Jerry Lee Lewis. AKA: “The Ferriday Fireball,” “God’s Garbageman,” “The Killer.” The mens fret, the ladies pet.The rompinest, stompinest, pee-yana playingest son of a bitch that has ever staggered across this green earth. This hillbilly hepcat is one of the true American originals. Jerry Lee Lewis is a great man. Perhaps not a good man but a great man nonetheless.
If I had my way, this boogie woogie barbarians wickedly grinning mug would be boldly carved in stone somewhere, Mt. Rushmore sized, so that generations to come may know of, learn from and aspire to the salacious standards he has set for Rawkin’ Roll music.
Since the onset of a nearly half century long career, Jerry Lee has been accused of, amongst other things: Social irresponsibility, Political incorrectness and Moral Bankruptcy. Not only does he not deny the charges, he rejoices in them. They are all part & parcel of his, shall we say, rather colorful persona. Point blank, he just don’t give a flying fuck what you or I or anyone else thinks. A true rock star and a man after my own heart. His exploits make longtime fan Keith Richards look like a choir boy in comparison. Birds of a feather and all that.
Not only has he survived (any dumbfuck can do that) but he has survived on his own terms. He has perservered and prospered through a career fraught with enough scandal, tribulation and insanity to push a mere mortal off the deep end.
In his wake, he has left behind a path of destruction so deep and so wide that I imagine even Satan himself must be grinning, giggling and scratching his head in wonder. Also a larger than life itself musical legacy as if anyone really needs to be reminded.
One does not walk the edge of the abyss and dance with demons, both real and imagined, without gleaning some wisdom though. Through all of lifes trials and troubles there are messages to be learned and lessons to be taught.
Without further aplomb here is Jerry Lee Lewis sharing with us that hard earned sagacity acquired through the years. Let’s listen in as the “Meat Man” waxes all wild, wooly and poetic on those things near and dear to him. Chiefly: JLL Himself, Literature, Himself, Grooming, Himself, the Tender Gender, Himself, Elvis and of course his favorite subject of all:Hizzownbadself. Here we go on the subjects of:
LITERATURE: “This Shakespeare was really somethin’, I wonder what he would’ve thought of my records?”…
WORK ETHICS: “Just gimme my money and show me where the piano is…”
ELVIS: When queried about The Big E’s demise J.L.L had this to say: “I was glad. Just another one out of the way. I mean Elvis this, Elvis that. All we hear is Elvis. What the shit did Elvis do except take dope that I couldn’t get ahold of ? …”
GROOMING: “We don’t need men to look like like girls. We need damn men to look like men.”
“Be a man… any son of a bitchin’ man wears his like a woman has got a fuckin’ weakness he better get rid of.”
WOMEN: “Pussy is pussy…”
HIMSELF: “I was born feet first, been rockin’ ever since…”
“I’m no angel, but I’m a pretty nice guy.”
“I don’t have nothin’ to prove to nobody. I just likes to kick ass is all…”
“I’m a rompin’, stompin’ piano playin’ son of a bitch. A mean son of a bitch. But a great son of a bitch. A good person. Never hurt nobody unless they got in my way.”
“There’s very few great talents left… I’m not saying I’m one of ‘em, I’m saying I’m the only one.”
RELIGION: “I’m dragging the audience to hell with me…”
And I can’t wait for the trip. With Jerry Lee at the wheel it sounds like a mighty fun ride. I’m going to wrap this with a personal JLL story I hope someone out in the merry old land of blogs will find amusing:
In 1984 I saw Jerry Lee Lewis play at the Sahara Hotel (on a double bill with the late great Ricky Nelson!) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jerry Lee was in excellent form and in a very subdued mood that night. He was playing lots of Blues, ballads and slow Honky-Tonk weepers. He also had James Burton playing lead guitar in his band that night. How cool is that ???
Now, I’d seen him on several occasions before and he was pulling out tunes I’d NEVER seen him do before such as “Crying Time,” “Who Will The Next Fool Be?” “No Headstone On My Grave,” “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” and many others. In between each & every song and during others, some dumb-assed Rockabilly kid in the crowd kept on screaming real obnoxiously: “Play some Boogie Woogie daddy!!! Play some Boogie Woogie!!!”
Finally, Jerry Lee had had enough of this idiot. He stopped mid-song, gave the kid an ice cold stare and he said to him:
“Son, I wish I was your daddy, because I’d come down there and whoop your muthafuckin’ ass.” Needless to say the kid finally shut up.