Thursday, August 11, 2011

Anatomy Of A Cover Version

Last night, whilst stumbling around half-asleep on the internets, I made a curious/fun discovery about a record I've loved for years. Sometime in the early '80s, The Saints, one of my favorite Australian punk bands of the day, issued a tough little record called "Gypsy Woman" that I absolutely adore.

It wasn't until the last few years that I realized the track was a cover version of a song now considered an Aussie '60s garage punk classic. The band was called The Allusions, and "Gypsy Woman" was a big local hit for them in their native Sydney in 1966.

Now here's where it really gets fun for me: I discovered last night that "Gypsy Woman" didn't even originate with The Allusions! Seems the cat who originally made the track famous, earlier in the '60s, was none other than my favorite underrated '50s rocker, Ricky Nelson!

Nice, tough James Burton guitar break, eh? It gets even better than that: Look at the writer's credits, you'll see the tune was penned for Ricky by his bassist Joe Osborn and Dorsey Burnette. Yup, brother of (and band member in the Rock 'n' Roll Trio with) Johnny Burnette. And remember: Those two penned many of Ricky's toughest hits, such as "Believe What You Say" and "It's Late."

Yeah, maybe I'm a total nerd for getting so excited about this stuff. But I live for this kinda detective work, and love sharing it with you.

The second cup of coffee is just about done. Tune in soon: I'll be writing about Bob Mould's book. Cheers!


  1. Curious to hear your take on Mould's book. - Roxy

  2. I'm curious to hear your new music, Roxy. :-)