Wednesday, January 24, 2007

DROP 22

Rodney Allen was signed to Subway after Martin Whitehead had seen him play just one gig. He was very young, don't know exactly but sixteen maybe. At least he's got one song about being sixteen. He recorded one album and one 12" for Subway, and although "Circle Line" from the 12" might be my favourite I'm going to give you a song from the album Happysad. Because I managed to find it on eBay a few months ago. Two copies turned up around the same time and one of the sellers said it was the first copy he'd seen for years and years. I certainly haven't seen it anywhere before. But it's much too good to be kept in dusty record collections. Rodney Allen is a great songwriter and the description 'a Rickenbacker-equipped Billy Bragg' is not too far from the truth. This is one of the best songs on the record and it's from 1987. I wonder what became of him when he grew up?

DROP 22
Rodney Allen - Come Around Suzy

9 comments:

stephen said...

I think Rodney joined the excellent Blue Aeroplanes for a while. You should play "Tolerance" on your radio show one week.

Anonymous said...

First of all congratulations and thanks for your essay, it was an absolutely
interesting read. Your blog is excellent aswell. Makes me remember the good
old days.

I thought I'd write some things I know about Rodney Allen.

1. He was a part-time member of Bristol-fellows The Chesterf!elds.

2. He appeared on several compilation-tapes with songs that haven't been
released elsewhere (I remember Byebye love from a japanes tape that featured
amongst other James Dean Driving Experience, Charlottes and The Ammonites. I
think it was the first kind of japanese Compilation tape from the late
eighties. I don't remember the exact title but it was something like "My
favourite Sunday afternoon". Another compilation of that time was entitled
Kite and Rodney had a great song called Victorias Valleys on it - but i
think it was rather called Victorias Values as he later called it like
that).
There's a semi-official bootleg from a gig in Munich flying around, the tape
was sold at his Young Rodders Tour in the early nineties, the recording is
from 1989, I think. I still have the tour-T-Shirt in my wardrobe.

3. Like it's mentioned in the comments, he later joined the Blue Aeroplanes
(but that was after Tolerance). On the following LPs he had written und sung
several songs, in my opinion the best ones, The Aeros ever did. I remember
an interview in It's righteous!-Fanzine that Rodney said that he just joined
The Blue Areoplanes to use them as a start for a bigger Solo-Career. History
proved him better (sadly).

4. The last thing I heard is that he is manager for a young punkband from
the Bristol-area, but I forgot the name.

5. I wonder if he still looks like a 15-year-old teenager.

And I am still wondering why his Lp is so hard to get (and even was in
those days when all other Subway-releases were selling quite well).

The Rain Fell Down said...

thanks stephen for reminding me! i'd forgotten about the blue aeroplanes link. too bad i don't have any blue aeroplanes lps yet. i would surely play them if i had. are you stephen from kosmonaut/bulldozer crash? how's bulldozer site coming along? i'd love to hear some more of your songs! only have one, i think.

and thanks a lot for all the information from the anonymous informer! hope those songs see the light of day sometime...

cheers

chris

Olaf said...

Hi Chris,
this is Olaf the writer formerly known as anonym.
I tried mailing you via the weather-report-adress. Unfortunately I only got an error-reply, so if you let me know how to contact you I could do you a CD of the Songs.
And yes, Stephen is not only the guy from Bulldozer Crash. He's also done the best fanzine ever: This Almighty Pop! And The Positively Teenage Compilation. Stephen, if yoo read this, it's Olaf from Germany. I suppose we haven't heard for at least 15 years!

stephen said...

Hi Chris,
Yes I am that Stephen, the bulldozer crash site is coming along slowly , maybe it's time for me to put some of it online. If you let me know your address I'll send you a cd of some bulldozer crash songs. stephen.maughan at fsmail.net

Hi Olaf,

Has it really been 15 years? How are you? I still have those tape compilations you did for me so long ago, I remember you introduced me to some great groups. Thanks for the kind words about TAP, I very much doubt many would agree with the best ever tag though, as would I, especially as I have boxes piled up in my garage of old issues , maybe I printed too many. I've lost touch with the German scene , whatever happened Ulrich from A Turntable Friend?

Take care
stephen

Olaf said...

"It's not important for you to know my name nor I to know yours. If we communicate for two minutes only it will be a start!" (This Almighty Pop. No1 Summer/Autumn 1988).
Stephen, I'll send you a mail tomorrow.
All the best,

Olaf

Anonymous said...

hey! how 'bout spreading the love(music) to all of us?

Olaf said...

If I get hold of Chris' address, I'll send him the songs, maybe he likes them so much to put them up, as i do not have a plan how to do so.

The Rain Fell Down said...

hi!
thanks for telling me about the email address. i see now that it's incorrect! try writing to kristerbladh at linuxmail.org instead. i'll definitely post some stuff here later.

cheers

chris