J.J. Light aka ‘Rocky’
If you have been coming around Iron Leg for a while, or you know me in the real world, you already know that I am a huge, lifelong fan of Doug Sahm and the Sir Douglas Quintet.
Their music is a cornerstone of my listening, and I was lucky enough to see them live, meet Sir Doug and even hoist a beer and share some conversation with him back in the day.
Way back in the 80s (I think) Mercury did a CD comp of the Doug and he SDQ’s Smash/Mercury stuff, and one of my favorite songs on the disc was a tune called ‘Michaocan’.
Flash forward about two decades and I find today’s 45 and grab it instantly, assuming that it was an SDQ joint.
So, I get it home and the version of the song is clearly different that the one on the comp, and the singer doesn’t sound like Mr Sahm. I found this especially puzzling since the 45 says that the song comes from the soundtrack to ‘Cisco Pike’, a great movie in which Sir Doug appears.
So, off to the interwebs I go, trying to track down some more info, and what do I find but an interview with Kim Fowley (producer of the track) at the WFMU Rock and Soul Ichiban blog (all roads lead back to WFMU) where it is revealed that ‘Rocky’ is in fact one-time SDQ member JJ Light (I had originally thought it might have been longtime Sahm sideman, horn player Eraclio ‘Rocky’ Morales).
Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if the rest of the SDQ appears on the 45, but it doesn’t seem that anyone out there has ever gone into that much detail on the track.
As it stands, ‘Michoacan’ is a happy, grooving piece of Tex/Mex rock and roll, chugging full steam ahead with that Augie Meyers style organ, pumping bass and guitar and a great melody.
Light recorded a bunch of stuff under his own name, but I am not familiar with it (though it comes highly recommended).
I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll see you all next week.