Why the Stray Cats need to get back together.

I promised myself that I wouldn’t take advantage of the Stray Cats possibly getting back together. I promised myself. But much like I promised myself that I wouldn’t eat a third slice of pumpkin pie during my recent hiatus. I broke that promise. And I’m breaking this one. The O.C. Weekly recently did an interview with the oh so handsome piece of man-candy Brian Setzer (still trying to get forgiveness for The Brian Setzer Debate). He stated that his former band The Stray Cats would “strut again”. And word spread like wildfire. You can read it HERE. Now it isn’t 100% confirmed. But him and Lee Rocker both know they have magic together (Slim Jim Phantom was barely mentioned if not at all in the interview…thought I’d point that out now). They do make it sound like a reunion could be inevitable. I do wish this will come to fruition. Even though the rockabilly world has changed a pinch since then. And there are naysayers. I believe we absolutely need a reunion. Why? Here is why (totally stole this from Whatculture).

I’ll start with the easy part. They are an amazing band. I was watching the video above randomly one day on YouTube. I was going to just randomly check it out for a couple of minutes. At the time I first saw this footage I had given up on the cats and listened to more straight forward traditional rockabilly music. But I found myself mesmerized. Realized I knew every song and couldn’t stop. I had to watch the whole thing. I imagine you’d do the same thing. They are an amazing live band. As much as I enjoy seeing all the members on their own solo projects. Seeing all three together is an explosion of awesomeness. That I feel that everyone must see live in person. Especially the current generation whose parents, aunts, uncles and friends most likely saw back in the day. Give these kids (as well as myself) that chance to be mystified. Also this could lead to a potential new album. I’m super curious on what a 2017 album by the Stray Cats would sound like. Agree?

Even if you are a bit of a snob. A reunion equals attention. They are the number one rockabilly band of all time in most people’s eyes. Even if you don’t know what rockabilly music is. You know who the Stray Cats are. And people outside the rockabilly world will go to shows. Your average Joe over the age of 40 will want to see this and not just your Rockabilly elite. That means a lot of people will wanna see Setzer, Rocker, and Phantom. This means they WILL play at bigger venues than most artists in the scene do, especially here in southern California.

Why is bigger venues a good thing? That means they’ll need opening acts. Established bands as well as up and coming acts can fill up the opening slot. This will give exposure and spread the word on those bands. This will get attention from people who otherwise would never get a chance to see new rockin bands. Don’t be a snob! Don’t cry about outsiders getting interested. The more people who are interested in seeing a band you like, the more of a chance the smaller bands will thrive. Record labels could thrive because people will be interested in buy their albums. It is a win win situation. Don’t you love a silver lining?

Those are my reasons. First for the die hard fans of the cats. And an upside for the folks who I know don’t like them. Here is hoping we get to see them one more time.

Agree with me? Let me know in the comments. Don’t forget to share on social media. While you are at it, go LIKE the official Rockabilly Nerd Facebook page HERE.

And as always, stop talking about your car.

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Random Rockabilly Factoids #2

Don’t you love my themed posts? Well sometimes little nuggets of stuff falls on my lap and there is no way I can think of making a post all about it. So I figured lets just put these nuggets into one space. Hence, why I decided to give you a second edition of Random Rockabilly Factoids (check out the first one here Random Rockabilly Factoids!). Brace yourself. Hold on to your panties and enjoy.

Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite boys is face slapping music.

Please don’t judge me but …..there was a time that I watched Greys Anatomy (for those in the UK its a hospital drama where everyone dies and has sex with each other……not in that order). Don’t judge me, I had a huge crush on Sara Ramirez back in the day. You can imagine my shock when I’m watching the Season 3 episode of the show called “Where The Boys Are”. And I hear the handsome Robert Williams singing during an open palm slap fight. Check out the scene below.


New Zach Galifianakis movie sound track gets a rocking entry

I love JD McPherson but make please make room for other rockin (or neo country type) artists to make an impact in some big movies. I’ve said it before but there are so many bands with songs that would be perfect for the big screen. Fortunately Jamie Bubba J Faulkner got the attention of a movie studio and his song “A Six Pack To Go” off his Rhythm Bomb records release “it is what it is” was put on the soundtrack(a song made famous by Hank Thompson, as well as Leon Russel). I wanna see Keeping Up With The Joneses” even though from what I’ve read it is kind of crappy. But I’m here to support rockabilly and I’m a trooper ( I sat through Rockabilly Baby, I can sit through this).


Wild Records compilation gets confusing when you upload it

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A few years ago, Wild Records released a stellar comp of its young artists called The Young Breed. That later spawned a followed up Volume Two 2010 (essential rockabilly). I’ve had this album uploaded to a computer on two different occasion. And both times it did something a little weird.

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This does not look like the songs or artists on the album. Instead it includes the track listing for a rap compilation album! I thought I was going crazy or maybe I downloaded a rap album online in my sleep. But I clicked on a Jay Z track and it played pure rockabilly.

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This is waht the album the track listing is for. Of course it actually features the real songs off Wild like The Rhythm Shakers, The Caezars, Santo, Will and The Hi Rollers, etc. But I often wonder if this was a screw up on my part. Or a funny prank by Wild Records.


The Quakes get Goo-ey (I’m working on this)

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Why?…Why why why why in the blue hell would I post a photo of the Goo Goo Dolls on Rockabilly Nerd. Well the answer might be worse for some. It is actually involving Psychobilly. See that gentleman on the left that bares a slight resemblance to a rat? He was the engineer on the Quakes “Voice of America”.

Strange bed fellows. Strange in deed. I don’t even know the story behind this. Other than the Goo Goo Dolls were once a lot more punk oriented and since psycho music is partially punk inspired they probably found common ground. And most likely do not speak to each other at all nowadays.


Chuck Berry can make your hair look good..girl!

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Happy belated birthday to Chuck Berry. Now that that is out-of-the-way. We all know him has a pioneer in rock n roll. But what a lot of us don’t know. Is that if this rockin thingy didn’t work out then he had something to fall back on. Before he hit it big, Mr. Berry trained to be a beautician. Yep, instead of duck walking. He would’ve been a hair dresser. I’m sure he could’ve met a lot of ladies this way (holding…back….bad…bathroom joke….).


Norton Records is one of the greatest labels of all time.

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This is a very random fact. After some research that involved hiring 5 professors. We discovered that indeed, Norton Records is one the greatest labels to exist. They released recordings (old and new) for Hasil Atkins, Esquirita, Untamed Youth, Bloodshot Bill, Link Wray, The A Bones. As well as some classic compilations (The Raging Teens!). They survived Hurricane Sandy. One of their founders, Billy Miller sounded like a lovely man. Unfortunately he passed away yesterday (11-14-16). I feel so many other people have so many nice things to say. That you can just go on Facebook to read about him. I just wanted to leave this spot for him. No need to exploit the situation. God bless him for helping expose the world to forbidden rock n roll.

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Thanks for reading. Feel free to share on social media. Got any cool factoids that are worthy of posting? Hit me up on the contact page (linked at the top of the page). Don’t forget to go LIKE the Official Rockabilly Nerd Facebook page HERE.

And as always, please stop talking about your car.

Ten Of The Best Rockabilly Boppers

“Bop”. It just feels good hear. The word that is. Especially in a rockin tune. It was meant to be. It screams dancing and moving your feet. The word “Stroll” doesn’t do it (though its a good dance). But “bopping” or “rockin and a bopping” makes me think of fun times while the DJ is playing a boppin tune. That last sentence made my toes dance. So for today I’m listing ten of the best (not a definitive list or a top ten, just a list that was put in a complete random order) boppin tunes. Enjoy!

Star Mountain Dreamers “Boppers Rage”

That begining. Such a desperate tune that begs you to move. It could cause a coma patient to put on their boppin shoes (got a shiver saying that).

Johnny Burnette and the Rock N Roll Trio “Train Kept A Rollin”

Rockabilly 101! This should have been the first bopper you ever heard. Its literally the greatest guitar playing ever on record. But it is the drums that make this the dancey number that it is.

Hank Mizell “Jungle Rock”

One of the best of the obscure recordings that got some love years after its release. I can’t help but associate this with the UK. This song belongs to them even though it was released here in the U.S. With that said, get your ass up and move your feet.

Dusty Chance and the All Nighters “Do the Bop”

Mr Dustin Chance was born to say the word “BOP”. This is an obvious cover. But I would gladly pay for a recording of him simply saying “Bop” multiple times over and over again.

Omar Romero “Step Back Baby”

Sounds a lot like “Train Kept A Rollin” and I like it. Off of the Wild Album “Hog Wild”, if I were to do a top ten list of Wild Records bands this would definitely be on the list. It ends at the 1:50 mark, at this point I want more!!

Ronnie Self “Bop a Lena”

I needed more songs with the word “BOP” in the title

JD McPherson “Wolf Teeth”

You know this song belongs on mu-mu-mu-mu-mu-mu-mu-mu-mu-mu-mu-mu-mu my list. Cheesy?

The Wise Guyz “Do It Bop”

Ukraine rockers gave us two songs with “bop” in the title on this album. But this one is a winner. I got that hiccup part stuck in my head now.

Charlie Feathers “Stutterin Cindy”

Almost gave this to Marc and the Wild Ones but this list needs to have a balance of old school and new artists. I have to show love and bow to an original rockabilly. BOW NOW!!!!

Charlie Hightone and The Rock Its “Booze Booze Booze”

Modern day classic! I have no idea how I even ran into this. I just simply did one day. If you are getting into the rockin world, this and almost anything by Charlie Hightone is essential listening. Stop reading and dance!

Thanks a lot for reading this list. Got any better songs? Leave a comment. I encourage you to share this on Facebook. While you are here, go LIKE the Official Rockabilly Nerd Facebook HERE.

And as always, please stop talking about your car.

Artists that should be in the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame

I’m American but I feel it is appropriate to describe the HOF here is RUBBISH! I enjoyed the concept as a kid. Legends that have shaped the rock music world and the world of music in general get a night where they get the respect owed to them. As years have gone by the list of inductees have become more and more questionable. So questionable that you feel that all they do it for is to get attention. Ratings for the shows broadcast. More younger people to enter their facilities in Cleveland Ohio. Instead of putting focus on rock n roll music, in the last 3 years they have inducted rap groups like Public Enemy and NWA. They officially became a bigger joke than the stuff I post in paranthesis here (you were waiting for a joke weren’t you). Fortunately those of us in the rockin world have Rockabilly Hall of Fame (website located HERE). I also know that some rockabilly types as well as the artists themselves probably don’t care for this (I’m ready for a flood of crappy comments). But there is still something that irks me (not sure if “irk” is the right term or if it is even a term at all). I decided to put up five artists that I believe should be among (and possibly replace) those that are already in the the famed halls of rock n roll. God have mercy on them for inducting only the singers for the first few years and not the musicians (The Blue Caps come to mind).

Stray Cats

Time to make up for everything I posted in the first two paragraphs from The Brian Setzer Debate. The early 80s were a fun time full of synthesizers (I’m secretly a Depeche Mode fan, I apologize). Some folks might have a problem thinking of guitar geniuses. One comes to mind and that is Stray Cats front man Brian Setzer. Lee Rocker’s hands must be made of pure callous. And I’m sure Sim Jim Phantom is drumming something some where. Or starting another band with someone else (holy crap I’ve seen him live so so so many times). Now I’m not too insulted that they have not been inducted, as I’m more insulted that they have never been nominated. Not even the benefit of being nominated. Fun factoid: they’ve been eligible for nomination since 2006. Ten freakin years!

The Cramps

I’ve talked about the band a few times here so I’m going to focus on some other points before it sounds like a broken sexy record. Jack White from the White Strips is a huge fan.  They’ve influenced a ton of artists going on today. The lead singer was buddies with the voice of Spongebob (I just wanted to put that up, pretty irrelavant). Poison Ivy was on VH1’s list of the greatest women of rock (shut up you watched VH1!). They released 7 perfect studio albums. They have not been even nominated since their availability in 2003. But a swedish pop group called ABBA is in there.

Janis Martin

Gotta give them credit. Wanda Jackson was inducted in 2009. Now if someone can slap someone there across the face and let them know that rock n roll had more women. This includes the female Elvis herself. She is an early influence on rock n roll especially for women. Quite frankly I like her more than Wanda. I like to think she might have a spot reserved for her one day (if it hasn’t been taken by another rap group).

Esquerita

This one I’m not shocked at all. But it is sad that he’ll never get the recognition he deserves. Especially for being a huge inlfuence on Little Richard. I mean, Little Richard full on ripped off Esquerita. He later gave it a spit shine and became the legend he is today. And has given his respects to the man. But I feel a lot of people should be exposed to the more raw sound of this man. Every record to me sounds like an explosion is going to happen. Under produced. The times he sings woo is so offly timed but still majestic.

Johnny Burnette and the Rock N Roll Trio

…………….this is a joke right? I had to look this up. This can not be right? Almost every major rock n roller from that time is in there. I can believe some women because I’m sure the induction commitee consists of only sexist Justin Bieber fans. But this is insane. They ‘ve been eligable since 1981. And never once nominated. That is two years before I was born. Eligable for 35 years! Do they have a clue how many times I’ve heard “Train Kept a Rollin” covered by bar bands?  “Tear it up”has the greatest guitar of any song ever written. And not even a hint of a nod? Forget this article. The HALL OF FAME is now dead to me. I wish to never enter the building. I prefer to pee on their front steps. Good day!

Feel free to share this on social media! Leave a comment if there is anyone you think is deserving. Or if you agree or disagree. Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to LIKE the Official Rockabilly Nerd Facebook page HERE

And as always, stop talking about your car.

Marcel Bontempi :Witches, Spiders, Frogs, and a Q&A

You went to Viva right? Well if you were a good kid then you enjoyed the DJs that played in between every band. One thing was evident during almost every DJ set. Almost everyone had a 45 spinning by this man: Marcel Bontempi. Probably one of the most unique talents currently in the rockin world (listen to his take on “Race With the Devil). I first heard him while he was in the Montesas (also a very unique band), his current work, and you can enjoy him in western form in Dr Bontempi’s Snake Oil Company. He is also an amazing artist (that I totally forgot to touch on in the questions but he has done his own album cover art along with other artists such as the Rhythm Shaker’s Voodoo). Here is a Q&A I did recently with the rockin German himself. Enjoy mein rockabilly katzen!

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Rockabilly Nerd:  Thank you very much for agreeing to answer some questions. I first heard of you when you were singing for the Montesas. What inspired your solo career?

Marcel Bontempi:  Well, in fact my “solo career” started long before the Montesas. I do home recordings on four-track-tape-recorder since the early 90s. And with other recording techniques from even earlier. So the whole time I’m making Music this was below the surface. Somewhere down the line I thought it might be good to release a recording, and from then on it started somehow. I got so many recordings here in my poison cabinet from 1990 on – i really lost the overview. So what you call “solo career” was never planned and just came naturally.

Rockabilly Nerd:  Along with your solo work you also have the band Dr Bontempi’s Snake Oil Company, how did that project come along?

Marcel Bontempi: When I first bought a Hank Williams LP (these were the Radio live Shows). When i was 16 years old I couldn’t really relate to his music. It was too much “adult” maybe and sounded “soft” to me, compared with psychobilly and the likes. But at some point it made CLICK and i understood it and it soon became my favorite kind of music. I have sung with my wife Ira Lee “Audrey and Hank” songs since then (we’re talking about 1997 or so). The wish to form a Hillbilly and western swing band emerged and became stronger.

When the Montesas slowed down a bit and musicians of the band moved in different cities and made it impossible to rehearse on a regular basis I really tried to get a step further and  set efforts in finding the right musicians. Which turned out to be a real challenge. I can tell you I was near on giving the whole thing up. We went to some important changes, and finally we have the tip top line up : with a steady rhythm group, a real hot fiddle and blues harp and all of them love the music. I’m so happy with the band, and I see it grow at every rehearsal.

RNHow was playing at the Nashville Boogie a few months ago? Enjoy the U.S.?

MB: Oh, this was such a great and nice experience.  You know, playing in the states was a long time dream. I guess for every musician related to “americana” somehow. On the other hand I refused to go there and just play for the hell of it . Without fee or paid transport. So when brother Jason Galaz finally contacted me to play at his brand new festival, on top of that its in NASHVILLE (with paid transport accommodation and a reasonable fee) I felt like a long-term dream come true. Although Ira Lee and I had only one extended weekend for the whole thing ( way too short time), we absolutely enjoyed every minute of it. A funny thing: I was talking to Texas born musician Almon Loos hours before my show, when I suddenly realized that me (a little German baboon) is going to sing in front of an American audience in Nashville. I told him “Well, you know, you’re  an American, you talk the language fluently, you’re accepted… I can’t talk really properly the american language”. So he said “Well, I’m not American, I’m TEXAN, but I know what you mean – but hey, be yourself, talk German if you feel better with it.”. And that is what i did. Every time I threw in some German words and sayings (just for fun) I heard people some where in the audience yell “YEAAAAH!!”.  I was really astonished, and later I found out, these were young GIs who had made part of their service in Germany and simply fell in love with its culture and people.  Another weird thing talking about culture: In no other land I heard so much German. Hell, there were people in the Nashville Palace, talking German. The officials at the airport greeted us with “Guten tag” and “Auf wiedersehen”.You hardly ever hear that in England or France ;-). People were super open and friendly in every sense. We really really enjoyed our short trip a lot.

RN: Hope to return here? Possibly play Viva or any other weekenders?

MB: Oh definitely! Any invitation to the states will be more than welcome!!!!! I’m in contact with a certain “snake oil”-festival in New Orleans also. Let’s see what happens.

RN: Any new releases in the works?

MB: Yes sir, in fact, there is always something in the pipeline. We have new recordings with the snake oil co, plan to do something new with the Montesas, and as i told you, i keep recording all the time by myself. But I don’t plan very long ahead. Maybe the words Cuba, voodoo, ship indicate a little the direction of what to come sometime soon.

RN: And finally anything you would like to say to anyone reading this?

MB:  OK: please, ladies and gentlemen, if you read this, you probably are a deep deep music and rockabilly nerd. But don’t worry – it is just fine. You belong to the secret brother and sisterhood of the weird but cool. Be proud, but not too proud and still help your neighbour. But if you belong to the so-called “rockabilly police” i got bad news for you: I belong to the SECRET SPECIAL forces and got higher orders! Orders you will never comprehend!

I’m part of a rockabilly swat team…..no I’m not. I would like to once again thank Mr Bontempi for taking the time to emailing back this silly blog of mine. If you are a fan I recommend sharing this on social media. While you’re at it go ahead an LIKE the Official Rockabilly Nerd Facebook page HERE.

And as always, stop talking about your haircut.

Turkey-Billy: Songs for your next Thanksgiving

We have now crashed landed into November. Wipe off all the paint from your face. And practice your best turkey impersonation (this probably makes no sense to anyone outside the U.S.). Thanksgiving is just right around the corner. That special occasion where we Americans stuff ourselves silly with cranberry sauce, gravy, a giant bird, and guilt for not calling our family all year. During the festivities we try to explain to our parents that rockabilly exists. And to our cousins that we’re not trying to look like John Travolta from grease (or for the girls Kat Von D). To commemorate this time of the year. I’m going to throw out a small list of tunes for turkey time(once again for none U.S. folks, Thanksgiving is mostly known for eating a giant fat Turkey!). Enjoy!

Heres nice hillbilly tune from Johnny Horton (I get to mention him in another holiday post!) I get it. He is talking about his dog and going out hunting. But if you are not paying any attention at all. All you hear is “Talk Gobbler Talk”. Just accept that no matter how much you try. You think this is a song about a Turkey!

Without Hillbilly, there wouldn’t be rockabilly. Here is another old school track by Shorty Ashford. Talking about being down on a farm. And allegedly there is a Turkey in the pea patch. This is a full on square dancing number. Major points for bringing up my home town of Arkansas.

You can play this instrumental from legend Duane Eddy. No lyrics. It is all in the title. But if someone asks what is playing. You can run to the screen, point out the title, and use this distraction to finally admit that you are horrifically traumatized because your parents didn’t get you the train set you really wanted when you were six years old.

Time for the psychobilly/ neo rockabilly world. The song is about dancing. The word “turkey” shows up no where in this. I’m so disappointed in this song. Why did I even include it?! Just…just keep scrolling.

How do you like your cranberry sauce? Jellied or regular? In this case…sexy! Lets make it clear. This is not Robert Williams. But another Robert Williams. Hopefully that is obvious and I don’t have to make fun of you! On a side note: I prefer my sauce to be jellied and mixed with dressing (or stuffing, depending on where you are from….the correct term is dressing).

I absolutely love this song! As Americans, we stuff ourselves silly on this majestic holiday (unless you’re one of those health nuts, in that case we don’t need you). Every time I hear this song (backed by Frantic Flattops) my stomach starts rumbling immediately. I love the guitar in this. I wanna eat the guitar with some rice pudding.

You have my full permission to dance to this number…with your relatives. Before you go into a turkey coma (its called tryptophan, google it!).

The Turkey hits keep on coming! I should delete that Pharaohs song but let just look at it in shame. Shame it! This song actually talks about TURKEY!

Alvis Wayne sings about enjoying some desert after your big meal…..oh god……no he is not talking about desert. Oh god!!

Your family is full. Your family has pissed you off. This is to play while you kick everyone out. Especial your cousin that broke your water-bed back in 1996. That bastard!

Thanks a lot for reading.  Let me know in the comments. Feel free to share on Social Media. And you have my permission to go LIKE the Official Rockabilly Nerd Facebook HERE.

And as always, stop talking about your car!