Wilko Johnson / Dr. Feelgood / Pub Rock
posted at 3/10/2013 1:07 AM EST
Anybody know him / them / it? He / they / it were totally unknown to me growing up in Boston in the 70s.
I'm not able to properly define what "Pub Rock" is....it's a peculiarly English thing that still escapes me despite many conversations about it. It was sort of a proto-Punk movement in the 70s in response to the same attitudes that fueled Punk.....but it had none of the politics, or nihilism, or anti-socialness, etc. that characterised many/most Punk bands.
The genre of Pub Rock is pretty loose so is hard to define, IMO....but well-known acts considered to be in/part of the scene are Graham Parker, Dave Edmunds, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello.....and the Stranglers are sometimes included. I don't quite get the Stranglers connection, but the rest make sense to me in that they were absolutely not Punks but have similarities among them.
I've been thinking about this because Wilko Johnson has a very high profile here at the moment. Only 65, he's dying from pancreatic cancer and has chosen to eschew the conventional, invasive, treatments available because he believes that while they might postpone the inevitable, it would be at a great cost. I think that is very brave and it's really touched a lot of people.
He's doing a final tour of all the venues he loves....and people are flying in from all over to see him.
This isn't a great video of Dr. Feelgood, but it's my favourite for some reason...and I have the sneaking suspicion that the unknown reason I like it so much defines Pub Rock.