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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    665

    Crackajacks - classic Oz Rockabilly

    Man this brings back memories!!!

    Long Blonde Hair (only the best cover version EVER!!)

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMe6c1oLwWg
    You can't handle the truth!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    melbourne,victoria,australia
    Posts
    597

    Re: Crackajacks - classic Oz Rockabilly

    great clip,and band,cat,genuine rockabilly band,yet not shy to jump around and express there personalities,like alot of new wave bands out of britain in the early eighties,eg,adam ant,can you tell us more about the crackerjacks?where are they(were)resident,etc,etc,thanks,tezza.looking in the menu,i can see why,i mentioned the early eighties,released about then!good selection too,from,flying saucers,ignition.a tip for wannabe rockabilly dancing,flat footed,sliding,twisting,great styles in this clip...
    Last edited by tezza; 14-08-2008 at 10:26 AM. Reason: add

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    432

    Re: Crackajacks - classic Oz Rockabilly

    Cat, terrence is right, this is a great clip. I have the Crackerjacks CD which has two versions of Long Blond Hair on it and play it regularly - a great listen. thanks for this clip.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    665

    Re: Crackajacks - classic Oz Rockabilly

    Some more info for Terrence:

    Taken from
    http://www.mmusic.com.au/p/118803/th...-ricochet.html

    At the height of punk/new wave mania (admittedly still an underground phenomenon) The Crackajacks tore on to the inner city Melbourne scene like a cyclone in late 1979. As a group of young guns formed specifically to play the music of the original rockabilly cats, and the more obscure examples at that, they were unprecedented in Australian terms and pretty close to being the purist specimens of an embryonic rockabilly revival worldwide. Pure in the sense that they were delving deep into a generation past, using the hepped up southern boys who had dive bombed back into obscurity as their template.

    At the time the proliferation of golden era rockabilly releases now available was a mere trickle, the music for all intent dead and buried despite the occasional commercial flare-up of a Major Matchbox, Shakin' Stevens or Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love". The above were like approximations of the era, The Crackajacks delved deeper. Primarily though guitarist Warren Rough, already a veteran of the 'ockabilly' outfit The Autodrifters and their inspirational sorties to Hound Dog's Bop Shop, (a West Melbourne Oldies record shop without equal anywhere in the world), the members and particularly Rough became well versed in rockabilly folklore. The other original members were Charlie Paine on bass and Mick Lyon/Black on drums with the enigmatic Rick Newton becoming the perfect real gone focal frontman.

    Things moved fast in those days and Au-Go Go Records and Missing Link, working in tandem, were standing by to jump on anything with a street credibility pulse to put on a 45 rpm single. So it happened that The Crackajacks, mere months after their first real gigs, were hustled into a small backyard studio to record. I was on hand that day and the results were less than sensational and haven't (as far as I know) survived to prove any different.

    A few weeks later however, at the larger York Street Studio under the hand of engineer David "Daffy' Williams, the group laid down an absolute powerhouse rendition of "Long Blond Hair" and a pretty fine "Stranger Than Fiction". "Long Blond Hair" was a classic in it's original form by Johnny Powers who had also been known in Australia, (probably due to the whim of the legendary Lee Gordon and his Leedon label) as Johnny "Scat" Brown while "Stranger Than Fiction" sprung from the mind of "Groovey" Joe Poovey, an equally potent rockabilly original. With the singles release in March 1980, it became Au Go Go's biggest seller with rave reviews at home and abroad. Newton opined at the time "It'll be hard to find a follow-up" - time has proven him right. What the band did with these two fairly obscure songs was to create a synthesis into the excitement of their own era.

    When The Stray Cats came along not long after that transformation was complete - it was rockabilly with a new wave punk attitude. So it came to pass that "Long Blond Hair" became both the band's anthem and albatross. A deal was fixed up for a 'real' record company Astor to take on the single and try and break it to a larger market but mainstream radio proved resistant. Astor lost interest in taking up their option on an album being funded by Missing Link, partly as sale of the company was pending to the multi-national Polygram anyway. Subsequently the single was issued for a third time under a new deal Missing Link made with the larger indie Powderworks and their distributor RCA. This new release at least found a fresh flip side for the single and was supported by a video clip, nonetheless one reviewer remarked "this song has been around so long the girl in question must have gone grey by now".

    Changes in line-up found Peter Patter coming in towards the album's completion, although by the time it was released, Jack Cracka held down the bass slot. At last with an album ready, a new single was released. "Can't Do Without You" b/w "Go Cat Go" . It was a solid effort that lacked the flair of "LBH" - if the latter had failed to ignite the larger world what hope this? Adding to the problems were the distribution woes of Powderworks who had decided to set up their own Australia-wide independent network. Missing Link and The Crackajacks album was caught in the middle of the change and in truth, the momentum of the band had dissipated.

    Also not helping the situation was a lovingly crafted but unexciting album cover by artist Jeff Fisher and the decision to NOT include the original version of "LBH" on the album, rather a tricked up studio mix. How many copies of "Little Heart Attacks" escaped is a matter for conjecture, no real royalty statements ever came from Powderworks to clear that mystery up.

    The band continued to perform, adding and subtracting a few members here and there, even coming back for a revival tour in 1989, by which point Newton was Rick O'Shea (having fronted a more countrified outfit called "The Crummy Cowboys" for a few years) and Rough a veteran of more rootsy outfits, notably The Paramount Trio with whom he continues to this day.
    Crackajacks was a great band to see live, their gigs were always high-octane, ballsy and a helluva ride. I have the CD too, as well as a mint copy of the original album. They were one of the best bands we ever had.
    You can't handle the truth!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    melbourne,victoria,australia
    Posts
    597

    Re: Crackajacks - classic Oz Rockabilly

    thanks again,cat,for all that info,im sure will make interesting reading for all our members and guests,coming from nz,where rockabilly was non existent,in my time anyway,along came the stray cats!,one of a kind,band,that made one sit up,and take notice,and now after four years resident in oz,im digging the rockabilly scene,like i embraced all the other cultures and eras growing up,rnr,pop,mod,heavy metal rock,classic,reggae,punk,new wave,so on,back to the crackerjacks,i used to collect old records,ill tour the city soon,and keep an eye out!any cds out there?tez.
    Last edited by tezza; 15-08-2008 at 12:34 AM. Reason: mod!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    84

    Re: Crackajacks - classic Oz Rockabilly

    What can I say - Think I was 15 when I first heard this and it has lost nothing over the years. Used to go to a place called Chad's in Leicester back in the early eighties - half the room would be Teds, the other us Katz. Johnny Burnette would have both sides up bopping but each side also had their 'anthems'. For he Teds it was Crazy Cavan, for us it was this! The Johnny Powers reprint was still a year or two away and for me, this has always been the better version. Just never tracked down who the Crackerjacks were until now. Great stuff, reminds me a lot of the Shakin' Pyramids who were out here at about the same time.
    Don't Dig Me Daddy 'Cause I'm Real Gone.....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    148

    Re: Crackajacks - classic Oz Rockabilly

    In the early 90's, Rick O'Shea was performing as Rick O'Shea and the Flaming Arrows at a place called Tom Bowler's, which was a great 50s theme restaurant in Albert St South Melbourne (unrivalled!). They performed acoustically, walking around between and often on the tables and added to the atmosphere of this fantastic place which was always booked out weeks in advance. I left Melb for Qld in September '95, and by the time I returned in '99 Tom Bowler's had closed down.

    Anyone know what happened to Rick O'Shea after that?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    148

    Re: Crackajacks - classic Oz Rockabilly

    Got an update on this old post for those that may have been wondering what happened to Rick O'Shea, as I did.

    Info has it that he is alive and well and living in Spain.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    180

    Re: Crackajacks - classic Oz Rockabilly

    I remember a gig in Melb a couple of years ago with Warren Rough and Graeme Thomas both on guitars in a band called Moment of Truth, doing surf rock covers.

  10. #10

    Re: Crackajacks - classic Oz Rockabilly

    Saw WR at the Grandview hotel the other night and informed him of LBH clip revival. Apart from saying he would love to see that clip again, his initial excited comment was "Could you see the mask I was wearing?" He also pointed out that he nearly came to serious grief under the weight of the mighty Gretsch as he did that full leap of the stairs. Good to see a living legend (?), still playing around.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    665

    Re: Crackajacks - classic Oz Rockabilly

    Quote Originally Posted by xlfalcon View Post
    Saw WR at the Grandview hotel the other night and informed him of LBH clip revival. Apart from saying he would love to see that clip again, his initial excited comment was "Could you see the mask I was wearing?" He also pointed out that he nearly came to serious grief under the weight of the mighty Gretsch as he did that full leap of the stairs. Good to see a living legend (?), still playing around.
    Hell yeah!! He's one of the best guitar pickers we have in Oz! Helluva nice guy too.
    You can't handle the truth!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Victoria
    Posts
    138

    Re: Crackajacks - classic Oz Rockabilly

    Great clip eah? Call that dancing??? Lead singer looks like he either needs to use the toilet or is having some kind of fit!! LMAO!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Endeavour Hills, Victoria, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    1,324

    Re: Crackajacks - classic Oz Rockabilly

    I first experienced Warren Rough’s guitar talents at the old Continental Café (Prahran) 1995. It was during a self titled CD launch for the band ‘Blues Hangover’ in which WR was a member.
    Pete Wells (slide guitar) Ken Farmer (drums) Warren Rough (guitar) John Stax (bass/harp) David Hogan (vocals/harp) Lucy DeSoto (keyboards/vocals). Not knowing his background, I remember really diggin’ WR’s guitar work coz it sounded rockabilly and complimented the band. The penny has dropped now. I didn’t realise he played with the Crackerjacks till I read this thread. Thanx Cat.
    Trivia: The late Peter Wells (ex ‘Rose Tattoo’) and John Stax (ex ‘Pretty Things’ from England)
    Live & let Live, Love & let Love, Rock & let Roll, plus related clichés.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    665

    Re: Crackajacks - classic Oz Rockabilly

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazza View Post
    I didn’t realise he played with the Crackajacks till I read this thread. Thanx Cat.
    No worries! We teach each-other about bands and music and the scene, thus keeping the history and stories alive and carrying on the traditions.
    You can't handle the truth!

  15. #15

    Re: Crackajacks - classic Oz Rockabilly

    What about the great dancers. Who are they, and where are they now? Still dancing??

  16. #16

    Re: Crackajacks - classic Oz Rockabilly

    Currently listening to Little Heart Attacks recently suggested and purchased on vinyl from the good fellows at Vicious Sloth, Melbourne! Making my left leg sore from the tappin!

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