Every once in a while I stumble across something really beautiful and rare. This is one of those finds. Zod bless YouTube users for cataloging practically everything in filmed existence that would otherwise be lost or inaccessible to mass audiences. This 45 minute documentary features guitar legend Carl Perkins and Beatle legend Paul McCartney just hanging out, strumming, picking and singing the time away. The video also has some interesting Carl Perkins history tucked away between the performances. I particularly loved the history of “Blue Suede Shoes” and how Carl always thought ‘suede’ was spelled ‘swade.’ The closing song, “My Old Friend,” was also touching, especially the revelation of Carl playing it for Paul right after John had died. It is a beautiful song and its remarkable how Paul has the ability to just create wonderful vocal harmonies and backing melodies on the spot. This is a nice companion piece to the Carl Perkins and Friends Rockabilly School (where George Harrison got to sit in as Carl’s best friend), and it is well worth your time.
PS- If you are wondering where I have been, take comfort in the fact that I pretty much do blog style reporting for a living. Check out my work at Sheepshead Bites and Bensonhurst Bean, covering all the ins and outs of Southern Brooklyn.
It’s a star studded part 97 on my youtube countdown, and the stakes are getting higher, and the stars are getting hotter as we close in on 100! This time I have the undeniably fantastic performance of Carl Perkins and his super friends from the 1985 concert Blue Suede Shoes: A Rockabilly Session. Get this. It’s iconic 50s guitar master Carl Perkins leading Beatles George Harrison and Ringo Starr, psychedelic Cream guitarist Eric Clapton, Johnny Cash’s daughter Rosanne, Dave Edmunds, and a SLEW of other slick stars of rock and rockabilly through a medley of joyous numbers. Carl calls it his rock school, and boy, he is the greatest headmaster ever. The greatest thing about this jam is that everybody, especially George Harrison, is just beaming with enthusiasm and excitement as they rock and bash their way through “It’s Alright Mama,” “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” “Night Train to Memphis,” and “Whole Lotta Shakin Going On.” It’s just about the greatest fun in rockabilly ever caught on film, and you’ll want to replay it over and over. So don’t let me stop you now. Go cat go!
In part 47 of my youtube countdown I present to you two titans of classic rock and roll. Jerry Lee Lewis, the Killer, and Carl Perkins, the king of rockabilly, united, as they often were, having a ball playing a medley of “Mean Woman Blues,” and “Blue Suede Shoes.” This video is a blast of fun. Jerry is playing the piano with his shoes, with his usual fire, while Carl steps up to Jerry’s near unmatchable energy and provides a FANTASTIC guitar solo. There are so many things to like about this video. First, I love Carl’s gorgeous powder blue electric guitar. I love how when Jerry misses a line, he makes this hilarious Looney Tunes like face, but rolls on smoothly. Of all the classic rock and rollers, Jerry was the closest to an abstraction, a larger then life hellcat sent from the moon to turn your High School Hop into a scene of pure raging anarchy. Because of Jerry’s scandal where he married his 13 year old cousin, the world was really robbed of appreciating Jerry’s star at its highest levels of ridiculousness. But whatever, he still rolls on. Sadly, Carl doesn’t, but no one need worry there, he burned such a legacy of genius, and I’ll be exploring that more tomorrow. Enjoy.