It all started in 2010; and by 'it' I mean this blog
Saturday, 1 December 2018
It's Been a Long Time Since I Did The Stroll
It's been a long time
I have to confess that, despite the title of today's piece, I have never done The Stroll1. In fact, until as recently as ten minutes ago I wasn't even aware that it came with its own song. Yes, I'd heard Led Zeppelin's mighty Rock and Roll2 and yes I knew Nick Lowe slipped a reference to it in I Knew the Bride, but I still couldn't have told you, strictly or otherwise, which foot to lead with or, indeed, who takes the initiative. However, looking at this video, I don't think any of that really matters; all you do, seemingly, is, er, stroll. Who knew?
The Stroll - from American Bandstand, February 1958
1. Not knowingly, anyway. 2. I recently played my stripped down version of Rock and Roll at the Running Horse in Nottingham. I introduced it by saying that if there were any Led Zep fans in the room, then now might be a good time to go to the bar.
I've never done the stroll either, but I did once throw some bonkers shapes on a dance floor to Led Zeppelin's 'Rock and Roll'. It was a long time ago and I'm afraid I was very, very drunk.ReplyDelete
It's a clarion call, isn't it? There are certain tunes that, when they come on, there is no way on earth you can keep still.Delete
Here at Medd Towers we embrace all shapes being thrown - irrespective of their bonkersness.
That video of "The Stroll" suggests that even the dancers thought it was the most boring dance ever. I saw Led Zeppelin at Aberdeen Music Hall in 1973*** and they opened with "Rock and Roll", but for me the highlight of that show was Robert Plant's vocal on "(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care".ReplyDelete
***There's a really rough bootleg of the show on Youtube - all 2 hours 3 minutes of it. My mate and me bootlegged and I think ours was better, but that tape is long gone.
I reckon in '73 you must have seen them at the height of their powers. I think between 1971 & 1975 they were pretty much untouchable. Still got the ticket stub?Delete
No ticket stub. I was reviewing the gig for one of the newspapers I worked for back then. I did get to speak with Robert Plant for about 90 seconds!Delete
That would mean there's a review somewhere? Fancy sharing it with us?Delete
Sorry - 30 years in newspapers & I never kept a single cutting. None of the reviews from that far back will be on computer files and the days of newspaper cuttings libraries are - sadly - long gone.Delete
Not to worry, it was worth an ask.Delete
I've done the stroll, and it's actually a sexy kind of rhythm. Those little white kids look so dour because they have only the vaguest idea what they're doing and are probably self-conscious because of the camera. Clue: Most of them are looking at their feet, not their partners. ;-)ReplyDelete
The song is performed on the video by the Diamonds, a Canadian group who had a huge hit with "Little Darlin'" (a cover of the original by R 'n' B group the Gadiolas.) Chuck Willis was known as "The King of the Stroll." Here's his hit, "C.C. Rider":
I was kinda waiting for you to weigh in Marie! You're right, those kids know as much about rock and roll as I know about astro physics.Delete
If there's a King of The Stroll, who's the Queen?
P.S. I just noticed my typo, John - It's Gladiolas, not "GADiolas". ;-)Delete
From the '20s to the '50s, there seem to have been a number of "Kings" but, off the top of my head, I can't think of any "Queens" until Aretha in the '60s.
Maybe it's time The Stroll made a comeback...ReplyDelete
Just watched the clip - A bit before my time and it does look a bit dull although from what Marie says, there was all sorts of rhythmic sensuality going on at the same time so shame I missed it.ReplyDelete
I am reminded of a great clip from Soul Train I think, where they wander in two at a time doing the weirdest walks imaginable. Will have to track it down now or it'll annoy me all evening.
Found that Soul Train line dancing clip - Bit different from the Stroll!Delete
Also gets a mention in Syd Barrett’s Here I Go, “She don’t do the stroll, well she don’t do it right”. All our favourite psychedelic popinjays grew up on stuff like that.ReplyDelete
Artog - I will dig that out immediately! How are you btw? How's Mars?Delete