Original Cool's Ronny Wesier Interview
Ronny Weiser's August 19, 1998 Las Vegas Newspaper Spread
The following interview was done in 1982 for the magazine "Milkshake Mademoiselle". Since then a few things have changed: I got married to Laurie whom I had met at the Israeli Folk Dancing; together we went to many Rockabilly shows until the kids were born. We have three children ages 8, 9 and 11. David, Jeremy Aaron (he was born on Elvis' birthday) and Benny. My kids love Rockabilly, especially Gene Vincent, Elvis, Little Richard, Ray Campi, Mac Curtis, Bill Haley & The Comets, Fats Domino, Johnny Horton, LaVern Baker, Ronnie Dawson, Big Sandy, Dragstrip77, Jerry Lee, The Hillbilly Hellcats, The Rollin' Rocks, Johnny Legend, Tony Conn and Johnny Carroll.
I also moved from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to enjoy lower taxes, less regulations, much less smog, much less crime, lower prices and much much Wild Wild West fun! I feel the same way about 98% of what I said in that interview; a few items I might have finessed a bit more, but then a few I might also have ruffed up a bit! -Ronny
Bumps Blackwell was very instrumental in the career of Little Richard both as an arranger and a conductor. Above Bumps poses poolside with Rockville International editor Adri Sturm on the left and Rollin' Rock Records owner/producer/promoter Ronny Weiser on the right. This pic dates back to the summer of 1974. © copyright 1998 Rockville-International / Adriaan Sturm - Zeeuw@aol.com
Interviewer: Tracy Lee Porter/American, 1982.
Q: I know very little about your early years, besides that you were raised in Italy and got in trouble at school for wearing bluejeans and playing American rock'n'roll records; so if you would, please fill in the gaps. Also, please tell us about the music you grew up with in Italy. Can you remember the first songs you heard or that your family played? What is the first rockabilly tune you heard or were inspired by?
Ron: I spent my youth in several countries; including Egypt, Italy, and Austria. In Vienna, Austria I discovered American music; my mother had records by Louis Armstrong, cowboy songs, stuff by the Platters and so forth. I liked this music quite a lot, but rock'n'roll really hadn't hit me yet. It happened about a year later when we moved to Italy in 1959 and saw a movie called "Loving You" with Elvis Presley. This movie really blew my mind because Elvis was wearing red cowboy pants and a red and white satin embroidered cowboy shirt. He had a pompadour, side-burns, and the girls were just going crazy screaming. It was just totally unbelievable to see such a thing, to see such a guy driving a white convertible Cadillac; especially considering the fact that all the kids in school had to wear grey flannel suits, white shirts and ties, and had very, very short hair. But after I saw this Presley, I wanted you know ... to be like him, to be "cool", to be a real "swinging cat"! So, I started looking for cowboy shirts; I took the train to Zurich and found the western store. I bought myself a cowboy shirt, a pair of American bluejeans, I had "Lee Riders", "Wrangler Jeans" and you know ... I was turning my collar up and going to school ... I let my hair grow longer with side-burns and all that; so naturally I had a lot of trouble in school. I was suspended and told not to wear bluejeans. So what I did is that I found out they had white bluejeans, you know ... white "Levis". I bought a pair of white Levis and started wearing those. Now, pretty soon the priest noticed a rivet, so he finally realized that the white pants were actually jeans, and that "freaked him out"! Again, he told me not to wear them. So, next I dyed the white jeans brown, ironed a crease in them and wore a long jacket or sweater to hide the rivets. I got away with that for a while, but then again, I was playing volleyball and the jacket slipped up so the priest could see the rivets; again trouble. So, this was going on for years and years.
I would bring Fats Domino records to school and the teachers would get mad. The art teacher was a Fascist who was shocked by American influence and American culture corrupting those Italian virtues and traditions. So, I had arguments with her all the time. The history teacher was a Communist and was constantly haranguing against American Imperialism and American ways; so with him also I was arguing, taking the stand in favor of the United States. Then they were both attacking the Jews, so again we had problems there. This kind of thing was going on and on. Then, one day they had my picture in the newspaper as a symbol of American Imperialim and American perversion, as "one of those gangster cowboys" who were bringing rock'n'roll music and perversion to a great cultured nation like Italy and destroying the morals and culture of this great civilization. So, finally I just couldn't take it any more and immigrated to the States, but before I did that I was Americanizing myself very well. Like I said, I was wearing western shirts and bluejeans, I had my cowboy boots and was listening to rock'n'roll. First I listened to Elvis Presley, then Little Richard, Gene Vincent, Fats Domino, and even Ronnie Self. I had records by Ronnie Self and records like - "The House of Blue Lights", so I knew some of the lesser-known rockabilly guys already back then.
In those days there was school on Saturdays, but once in a while we would take Saturday off and go to Milano and make it an all-American day. We would go to the "Gonzalez Snack Bar" to have a cheeseburger with ketchup. This was the only place in Milano where you could eat real American food. We would have cole slaw, jumbo banana-splits, hot dogs . . . we would just have the whole American thing and put a lot of ketchup on the cheeseburger and french fries, dip 'em in the ketchup like the Americans do and everything. It was wonderful to go there and have a real American lunch. We would be wearing our jeans and whatnot and go into the flea market checking out the latest imports from the States; T-shirts, some more jeans - different colors, different labels. Then we would go to a western movie usually, or a science-fiction movie or maybe some cartoons; American cartoons, of course ... Tom and Jerry, Warner Bros., Sylvester and so forth. So, we would make out of that Saturday a truly all-American day. Sometimes we would buy one of those plastic models of American airplanes or automobiles and then when we came back on Sunday we would have the war between the American airplanes and plastic tanks against the Russians. Of course, no one wanted to take the Russians' positions and we had only one Russian playing one lousy Mig, while we had dozens of little American model planes.
LEFT: In white "Lee Westerners," Rockin' Ronny in Italy 1959.
MIDDLE: "Lee Riders" authentic cowboy pants, Italy 1960.
RIGHT: Rockin' Ronny in High School, 1963, singing "Tutti Frutti."
So, it was lots of laughs you know ... we were all for America, especially me. I was more for America than anyone in the whole damn country. Actually, none of the other kids had the nerve to wear blue jeans until they came to my house. What they would do is put their jeans in a bag and take the bus; then when they got inside my house they would change into their bluejeans. I was the only one who had the guts, you know ... the nerve to wear them all the time. I would go on the street and everywhere with my jeans. I would put on my motorcycle helmet with the American flag on it, wearing my bluejeans and my cowboy shirt and then put two small American flags on the motorcycle with a big Star of David and I would zoom through a Communist neighborhood yelling - "Viva La America! Viva La America! Long Live Bluejeans and Rock'n'Roll! and the Communist swines were really flipping out. They were going crazy, throwing bottles and stones and screaming against me, so ... all kinds of trouble. Then, one time in school, the Fascists, their Neo-Nazi youth group, they sabotaged my motorcycle. They tampered with my brakes and almost broke my head because my brakes wouldn't work, so I had an accident. Even with all this, they couldn't intimidate me, because I was a true patriot of Americanism and rock'n'roll, bluejeans and the American way of life. My room was like a "Little America"; I had playboy girls on the walls, American flags, rock'n'roll pictures, photos of Elvis and Little Richard, ... so, it was a paradise of Americanism. I was crazy about the electronics already then; I had a little transistor radio which was just beginning to come out and a tape recorder on which I used to make tapes of all the rock'n'roll stuff off the records. I just really loved gadgets, electronics stuff, real crazy stuff and America was the place where all these gadgets and the new things of the future originated. Everything was happening from America, so I really wanted to go to America.
His First Voyage To America
I was fed-up with the anti-Semitism in Italy and Europe in general, so finally I kept on pestering my parents and ... actually, already when I was six years old I wanted to go to the States. I had met these girls, American girls - one was blonde and she had a red dress, the other one had black hair, a blue dress and she had her little fingernails painted. So ... those were the first girls I ever met and both were American. The American tourists I met over there in those days were friendly and not so up-tight and bigoted like the European people. So, I was already very sympathetic to the United States since I can remember, since I was six years old. I loved western movies, American jazz, Dixieland, rock'n'roll, R & B, Boogie-Woogie, country music, cowboy music, the American food, just Everything; the American ideals of democracy and human rights and justice. The Americans were actually trying to make it become a reality, they were trying to live up to their ideals and that was very admirable. I was reading Playboy magazine, Time, Newsweek, comic books, Tom & Jerry, all in English. I was starting to improve my knowledge of English and of course listening to rock'n'roll music and to the American Armed Forces network radio programs and becoming more and more American all the time. Now, we're talking about starting in 1959 and by 1963 I was becoming very well Americanized, reading the newspapers, rock'n'roll records, going to eat American food on the weekend, etc. So, by 1964 I came to the States on my own. I was 17 years old and travelled all over the country. Again, I was very impressed by the friendliness and the democracy of the American people. I came to downtown Los Angeles, which was really a dump back then, so what I did, the whole week I was there, 7 days, was to go to Disneyland. I loved it of course. I love Disney. Then I went back to Italy and I told my parents - "This is it. Next year I've got to move to America," which is exactly what I did. In 1965, at age 18, I moved to America with my mom and brother. Father followed later. I wanted to go to California directly, but my father said "No," for the reason that Miami is closer to Europe, so we went to Miami. I wanted to have a warm climate. I hate cold climate and in Europe, most of the time it's cold and it rains, even in Northern Italy. Miami wasn't that great; it was pretty much like a small town. I was also disappointed by the music of the day; rock'n'roll was gone and in its place came all this stuff like Jefferson Airplane and Led Zeppelin and God knows what! So, I was quite a bit let down.
Then, a year later we moved to Los Angeles. I went to U.C.L.A. and got a degree in electrical engineering. I love Los Angeles, it's the greatest place on Earth; there's nothing like it, it has such a choice and variety of everything, but ... the only thing that was still missing was the rock'n'roll music! I just couldn't believe it, all this psychedelic garbage that was flying around, you know ... the most obnoxious crap, and I wanted Rock'N'Roll! So, I would go to the dorms at the University with my Little Richard records and visit with a friend who also happened to like Little Richard. We'd play the records real loud and then all these freaking, ahhh .. pardon the language, all these other students they liked this hippie garbage and so they would come in and one day they finally came in and threw the record player out the window because they hated rock'n'roll so much.
Q: Did you have any contacts here in the U.S. before you immigrated? Tell us about obtaining your citizenship. How did it feel to become an American?
Ron: No, I didn't have any contacts here, I didn't know anybody. I came over here on a student visa and then I applied for an immigration visa. I got that and then finally applied for citizenship and got my citizenship, which is very funny because on the day I got my citizenship, they had a high school band in their big auditorium that was playing "Rock Around The Clock" the moment I was called out to pick up my citizenship papers; so ... it was an incredible co-incidence. How did I feel about that? It's impossible to describe a feeling like that, it's just impossible. Actually, it's very hard for an American to appreciate the United States because he takes the country very much for granted, which is something I now do myself, but every time I go abroad, after one or two weeks I am really homesick for my home, for Los Angeles, for America. I really don't like to live in Europe or even to go away to Europe for more than a couple weeks because I just have to be in America. This is my home, and my home was America ever since I was born I guess; ever since I was six years old. The funny thing is that when I was in Europe, I never felt I belonged there. I was always considered a foreigner; In Italy I was Jew, in Egypt I was a Jew - a foreigner and an Italian. I was never accepted in Europe as one of them; but the day I landed in the U.S. all that changed and immediately I felt myself at home. I was immediately accepted as one of the Americans. I never was looked upon as a foreigner but, you know ... we're all in this together, we're all Americans and there's never any "ifs" or "buts" or "maybe's" or any questions about that. Immediately we can all feel American but that doesn't mean we deny where came from or we minimize our tradition or ethnic background. On the contrary, our ethnicity makes us even more American because this is what America is all about, it's a real international country. It's a country that accepts all the different cultures and races and religions and makes them it's own without destroying their richness and diversities. So, ... this is an incredible thing about America which is unique only to America. I guess the closest thing you have to the United States would be Israel, where even though the majority of people are all of the same religion - Jewish, they come from a hundred different countries of a hundred different cultures and many different colors. There are Jews from Africa, who are black and from Ethiopia, Jews from Northern Europe are blonde, Jews from Russia, Jews from America, Jews from the Arab countries, even from China and India ... all kinds, all languages and yet they feel a sense of belonging, a sense of community and a sense that their destiny is bound together. So, that's the only comparable example to the United States that yuou have in the world, there is nothing else like this. America is like that, so it's incredible, it's a different kind. When you are nationalistic for the U.S. you're not a patriot of one race or religion or one culture, you are a patriot for all races, all religions, all cultures. It's a patriotism and a nationalism which is universalist and international, which is very good.
Q: Please tell us about the formation of "Rollin' Rock Magazine" and the "Rollin' Rock" record label. What was your first recording?
Ron: Around '69, I just couldn't take it anymore that there was no rock'n'roll. People didn't even know who Gene Vincent was over here! So, I decided to start the "Hollywood Rock'n'Roll Fan Club". I Xeroxed off some flyers and threw them around U.C.L.A. I picked up 3 or 4 members who also liked rock'n'roll, and believe it or not, (sarcasm) I even found one person who knew who Gene Vincent was. So, pretty soon I was stapling together Xeroxed copies of reviews on Chuck Berry's shows and Jerry Lee Lewis shows and Little Richard concerts. I called this little bulletin - "Rollin' Rock", as a spoof on "Rolling Stone" and I said that we were the "under-underground" because "Rolling Stone" was the voice of the underground, which was nothing but the "hippie establishment". Instead , I was, or "Rollin' Rock" was the true underground, the under-underground, the voice of rock'n'roll and the movement against the hippies and the negativism of the hippie generation. That was "Rollin' Rock Magazine".
The next step was that I bought an Eddie Cochran import album that had the address of the Eddie Cochran import album that had the address of the Eddie Cochran fan club in England. I wrote to them and pretty soon I started to correspond with the European fan clubs, rock'n'roll fan clubs. I got myself a few members, 20 or 30 subscribers and then more and more. Some of these kids wanted to get rare records that are very hard to find, so I found out that one of these records - Jimmy Patton's "Yeh Movin'" was on a local Hollywood label - Sage Records. I went down to see them and asked if I could lease the tapes and make a record. They were surprised that anybody would be interested in what they considered, you know ... "crap". (you can hear the smile in Ron's voice) "Why would anyone want to put this stuff out that faded in the 50's in the first place?" Well, I told them I would want to put it out because it's great music, a wild rock'n'roll song, and the kids in Europe would love it. I signed a little one-page contract and released my first "Rollin' Rock" record, my first EP. This record had the songs: "Yeh, I'm Movin'", "Let me Slide", "Love Come Back To Me" and "You Aint Shuckin'" - all by Jimmy Patton. I pressed 500 copies, it cost $160 and it went very well. One thing that I forgot to say is that while I was in Europe, I was saving my lunch money which was about a dollar a day. I skipped lunch for about 3 or 4 years. (!) Along with this , I also saved any money I got for Christmas presents or birthday presents in order to buy me a tape recorder. As soon as I came to the States I bought myself a tape recorder; first a stereo recorder then a few years later a 4 track. My "Akai"tape recorder only cost me $135, that's the one on which I mixed-down my first thirteen albums and my "Teac" 4-track cost $435 and that's the master machine on which I recorded thirteen albums.
MAC CURTIS, ROCKIN' RONNY, RAY CAMPI
One of the strangest things about Ronny and me was almost a disaster. In the early days of Rollin' Rock, Ronny was trying to set up recording with several veterans. The name Johnny Carroll came up and Ronny sez "I heard that he got killed in a knife fight back in the 60's." I thought I had heard that story also.. Thus we recorded a voice introed Tribute to Johnny Carroll for one of the albums. It came out...and much to our chagrin(but also elation) Johnny Carroll showed up very much alive and well in Texas. Fortunately we did not say on the album that he was deceased, only that this was a tribute to him as an original rocker. That inspired us to do the song "Johnny Carroll Rock". Later when Johnny and I were re-united in Texas, I shared the story with him. He got a great kick out of it. "Cool man, I'm glad I was alive to hear the album!!!, was his response. Obviously, this story has even greater meaning to us today. -Mac Curtis
Q: Please tell us about re-discovering Ray Campi and about how you met.
Ron: Now, how I met Ray Campi was kinda funny. One summer I was visiting some German rockabilly fans in Berlin and one of 'em plays a 78 called "Caterpillar" and says - "You know this guy Roy Campi, he lives in Hollywood." So, when I come back to the States I asked information for Ray's phone number and they gave it to me. I call Ray, tell him what I'm doing - "I got Rollin" Rock magazine and Rollin" Rock records and I'd like to come over and interview him for the rockabilly and rock'n'roll fans in Europe." I go over there at 7 o'clock in the evening, Ray plays me all these old 78's, shows me his scrapbooks, plays his old tapes, tells me about the 50's; Lightnin' Hopkins, Gene Vincent, Elvis and on and on! Finally, about 7'o'clock in the morning Ray looks at his watch, pulls up his tie and says - "Well, it's time for me to go to school, what are you, are you a student?" He says - "No, I'm a school teacher, I teach English and Grammar." I said to myself: "My God, this guy's been talking and talking and playing records all night and now he's going to school to teach!"
So, I go home, I'm very tired, it's early in the morning and I try to sleep. Around 3:30 in the afternoon, and I try to sleep. Around 3:30 in the afternoon, Bzzzzzzzz!, the buzzer rings and I say - "Who in the devil could this be?" I go there and there are tapes rollin' on the floor, the dogs are chewing on them, 78's cracking, papers flying all over the neighborhood, and Campi comes barreling in. Ray Campi is here, (knocks) "Boom, boom, boom, boom," says - "By the way, I forgot to tell you ... blah, blah blah, blah, ... " another 8 hours Ray talks and tells me this and that. After that session I said - "My God, (weary) this guy Ray Campi, I think he's going to be around here for a long long time." Two days later we recorded my first two Ray Campi singles - "Tore Up" and "Eager Boy". The first recordings I made were of the Jimmie Lee Maslon stuff. I met Jimmie Lee at a meet when he was only 14 years old and the reason that I met him was that I saw under his arm a big stack of 78's which are almost bigger than he was! He had records by Pat Cupp and the Flying Saucers, Gene Vincent, Muddy Waters, etc. and I couldn't believe seeing a kid of his age interested in this kind of music. So, pretty soon I told him about my magazine and fan club, etc. and found out that he could sing. When he was 14 years old in 1971 I recorded my first "Rollin' Rock" record, the stuff by Jimmie Lee Maslon. That's about the time I met Ray. I met Ray later the same year.
Q: I know you have organized European tours for your bands which have become quite popular there. Please tell us how the people react to the music and how the audiences differ from those in the U.S.
Ron: Yeh, we've done many tours of Europe. The first one was in 1977 with "Ray Campi and His Rockabilly Rebels with Mac Curtis" and then we had many more after that. "How do the audiences differ?" They really don't differ that much except that our audiences in England and even more so in Finland and Scandinavia, are very young; the average age is like 14. They start at 8 years old and go up to 16; almost nobody older than that goes to our concerts in Finland and the surrounding area. They all look "right", they have pompadours, wear rockabilly clothes, western clothes, 50's clothes and so forth. In England the audiences are also young, maybe a little older, the average age might be like 18 instead, but in Finland it's more like 14. "As for the response?" Well, you know ... in Europe there are real rockabilly audiences; now we're starting to get them over here too, so I don't see big differences in that respect. When we first started playing here, nobody even knew what that word meant! We started playing here in 1974 with the first "Rockabilly Rebels". We had Billy Zoom in the band who is the guy in the band - "X", Johnny Legend and Ray Campi. So, we couldn't book as oldies because they said, "Oh, this is not oldies!" They couldn't recognize the original songs, so they said - "This is not oldies." When we booked as rock'n'roll, they said - "This is not rock'n'roll, this is oldies! When we booked as country, they said - "This is not country, this is rock'n'roll !!" So, no matter what we booked as, it was never right. They just couldn't understand that what we were doing was just real American rock'n'roll/rockabilly music, and I don't know what the hell their problem was! They book us rock and think they're gonna get Led Zeppelin, they book us oldies and they think we're gonna to all this jive-ass Philadelphia junk! That's not rock'n'roll! And the country places were just as bad; they don't understand that what we are doing is real country music, we're doing real rock'n'roll and real blues and rock-abilly. The stuff that they are accumstomed to is neither!! (Right on Ron !! You tell 'em man!!) It's not country and it's not ... it's just bull, you know ... anyway, we had a lot of trouble getting bookings, but we started in 1974 and kept plowing away.
Q: Why is Rockabilly so important to you?
Ron: It's not a matter of rockabilly, it's rock'n'roll, which is the same thing. Rock'n'roll encompasses rockabilly, rhythm & blues, country, ... it's music, just real music that is very emotional and very soulful. It's not the only thing in the world by any means, but it's one of the nicer things. There are other things; movies, going out, horseback riding, going to the beach, there are hundreds of things. I enjoy going to a good restaurant, watching TV, playing around with the electronic equipment like video recorders and sound recording gear, wearing flashy cowboy clothes, playing with the dogs and ... I don't know, there are hundreds of different things that are fun, but music is one of the important ones and one of the most enjoyable ones.
Q: How do you feel about our rockabilly bands from Washington State - the Magnetics & the 88's?
Ron: I like them, obviously. I wouldn't have recorded them otherwise. I think they are quite good: now they're disbanded, both of them.
Q: Do you play any musical instruments?
Q: How do your girlfriends feel about this crazy rockabilly infatuation of yours?
Ron: They usually don't mind it. Like I said, I do other things, besides listen to rock'n'roll music; we go to movies and shows, watch TV, go to the beach and whatnot, so I'm not one of those guys who is 24 hours a day listening to music or doing nothing but playing with records. As a matter of fact, I have a certain contempt for some of these collectors who are more concerned about how the label looks and when the record came out than what is in the groove, what the sound is all about. I don't really care much about what the label looks like, but I do care much more about whether I like the music. It doesn't matter to me whether it was recorded in 1982 or 1922, all I am interested in is whether I like it or not. Aside from rock'n'roll, as I said before, I like blues, Dixieland, Al Jolson, some classical music - not much but some. Israeli music of course, that's great, that's fantastic! I also like Cantorial music and every form of American music: mountain folk music, bluegrass, jazz, ... You name it, rhythm & blues, any form of American music. Of course, I don't like all this stuff. I like the better songs. There's always rockabilly, blues or any kind of music material that I don't like. I don't like all rockabilly. As a matter of fact, there's a lot of very weak rockabilly. But, the best rock'n'roll and the rockabilly is impossible to beat. To me, the best rock'n'roll is represented by Elvis Presley, Little Richard and Gene Vincent. That's the best! The best stuff by Little Richard and Elvis Presley cannot be touched by anybody. The same goes for the slow Gene Vincent songs; nobody can touch those. I actually like more rhythm and blues artists than I do rockabilly artists; I like Fats Domino very much, Chuck Berry, many of the Atlantic and New Orleans people, people like LaVern Baker, Chuck Willis, Hank Ballard, even the doo-wop vocal groups. I like a tremendous amount of R & B music: Professor Longhair, the Frogman ... also country, I like very, very much Johnny Horton, Wanda Jackson, Frankie Laine in his western stuff not the middle-of-the-road pop, but songs like "Rawhide", "Ghost Riders In The Sky", "Gun-fight At The O.K. Corral", "Mule Train" and so on. The Gospel singers too, Mahalia Jackson and others like Sister Rosette Tharpe. Also, Hank Williams, Webb Pierce, Jimmy Rodgers, and even the big swing bands - Benny Goodman, Harry James, Count Basie, ahhh ... there's a tremendous amount of American music that is fantastic. Unfortunately, there isn't that much nowadays, although it is getting better all the time with more and more acceptance of real rock'n'roll and rockabilly.
Q: What clothes should the rockabilly cat of today have in his wardrobe? How important is "the style"? To me, it's much more important to have "the attitude".
Ron: Rockabilly cats should wear Western clothes, 1950's clothes. "How important is the style?" Well, I don't know, ... I think Western clothes and 50's clothes really look sharp, so why not wear them?! Also, if you go to see a show on a rock'n'roll band, the fact that you go to see a "show" means that you want to see something, you just don't want to hear the music. Just to hear music, you could stay home and play a record on the turntable. When you go out to a night-club or a concert, you want to see a show. Also, you want to have a good audience, a good sound system, and you want to have a band that looks neat, that looks sharp, that puts on a show! You want them to move, you want them to look crazy, ... that's what it's all about. Your hi-fi system probably has a better sound than any night-club, so I think it is important for them to have a distinctive, unique, interesting look. Now, it doesn't have to be like every band, but it should have a certain uniqueness, a certain sharpness, a certain individuality, so that the whole thing jels. This way, the music complements the look, complements the movement, complements the whole mood with the audience participation and everything. If that is lacking then you are missing out on something. So, the visuals are important when you go out to see a show.
The attitude? Of course, you've gotta have "the attitude", that's very important. The band must have a rock'n'roll or rockabilly attitude and a feeling for it. They can't fake it, they can't contrive it, they've got to be natural, they've gotta feel it! That's the whole thing about Rollin' Rock Records; when we go to record, we never try to recreate the 50's, 80's, or 40's, it doesn't make any difference to us; that's what we feel, that's what we record. If it sounds like 50's, then all the better, I'm not ashamed - "fine", I'm not embarrassed. What I am trying to say is that it is not nostalgia. It is 50's and 60's and 70's and 80's and 90s. Real rock'n'roll is permanent, it's eternal, it has no date, it's not dated and never will be dated. It's just fun music, music for youth, and that's it! It can never be dated. People were wearing blue-jeans, cowboy boots and western shirts a hundred years ago. So, it's always the same - it's "the American Style". It's individualism, the pioneer spirit, freedom, the way you want to dance and have a good time, be a swinging cat, be an American, go outdoors in the West and let the sound come out of your music. It's the melting of the different cultures - the black blues, the white hillbilly with a touch of French (phone rings, Ron stops to answer and then comes back. Instead of continuing his sermon, he just laughs at himself and says:) well anyway ... whatever!
Q: I really dig Jimmie Lee Maslon's - "Please give Me Something"; man that is one sexy number!! Could you give us some background on that recording?
Ron: The original version was recorded in 1971 when Jimmie Lee was only 14 years old. That recording can be found on the BOMP album #6901 and also on the single - Rollin' Rock #4513. The second version of the song was recorded ten years later in '81 and it's on the album which came out in Finland called - "Your Wildcat Ways".
Q: Do you have a message for the rock'n'rollers of the world; some bit of wisdom to leave us with?
Ron: Yes. "TELL ALL THE CRAZY BOPPING CATS AND SEXY CHICKS TO KEEP ON BOPPIN & HOPPING & BIPPING & FLIPPING & SLIPPING & SHAKING & BREAKING & MOVING & GROOVING AND REEEEEEELING WITH THE FEEEEEEELING!!!!!!!! OWW, OWW, OWW, OWW, OWW, OW, OW!! OOOOOH, YEAH!!!!"
ROLLIN' ROCK RECORDS 1997 RELEASE SCHEDULE:
MAC CURTIS, Best Of, Rollin' Rock/HMG 6601 OUT NOW!!!!!
JOHNNY CARROLL, Texabilly + more, Rollin' Rock/HMG 6602 - August 12
RAY CAMPI, Best Of, Rockabilly Rebellion, Rollin' Rock/HMG 6603 - Sep.9
THE BLASTERS, American Music + 7, Hightone/Rollin' Rock - Sep.15
ROLLIN' ROCK GOT THE SOCK, (lower price), Rollin' Rock/HMG 4002 - Sep.23
JOHNNY LEGEND, Rockabilly Bastard, Rollin' Rock/HMG 6605
JIMMIE LEE MASLON, More Salacious Rockabilly Cat, RR/HMG 6608 - Oct.14
JACKIE LEE COCHRAN, Rockabilly Music, RR/HMG 6609 - Nov.4
ROLLIN' ROCK GOT THE SOCK VOL.2, RR/HMG4003 - January 15, 1998
For more info, contact "The Legend Himself": Rockin' Ronny, Las Vegas, RockRonny@aol.com - tell him Bob at the RAB HOF sent ya. BTW: Ronny has agreed to promote your Rockabilly Hall of Fame by listing our address on all CD inserts.
Rollin' Rock Records
2460 Casey Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89120
"ROCKABILLY REBELLION" A RHOF feature column written by Rockin' Ronny Weiser makes it's debut.
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