Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Jacques Ball kindly gave me the OK to post his ROY LONEY story, and he sent photos. What a guy! ... merci Jacques. This should start you on an upbeat note for today...

"OK, I was at the Roy Loney acoustic gig on Saturday, I was flabbergasted ,
here is my review... as from the audience.;

It's 2 PM, I am climbing up rue de Menilmontant... because Roy Loney is in town and I cannot miss the acoustic show he is going to do in one hour from now at La Maroquinerie. As I am going nearer to the place I am surprised because I can't see any ad for the show, no crowd around... is it still happening ?

First time I have been in this spot which consists of a concert room and a cafe around a small terrace where sellers have put out stalls to sell records. I see faces which are familiar though I have not seen them for twenty years… the old Open Market team indeed. This was the place where the whole legend of the Groovies in France actually started. Marc Z. is there of course (Skydog records et al.) There is a photo exhibition inside the cafe, pictures from Roberta Bayley and Leee Black Childers. Roberta is famous for the cover of the first Ramones album, also for the pic on LAMF and for the first Richard Hell and the Voidoids LP. Leee has covered the whole NYC scene from the NY dolls to the Stooges and Lou Reed among others. Leee has just come inside, he looks like a Johnny Rotten clone with his spiky hair, day glo yellow shirt and leopard styled creepers. Roberta is more discreet but seems older than in my memories. Then I realize the whole house is from my generation and apart from a few chicks everyone is over forty five... I see Robin Wills and Jeremy Gluck from the Barracudas coming inside, they look relaxed and are smiling. Jeremy goes to the bar, his mandatory cap on his head.

Then it's Roy... black shirt, black slacks, middle ages haircut - man the guy has got hair ! He sits down on the chair which has been prepared for him, put on his glasses. The organizers of the event introduce Roberta and Leee and also Roy who has
been invited specially by Roberta. An Roy starts... "Panic to a manic degree"… from the very beginning he wins the whole room which is actually filled up with die hard Groovies fans. Applauses are bursting enthusiastically and Roy goes on with something which starts like a walking blues before evolving into "Comin after me" Waow, that man with his acoustic guitar is incredible ! The next song is a ballad which starts with "Love is a spider", it rings a bell but I cannot remember the actual title. Then Roy announces an old song , it is " Love times" from Sneakers ! It is a marvelous song which I rediscovered then. Roy moves along songs mainly from his solo career and everyone around me is smiling. A young guy next to me is drawing Roy on his sketchbook and asks me "who is this singer ?" I write below his drawing, Roy A. Loney , Flamin' Groovies. This one will have learned something...

Roy waves towards Robin Wills then , and everybody starts to scream.. but Robin, in French, asks for a couple of seconds during which he introduces Tony from the Scientists who apparently is looking forward to play with Roy. As Robin wrote, they covered "She's fallin' apart" , tony looks very impressed but , man , he knows how to knit those licks... Then is the moment I have been waiting for, Robin grabs a crimson Telecaster, plugs it to a Fender amp kneels down nearby Roy and both stomp their feet .. oh my, they are doing "Yesterday's numbers" !! I get goose bumps , bodies around me are hovering and the two guys on stage are smiling to each other. They are doing a fantabulous version of one of my favourite Groovies songs and this lasts, Roy is making faces around the mirophone. Robin is impressive and will be even more in the next song, "Teenage Head", he stands up and does all the chords of theTeenage head album and even more, the bridge crossing in the middle of the song is masterfully executed... while Roy is singing like he was thirty years ago and emphasizes on the "Teenage love machine". This was the best version ever of that song for me... When it's over, everybody is feeling hilarious and totally excited, it has been unbelievably great. The young lady in front of me turns round, she is very moved, everyone can notice how her nipples are pointing through her jumper.. rock'n roll ! The lad next to me nearly swallowed his pencil.

Roy asks then Chris Wilson to join them on stage, but Chris is nowhere to be seen, probably wandering in the Paris streets under the sun. The encore will be, on request, "Rockin from the graveyard" from "Out after dark", a perfect ending.

It is so hot in the room, everybody rushes to the bar and the beeeeeers .. Roy stays alone on stage, he removes his glasses, looks pleased and smiles, I go to him and congratulates him for this terrific show, he thanks me in French .. Then I go to meet Robin who is giggling while I reach him. He certainly is one of the most friendly musician I have met. He acknowledges me for the guy from the Flamin Groovies list who sent him a mail two weeks ago about that very concert. To his request we discuss in French and again I write here that this "Teenage head" version I heard that Saturday afternoon was a killer !"

It was a monster. Revved up in every way...