Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Hello Liverpool!

I would never send out two posts in the same day were it not for the fantastic news I wish to share with my friends. I received a call early this morning, noon London time, from my man at Ace Records UK, Alec Palao, who was the producer of the CD: "Randy and the Radiants: Memphis Beat, The Sun Recordings 1964-1966." He had told me it might take a year or two before word of mouth spread about the disc, but a pirate radio station, broadcasting from a ship off the UK coast, began playing a song last month by Bob Simon called "Nobody Walks Out on Me," written in 1965, and it has become the most demanded and downloaded song in the English Midlands. It appears that after forty years, we may have a hit record on our hands. But here's the exciting part.

The surviving Radiants, plus Reni Simon, have been invited to participate in an event called the "Liverpool Renaissance" in the fall. Liverpool is completing a year as the official "Cultural Capital of Great Britain," and all the renovations have been turned into pedestrian malls, shops, and areas for concerts by the Mersey River. There is also a large entertainment district with a variety of nightclubs, but the buzz has been about a club called "Mania," with a limited partnership that includes Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. The 1,200 seat club will feature music from the 1960s era performed by both vintage and contemporary groups. Somehow, Sir Paul heard Bob's song on the radio and called Ace Records to get the story, and he was fascinated that Sun Records and Sam Phillips ever recorded a "garage band." Because of his fondness for Sun, (he owns Bill Black's "doghouse" bass), the Radiants will perform at "Mania" during their opening week. Every celebrity from rock royalty to real royalty are rumored to be attending, but that's not all.

Sir Paul has become interested in the Radiants' history, especially that we persevered for thirty years, and believes that since Liverpool and Memphis are similar, the stories of the Beatles and the Radiants are likewise similar. So, Apple Corps. has decided, along with my friend Isaac Tigrett, to fund a project that will bring famed British artist and documentarian Alan Aldridge, editor of "The Beatles' Illustrated Lyrics," to Memphis over the summer to film black-and-white scenes at local 1960s hotspots like the former T. Walker Lewis YMCA, Clearpool, and the Mid-South Coliseum. The plan is for the yet untitled film to be debuted at "Mania" in September before the Radiants' performance. But, and this is important, here's where you come in.

Mr. Aldridge has asked for everyone that participated in the Sixties' scene to be part of a "Battle of the Bands" recreation at the former T. Walker Lewis YMCA, now the Ira Samelson Boy's Club, behind Treadwell High. He will intersperse scenes of young dancers with the actual people who were there at the time. The filming will be on a Sunday evening when the facility will be available and everyone who shows up will receive an "extra's fee." Those willing to share their memories of the time and be interviewed on camera will receive a standard actor's fee, plus a royalty if the film is picked up for distribution. They are particularly looking for stories concerning the wildness of the place to compare to the Cavern Club. After the interviews, the Radiants will play T. Walker Lewis one more time, and we're hoping to convince the original Flash and the Casuals to join us in the "battle." Of course, we're supposed to win.

I know you are as excited to take part in this unbelievable event as we are, and we all hope to have our own
"Magical Mystery Tour" right here in the River City. I understand a special guest or two might be coming from London, but that's all I'm saying. I can barely believe it myself, but I will notify everyone when the occasion draws near and we can all make plans to go to T. Walker Lewis again, but this time, no fighting or making-out in the parking lot. The film crew should be here in early June, after Memphis in May wraps up, which only seems just around the corner. We can already start counting the days. If the British arrive on June 7, then that's only...let's see what today is. Oh yeah, April Fool.


Anonymous said...

Congrats Randy, It's about time.

Anonymous said...

Mazel Tov! Start doing some road work, you'll need to get in shape, this thing could go 15 rounds.

Anonymous said...


Alan Copeland said...

Too bad it's not true. That would be a great cudo to Bob and the Radiant's music.
Good one, Randy.

Steve said...

You bastard, I believed every word of it!

Joe M. said...

Nice one. You'd reeled me in until the end!

willreed said...

rando - man you had me headed for liverpool by way of t. walker lewis.

Anonymous said...

Is any of this true at all? If not, you've got a hell of an imagination.

Stick said...

Hi Randy, Stick here. Have of course been following your 'Born Again Hippies' web-entries. Always entertaining with that Haspel touch. Congratulations on your upcoming trip to 'the 'Pool with fellow Radiants. Especially with your self-described download popularity in U.K. Have visited Liverpool many times. Ground Zero for guys of our era. Believe me the vibe is real there, even though the Cavern isn't. I know you probably have Steve going on Bass, BUT.....well you know the rest. I know we haven't been in touch in many years but I'm sure you felt as myself and many others on our losses of Butch McDade and of course the man that got my career firmly off the ground, Byrd. Thanks for including me on your e-mail list. Please give my best to Bob & Steve and of course to yourself. With this, I am,
Sincerely yours,

Father Farken said...

You had me at Hello! Farken

JS said...

You Bastard.

Randy said...

Dear Friends,
Even though the above post is total bullshit from top to bottom, I was touched by the many messages of congratulations and good wishes. But let me ask a question. Did you really believe that British teens in Nottingham were downloading a 44 yr. old Radiants' tune from a pirate ship in the Atlantic? I agree that "Mania" is a good name for a nightclub, but Paul McCartney funding a documentary comparing the Radiants' story to the Beatles? The names are real, but Alec Palao lives in San Fransisco, Alan Aldridge lives in L.A. and, to my knowledge, has never operated anything more complicated than a camcorder, and Isaac Tigrett lives on the ashram of Sathya Sai Baba in Southern India. Thanks guys, for participating in my little prank. But, I had you going for a minute, didn't I? Happy April Fools everybody! Now ya'll can go on about your business and thanks for sharing in my fantasy. By the way, did you think you were going to get paid?
Peace and Love,

Anonymous said...

That was the musical equivalent of coitus interruptus. I was just about to get my rocks off and then book a motel in Memphis and go to T.Walker Lewis where I cut my sreet life teeth.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Randy, you are a bastard. I bought this story completely from the start
Really irritating. The funny thing is that I still think its possible for someone of our age group to be a R&R star...Gawd, won't I ever grow up??!!


Dick Paris said...

Great Fool's Day joke, Randy. Still it brought back some great memories and I was wistful thinking about those CYO's and MYF's and especially a girl we called "the snake" in honor of her dancing.

Maybe you really should try to schedule a reunion "battle of the bands" for some future date.

Thanks again for stirring a lot of really warm memories.

Still a fan after all these years.


Anonymous said...

Here's some trivia. The name of the T. Walker Lewis girl known as the 'snake' is Patty Anderson. I believe that she went to Treadwell High. She dated a Kingsbury High tough guy named David Edwards. He was very protective of her and sometimes got a little rowdy with guys got too fired up about her 'snake' dance.