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.