This article was published in Australian Musician Magazine in 2009.
If you’ve ever seen the movie “the girl can’t help it” you would know how great and kooky rock’n’roll can look on screen. Director Frank Tashlin came from Bugs Bunny cartoons to movies and brought all that slapstick, broad comedy with him. The opening scenes see the impossibly pneumatic Jayne Mansfield walk down the street , creating mayhem wherever she goes. A man delivering ice leaves his gloved hands on a large block as he ogles her and we see the ice melt comically as she glides by. A milkman has all the bottle tops in the crate he is holding pop at the sight of her.
There is a slim story to the movie but it basically allows us to the some of the great rock n roll acts of that era perform in studio lit situations, filmed in fully saturated wide screen Technicolor. Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps, Little Richard and the Upsetters,the Platters, Eddie Cochrane and the genre transcending Julie London.
Its one of the rare instances when Hollywood and popular music gelled and got it all right. It had the poise and the energy and the smarts and the dumbness. The flash. They complimented each other. There haven’t been many other such felicitous meetings. For the most part, in the era of rock n roll modernity, Hollywood was hopelessly behind the times. Well, music was actually moving along at quite a pace and a giant mob audience was going with the flow as well. Since the waves broke on the shore and the island dwellers have gathered on the beach , looking wistfully “back to the day” there have been a few great movies like “dazed and confused” where they got the tone right, but hindsight can always be perfect. Ever since that its been the art directors field and it gets awful boring to see things done so correctly. At least in “dazed and confused” they got the haircuts of 1976 right. That is to say, no young males actually had haircuts. it was all grown out in whatever awkward way the hair went . Kind of short and kind of long and all kinky and daft. The soundtrack to “dazed and confused” was perfect too. Am radio Hits and album tracks of the time. Impossibly right stuff like Foghat and Gary Wrights “dreamweaver”. A film that right about that era will never be made again. From now on, whoever has an idea to visit that p[lanet will be studying “That 70s show” it it will be all Ashton Kutchered.
My other favourite music films would be “Cadillac Records”, “Hustle and Flow” from 2005 , “Ray” , “Spinal Tap” “Wattstax” and the hilarious “walk hard - the Dewey Cox story” which is really a spoof on music bio pictures.
ps - nb- my fave bio pics would be the interminable “John Denver story” and the quite silly “Linda mccartney story” as well as "John and Yoko- a love story”. "The Liberace story", which stars Edward G Robinsons son,( one of the villains in the first Dirty Harry flick), is also great. In a bio flick first , Lee ( Liberace) appears from beyond the clouds at the end and hopes we enjoyed the film.
- dave graney
- WORKSHY - 2017 memoir out on Affirm Press. Let's get Tight - 2017 CD with Clare Moore. Moodists - Coral Snakes - mistLY. I don’t know what I am and don’t want to know any more than I already know. I aspire, in my music , to 40s B Movie (voice and presence) and wish I could play guitar like Charlie Christian or Grant Green -but not in this lifetime, I know.
2014 solo album from Dave Graney. *****"If I've learnt anything in my years of writing about music it's that if you are going to do anything of worth in this tough game, you better have your own thing. Today's generic is easily replaced by tomorrow's. And yet you need to be flexible, to follow wherever the songs demand. In the case of this, only the second credited as a solo album among 30 or so Graney releases, it's a curious yet welcoming lane he walks you down, with acoustic guitars, not much percussion, vibes, smooth sounds. At the end of it you feel like you've awoken from a strange yet pleasant summer's dream. As shot by Luis Bunuel. It ranges from off-kilter reveries (A Woman Skinnies Up a Man, The Old Docklands Wheel) through to the softly seductive (How Can You Get Out of London) and the downright arch (Look Into My Shades, Everything Is Great In The Beginning.) This is music that is neither folk, nor blues, nor country, but it's all Graney, somewhere out to the left field beyond Lee Hazlewood's raised eyebrow. It's astringent on the tongue but sweetens in the telling." Noel Mengel Brisbane Courier Mail
you've been in my mind
June 2012 super high energy pop rock album - blazing electric 12 strings - total 70s rock drive. Greatest yet! available via paypal - $20 pp
SUPERMODIFIED - August 2010 remixed/re-sung/re-strung//remastered/replayed comp via PAYPAL
also available as a digital album
Knock yourself (2009)-first ever dg solo set-filthy electro r&b-available via Paypal- $20
available as a digital album too
We Wuz Curious (2008)-blazing R&B jazz pop album available via paypal-$20
UNAVAILABLE-COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!!!
AVAILABLE AS A DIGITAL album
Hashish and Liquor (2005 double disc by Dave Graney and Clare Moore) available via Paypal $25
UNAVAILABLE-COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!!!
Single album HASHISH available as a digital release