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The Roadhead Chronicles

By Mike Marino

Sample Chapter: Where Cool Was Born

Page 3 of 8


45 rpm's, three plays for a quarter, and the beat goes on. Down to the juke joint you go in, as the music launched like a rocket and was about to break the Tin Pan Alley milquetoast sound barrier. It was all about energy and sweat, harnessed and then unleashed. Little Richard, resplendent, regal, raucous and downright rock 'n roll ravenous, bangin' the 88's and screaming across the sky like some flamboyant out of control, off the path meteor shower. Chuck Berry, with no particular place to go, still searched high and low for Marie, still lost in Memphis. Even, the mighty duck walkin' Uncle Chuck was fighting the perennial battle royale against the mighty tag team of un-cooperative seatbelt and bra strap.

A musical cattle drive was also underway from Lubbock, Texas, as Peggy Sue's bespeckled, horn rimmed musical boyfriend, gave us heaping plateful's of our buddy, Holly's famous American Pie, until the plate fell with a crash from the table and landed with a deafening silence in a cornfield one cold, below zero Iowa night. Memphis, too, was beginning to go into musical orbit with Beale Street blues cats and rockabilly strays circling the Sam Phillips Memphis Sun like planets in perfect synchronicity, while blue suede shoes tapped to a hillbilly beat. A spectral vision was rising from the muggy musical mist swamps of Tupelo, swiveling and sneering, the gold lame truck driver who would one day become simply, The King. Viva Las Vegas!!

The rock and roll syringe was laced with it's boom boom beat narcotic and was looking for veins. The drug was having it's narco effect around the world, hooking the skiffle junkies of jolly olde England. One young man, from Liverpool, John Lennon, heavily influenced by this leather jacketed rebellion, was forming his first group called the Quarrymen, who by the 1960's would change their name and in the process, change music forever.

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