The song heard at the end of this post was the breakthrough song that brought this group into the spotlight. It was the opening theme song to the film The Wild Angels and first brought widespread notice to Allan’s ‘new’ fuzz sound. It stayed on the Billboard music charts for seventeen weeks, and interestingly, was one of the first songs learned on guitar by a young Eddie Van Halen.
I am proud to introduce our fifth exclusive story from another legendary '60s rocker! Today's awesome collection of thoughts comes from the pioneer of fuzz, Davie Allan! Check out his story and then listen to "Blues Theme" below!
A Bit Like You And Me and readers,It's always wonderful when somebody takes the time to share a story with A Bit Like You And Me. I'd like to thank Davie whole-heatedly for going above and beyond with his correspondence and sincerity toward sharing some great '60s music stories!
All it took for me to know what I wanted to do with my life was seeing Elvis the first time. The first record I bought was “All Shook Up” and my first guitar was made by Emenee. It was basically a four string toy that had Elvis’ picture on it. It was useless except for getting me started, but, oh, how I wish I had held on to it!
When I graduated from the surf sound (which may not be the correct term, since I was doing things like “Apache” and “Ghost Riders In the Sky”), the big change was our soundtrack from The Wild Angels. I loved what Duane Eddy had been doing with low notes and I tried to take them to another plateau with my added distortion. My attempt was to create a sound that imitated what I imagined a motorcycle might sound like if it were a musical instrument.
My 1965 Fender, “Jazzmaster” (funny, I don’t play any ”jazz” at all!), has been modified to take the surf out of it. With it being forty-seven years old, it still looks as gnarly as it sounds.
I call my music "melodic grunge" and Little Steven gave me an interesting comment when we were doing Fuzz for the Holidays in '04. He had come out here to help put together a track for Christmas with the Kranks and I said something about making mistakes in my recordings and not repairing them. He replied, "We all think they're part of the songs and wonder how you came up with them.”
Speaking of "Blues Theme," we opened Little Steven’s "Underground Garage Festival" in New York that same year with "Blues Theme" and he said “now that's the way to start a show!” He closes his radio show with the tune.
For forty-plus years, many people have said that the melody in "Blues Theme" was lifted (or stolen) from the guitar lick in "Last Train To Clarksville" [by The Monkees]. How about this bit of trivia: "Last Train to Clarksville" was recorded on July 25th, 1966 and The Wild Angels (featuring "Blues Theme") hit the theaters on July 20th, 1966.
And guess what else! Davie Allan himself will sign every CD sold on his website. Check out his website here, and be sure to check out the merchandise, here, including his latest album, Retrophonic 3!
And now that you've enjoyed this exclusive story, why not check out what other exclusive stories we've received?
Davie Allan & The Arrows - Blues' Theme (1966)
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