently endured an endless
stream of questions from us about everything from the
inner workings and inspiration for their gem-like songs, to their swingin’sixties’ collegues, friends (and relatives) in other british beat groups, to how they view themselves in the vast history of pop music. for a lifelong zombies fan, this is heaven. i could die happy tommorrow.
i would be remiss if i neglected to mention that
their current bassist is jim rodford, a devil of a man
whose very blood flows with the essence of british
rock. along with being rod’s cousin, he was also a
founding member of argent. he also did twenty years
with the kinks, too, as well as playing with the
animals and the mike cotton sound.
this has been more like a touring circus than anything else. the two psychedelic-painted tour buses roll into town like rommel’s tanks, leaving the townspeople gaping slack-jawed in their diesel wake. the crew descends on the club like a S.W.A.T. team, all combat boots, clipboards and walkie-talkies. the larger venues know what to expect, but the smaller clubs never know what hit them. stage decorations go up, tents are erected, lighting trusses go up, curtains are hung, and the stage is augmented in some cases.
as you might expect, rolling rock is made plentiful.
in this circus metaphor, the local/regional openers
are like the circus clowns, warming up the audience
for the show to follow. but the true underlying
meaning of this extraveganza is best represented in
the major attraction of the she-devil glamazon buxotic
bombshell go-go girls… seeing them shake it night
after night, tirelessly and with a ferocious intensity
is a reminder to all of us as to what this show is all
about: free your ass and your mind will follow…
the woggles’ job in this circus is like the man that
gets shot out of the cannon. we draw the first blood,
and it is us that gives the audience their first real
whiff of danger. but we are only a harbinger of the
vicarious thrills to follow.
the mooney suzuki are up next, they are the fine
performing animals in this circus. they’re well taken
care of, but they’re only let out of their cage for a
few minutes every day, and they make the most of it.
they preen & strut as they perform amazing feats,
giving fierce growls at the audience as they jump
through the flaming hoops.
but then it’s time for the zombies. they are most
like the circus acrobats, in that they are probably
the only ones here with the rare kind of talent that
is handed down from mt. olympus. their incredibly
gorgeous harmonies and colin’s soaring vocal melodies
cut to the quick, cleaning our ears of all of the
evening’s fuzz-tone guitars and caveman screaming.
they maintain a tightly controlled dynamic throughout,
snakey rhythms and jazzy chord clusters here and
there, and baroque musical touches added almost as if
by brushstroke…and those incredible songs! truly the
music of the gods.
does it really have to end in only a few more days?