Friday, 16 December 2011

I couldn't stop moving when it first took hold.It was a warm spring night in the ol' town hall There was a group called The Jokers, they were layin' it down. Don'tcha know I'm never gonna lose that funky sound.

Quick Hit

“Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo” by  Rick Derringer (1973)

When I was in my early teens I would babysit the odd time for a bit of spare money. I remember this song was on a K-tel record that I took with me babysitting one time. This couple I babysat for had a grand piano. The guy could play like there’s no tomorrow and I thought that was pretty cool - although you wouldn’t know it from looking at him. He looked like your typical business man.

Anyway he let me use his stereo when I was over babysitting and encouraged me to bring my own albums to play (although he had a few good ones). His stereo was pretty high end. To me this seemed a bit odd. He was paying me to hang out and listen to records while his sons slept and I ate bar-b-qued potato chips and drank 7-Up. Not a bad deal!

On the K-tel record I brought (I think it was called “Dynamite”) was the guitar epic “Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo” by Rick Derringer. I always thought it was a cool name, but never believed it was real.

Sure enogh he was born Richard Zehringer, August 5, 1947. So you know what, I’ll cut him some slack because that is pretty damn close to his real name.  The record label he was on, Bang records used a derringer gun as a logo so it was an easy, logical adaptation.

When the band the “McCoy’s” came out with a hit “Hang on Sloopy” in the summer of ’65, Rick was the guitarist for the band. He was 17 years old. How cool would that have been? He got to open for the Rolling Stones on their 1966 American tour.

After the McCoys Rick played and recorded with Edgar Winter and Johnny Winter. He also recorded with Steely Dan (playing slide guitar) and extensively with Todd Rundgren in the 70’s. He was on Todd’s great “Something, Anything?”, and “A Wizard, a True Star” albums. He also worked with many others including Cyndi Lauper, Kiss, and Barbara Streisand. He is also credited with finding and producing Weird Al Yankovic, including his very successful Michael Jackson song parodies: “Eat It” and “Who’s Fat”.

In 1973 Rick recorded “All American Boy” his debut solo album. It included of course “Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo” which he had written for and performed and produced with Johnny Winter. Of course it did better and became a classic rock staple.

I was just sitting there rocking out to “Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo” sipping my ‘uncola” and getting paid.  Nice work if you can get it!

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