12 January 2009

Bend it like bouzouki

I mentioned my friend who said that witnessing Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash sing together in the Auckland Town Hall was the most erotic thing he'd ever seen on a stage. That was before he saw Dave Dee in the same venue, later that year. Dee's rendition of his hit 'Bend It' was shocking; forget Mick Jagger at the Civic in 1965, he recalled, this was positively lewd.

At the time (c1970) I felt it was an achievement to rattle off the splendid name of Dee's band: Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich. Dee, who died last week aged 65, had a career before he became the nudge-nudge guy of '60s pop: he was a policeman. The Independent reminded me of the accidental role he'd played in early rock'n'roll history:

[Dee] felt privileged to see Buddy Holly at the Salisbury Gaumont in 1958. He became a police cadet and was called to the car accident which killed Eddie Cochran in Chippenham in April 1960. "I was a big Eddie Cochran fan and we took his guitar back to the station," he recalled. "It was there for two months and I used to play it from time to time."

Here is 'Bend It' in full, lurid, living colour. And, one more time for Mick (the only drummer with an excuse to speed up) ... filmed in B&W more clearly showing the undeniable influence of Zorba the Greek on rock'n'roll.

No comments: