Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Trying To Get Back To The Bottom

OK, I know that there are a few T. Scot Bottom & the Rockabilly Funhouse fans are out there going, “Hey! What was all that promise about rare archival tracks of TSB & the RFH? I know. I’ve been looking. There are recordings from at least four performances, but so far all the best stuff is still MIA. I will keep looking. My promise is still good.

Today’s track is another snippet of tape. I think this tape was to be a demo we’d use to try and get gigs over at the University of Iowa, in Iowa City, where were lived for a little less than a year, round about 1980 – 1981. We thought those sororities and fraternities might just jump at the chance to have some k-a Rockabilly Music at their upcoming bashes—get on down, as it were. I found the ‘cover letter’ for that project, a little while back. Ha Ha Ha!

Today’s tracks are from among the first tracks Scot recorded on his brand-new Teac 4-track tape recorder, during the winter of 1981. This was the first time I saw Scot lay out any big money. He bought this tape recorder, and you’d have think he’d died and gone to heaven. These tracks, a snippet of "Slippin' and Slidin'," written by Little Richard (Edwin Bocage), Albert Collins and James Smith and of "Blue Suede Shoes" by Carl Perkins were recorded in the basement of a certain house on Weir Street. The drum set is actually a certain desk/chest of drawers, and for the most part, the drumsticks were pencils that lay handy. FYI: One of the top five best concerts of my life was Carl Perkins opening up for NRBQ (!) in Providence, RI! Carl had his sons playing with him that night and it was super fine.

"Slippin' and Slidin'" was covered by Buddy Holly, John Lennon, Johnny Winter, Otis Redding, and “The Band.” Love those lyrics.

Slippin' and a-slidin', peepin' and a-hidin'.
Been told a long time ago.
Baby, I've been told,
baby you've been bold.
I won't be your fool no more.
Oh Malinda, she's a solid sender.
You know, you best surrender*
Baby, I've been told,
baby you've been bold.
I won't be your fool no more.

*Scot says some thing like "Horrender," but that sort of fits too.

Today’s art goes right along with the music. Buttons figured large in our life at this time (another story). This button is a real collaboration. I remember finding the tux at a thrift store in Rhode Island, while in search of finding shoes for my new waitressing job. We were living in a formerly grand summer cottage, hunting lodge furnished with some amazing pieces of furniture, which became Scot’s backdrop. I brought this tux home and our friend Jeff did this magical photo shoot, which this picture (of Scot--the band came later) came from.

Later in Iowa, once the band had been formed, Scot collaborated with the drummer, Tom Drew’s wife, Donna. Together they created a whole visual campaign. Another friend, Steve contributed 'largely' to the campaign. He also hooked us up with the Sheltered Workshop, in Muscatine, Iowa, and the folks there made these buttons for us, which we passed out at our gigs.

1 comment:

Merry Lynn said...

Well, that took me back a few years, quite a few in fact. Again, I am so amazed by the range of both Scot's music and art. Today it's a toss-up. Both the music and the art were great. QM