Why wouldn’t Lucy and Ricky spring for Beatle boots?
Messrs Martin, Arnaz and Hinsche
Listen/Download – Dino, Desi and Billy – The Rebel Kind
I hope the new week finds you all well.
Despite all non-meteorological travails, I’ve been marveling at the bizarre winter we’ve been having here in the northeast.
Not only hasn’t it snowed (flurries aside) but it hasn’t really been that cold. I remember putting on my gloves and earmuffs one week, and it was during November.
I shouldn’t complain, since I could be pushing the old snowblower up and down the driveway, but the primitive in me sees weather like this as a prelude to disaster, as in “Oh, sure it’s been unseasonably warm, but you should expect six feet of snow this week.”
Either way, as long as the internet stays up, I can keep hammering away at the keyboard and bringing you all manner of musical wonderfulness.
Speaking of, I’m here to tell you that I waited too long to get on the Dino, Desi and Billy train, but now that I’m on it I’m alternating between marveling at the new “discovery” and diving out the window.
Sure, I’d heard ‘I’m a Fool’ before, which hit the Top 40 in the summer of 1965, and it never really grabbed me.
However, 60s pop whore that I am, when I happened upon a copy of their first album I couldn’t very well pass it up, so I didn’t.
I get it home, and the first thing I notice is that the whole thing was produced (and some of it written) by none other than Lee Hazelwood*.
I really had no idea.
So, I give the record a spin or two, and I realized a couple of things.
First, Dino, desi and Billy, had they not been the spawn of celebrities would have been assaulting each other’s eardrums in a basement somewhere, instead of hitting the charts.
It would not be inaccurate to say that their singing sometimes descends into off-key caterwauling, and I would be both stunned and amazed were I to discover that there was a note on this record that hadn’t been played by LA session heavies.
That said, if a record like ‘The Rebel Kind’ had been recorded by a bunch of corn-fed, knuckle-dragging junior high schoolers and pressed in a quantity of 100, it would be revered today as a prime example of ‘primitive’ rural skronk by bowl-cutted record hoarders the world over.
It’s not hard to imagine that somewhere, some kids heard this record and had their wigs flipped (in the “Holy shit, I can do this!” way).
No matter how often Dino, Desi and Billy step out of line and lose they key (it sounds like Big Dino gave them 45 minutes of studio time for the vocals and not a second more), the fuzz guitar and stomping drums always manage to keep them afloat, and there’s something to be said for the 13-year-old je ne sais quois hovering over the whole deal.
There are times when DD&B sound like something cooked up by a 50 year old cigar chomping exec as an example of “what the kids are listening to”, but there are at least as many times when they actually are.
I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times when I think I can hear Hazelwood rolling his eyes in the background (yet I imagine he cashed the check anyway), but despite that fact I keep coming back to this song (and a couple of others on the album).
I hope you dig it, and I’ll see you all next week.
*And Jack Nitzsche!