I’m taking a bit of a break from this blog, although I have a couple of short ones ready to post while I’m away. I’ll be in Italy until around June 15th, but I leave you with this amazing clip of Slim Gaillard sent in by Eddie Gorodetsky. The guy presenting it is pretty goofy, but I guess he means well, after all, he went to all the trouble of sharing his rare 16 mm footage with the world. So thanks buddy. And thanks Eddie G.
I remember seeing Slim Gaillard in a tiny club in the west Village in the late 70’s, the joint was almost empty, so we practically had a private show, we sat right in front of him and he joked and goofed with us all through his set. Which was incredible, especially when he played the piano with his hands upside down. Hell, just watching him ask the waitress for a drink, in his own peculiar dialect (aroonie) was more entertaining than most people’s entire careers.
I’ll be back around the middle of the month with plenty to write about. Here’s more Slim Gaillard:
With Slam Stewart, when they were Slim & Slam.
On the guitar.
15 thoughts on “Slim Gaillard”
Man, do I love me some Slim. Thanks for posting. You're lucky you got to see him…I didn't discover him until just after he was gone, but his music never fails to make me smile. The world needs more like him. Have a good trip to Italia.
Enjoy your vacation, i'll miss your posts, you give us such entertaing columns that i sometimes wonder why you don't have a column in Rolling Stone.Robert Dolcimascola
” i sometimes wonder why you don't have a column in Rolling Stone”I assume that's a joke. I mean, is there still a Rolling Stone? You think they'd put Lafyette “The Thing” Thomas on the cover? Last job I did for one of Jaan Wenner's flunkie's (Holly George Warren) I got ripped off for $500. I'll post the contract when I get back so other writers will know to beware of such sleazebags.
Saw Slim only once in a similarly half-deserted Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse out here on the coast. Slim was on a Michelob run, knocking 'em back, playing the guitar and singing and I asked him to do “Laguna” to which he answered that he had been too high to remember whatever it was he had once recorded.Dick Blackburn
Did you know that “Cement Mixer” was actually quoted in a Columbia Vera Vague short in the mid-forties?
Thanks for this post! Slim is a relatively recent find for me. My ex and still good friend, Mike Sanchez, introduced me to his music and was always telling stories about Mr. Gaillard hanging around Soho, London, looking as cool as can be… and always surrounded by chicks!
You know the ladies wanted to get near those hands!
Thanks for posting this clip.If you can believe it, I saw HELLZAPOPPIN' for free in college when some genius booked it via the Program Board (I'm pretty sure Donna, Judd, Frank and Larry were present). I had always heard it was the funniest movie ever made and got the word out. I was not prepared for the music and dancing.Did you notice the safey guy who positions himself (near the end) so if that woman takes a spill across the floor, she'd hit him instead of the wall?PJL
Saw Slim back in the early 80's in Ronnie Scotts in London , came on stage dressed from head to toe in a bright pink suit topped off with a matching beret ! An absolutely wonderful night of music and laughter , truly unforgettable !!
I'm a publisher, and I had a contract to publish Slim's autobiography in London back in the 90s. Had a few uproarious meetings with him, and the woman who was going to write it with him (whose husband was convinced she was having an affair with him, and Slim enjoyed tweaking his tail). Sadly he died before we got very far with the project and the book never happened, which is a great shame. He was going to teach me to play the piano like that too!
” Sadly he died before we got very far with the project and the book never happened, which is a great shame. “That really is too bad, I can just imagine how insane it would have driven the poor translators who would have had to transcribe it into slim-a-roonie. You miight enjoy Babs Gonzales' classic autobiography –i, paid my dues good Times..no Bread A Story of Jazz and some of it's followers, shyster agensts.hustlers pimps and prostitues (no, those aren't typos),published by Expubidence Pub. Corp. (again, not typos) in 1967.
Thanks for the tip – though it looks like a tough book to come by!
Have a look here: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=babs+gonzales&sts=t&x=72&y=8Its very reasonably priced and available.
Hello, I'm looking for footage (as opposed to stills) of Slim playing (ideally on piano) “Yep Roc Heresy” from the 40's or 50's. Does any such footage exist??? Thanks!
One other question, do any of you Slim fans know of any contemporary North American musician who in any way physically resembles Slim (in his 30's-40's) or approaches him in his performance, musicianship, style, looks etc. We're looking to cast someone to play Slim in a film. Thank you!