Monday, June 10, 2013

“California Calling”

c. 2013 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

Regular readers of this column will be familiar with my personal connection to legendary California guitarist Davie Allan. We have had a long-distance friendship since the late 90’s.
As a kid, I was greatly enthralled by Allan’s work with The Arrows, which appeared in many movie soundtracks during the 1960’s, including the cinema classic “The Wild Angels” with Peter Fonda and Nancy Sinatra.
By participating in Allan’s fan group on Yahoo! I encountered perhaps his most devoted follower – Boobie Auten. This prolific philosopher and pundit has made visits to the forum entertaining for many years.
Auten’s stream-of-consciousness poetry and comment are very reminiscent of “Beat Era” hero Allen Ginsberg. I have often marveled at how easily his words seem to appear on the page.
A few years ago, I decided to try tapping in to this sort of free-flowing prose, inspired by a new Davie Allan recording. Thereafter, I have written a “First Impressions” review of each new album with genuine excitement.
What follows here is my primal reaction to Allan’s latest work:

RETROPHONIC 4 – First Impressions

Dark Of The Night - Into the dark, riding Noah’s Ark on a crashing sea of tonality. Reverb waves, King Fuzz saves, get on board if you want to greet the day. The moody monarch has somethin’ to say.

Don’t Blame Duane – A dirge at dusk. A dance into oblivion. My song is done. Old warriors bow, the battle is won. Kiss the sunset, just for fun.

Here It Comes – Brassy, sassy, melodic grunge. A movie soundtrack from 1971. Who remembers? You do, hoodoo. Neck is old, strings are new.

Run Of The Arrow – Tip of the spear, the six-string shaman is here. Run wild and free over the fanciful fretboard, melodically. Echo bend, don’t make me say it again. The fleeing brave is my friend.

Stick It Again – Up in the morning, guitar licks without warning. Tonal fire, gonna raise your ire. You weren’t prepared? Don’t be scared. The best time of day is before the sandman goes away.

Cara Mia – A ballad of eternal love. Jazzmaster sings with grace from above. Hear my plea, Our Lady of the Overdrive Scream. This prayer is for thee. Let your people go free.

War Path – Fleet of fret, we can never forget. The clever plan wins this bet. Come, ye faithful to the fuzz. Drink and dance, you’ve had enough. Our ride is rough. But the trail winds toward sterner stuff. You need not fear. Daybreak is here.

Introspective – Lookin’ inside in the midst of a cosmic ride. A backward glance, a second chance. A bit of romance. Ants in your pants.

Apache Junction – Native fire, a stealthy coppersmith with his lyre. Strings bursting with heat, blood on the street. Feel the 4/4 beat. You’re the kind of fool I wouldn’t want to meet.

Los Cabos – How many trips across these weathered lips. I say your name and so begins the game. Look hard in the mirror, your face is the same.

Lullaby Of The Leaves – Venture onward to no-man’s land. A plectrum shooter in my hand. I am the one, my song is sung. Hear the mournful strum from the guitar beach bum.

Recycled Too – Hot exhaust pipes break the night. Rapping with spitting breaths of firelight. Work the gearbox, give a pledge to naught. Everything’s gonna be alright.

Return Of The 7th Cavalry – Marching soldiers, horses, and more. Sabers drawn, we go to war.
Chord kick, our melodic trip. Crest the hill, our battle is quick.

Cycletherapy – Backwards mask, tones to the task. A friendly flask. Join the hippie fest, words said in jest. Come on in, man, you can be my guest.

Flashback ’36 – Kickstart ride on the other side. A tale of those who lived and died. Crazy dreams that others tried. Failure I will not abide. The negative is nullified.

Fuzination – Rip and rock, a spaceship at the dock. Steel strings squawk. My key fits your lock. Nose cone to the stars, jamming out in biker bars. My soul is alive. Let me take you on a slow ride.

Bedlam – A prayer and a promise. Devil, you are finished with us. We ride into the sunset. Our names you will never forget. On the boulevard of dreams, nothing is what it seems. Alone, we run. This day of decision is done.

Ghost Riders In The Sky – Song to the sunset. Song to be sung. Hear me now, maiden, I am the only one. Hoofbeats and backstreets. Look out, here I come.

Shape Of Things To Come – Sonic boom splits the room. Tomorrow is today. I ride at sunset. The darkness is my day. Glory is a tease, feel the breeze. This life has gone astray.

Think It Over – A bit of Buddy with lots of love. Remembering a hero who slipped above. An anthem of the lonely heart. Too soon my friend did you depart.

Glory Stompers - Sidewalk stompin’ with the angry breed. Rebels in need. The demon seed. Our path is clear, though doppelgangers appear. Be they far or near, the glory gang is here.

Oh Buddy, We Miss You So – Ode to a hero lost. A sweet spirit surrendered to naught. Voice and style on the miracle mile. Forever free, you are still with me.

Rip It Up – A classic vibe from the other side. When Rock & Roll felt good inside. No shame, no greed, just Little Richard on the keys. Give me the disease. It’s what I need.

Neon Lights – Radio rebel rockin’ the open road. Wheels spin and I am all alone. But there is a voice on the telephone. Hello, baby, I am comin’ home.

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