FUZZ GROOVE: Late one afternoon some years ago, Uncle Steve came home after working all day on some movie being filmed at Old Tucson. Steve was a stuntman and he wasn't really our uncle--he had asked my parents if he could stay for few days and ended up living with us for three years--but by calling him Uncle we avoided a lot of annoying questions from our friends. Surprisingly, none of their families had a stuntman living with them.
Filming had been completed and the wrap party was taking place that night at somebody's house in the Tucson Mountains. Steve invited my sister Susan and me to go with him.
"You don't want to miss this one," he said in an unusually chipper tone, "Link Wray is gonna play."
We barely recognized him. Months of cowboy stubble had been shaved off and he was wearing clothes from this century.
"Who's that?" we said in flat, snotty unison.
"You don't know who Link Wray is?" He was dumbfounded.
"No," we said, trading unimpressed glances.
I figured the heat had boiled his brain. We never went anywhere with Steve--he wouldn't let us talk to boys.
"You're going to regret it," he said on his way out the door.
Several months later I was reading a Rolling Stone interview with my rock hero Pete Townshend, who was quoted as saying that he got into music after hearing "Rumble" by Link Wray.
Davie Allan says he heard "Rumble" a lot and credits Wray with having invented the fuzz/ grunge guitar sound for which Allan himself became famous back in the early '60s when he recorded with his band the Arrows.
In '65 the band released what is probably the coolest instrumental ever recorded, "Apache '65." Faster than the Ventures version, it has always played in the background of my fantasy of a hot summer night on open highway in a '65 Bonneville convertible.
The cinematic appeal of Allan's instrumental rock didn't go unnoticed by Hollywood. Allan played on the soundtrack of a low-budget skateboarding movie, Skaterdater, which caught the attention of B-movie king Roger Corman, who used Allan for his film The Wild Angels. It was then they scored on the charts with "Blues Theme." The band toured tirelessly, sharing bills with the likes of the Turtles, Strawberry Alarm Clock and the Seeds.
More B-movie soundtracks followed, including Devil's Angels, The Glory Stompers, and the original Billy Jack movie, Born Losers. Recently, his song "Cycle Delic" was used in Jim Jarmusch's Night On Earth. Allan also did a lot of session work, sometimes without receiving credit. Between '63 and '70 there were only three official Davie Allan and the Arrows albums released. In 1994, Allan released Loud, Loose and Savage, a collection of 17 original instrumental tracks in the classic Arrows tradition.
Allan makes a special appearance at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Friday, April 19, with Dave Provost on bass (formerly with the Dream Syndicate), and David Winogrond on drums (formerly with Sylvia Juncosa and Pat Smear of Foo Fighters fame). This will be a full-on fuzz guitar fest from the days when you could tell a Ford from a Chevy a mile away. Like Detroit, the music biz don't make 'em like that anymore.
I can't wait. It'll make up for all those years of missing Link.
LAST NOTES: Michelle Shocked's first annual Underground Test Site Tour comes to The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave., on Friday, April 19. Tickets are $13 in advance, available at Dillard's, Zia Records and The Rock. The price is $15 day of show. Call 629-9211 for information.
The third annual Bob Marley Festival returns this weekend, starting with a party at the Rialto Theater, 318 E. Congress St., on Friday, April 19, featuring Errol Blackwood, Ben Hunter and Tony X Press. Show time is 8 p.m. and tickets are $5. Call 740-1986 for information.
Café Luna Loca, 546 N. Stone Ave., hosts a benefit for Rainer on Saturday, April 20, with guests Pork Torta, Telexico, Sasabe Giants, Wise Folk Malcontent and Buttercup Pretty Paully. This is an all ages show starting at 8:30 p.m. Call 882-4488 for information.
The Third Stone, 500 N. Fourth Ave., continues to bring the best Tempe bands to Tucson with Dead Hot Workshop playing at 9 p.m. Saturday, April 20. Arrive early if you want to beat the lines. Call 628-8844 for information.
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