‘I been doing my homework now for a long, long time’
One thing the world has never been short of.
Can’t be done.
Not for the likes of you!
A lanky, odd looking, uneducated nobody from backwoods Kentucky ain’t never getting anywhere near The Whitehouse!
Hey Wilbur! You don’t really think you and Orville will ever get that thing off the ground do you?
Albert, how many times do I have to tell you – you work in a Patent Office and you think you can show us all the things about the Universe Newton wasn’t smart enough to find out!
No way a working class boy, a child of immigrants, is going to win a scholarship to Cambridge.
Fool’s Gold. Fool’s Gold.
Well, I’m here to tell you some of us will never stop searching for that Gold.
And, you know what?
We’re going to hit paydirt and dazzle you with all that Gold’s glitter.
Graham Parker and The Rumour with, ‘Fool’s Gold’ from their 1976 sophomore Album, ‘Heat Treatment’.
The follow up to their magnificent debut disc, ‘Howling Wind’ also issued in 1976.
From the Summer of 1975 I’d been squeezing into pubs and clubs in Islington, Kensington and Camden to catch every GP & The Rumour show I could.
Simply, they were a Band on fire.
Burning with passion and commitment.
Graham Parker was no kid.
He was 25.
He had been a teenage Soul and Ska fan who had hit the Hippy Trails to Morocco and returned with an expanded mind and a deep desire to write and sing songs of his own.
The soul sway of Van Morrison’s ‘Tupelo Honey’ and the visceral venom of Bob Dylan’s ‘Blood on The Tracks’ offered inspiration and a bar to reach for.
Add in chippy blue collar English wit and sarcasm with a pinch of Jaggeresque swagger and you’ve got quite the front man!
A front man who can perform his own compositions with audience rousing dramatic intensity.
Especially when in partnership with a Band, The Rumour, that combined instrumental brilliance with eyeballs out attack and drive.
To see them live, setting stages on fire, in their 70s pomp was to share with them the times of our lives.
‘Everything that I look for I know I will one day find’
It’s said that Bruce Springsteen said GP & The Rumour were the only Band he ever thought could give the E Streeters a run for their money.
And, having seen GP and Co dozens of times in the 70s I can tell you Bruce was spot on.
Guitarists Brinsley Schwartz and Martin Belmont brought thunder and lightning and swapped the rapier and the bludgeon to turbo charge the songs.
Steve Goulding on drums and Andrew Bodnar on bass always seemed to have power in reserve as they drove the sound forward or laid back before engaging cruise control.
Bob Andrews on keyboards was the magic ingredient dispensing a dizzying anarchic energy that gave the songs a distinctive aura.
Out front Graham Parker sang his heart out.
You really should have been there!
‘I’m a fool so I’m told .. I get left in the cold
‘Cause I will search the world for that fool’s gold’
Now, just because you’re a world class outfit and darlings of the critics and fellow musicians it sadly doesn’t follow that the greenbacks and the Grammys will inevitably follow!
As the 1980s dawned GP and The Rumour went their separate ways before a strange fate involving a Hollywood Film brought them back together again (for the detail of this unlikely tale see my previous Post celebrating their reunion http://wp.me/p4pE0N-1E).
I have to say it really did bring tears to my eyes to see them perform with such fire and assurance on their comeback tour.
Class is, as they say, permanent!
‘People say heaven knows .. see what comes I suppose
But I will search the world for that fool’s gold’
From the first time I heard Fool’s Gold it became one of those songs you can never get enough of.
I always shout out for it every time I see GP in concert.
And, I always will.
Fool’s Gold in every version I’ve heard Solo, duo or full Band simply sweeps you away.
The dynamics of the arrangement build and build lifting the heart and thrilling the spirit.
Keep on searching.
Keep on searching.
For that Fool’s Gold.
In the mountains.
In the valleys.
In the deep blue sea.
And, don’t you dare let anyone tell you there’s no Gold out there.
I am delighted to announce that The Immortal Jukebox has now had more than a Quarter of a Million Views!
Enormous thanks to all my readers, supporters and commenters.
On to the Half Million!
I was also surprised and gratified to find that my Fred Neil post from last May has had over 400 views in the last week!
If you haven’t read it yet here’s the link: