Monday, May 23, 2005

Brian Setzer

Brian Setzer Records Lost Classic

In the 1950s, Jumpin' Gene Simmons stepped into Sun Studio in Memphis and laid down "Peroxide Blonde in a Hopped Up Model Ford." Roughly five decades later, Brian Setzer was sifting through the Sun Records catalog, assembling the track list for his new album, 'Rockabilly Riot Vol. 1: A Tribute To Sun Records' (July 26, 2005; Surfdog Records). He decided to record the song, which was not issued until it came out on a CD box set of rare Sun tracks. To Setzer's surprise, the song faded in at the chorus and clocked in at a scant minute and 33 seconds, the result of a damaged master. With no luck turning up the complete song, he searched for Simmons instead.

Mississippi, near the Alabama line, the astonished Simmons tried to recreate the two missing verses. "I couldn't get back to that place I was when I was 18 years old," he said, encouraging Setzer to pen the missing verses. The Tupelo-born Simmons hopped in his car and drove to the Tennessee sessions to witness Setzer and the Nash-Villains record his tune. At the session, Setzer invited Simmons to sing background vocals, bringing the song full circle.

The complete "Peroxide Blonde in a Bopped Up Model Ford" will finally be released on July 26, 2005 some fifty years after Simmons' first recording. One of many highlights on 'Rockabilly Riot Vol. 1: A Tribute to Sun Records,' the song offers a boogie woogie groove, with a Johnnie Johnson-style piano and Setzer's reverb-soaked vintage Gretsch adding just the right amount of kick. As the song ends, Simmons exclaims, "Think about it, kid."
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