Johnny Epsilon

Johnny Epsilon
hard rock tickets
Image by mallix
One of Cape Town’s finest young songwriters/ singers (The Epsilons) – currently re-forming his band after coming back from overseas.

"We want a band that plays loud and hard every night
That doesn’t care how many people are counted at the door
That would travel one million miles
and ask for nothing more than a plate of food and a place to rest
They’d strike chords that cut like a knife
It would mean so much more than t-shirts or a ticket stub
They’d stop at nothing short of a massacre
Everyone would leave with the memory that there was no place else in the world
And this was where they always belonged
We would dance like no one was watching
With one fist in the air
Our arena just basements
and bookstores across an underground America
With this fire we could light
Just gimme a scene where the music is free
And the beer is not the life of the party
There’s no need to shit talk or impress
‘Cause honesty and emotion are not looked down upon
And every promise that’s made and bragged
is meant if not kept
We’d do it all because we have to, not because we know why
Beyond a gender, race, and class,
we could find what really holds us back
Let’s make everybody sing
That they are the beginning and ending of everything
That we all are stronger than everything they taught us that we should fear"

~ T.Gabel

What I Learned from Johnny Cash

What I Learned from Johnny Cash
heavy metal movie
Image by cogdogblog
Here I tried to make the connection between teaching and cover bands. If you go to a bar and the music is a Beatles cover band, you pretty much expect 60’s dress, British flags, and faithful copies of the Fab Four’s music. Maybe teaching certain subjects is like that- there are maybe only so many ways to teach the area of a triangle or sentence diagramming.

But often, our most memorable learning experiences are from teachers who do original versions of "old" classics.

So if you can follow this analogy, here is an experience I had with Johnny Cash— not an artist I liked very much (I am a 60s rock and roll fan, anything blues based works for me). I knew who Johnny Cash was,”the man in black” but he was country, outside my music scope.

But after learning more about the :man” after seeing “Walk the Line” I was intrigued to listen more to his music, and eventually looked to YouTube, where I found his version of Rusty Cage– a heavy metal song originally recorded by Soundgarden.

I’m trying to make a case that either version is "better" (though I do have my personal bias).

But Johnny Cash has done a complete and utterly creative re-interpretation of a driving heavy metal riff into an acoustic blues jolt . On this screen I have made my own mashup- actually an intersection of 2 YouTube pages, and a video of both artists singing the same song.

My stretch is that good teachers do this as well- take a previous work and put a new interpretation on it, and done well, create a compelling resource (song) that may speak to a person where the original may not.

The video is a questionable use by my mashup editing of the two videos, so view before the lawyers find it: [4.9 Mb QuickTime]

Where are they now? – British rock and roll group – Johnny Kidd & The Pirates

Where are they now? – British rock and roll group – Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
rock music
Image by brizzle born and bred
Johnny Kidd & The Pirates were a British rock and roll group led by singer/songwriter Johnny Kidd.

They scored a few hit songs from the late 1950s to the late 1960s, and are remembered for appearing onstage in pirate costumes, complete with eye-patches. Though sometimes dismissed as a novelty act because of this gimmick, critic Bruce Eder describes the band as "underrated."

The original group was signed to HMV in 1959 under the auspices of Walter J. Ridley. Their first single was the raw "Please Don’t Touch". This became a minor hit reaching number 25 on the UK singles charts in 1959. The song has since been covered many times, most successfully by the team of Motörhead and Girlschool known as Headgirl.

After this initial success the band was reorganised to streamline the sound and visual appeal. Kidd would naturally take centre-stage at the front, but with Clem Cattini (drums) directly behind. Flanking Kidd on either side would be Alan Caddy (guitar) and Brian Gregg (born 31 January 1939, in London) (bass); and Kidd would high-kick in time to the beat. In an attempt to re-create the feel of his recordings Kidd employed the use of an echo unit on his vocals, one of the first UK rock acts to attempt this on stage.

"Please Don’t Touch"/"Growl" (May 1959)
"If You Were the Only Girl in the World"/"Feelin’" (1959)
"You Got What It Takes"/"Longin’ Lips" (1960)
"Shakin’ All Over"/"Yes Sir, That’s My Baby" (June 1960)
"Restless"/"Magic of Love" (September 1960)
"Linda Lu"/"Let’s Talk About Us" (March 1961)
"Please Don’t Bring Me Down"/"So What" (September 1961)
"Hurry On Back To Love"/"I Want That" (January 1962)
"A Shot of Rhythm and Blues" b/w "I Can Tell" (November 1962)
"I’ll Never Get Over You"/"Then I Got Everything" (June 1963)
"Hungry For Love"/"Ecstasy" (November 1963)
"Always and Ever"/"Dr. Feelgood" (April 1964)
"Jealous Girl"/"Shop Around" (June 1964)
"Whole Lotta Woman"/"Your Cheatin’ Heart" (October 1964)
"The Birds and the Bees"/"Don’t Make the Same Mistake I Did" (February 1965)
"Shakin’ All Over ’65"/"I Gotta Travel On" (May 1965)
"It’s Gotta Be You"/"I Hate To Get Up In The Morning" (April 1966)
"The Fool"/"Send For That Girl" (posthumously) (November 1966)

Kidd and the Pirates’ finest moment might have been the powerful song "Shakin’ All Over", which features memorable opening guitars and solo from Joe Moretti, (who also featured on the follow up "Restless"), and reached number one in the UK singles charts in 1960. The song and the group’s proto-power trio line-up both made a strong impression on The Who, who would cover it in their 1970 album Live at Leeds, whose CD liner notes proclaim the original to be the UK’s best pre-Beatles rock single. Music critics Roy Carr and Tony Tyler would later write that "Shakin’ All Over" was the second-ever genuine British rock classic, following Cliff Richard’s "Move It".

The distinctive ‘Shakin’ effect on the track, was created by Joe Moretti sliding Brian Gregg’s cigarette lighter very fast up and down the guitar strings.

Frederick Heath, known as Johnny Kidd (23 December 1935 – 7 October 1966) was the front man for the rock band, Johnny Kidd and the Pirates. He was one of the few pre-Beatles British rock and rollers to achieve worldwide fame.

Kidd’s most famous song as a composer was "Shakin’ All Over", which was a #1 UK hit for the band in 1960. Kidd’s own version didn’t chart outside of Europe, but two cover versions did: The Guess Who topped the Canadian charts (and hit #22 US) with their 1965 version of "Shakin’ All Over", and in Australia, Normie Rowe topped the charts with it later the same year.

"Shakin’ All Over" was also covered by The Who on the classic Live at Leeds album. Iggy Pop also included it on his solo album "Avenue B".

Heath was born in 1935 in Willesden, North London, and died aged 30 in 1966, in a motor car accident near Bury, Lancashire.

His date of birth is alternatively listed as 1939 in some sources.

Kidd was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium, London.

Video – Johnny Kidd & The Pirates – Jealous Girl