Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Not Fade Away

England’s Newest Hitmakers

Side 1, Track 1

"Not Fade Away" (Norman Petty/Charles Hardin) – 1:48

The Stones take on Buddy Holly's great Bo Diddley ripoff, bringing forward the Bo-like elements that Holly downplayed – the shaker is practically the lead instrument on this track. Like the pre-Pete Best Beatles, the rhythm's in the guitars here, I can't even make out any drums at all on my muddy MP3 rip. Keith's acoustic really drives the track along. A nice little electric guitar/harmonica break in the middle.

God, Mick sounds so young here. There is no art in his performance, apart from the desire to do the blues right, without trying to sound black.

I always wonder what would have happened if that attitude took root among white musicians – what would have happened if the Stones and Them and very few others succeeded in convincing musicians that you could make a whole new kind of blues, that "authenticity" was a blind alley, a dead end? Would we have been spared the endless blues guitar wankathons of Clapton, Page, and the rest? God only knows.