THE GUEST SERIES FROM JONNY THE FRIENDLY LAWYER
Jonny has come back with another batch of Charged Particles, and as I cut’n’paste from his e-mail I also want to share with you some other exciting news from him:-
“Happy Summer, JC! Things are rocking along over here. I am excited to say I will be recording with the Aces in a few weeks’ time. I only ever recorded once and that was back in 1987! Very psyched to get into a proper studio (first time out was just two takes per song in a converted brownstone in Brooklyn — we recorded live in the living room with the mixing board in the kitchen.) This will also be the first time I get to record backing vocals. I’ll email again when it happens – hoping it’s as fun as I anticipate.”
As I said before when news came that JTFL was, in his early-50s, getting a chance to be part of a touring and recording country band…..WOW!!!!
Here’s his latest very fine contribution to this little corner of the internet.
Charged Particles #2 featured a pair of tracks by Elvis Costello, who I described as “everyone’s favorite wordy old uncle.” Today’s set features a couple from his cantankerous older brother, Graham Parker.
Protection. From Parker’s best LP, 1979’s ‘Squeezing Out Sparks’. Featuring the classic Rumour lineup: Schwarz, Belmont, Bodnar, Andrews and Goulding.
Stupefaction. From ‘Sparks’ follow up 1980’s ‘The Up Escalator’. All of the Rumour save Andrews featured again. This time out keyboard duties were handled by ivory legend Nicky Hopkins and The E Street Band’s Danny Federici. (The Boss himself turned up for background vocals on ‘Endless Night’.)
It’s a toss up between ‘Local Girls’ and ‘Stupefaction’ as my favorite GP song. What’s amazing to me is how the thoroughly English Parker managed to capture the mood of Los Angeles in the latter song. Or at least I always understood him to mean LA. Surely the lines about driving on Sunset (Blvd.), “the bodies so revealing,” and the “cameras without action” are all references to Hollywood? In any event, while Parker was arguably operating near the level of Costello at the time (EC’s ’79 and ’80 releases were the spectacular ‘Armed Forces’ and ‘Get Happy’) I think he peaked with ‘Escalator’. His subsequent albums without the Rumour never really did it for me.