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Monday, February 8, 2010

Leon Redbone

This guy is an hero of mine since 1978, when I purchased his "Double Time" on WB... ragtime acoustic guitar played with superb dexterity and skill, with tuba and clarinet... WOW!

Very strange music, indeed... hinting to pre-WWII atmospheres... then, in the years, I bought ALL his discs, in glorious vinyl form.

The VERY reason I'm writing about him is I listened, during a drunken (yes... of course I had my reasons...) Sunday evening listening session, a quite misteryous disc, a double record set simply titled "Leon Redbone Live", which sounded to my alchool-biased ears, THE most appropriate music ever;-)))

... but let me briefly talk about a.m. disc(s)... if you check at L.R.'s official site you'll not find any hinting to this 1985 recording... only Wikipedia suggests it in (almost) complete discography...

I purchased this disc in Paris, in 1994, in a small shop near Pantheon... the shop owner attended at the '92 Olympia's show which only recently became a disk, after tapes remained in dusty vaults for decades.

The guy - God bless him - was so fond of Leon's music he imported directly from USA some copies of the 2-lps and sold them in his shop... he explained to me that due to BIG hassles between the artist and record company, the record was misknown by Leon himself and several legal actions were taken on his part, as no money was involved - for artist pockets - in this record selling worldwide...

Mr. Redbone was - I'm sure - quite scared about the whole matter... nonetheless, the disc is of superb musical and sonic value!

I smoothly listened to the four sides in Gotorama, like sipping a Laphroaig's turf glass... the "Whisky" and "Champagne Charlie" tracks were the most appreciated by yours truly, yesterday evening. Hic...

The hand-clapping in the audience, the witty introducing to songs, the FANTASTIC guitar playing... all contribute to make this record, a little, humble treasure of mine.

Remains the mistery of a man who changed his name - previously Dickran Gobalian - to the actual one and sort-of appeared from somewhere in the Outer Space - Cyprus - to bring joy and humour and wittiness to the World.

BTW: how old is him, really?

P.S. - if interested, there are at least two really cheap sealed copies of this elusive disc on Ebay... grab'em!

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