Henry Rollins: The Column! Memphis on My Mind
[Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here on West Coast Sound every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the awesomely annotated playlist for his Saturday KCRW broadcast.]
Sitting on the tour bus, the Bon Jovi Mobile-Def Leppard Express (no offense to either corporations), here in Knoxville, Tenn. It is a beautiful early spring afternoon. On the turntable (yes, we actually have one on board) is a Lol Coxhill 10" called The Inimitable. We have just listened to Coxhill's version of the Rodgers & Hart composition Spring Is Here. Road manager Ward found this about an hour ago at a local store for a mere five bucks. We are now listening to a Paul Bley album called Turns that features John Gilmore of Sun Ra Arkestra fame on saxophone. We do our best to keep things eclectic, lest our ears become rusty.
The clocks have moved forward and spring has definitely been sprung upon us. I often listen to music seasonally, as some records and bands seem to be right for different temperatures and daylight cycles.
It was a great winter of listening. I went deep into Klaus Schulze, Conrad Schnitzler, Neu!, early Kraftwerk, Joy Division's second album, Closer (because I often don't play it enough) and other artists that are, to me, cold-weather music.
With the weather warming up, I feel a lot of Japanese music coming on. Acid Mothers Temple, Keiji Haino, Takashi Mizutani, Flower Travellin' Band, Speed and Glue & Shinki will be in rotation as the days grow longer and the nights more eventful.
I sit slightly north and very east of Memphis, home of Sun Studios and one of if not the most well-known launch pad for rock & roll. Much has been said and written about this very small and no-frills studio. Elvis, Roy O, Jerry Lee, Mr. Cash and Ike Turner all turned in sessions in this room that altered the course of music and culture as we know it. It's a great tour to take if you are ever in the area.
After 6 p.m. or so, Sun closes to tourists and serves as a fully functional studio. In the '90s, I was visiting Sun one day before a show; the owners gave me their card and suggested that at some point I come in and put some music onto tape. I knew I was going to take them up on that proposition.