Over the past few years I have been more and more into old country and rockabilly. (My new favorite musician is Roger Miller — amazing!) So I was kind of intrigued by the prospect of seeing 72-year-old Wanda Jackson in the familiar confines of the Black Cat. I had some friends hanging out downstairs drinking, and was halfway tempted to pass up the show ($20 is expensive for the Black Cat) but I knew I would regret it if I didn’t check it out. Good decision!
I actually knew some of her songs in advance, like “There’s a Riot Going On” and “Funnel of Love” — plus she did some Elvis covers and standards like “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going’ On” and “I Saw the Light.” It was interesting to hear her talk about how she was mostly performing in Europe, and was unaware that there was a burgeoning underground punk-ish scene in the U.S. that was all into rockabilly and her kind of music. Then she came back here and started touring successfully. Must have been so weird for her. And the crowd was pretty interesting — a wide range of ages, some country types, a lot of young punks, a sizable lesbian contingent, at least one hot little teen who looked like a Suicide Girl. But Wanda seemed into it. I guess I would be too, if this strange young generation got all excited about me at that age.
Check out some clips:
There were a couple of things that had me rolling my eyes — she was such a show biz veteran, playing up her stories about Elvis from back in the day. I mean, how many times has she told these stories over the past 50 years? But basically there was absolutely no way that any rock and roll fan could help but totally enjoy the show. I was smiling most of the way through, and I kind of think I’ve been in a good mood ever since… Can only hope I can still pick up a guitar (or be alive!) at that age.