Graham Parker and The Rumour

Up the Escalator – Graham Parker and the Rumour

In the eighties, one of my favorite finds was Graham Parker and The Rumour. I loved Stranded on the Devil’s Sidewalk because I felt like I had been there. Some musicians made me feel like they were talking to me, and Graham Parker was one of them.

Years later I was listening to him and thought, “Wait a minute. He sounds just like Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson. I liked all of them and figured they were all copying Elvis since he was the biggest. Turns out Parker was first with that sound.

Anyway, the albums I purchased back then were Squeezing out Sparks, Up the Escalator, and Stick to Me. I’m selling Up the Escalator on Discogs. I’ll put the others up soon.

Whiteaker Block Party

I always enjoy the Whiteaker Block Party which occurs in Eugene every August. The neighborhood has a lot of personality and they get to show it off at this yearly festival. Saw a couple of really good bands there this year. Here’s some video from those shows.

Austin in the early 70s

The late sixties were an interesting moment in radio history when DJs were given free rein to play anything they liked off albums. If you found a knowledgeable DJ you could hear Procol Harem, Foghat, Jethro Tull, Savoy Brown just to name a few of my favorites.

My good friend Mark’s older brother Chip somehow was tapped into whatever cool band was coming out next. He would bring home some really wild stuff. We listened to Trout Mask Replica, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Blue Cheer, Captain Beyond, MC5. This stuff was way too far out to be heard on the radio and way beyond the blues-influenced rock I had found on my own. Each of the bands I just listed had a completely different sound from the others.

We would sit around in their living room listening to records while Chip was usually working on some wild acrylic painting. He eventually did some album covers for Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush. He still draws and paints some amazing stuff.

Then came The Armadillo World Headquarters. That place is really what started giving Austin the reputation of being the live music capital. My favorite musician to see there was Freddie King. He was such a great showman with a blues guitar style all his own. And Leon Russell would be on piano. What a show!