Graham Parker and the Rumour

Graham Parker and the Rumour
The Roxy
The Sunset Strip
West Hollywood, California
By Victoria Joyce

Early Bird Special

Geezer Rock? Getting home by 11 o’clock and seeing Mick Jagger do Letterman’s Top Ten culminating with a “sex and drugs and rock and roll” trifecta going all topsy-turvy wasn’t exactly how we thought the evening would go. But Graham Parker played the Roxy and Judd Apatow put him there. You know, Hollywood guy?

Yeah, Mr. Comedy is a big fan of GP. And wrote him into his latest film “This is 40.” Starring Paul Rudd, as a record exec who signs Punk Pioneer Graham Parker reunited with his magnifico original back up band – The Rumour (British spelling, if you please) to his indie label. And hilarity ensures.

In real life, The Rumour’s reunion started with Parker calling Andrew Bodnar to play bass guitar coupled with Steve Goulding on drums for the rhythm section. That led to the natural progression of old band mates Brinsley Schwartz and Martin Belmont playing guitars. One of those great “what if’s” that happens every now and again.

All giggly like a kid, Parker is interviewed in a promotional featurette for the film: “What I think is great is that The Rumour re-formed after 32 years to do an album and it’s mixed up with this Judd Apatow movie. It’s fantastic! Couldn’t have written this script!” Pretty cheerful stuff. And NOBODY deserves it more.

“Three Chords Good” is the name of the new album with “Long Emotional Ride” the breakout single. Sweet stuff.  Soulful Sunday morning organ and sentimental slide guitar work with a punky funky beat. And Parker’s voice still is all there; edgy, sly and sarcastic, cutting to the bone and right on time. One of our favorite songwriters too. Up there with Warren Zevon & Dylan.

“Nobody wants to hear anything from your new album,” was the first of Jagger’s lame-o jokes on Dave’s Top Ten. Too true. At Parker’s Roxy show, devout fans kept shouting out old timey faves – some from the 70’s. (“Heat Treatment!” “Fool’s Gold!”) Definitely a Geezer Rock crowd, silver-haired and relaxed-fit jeans; hence the 8pm start time – Early Bird Special had Lindsay Buckingham and Ryan Adams for an opener. By 10:30p the second encore was done.

Graham Parker finished big with his cover of the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back.” Adore his version. It’s less of a love song making a wish and more of a work order issuing a complaint.

“This is 40” Featurette – Graham Parker & The Rumor
Mick Jagger on Letterman’s “Top Ten Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years”