Listen – Jorgen Ingmann and His Guitar – Apache – MP3
It’s the end of the week and I am, without a doubt, indisputably, one hundred and ten percent shit out of energy, inspiration, imagination, and ambition (which has been in chronically short supply my entire life, so nothing new there…).
Anyhoo, my obsessive compulsive nature wouldn’t let me just breeze through the end of the week without posting anything, so I dipped into the Iron Leg root cellar, pawed past the countless jars of pickled psychedelia, garage and sunshine pop, and grabbed something that looked both delicious and nourishing.
The song is the mighty ‘Apache’ and the artist is Jorgen Ingmann (and his guitar, natch).
I have no firm idea who I heard play this first, but I suspect it was decades ago on some Ventures album or other. Some time after that I ran into the excellent recording by the hugely influential (and barely known in the US) Shadows (Hank Marvin is GO!), then probably the flip by the Sugar Hill Gang, then (eventually) the hip hop sampling cornerstone by the Incredible Bongo Band, and then, finally, last but most certainly not least, the one you’re hearing today in all it’s scratchy, atmospheric glory by Jorgen Ingmann.
Odd as it may seem, especially considering that list of luminaries above, it was the mighty Dane (Ingmann that is) who had the biggest hit with the song here in the US, hitting the Top 40 in early 1961.
There’s no denying, that despite it’s obviously novelty-ish leanings (dig the tom toms and the swish-swish-swish arrow flying arrow sound effects) ‘Apache’ is a powerful, moody slice of instrumental music.
Weirdest of all, the tune was written by a British guitarist/pianist named Jerry Lordan and it was initially recorded by another (practically middle aged) guitarist named Bert Weedon, who, though virtually unknown in the US was a big influence on the whole rank of 1960s UK guitar heroes. It was Lordan who introduced the song to the Shadows, who went on to have a huge hit in England with the record.
Ingmann never matched his success in the US, but did eventually go on to win the Eurovision song contest (with his wife) in 1963.
I hope you dig the tune, and I’m going to go soak my head.