Robert Gordon w / Chris Spedding special guest Jumpin' Jupiter - 11/5/19Tuesday, November 05 2019 6pm Doors / 7:30pm Start
- Front Premier
- Bar Stool
Robert Gordon w / Chris Spedding special guest Jumpin' Jupiter - 11/5/19
at City Winery Washington DC
- Front Premier
- Bar Stool
Robert Gordon, who recorded for the great RCA Victor label, has appeared on many television shows around the world including: the Conan Obrien Show, Late Night With David Letterman, Second City TV, Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, The Old Grey Whistle Test" (U.K. television), “Live from the Bottom Line" (Japanese television), "D.O.C." (Italian television), "Top Pop" (Dutch television), "Musikladen" (German TV) and a TV commercial for Budweiser Beer. His music has been used in major motions picture soundtracks like Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers” and “The Loveless”, which Robert had a co-starring role with Willem Defoe. Robert’s hits include, “Fire”, “Red Hot”, “The Way I Walk”, “Rockabilly Boogie”, and “Someday, Someway”. Robert has recorded and toured with some of the most respected musicians of the last 25 years, musicians like Bruce Springsteen, Anton Fig, Paul Shaffer, Link Wray, Chris Spedding, Danny Gatton, and Eddie Angel .
For a time back in the late '70s, Robert Gordon was in an extraordinary position for a solo rock artist. The singer, then just over 30 years old, suddenly found himself leading what amounted to a rediscovery of authentic 1950s-style rockabilly music, two decades out of its own time. The rediscovery didn't quite lead to a revival, which probably suited Gordon just fine -- he never defined himself as a revivalist -- and his records didn't sell the way his label hoped, but Gordon ended up a celebrated figure among open-minded oldies buffs, rock & roll enthusiasts, and, generally, anyone with ears, whether they liked rockabilly music or not.
In 1970 he moved to New York City. Gordon eventually gravitated to the budding underground punk scene as a member of the Tuff Darts. There wasn't much, aside from the energy, that he appreciated about punk rock, however, and he didn't last in the Tuff Darts too long, though he was represented on their contribution to a legendary compilation called Live at CBGB's. He also found his way into the Amos Poe movie Unmade Beds, but that was as far as he got into the punk/new wave firmament of those years.
His tenure with the Tuff Darts, however, allowed him to cross paths with Richard Gottehrer, a producer and songwriter -- whose songwriting credits began with the Bo Diddley homage "I Want Candy" -- had never lost his own love of '50s rock & roll, and he and Gordon found themselves on just about the same page in terms of the records the latter wanted to make. What's more, in Gordon, Gottehrer found a refreshingly real article; there were lots of rock & roll "revivalists" running around in the early to mid-'70s, aping and burlesquing the music of the 1950s (the group Sha Na Na had sold millions of records and gotten a nationally syndicated television show doing precisely that), but Gordon was a true connoisseur of the music. "Heartbreak Hotel" had been his entrée to Elvis Presley, but he knew the difference between it, what followed, and what had come before, and the difference between Elvis as the nationally hyped "King of Rock & Roll" and his earlier incarnation as "the Hillbilly Cat" and "the Memphis Flash." Gordon knew the importance of Elvis' Sun Records sides, even some of the least-recognized Sun songs, from a time before scholars had begun probing and annotating every note of Presley's early output -- and he stacked Gene Vincent's "Woman Love" right up alongside the much better-known "Be-Bop-A-Lula." As much as anyone in 1975, Gordon knew his way around the music, and what parts of the music were really important. What's more, he appreciated '50s rock & roll on a level that most of the revivalists -- many of whom had begun trafficking in it as a reaction to the music styles and social upheavals of the late '60s, as a rejection of radicalism and generational uprising -- didn't, as the true music of rebellion.
When Gordon resumed his career in 1976, he decided to push in the direction that he wanted, toward the rockabilly sounds that he loved. Gottehrer got him paired up musically with Link Wray, the North Carolina-born rockabilly guitarist (whose own background in rock & roll went back to a time before there was such a thing, playing with Gene Vincent all the way back in 1949), and the two inspired each other; Gordon was thrilled to be working with Wray, a rockabilly legend, and Wray found in Gordon a kindred spirit a half-generation younger. His debut album, Robert Gordon with Link Wray, released in the spring of 1977, was well received critically annd then, just a few weeks later, Elvis Presley died at the age of 42. Gordon's album and the single "Red Hot" all began attracting attention from radio programmers who were suddenly interested in early rock & roll, and all of these events put '50s-style rockabilly music onto the mainstream airwaves for the first time in two decades, with Gordonas its living, breathing representative. A second album, Fresh Fish Special, released in 1978, was also favorably received by the press and the public.
Gordon's credibility was enhanced by the presence of Bruce Springsteen -- then still ascending to the peak of his superstar status -- at one New York gig, jamming with the band, and his contribution of a song called "Fire" to the second Gordon/Wray album only added to the mystique of the man and the band. Even if the record sales weren't what anyone hoped for, Gordon's work was sufficiently popular (especially in Europe) to help secure reissues of the original recordings by many of the artists who influenced him.
The association with Link Wray ended in 1978, and he was replaced by British guitarist Chris Spedding, who was of Gordon's generation and loved the music the same way he did. Executives at RCA were sufficiently impressed by Gordon's potential to sign him. The picture, in some ways, was now complete, as Gordon was recording for the company that had helped make Elvis Presley a star. Three RCA albums followed, Rock Billy Boogie, Bad Boy, and Are You Gonna Be the One.
His star never rose much higher than the point it reached with Fresh Fish Special, as the rockabilly boomlet proved to be just that, a cult phenomenon loosely associated with the garage punk underground movement and the oldies circuit (which Gordon abhorred). He ceased most recording after the start of the 1980s, but the constant release of bootlegged and poorly recorded live sets prompted him to release his own live album, 1991's Greetings from New York City. All for the Love of Rock 'n' Roll, a mix of soundtrack work, re-recorded material, and assorted outtakes, appeared in 1994, followed by a new studio album, simply called Robert Gordon, on Llist in 1997. Another new collection, Satisfied Mind, came out on Jungle in 2004. In 2007 Gordon reunited with Chris Spedding for a Rykodisc release called It's Now or Never, which also featured the Jordanaires. In 2009, Gordon licensed 25 cuts to Universal's Fuel imprint. Issued as a double-disc set, Live Fast, Love Hard features two live discs; the first pairs the singer with guitarist Wray playing tracks from their two LPs together, and the second with Spedding on tour during the RCA period.
Jumpin' Jupiter, long hailed by many as one of Virginia's premiere rockin' and rollin' rockabilly outfits, landed in the Falls Church area sometime in the summer of '92. Since then, they have played from N.Y.C. to North Carolina, unleashing some of the most powerful and energetic performances ever seen on the East Coast!
This four-piece outfit has pulled up rock + roll by its roots and propelled it far into orbit with fuel to spare! Louie Newmeyer (Rockville, MD) on upright bass and Doug Hoekstra (San Antonio, TX) on drums lay down a solid rhythm that'll make any average human get to slammin', swingin', or just fhufflin' around the room. Guitarist Patrick Cavanaugh flies his twangin' Telecaster in and out and all around that crazy beat with the force of a runaway locomotive. Born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, Patrick has played along-side such local favorites as Billy Hancock, Johnny Seaton and the legendary Danny Gatton. The band is fronted by Jay Jenc (Washington, D.C.) who delivers some of the most sincere yet frantically kinetic vocals ever witnessed.
Whether playing at a backyard bar-b-que or with some national act in a great big fancy club, these stripped-down, psychobilly cowpunks have found a home here on Earth. A home in the hearts of all of those folks out there who haven't forgotten how much fun good ol' American music is, even when you're not paying attention!