Hey, with only four songs this story should be shorter than the stories I write about LPs right? We’ll see. I may not have enough time to make it shorter.
The Pink Parker. On Vertigo. An E.P. - Extended Play for the uninitiated. Four cuts. With The Rumour backing him up to the wall! This record sounds like it was recorded under a tall table in the corner of a North London pub filled with smoke, sweat and at least two guys named Ivor looking to pound you into the ground after downing nine ciders - before the show starts. And, I’m just describing the two studio cuts - Hold Back The Night (by The Trammps!!) and (Let Me Get) Sweet On You. The other two cuts are recorded live and this nifty little EP says they’re taken from the hideously rare “Live at Marble Arch” bootleg album. How ‘bout that? Beating the bootleggers at their own game. The cheek! The live cuts? Sizzling versions of White Honey and Soul Shoes from the very first Graham Parker and The Rumour long player - Howlin’ Wind. My six year old daughter heard these live tracks this morning before school and said “This sounds awesome!” Which it does.
The Rumour? Pub rockers extraordinaire. I’m talking about Brinsley Schwarz (g; and formerly of the band Brinsley Schwarz with Nick Lowe, et.al.), Andrew Bodnar (b), Stephen Goulding (d), Martin Belmont (g) and Bob Andrews (k; and also formerly of The Brinsleys).
But it’s, Graham Parker on lead sneer all the way. Doing what he could to anticipate Elvis Costello’s sneer and one-up it before Costello even cut an album. Talk about foresight! True, they’re a goofy looking lot but they know how to rock.
For weirdos only: Graham Parker thanks Brian Robertson of “Thin Lizzy’s” on the sparse liner notes on this slab of pink wax. I have no idea why. Do you know? And, if you were wondering where Graham Parker’s been hiding since the early 80s, I know. In the $1.00 bins at America’s local record shops. I see his albums constantly hiding out under the full price records. If I were you, I’d get down on my knees and start digging in the P section because they’re usually in great condition and cost a buck. No kiddin’. I bought this E.P. earlier this week for exactly 49¢. Special thanks to Spindlephonic Alan for reintroducing me to the merits of Mr. Parker and friends.