Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Teenage Tragedy Songs

August 8, 2007

Today in Rock History, Ray Peterson wasn’t selling too many records in 1960. It was reported that Decca Records discarded 25000 copies of his latest single, “Tell Laura I Love Her,” because it was vulgar. The song told of the dying moments of a teenager who was just in a car accident. It didn’t make much difference, however, as the song made the top 10. I am intimately familiar with that song, as we must have played it a hundred times or more during my tenure in a ‘50’s band called “The Telstars” (later renamed to “Too Much Fun”) from 1973 to 1975 (with reunions of some of the original members in the ‘80’s, ‘90’s and ‘00’s). I wouldn’t necessarily call it vulgar, but we always introduced it as “a very sad song” (you could hear my fake crying in the background) that “really didn’t happen.” I can remember lead singer “Delbert” (in his gold lame’ jumpsuit lovingly stitched by his girlfriend) belting it out. He was later replaced by Ronnie Jo in the Too Much Fun band. Now I owned a microphone and I thought that gave me the right to sing back up (a lot of “doo wops” to be sung in a ‘50’s band), but, truth be told, I could be lead singer in The Monotones. So we reached a compromise – I could belt it out to my heart’s content, and the sound guy would just unplug my mic. Worked for me (and for the rest of the band, too)! The rest of Too Much Fun were: Rick, guitar; Bob, bass; Dan, distorted Baldwin organ; and yours truly on the ancient Slingerlands. We really did have “Too Much Fun;” and you all keep on rockin’, until next time!

Thanx to HYPERLINK "http://www.garylessard.com" www.garylessard.com for the trivia.

1 comment:

Who Am Us Anyway said...

I was way into Dead Man's Curve (Jan & Dean) & Don't Worry Baby (Beach Boys) when they hit the radio even though I was probably still 4 years away from getting my license at the time. And in college I had a friend who with enough beer could sing a word-perfect, note-perfect rendition of Last Kiss ("I was out on a date in my daddy's car ...") but i have no idea who recorded that thing. (I could do some research but research sounds like work ...)

Meanwhile the free stage lineup is looking fantasic this year (Greg Brown anyone?) -- I'm going Sunday to catch FOW but would be up for a second visit as well. So Check out the listings & let me know if you're free some evening. The flatpicking guitar & duet contests are Aug. 29-30 ...