11 April 2009

Out to sea - Rhys and me

In 1964 my favourite music was by Little Walter, Howlin Wolf, SonnyBoy Williamson and Junior Wells. How does this come about in a baby girl in rural Victoria? Via The Beatles and the Rolling Stones mentioning those artists in press interviews of course.
By 1966 I was in the big city and 'Rhythm and Blues' was the Mod musical currency. Soul baby.

So yesterday, 43 years later, enthralled by the 129 wonderful minutes of The Boat That Rocked, and recognising two bars of Junior Wells's 'Snatch It Back And Hold It' ... underscoring a plot point perfectly, I just felt 17 again

Mods Gods featured in this film -
All Day And All Of The Night - Dave & Ray Davies
Friday On My Mind - Easybeats (Vanda & Young)
We Gotta Get Outta This Town - Eric Burdon & The Animals
For Your Love -The YardBirds
Dancin In The Street - Martha & The Vandellas
These Arms Of Mine - Otis
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) -Darlene Love
The Stones - Lets Spend The Night Together,
Jimi Hendrix,
and of course Miss Dusty Springfield.

To me, a negative Movie Show review is just a challenge.
Xan somebody reviewing for The Guardian called it 'pallid'.
Variety-the-showbiz-bible, said it was 'too long'.
None of them was a hip Mod teen in Melbourne 1966.
The Boat That Rocked was wonderful.
Nighy was wonderful.
Rhys Ifans was wonderful.
The music was wonderful.
The editing was too.
The 129 minutes not too long for anybody who first heard all that music when it was in it's chronological cultural context. Please do treat yourself to this film, and don't waste your money by expecting it to be a documentary, as it is in the mold of an Ealing comedy, the popular cinema of that era. It has a nod to Richard Lester's Sixties cinema-style. You will recognise that dippy secretary of Doc Martin's in it, it has Ken Branagh positively CHANNELLING Ealing comedy-era Peter Sellers characterisation in
I'm Alright Jack-
Ken is cast as the meanie again - he was the bad guy in the St.Trinian's film - is it because nobody likes him?

Did I mention that Rhys Ifans and Philip Seymour Hoffman give us Academy Award-winning performances?.
Rhys may have been catalytically-converting his angst over silly-Sienna, and the plot gives a nod to that kind of thing. You won't be seeing her in any Richard Curtis films I can tell you now.
Rhys plays a cool DJ.Melbourne Mods didn't suffer the deprivation of London's.
We had a cool DJ and in 1964 all hip 5th-Formers had transistor radios in their schoolbags so we could listen daily at 4:30 pm. Melbourne's cool DJ was
Mr Stan 'The Man' Rofe.

He played the hip stuff.

Stan would have just loved
The Boat That Rocked.
You will love it too.
Don't get up when the credits roll, sit and let
roll over you like a train.

Corey Maxson Tucker says:
"In 1965 Frank Sinatra was slated to record this but cancelled due to illness. Lucky for us, the studio and orchestra were booked and paid for allowing back-up singer Lorraine Ellison to step in.
Ellison unequivocally slays this track. Ellison's version starts with a calculated and soothing build up. The Janis Joplin cover crashes right into the pathos. Yet both renditions stop you in your tracks – Ellison and Joplin display a rare power to erupt in an
utter and desperate longing.
If these songs don’t make you emote and empathize with the singers,
then you are clearly dead inside and have a heart two sizes too small."

I am going to see this Mod-fest movie again.


  1. the film has Darlene Love's Spector-produced-avalanche of sound - 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), but it isn't on the film soundtrack CD, which does have This Old Heart Of Mine (a Mod classic) that I do not recall in the film.

  2. 3 comments:

    Andrew said...
    Convinced me. I will go in spite of preferring Bowie's Friday on my Mind to the Easybeat's.
    April 10, 2009

    oh did Bowie do it? I bought The Easybeats the day it was released. Saw them live in a venue PACKED beyond human endurance once. Thank you Hot Andrew.

    Brian Hughes said...
    Seen it advertised, but haven't actually seen it yet. By an odd coincidence, the last film I actually saw at the cinema was hrumphty years ago and was Quadrophenia.

    LOVED Quadrophenia! it was the last time Sting was amusing. and Phil Daniels film debut, and he has gone on to prove he is a great actor. Rockers used to threaten Mods in Melbourne too.

    April 11, 2009
    Helen said...
    Thanks for this Anne O' - I was planning to see this anyway, bugger the movie show review, which I missed thank goodness.

    "All day and all of the night" one of my favourite songs EVAH - looking forward to it

    Thanks Helen! ATDAAOTN opens the film - a great blast off. Dont take the kids though. too much squirm-inducing sex stuff in the not-pretty category. nudity fullfrontal both sexes, prolonged condoms and campfire stories too foul.

  3. Hanging to see this movie, that list of music is Classic Gold to revel in!
    Stan the Man Rofe was still a legend in the 80's "This is the platter parade".
    Interview of Bill Nighy on 774 made me want to see it even more, can't wait :D

  4. Thanks Jayne.

    Another Reader writes:
    "you nitwit Ann, the Animals song is
    'We Gotta Get Outta This Place'.

    at least she is reading me, and if I'm a nitwit, is that why it's called 'nitpicking'?

    It's a testament to the power of nostalgia that I loved the film despite it having some songs I will always LOATHE. There must have been fights over the music, so look for the poor person in the credits who had to get all the Publishing Permissions - a fiddly rotten job.

  5. My god, I remember 'Stan The Man Rofe'. The good old days huh?

  6. " was the last time Sting was amusing."

    Can't agree with you there, Annie. When he stepped out of the shower in Dune wearing nothing but a pair of wings on his wonga I couldn't stop laughing for days.

  7. were they big ... tantric wings?
    I missed Dune, probably put-off by Mr Trudy Styles.

  8. Annie,

    I think they come off a very sick wren.

  9. oh my god! i want to see this movie so bad! i can't wait until it gets here in vancouver. probably take a while as it'll be presented in art house cinemas.

    i hear rhys ifan gives an amazing performance in the movie. and i LOVE the music having been spoon fed by my parents when i was a little girl.

    can't wait.

  10. I feeli like I am 17 again...sigh..good stuff...

  11. Will check it out on your recommendation and those of so many others. Kenny Everett was one of the nautical DJs. Liked him till I saw him address a rapturous Conservative Party conference in 1983.