Friday, December 16, 2011

Long Tall Sally

Richard Furnstein: One of Paul McCartney's finest throat bleeders, "Long Tall Sally" was the boys' latest search and destroy album closer. Yet it doesn't even close an album, it opens an EP. The boys were wise to showcase all originals on the A Hard Day's Night album, it made the toss off rocker collection Long Tall Sally extended player a thing of pure rock beauty. Like egging the dean's house, prank calling the frigid beauty's house, and making lewd gestures in the malt shop. This is the sound of newly hemmed school pants cracking under the teenage pressure. Paul is out of his mind on this. Heck, they are all out of their minds on this. Listen to that solo, Mr. Voltero. There won't be an economics mid term today, we're too busy fornicating in our minds.

Robert Bunter: I didn’t realize until I read Tim White’s excellent “Tell Me Why” that “Long Tall Sally” and “Tutti Frutti” are filled with secret slang signifiers from the gay 1950s underground. That’s amazing! Little Richard is really overdue for a reevaluation. Sure, he’s probably in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and he’s always name-dropped when you list the original pioneers, but I’d submit he deserves to be ranked on the same level with revolutionary, transformational figures like Bowie, Dylan and Bolan. The staid, conservative parents of the ‘50s were frightened enough by the spectacle of their crew-cut, bobby-socked offspring writhing and jumping while a black man screamed and kicked over the piano stool, but they would have keeled over on the spot if they knew what he was really on about. It’s like Frankie Goes To Hollywood frontman Holly Johnson said when asked about the controversy surrounding the “Relax” video: “The kids didn’t know anything about all that, they just think it’s a party.” I doubt The Beatles were 100% hip to the full implications, either, but I submit that they wouldn’t have cared, if they were. Paul turns in the first immortal vocal performance of his career, while the “boys” bash and crash gleefully in the background. Exciting!  

Paul's here to deliver the Cliff's Notes to Lil Rick. Leave your wig and high heeled boots at home, sir. Prince ripped you off, you say? Fascinating. If you don't mind, I'm going to get back to listening to London Town.

Richard Furnstein: My favorite thing about Little Richard is Paul McCartney. He made it so we never had to listen to Richard's primal (yet admittedly crucial) rock ploppers about illicit skiffle shack rendezvous in the heart of a dank bayou. No sir, Paul's here to deliver the Cliff's Notes to Lil Rick. Leave your wig and high heeled boots at home, sir. Prince ripped you off, you say? Fascinating. If you don't mind, I'm going to get back to listening to London Town. Little Richard is just a weirdo that would appear on kids shows with frightening makeup, yelling and sweating at an inappropriate volume. Gimme Sir McCartney anyday.

Robert Bunter: You know, I want to respond indignantly and insist that you show some respect for one of rock’s founding fathers, but, let’s be honest. I never listen to Little Richard. I don’t really want to. When I’m in the mood for that sort of thing, I’ll put on Esquerita. I don’t even know if Little Richard still walks among the living. Please check that out and let me know. Also: London Town is great! A truly underrated album with some lovely moods and emotions. The shimmering, effervescent beauty of “I’m Carrying,” the murky rock of “I’ve Had Enough,” the bleary European portraiture of “CafĂ© On The Left Bank” and “London Town” – I would definitely rather listen to this than some old Little Richard sides. Anyway, “Long Tall Sally” is a great track. I don’t have very much more to say. Let’s talk more about London Town.
Richard Furnstein: London Town is often discussed as suffering in the wake of punk rock music. Well, I'm sorry, Legs McNeil. While you were off pogo-ing and gobbing your wobbly toothed disease at some trust fund lunkheads, Paul was off exploring textures and harmonies with his great love and great friend. I hate to tell you, but Paul already gave you his punk in numbers like "Long Tall Sally." Now it was time to enjoy the Scottish countryside and have children. We all have to grow up eventually. Never one to settle, Paul would later tip his golden cap to the new wave with "Spin It On" from Back To The Egg. But you never listened, did you, Legs?

 Robert Bunter: You, Richard Furnstein, have again nailed it. It’s that magic! 


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