Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cahiers du (Bronx) Cinema

And speaking as we were yesterday of the incomparable Dion DiMucci, whose music I have been listening to (in awe) a lot lately, please enjoy -- from sometime in the early 90s -- an absolutely wonderful unplugged performance (from an equally wonderful series of shows staged by DJ and all around swell guy Vin Scelsa at the much-mourned Bottom Line) of Dion's epochal "King of the New York Streets."

The Vin Scelsa intro.

The Man himself.

I wrote about the studio version of this -- from Dion's Dave Edmunds-produced 1989 album Yo Frankie -- a while back, and I'll say now what I said then: I can not imagine a more cinematic song.

It boggles my mind, in fact, that some smart filmmaker hasn't already appropriated this for the credit sequence to a gritty New York crime drama.

Jeebus, you can practically visualize the thing playing out as you listen to it.


buzzbabyjesus said...

Great song. He's much more than just a fomer teen idol. Dion and the Belmonts rocked. "The Wanderer" is punchy as all get out.

dave™© said...

You can hear a snippet of Dion doing "Blackbird" here:

edward said...

One of the oddest rock and roll pairings, and my first rocknroll show was Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention with Dion as the opening act. This was around 1974.

The audience was, to put it nicely, fucking rude. I don't remember Dion's performance (I was a big fan of the Belmonts days) but I do remember him telling the hostile crowd "Hey, I was INVITED to be here."

As for the recording, it reminds me of Jackson C Frank's "Marlene" (which I only discovered at this year).

Gummo said...

edward, musicians are generally more open and understand the links between genres and eras better than their fans.

I remember seeing Toots and the Maytals practically get booed off the stage at a Stones show in the mid or late 70s.

Ditto for Kurtis Blow opening for the Clash in the late 70s.

jackd said...

"I remember seeing.... Kurtis Blow opening for the Clash in the late 70s"

Gummo: If you aren't aware of it already, you might want to go see Ed Piskor's comic series "Hip Hop Family Tree" over at BoingBoing. He mentions Debbie Harry as the specific connection between the NYC rap scene and the Clash.