Songs Of The Day 2/3/2016: The Rockin’ Vickers – “Dandy” + “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart”

Before They Were Famous II – One passing I didn't have the chance to memorialize during this last January's Month of Suck was Lemmy Kilmister's. I regret that as a metal novice at best Motörhead was usually only in my peripheral view, but I knew enough to acknowledge that should metal ever need to be personified, Lemmy might be the unanimous choice. There's no denying his strict adherence to primacy; he knew the baseline, knew it delivered approximately 100% of the time, and did it better than anyone else.

The one time I got a chance to see him was backstage at the Golden Gods Awards in Los Angeles in 2013, when I was milling about doing social media content for a major gaming concern. Lemmy was positioned on a big bamboo chair in a hidden corner at the L.A. Live events center, sitting down with sunglasses on, and a very young, statuesque girl standing at his side. Both Lemmy and the girl looked as if they really, truly and simply did not give a fuck. I'll never forget that image. I left for a bit, came back an hour later, and he was still there. Except another girl had joined them.

Everyone's probably aware that Lemmy was the bassist for the really good progressive rock band Hawkwind, but before that, like just about every British superstar, he lived in a more innocent time and appeared on some more innocent records. These would have been with the Rockin' Vickers from Blackpool, England, the last incarnation of which Lemmy helped out on guitar. (I'm kind of bummed that Lemmy wasn't with the group from the beginning, because then I could have featured their recording of "I Go Ape," and could have gone on about featuring Lemmy and that song's composer Neil Sedaka in the same writeup. Alas.) They were your standard British Invasion get-up, but Lemmy's frantic guitar playing gives you a nice clue as to what avenue he'd wobblily take later. "Dandy," a Kinks cover, was produced by superstar American producer Shel Talmy, who among other well-known things produced the Manish Boys single from Monday. "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" was a 1934 track that seemingly got reinterpreted every time a new musical genre got invented. This would be the definitive version of the song were it not for The Trammps.

Popular Recent Posts