The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Singles Going Steady #1


Ivan - Real Wild Child b/w Oh You Beautiful Doll
(Coral 9-62017; 1958)


"Ivan" was in fact a nom de tune for the Crickets' Jerry Allison (his middle name) and this single was issued in August, 1958 as a rock and roll novelty, with very few hints in its publicity that he was also Buddy Holly's drummer. Allison first heard the song when the Crickets were touring Australia, recorded by Down Under singing star Johnny O'Keefe, and when Coral agreed to let Holly produce this version, Allison decided he "was going to try and sing it like James Cagney, but that didn't work." As for the B-side, it sounds like Allison was channeling the 13th Floor Elevators' electric jug sound nearly a decade early.

The single was recorded in the summer of 1958 in Clovis with Holly and the Crickets (including bassist Joe Mauldin), Bo Clarke on drums and singing group The Roses on backing vocals. Producer Norman Petty plays wine glasses on the flip. Enjoy!

And if anyone has a copy of Ivan's lone follow-up single, Frankie Frankenstein, please let me know.

9 comments :

little billy sunshine said...

delightfully odd.

R.H. said...

Johnny O'Keefe, good heavens! He tried out in America and turned out a dud, then got into some trouble and was arrested. "You can't do this," he said, "I'm a famous rock and roll singer from Australia." And he was, but they'd never heard of him, and they'd never heard of Australia, so they locked him -in the loony bin. How unfortunate.

swac said...

I just read O'Keefe's bio on Wikipedia, it makes Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story look like a documentary.

R.H. said...

He was a dynamo. But wouldn't retire, as rock changed direction.
There's a musical called 'Shout' based on his troubles. I saw an amateur performance at a suburban hall: $29.00 a seat, and saw later a professional job at the venerable city Arts Centre: $130.00 a seat. The amateur show was about ten times better.

swac said...

I bet it'd make a great musical, he sounded like quite the character. I've sampled a few of his tracks via YouTube, there don't seem to be many clips which capture the intensity of his backing band the Dee Jays, who were supposed to be an intense r'n'r combo.

R.H. said...

I reckon they were out-intensified.

R.H. said...

The funny thing is he was nothing to look at; head like a potato someone said. It was all intensity. Which is something to think about.

swac said...

Whoa...looks like I was two intense.

R.H. said...

What? Shelve that North America humour, we don't understand it (but laugh when prompted).