Ponderosa Stomp, day one, part two
Day one continued with P F Sloan, another act I have never seen before, who was playing with the ever excellent Deke Dickerson and Eve and the Exiles, plus Woodie Armand St Martin on keyboards. After a minute's silence for the latest U.S. gun slaughter (when will they get real about gun laws?), he kicked off with his best known composition Eve Of Destruction and looked the part of the sixties folk rocker with his guitar and harmonica set up. This was a song that changed the law, with its line about being old enough to kill, but not for voting, he said. He soon proved that he is more of a pop singer at heart though, with That's Cool, That's Trash and the surf sounds of the Fantastic Baggies' Tell Them I'm Surfing and Anywhere The Girls Are. Other songs included Kick That Little Foot Sally Ann. Live For Today, the gay rights favourite Let Me Be, Secret Agent Man and Take Me For What I'm Worth. An enjoyable and varied set I thought.
It was rock and roll non stop for the rest of the night, beginning with a great set from Freddy Cannon, backed by Los Straitjackets. Freddy was on top form as he roared through Tallahassee Lassie, Way Down Yonder, Shake Rattle and Roll, the great Buzz Buzz a Diddle It, Abigail Beecher, Blue Monday, Palisades Park, Action and a mix of Little Queenie and Roll Over Beethoven, with enthusiastic input from the crowd. A great set and better than the one I saw in Spain last year. He said he had open heart surgery a year ago and it seems to have re-energised him. Very enjoyable.
Next on was Jim Oertling, a new name to me, who straddled the line between rockabilly and country. Numbers included Back Porch, I Love You In My Own Kind of Way, Country Don't Live Here Any More and his best known number Moss Back. Not really to my taste, and I had my doubts about the next act, rockabilly singer Joe Clay. In fact, he was very good with lively versions of his hits Don't Mess With My Ducktail, 16 Chicks and Crackerjack, and the obligatory excursion into the crowd.
Final act of the night was drummer J M Van Eaton, the driving force behind dozens of Sun hits, including High School Confidential, Down The Line, Raunchy, Lonely Weekends, Flying Saucers Rock and Roll, Uranium Rock, Ubangi Stomp, Great Balls of Fire and Red Hot, not forgetting Whole Lotta Shaking Going On, recorded in a single take. Vocals were provided by Deke Dickerson and there was some great keyboard work by Woodie Armand St Martin, to bring day one to a rocking close. We start all over again tonight!