TO ASTONISH AMERICA
WITH THEIR EVER-DESTRUCTIBLE
“THE MEMPHIS GOONS ARE THIS FANTASTIC AMERICAN ROCK ‘N’ ROLL STORY.” --Thurston Moore, guitarist for Sonic Youth
Media maven The Memphis Goons share a lifetime of hard-earned rockin’ noise experience and reveal the secrets to being youthful, spiritual, healthy and absolutely beautiful—both inside and out—as they embrace their senior years.
About the Band
The Memphis Goons came of age 10 years after the American garage-rock phenomenon and 20 years before grunge. Recording between 1968 and 1974, The Memphis Goons were largely ignored by their fellow Memphis musicians, and likewise The Goons ignored their neighborly influences of the time—Elvis, Al Green, Alex Chilton. They were indeed a clump of crabgrass sprouting in America’s rich musical soil.
"We want more!" begged the Swiss at the Boogie Woogie and Ragtime Piano Contest of November 27, 1977. And indeed, they got more – a veritable bargain of interpretive dexterity as James Carroll Booker III, the self-dubbed "Piano Prince of New Orleans," let what seemed like 88 fingers fly across the 88's.
Abba believes in ancient visions of American teenagehood; they romanticize infatuation and stolen kisses... and, like their Spector-born predecessors, they possess the big voices and the big production know-how required to promote their fantasies and win audiences. Abba’s innocence, in fact, was never more conspicuous than during their appearance on Saturday Night and Wonderama. The artificiality of Frieda and Anna’s go-go boots and miniskirts looked bonkers compared to the cast’s usual routines.
In contrast, Abba’s Sunday morning stint on Wonderama (New York’s Kiddie Club) was a sugar coated delight of pre-pube choreography (gyrating forth the gummy bubble fans of the Wombles and Hudson Brothers with host Bob McAllister oohing and aahing at the female Abbas’ leggies). The difference here being that Abba survives only as alien rock ‘n’ roll force, contained in a time warp, rippling through the seventies.
"The fireside, the lamplight intimate and low, reverie with finger at the brow, and eyes that lose themselves in answering looks..."
– Paul Verlaine, ‘La Bonne Chanson’
BORN ON FEBRUARY 19, 1940, William "Smokey" Robinson was blessed at birth with an extraordinary poetic vision: God stepped down from His lofty perch and kissed the newborn's brow. Since then, Smokey – with a voice that can melt M&M's – has made us swoon, massaging our hearts with a romantic lyricism that justly earned him the title of World's Greatest Living Poet (awarded by Bob Dylan and Patti Smith, prior to their recent demise).
From the Miracles' inception in the late '50s, Smokey swore that his music was inspired by the 12-year-old Frankie Lymon; presently, because of his meticulous phrasing and air of self-confidence, he seems to be inspired by a more ancient deity, Frank Sinatra. During his waning years, Sinatra's voice has mellowed, like a fine whiskey, into an authoritative perfection; similarly, Smokey's voice now sails through a melody as if guided by the wisdom of a navigator so sure of his course that not even an approaching fog could dim his visibility.