Tielman Brothers…now that’s entertainment!

I love these clips, the group is called the Tielman Brothers and they were from, Surabeya, Indonesia. Can you imagine what their rehearsals where like? They were evidently big in the Netherlands and Germany and made tons of records. I don’t know of any of their records that were issued in the U.S. (although there’s a Tietman Brothers’ record on Sceptor, I don’t think it’s the same group). They have a huge discography of surf instrumentals (they evolved from a straight ahead rock’n’roll/rockabilly sound into a stellar surf instrumental combo by the early sixties) issued on Dutch Imperial. I’m sure their discs are good but let’s face it, this was a very visual act.
Later they added a va-va-voom girl singer. This clip is from 1960 but they recorded up to 1981. Check Youtube to see what they looked like in ’81 with their DA’s morphed into greasy mullets, they look just like the sleazy dope dealers you find at the bottom end of Amsterdam’s Seldick. More info than you need on them can be found here. Their mixture of showmanship, musicianship and acrobatics are perfect. It makes the crap that passes for rock’n’roll, or even entertainment nowadays even more unforgivable.

I mean what the hell is going on? I can’t stand all these lame ass singer songwriters who stand there looking at their toes like they can’t figure out how they got there? (fill in the name of your least favorite). Not to mention the combination of drone and whine sound that was pioneered by groups like U2 and REM who seem to have influenced the under thirty crowd to emote their precious feelings in public in a way that’s downright undignified. It’s hard to say what makes a great rock’n’roll record, but I do know it doesn’t take a genius to make one. I mean total lames like Paul Simon, Dr. Hook’s Ray Sawyer, Bread’s David Gates, R. Dean Taylor (“Indiana Wants Me”) and even Wayne Newton managed to make great rock’n’roll records. Yes that last one was Wayne Newton. It’s called “Comin’ On Too Strong” and is one of the all time greatest Beach Boys rip-offs. Better than anything on the last three Brian Wilson LP’s or anything the Beach Boys themselves cut since 20/20. I believe Gary Usher, Roger Christian and Terry Melcher were all involved in the production of “Comin’ On Too Strong”, the idea being to make a killer backing track and then bring in the worst person they could find to cut the lead vocal. Sort of part joke, part challange. It takes might take a genius to make a dozen great rock’n’roll records, but anybody could get do it once or twice. So why aren’t there any great records anymore?
Sure there’s one or two a year, usually put out by some tiny label (last year I liked the Mary Weiss disc, two years ago it was the Dirtbombs, this year I like the Lost Crusaders, but it’s a rare year I find more than one). Let’s face it, people have changed. They have (or make that we have) finally bred a generation too dumb for rock’n’roll! The mind reels. Kids who grew up under Bush/Cheney and fed on reality TV seem to have both their shame and cool chromosones missing. Darwinian? Maybe the coming depression will humble the mall brats and bring forth some sort of positive creativity but if you ask me the under 30’s haven’t come up with one good musician, writer, film maker, artist ….they’ve got nothing. Makes me glad I’m old. In fact I wish I was older, I wish I saw Howlin’ Wolf and Jimmy Reed in their prime. I wish the Tielman Brothers were playing down the block….

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