Got The Fever

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Jerry Lee Lewis a.k.a. The Killer

The man is known as much for his personal exploits (marrying a 14-year-old cousin, a legendary boozin’ habit, a legendary womanizing habit and for being one of the all around original party animals), as he is known for his Rock And Roll music. Back in the day, his brand of music used to get parents all red-faced mad, the authorities to surround the stage to make sure no one in the audience got up to dance and had the media branding him as someone trying to agitate the youth toward hell and damnation. The man knew what he was and what he meant, and didn't give a shit about anyone. True R'n'R punk. John Lennon loved him when he was a kid, and called “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On” the best Rock And Roll song ever written. ‘Nuff said.

But, he put out a CD last year called 'Last Man Standing' - the title referring to an old album spotlighting himself and Sun label mates Elvis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash. 'Last Man Standing' is filled with pairings with artists like Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Bruce Springsteen, Robbie Robertson, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Kid Rock, George Jones and others. He covers Zepplins "'Rock And Roll", The Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There" and Rolling Stones "Honky Tonk Woman" to name only a few.

It also holds a few tracks that seemed unlike him. Not that I’m an expert on The Killer himself, but I had always thought of him in terms of frothing-mouthed teens violently lurching to the devil’s music. These two tracks are slower, one almost country, and the other a ballad. Truth be told, both crush my aorta.

That Kind Of Fool

Going to a bar as a guy is a great thing. I mean, with the liquor, the comrades, the loud talk, the music and of course, the women who also frequent your local water hole. Yea, the women. A bit of flirting, the buying of drinks to loosen her up, the friendly hands on each other’s lap daring each other to see how far we can casually brush against parts before being rebuked. All this despite the left ring finger wrapped with a band of gold.

Jerry’s got a different take on it - one that makes you get all serious and remorseful about it. And coming from a man who has had the best lion’s share of beer and broads it is a ponderous mood and atmosphere that he creates indeed. Accompanied by Keith Richards. Ironic that they both sing a song of this nature and lyric.

Look at that fool, goin' home to his wife
Look at that fool, he never lays out all night
He doesn't know what it's like to be untrue,
Wish I could have been that kind of fool.

Look at that fool, have one drink now he's headin' home,
Look at that fool, leavin' that beautiful lady all alone.
Then go home to someone, who loves him true,
Wish ol' Jerry Lee could have been that kind of fool!


A Couple More Years
I find that the older one gets, the harder it is to recover emotionally from a relationship that is over. And, in my line of work, I hear, and see it, all the time. The importance, and significance, one puts in a relationship is more real than it was when you were young. The highs are higher because you’ve become focused and actually put meaning to the words companionship, devotion and abiding love. You’ve come to not only accept, but to also embrace that substance is better than fluff. However, the lows are achingly intolerable – numbing even the common days into loathsome bouts of guilt, sorrow, dread and despair. Bathe in all that with the added knowledge that everyone told you it would never work because of the age difference. Bathe in that.

This is the real deal here. The crush is like a dead-weight yoke lying on your ribs with heavy stones being added with each waking hour. This should “ … free your doubtful mind and melt your cold, cold heart”. Accompanied by Willie Nelson.

I’ve got a couple a more years on you baby –
That’s all.
I’ve had more chances to fly and more places to fall.
And it ain’t that I’m wiser, it’s only that I’ve spent
More time with my back to the wall.
And I’ve picked up a couple more years on you baby –
That’s all.

I’ve walked a couple a more roads than you baby,
That’s all.
Girl, I’m tired of runnin’ while you’re only learning to crawl
You’re headed somewhere, but I’ve been to somewhere,

Found it was nowhere at all.
I’ve picked up a couple a more years on you baby – That's all.

Jerry Lee Lewis:
That Kind Of Fool (15)
A Couple More Years (21)

From: Last Man Standing [2006]

Addendum:
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3 Comments:

  • "The highs are higher because you’ve become focused and actually put meaning to the words companionship, devotion and abiding love. You’ve come to not only accept, but to also embrace that substance is better than fluff."

    How true, and isn't it a sorrow that it takes so long to learn that? On the other hand, there are probably many who never do learn that, so those of us who do are a least a little bit blessed. And from my view, that remains true even with the ending of unions we had thought enduring.

    On a less solemn note, the Killer simply rocks!

    By Blogger whiteray, at 1:20 AM  

  • Great post!
    Jerry Lee's lyrics are strong...and painful.
    Loved it!

    By Blogger Casey, at 10:55 AM  

  • whiteray - you're right, the Killer DOES rock. I was pleasantly surprised by the album as a whole. Very cool set of tracks!

    Casey - I totally agree about the lyrics. I listened to these two tracks over and over when I first got the CD. Probably because I didn't know the tunes. But, they hooked me bad! Mournful and regretful. I just love lyrics that go beneath the prosiac.

    By Blogger wzjn, at 5:52 PM  

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