Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I've Come To See A Man About a Horse: Duane Eddy: "Pepe"

It is something of a puzzle that I am trying to unravel now: namely, when do the Sixties, as such, appear? The line between them is indeed fuzzy still, but a certain loosening of inhibitions and morals in general (for better or worse) seems to be happening here, in a song that sounds more or less like Eddy's usual sturdy hardy brevity being subverted (or perhaps just adjusted, in a way) by Lee Hazelwood's addition of roaring saxophone and what can best be called more-than-slightly drunken demented laughter, insouciant and indiscriminate. (I am aware that Russ Conway also had a version of this song in the chart at the time, but then again The Ventures' rather tamer also-as-well "Perfidia" was also present.) There are harbingers amidst the clean-cut crew of something wholly other about to spring up out of seemingly nowhere, in this case entering as the theme song to an all-but-forgotten movie set (of course) in Mexico. So much of what is to come arrives slowly this year, but steadily; the genuine warmth and good nature of most of it masks its essential radical quality. The Sixties may not start right here, but this is where the slippery slope begins.

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