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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 No. 3. 15th March 1972

mayall: march 24, town hall

page 12

mayall: march 24, town hall.

Back in the early days of rock the Saturday Evening Post ren a cartoon that showed two ageing teeny boppers listening to Hound Dog and murmuring to each other "darling they're playing our song." This seemed ridiculous at that time to the Post; its now reality. Rock [unclear: as] become part of our experience (the magics in the music and the music's in me, as Sebastian [unclear: sez]) [unclear: ling] and expressing an area of meanings, subjects and styles that covers nearly ever fact of our lives. [unclear: for] instance in the Fifties rock revival. Its this cultural content that Zappa has tried to make us aware of Whats being celebrated isn't so much the music itself as the [unclear: era] it evokes. The music becomes a tunnel, a way back to the world of lime green socks, [unclear: Brylcream], V-8 coopes, budgess and all that stuff. At the end of one of my favourite musical cannels is John Mayall. The Bluesbreakers I.P. not only exposed a large white audience to the blues, and [unclear: an] shrined Eric Claptan as the killer guitar of rock music, but is was in fact the first successful "underground" I.F. the first non - Top 40 album to sell in the country. Its success encouraged local companies to experiment with more pop album releases than those by the current chart five raves. In effect Mayall's records opened up the gap between Top 40 and album oriented pop music in New Zealand.

Much has already been written about the number of big names who've served musical apprents ships with Mayall Eric Clapton, Peter Green. Mick Taylor etc. etc. In fact the groups containing ex-Mayall sidemen in the Cream the Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Colosseum, McGuirtess Point and Cosmos Cordial. Admirers of Mayall feet the [unclear: a] who've passed through what Jagger has called the "John Mayall School of English Rhythm and Blues is a tribute to his talent as a leader, discoverer of [unclear: ran] and so on. His knockers cite the rapied turnover in Mayall musicians as evidence of how impossible the man most the to work with how he imposes an imposibly narrow personal vision upon his bands and their musical development. Both sides contain some troth, Peter Green for one has described Mayall's band as a great place for a young musician to learn his trade, but complained about the lack of space Mayall gave to his personal creativity. Mayall's dedication to this music amounts almost to ruthlessness and often a musician has either been sacked for not fitting into the mould or has left because he felt he deserved more solo space than Mayall was prepared to give him. Disagreements haven't been too bitter however, to prevent many Mayall graduates returning to jam with their old boss on Back to the Roots.

How does the son of a Macclesfield art dealer come to play de natch'l blues? The blues are primarily the music of black Americans, and it followed them along the path from Southern country to Northern urban environments during the forties and fifties, each decade bringing new synthesis, each generation new leaders. Throughout this evolution the music has in many ways remained the same Its unifying theme is displacement of alienation, the expression of a people trying to deal with a cruel and absurd reality, trying to speak their self assertion to a world that tries to trap them into invisibility.

The white audience who identified with the blues experience through rock and roll were also alienated, adrift from the chrome and [unclear: aer] vaccum of the mid fifties, and their passionate identification with the speed, sensuality and rebelhon of the rock 'n' roll sensibility predated by some five year of the more conscious political identification with the black experience in American Rock audiences are mostly committed rather than [unclear: imm] say a modern jazz audience is) What the rock audience wants most from its ritual performers is soul the [unclear: peo] of authentic feeling, the performers are significant less for nay objective technical or [unclear: aesthe] is most through they've got all this too) than for their common function of stirring collective responses, providing collective releas and remanding us of our common [unclear: men] the peace sign in the air for Sly doing the Fuck Cheer for Country Joe, yeah, we're all brothers brother But what has this to do with John Mayall, Well [unclear: he'll] be on in Wellington on March 24, with Blue Mitchell, [unclear: Larry Taylor Keef Harlly] and others, and he [unclear: agrees ly], with most of [unclear: thines] I've said here I'm sure.

Portrait photo of John Mayall

Photo of John Mayall performing

Photo of John Mayall