Japan’s obsession with American culture has resulted in some delicious lager beers, a grip of Big League baseball players, an often hilarious take on English grammar and most importantly; high energy, good vibin’, devout Rock & Roll. For all Japan’s technological achievements, there’s no piece of equipment anywhere that can tell a singer exactly when to scream. That’s always right from his Wild Heart.
—You Make Me Real
For the most part, when given enough time, our Rock & Roll heroes tend to make some seriously garish life decisions and retroactively destroy the image we held of them as impossibly cool specters of an era defined by stylish rebellion. Rare is the aging Rocker who doesn’t dabble in reality TV, shameless product endorsement, radical politics, hairpieces, or prescription drug abuse. In 74 years, Ray Manzarek never made a lame move. He was a steady breeze of genuine soul-magic. Even when his lead singer was too flakily bombed to make it to the stage, Ray would try his damnedest to make it up to their audience by taking over vocal duties with a bang-on Jim Morrison impression all while playing the organ and producing a keyboard bassline. The world won’t see another Ray Manzarek. He came from a time and place where a man defined himself by his contribution to the universe. Ray gave us some of the best Rock & Roll ever made. We salute you, Brother.
New York is appalling, fantastically charmless and elaborately dire.
The upside to missing the boat is having the benefit of hindsight, and the ability to pick and choose which aspects of your musical predecessors you’d most like to emulate. In 1979, The Lords had barely skipped the punk explosion and missed the first wave of Rock & Roll by decades. This freed them up to mix the two seemlessy and create a new, gut-punching sound. A sound that was decidedly New York City. Here they howl to hell below about their love for the city where cool rules.
Bad break-ups, brushes with the law, overdoses, car wrecks, bar fights, snake bites, house fires and broken legs.
In the world of Rock & Roll we call them singing lessons.
Rock is King.
We’ve reached a new frontier in our dogged quest to bring you exceptional Rock & Roll from around the world; Wild Gold from Africa. They say Africa is where humanity began, and this gob of nihilistic sludge from the Serengeti fittingly professes a rather disenchanted “History of Man”. This is Africa. This is Amanaz.
—Gimme Some Lovin'
The original version by The Spencer Davis Group is certainly a favorite around here, but this lumbering take on “Gimme Some Lovin’” by America’s heavy handed Euclid, if played at full volume, could knock the earth out of orbit.
Wild Gold: Forever Young
Elvis Presley famously rocked from a fantasized jailhouse in the 1950’s, although he never actually spent any time behind bars. We’d like to think that if he had, this would be the result. Alvin Stardust hisses out this promiscuous toe-tapper to an audience that’s ripe for corruption.