I’ve always liked The Dave Clark 5, though not enough to do anything about it. Well, I take that back. My dad and I once made a Dave Clark 5 record into a clock for my room. But that’s more about the aesthetics of having a record clock than about any particular love for the Dave Clark 5. In fact, I suspect we chose that record because it was one from his collection that we both thought we could do without.
But I have always liked them just fine. With one exception–“I Like It Like That.” That song makes me cock my head like a perplexed dog, like I’m hearing something peculiar, something not quite in place.
And I’d like to make a bold, indefensible claim, both because I want it to be true and, if it’s not, I’d like to hear your votes for who should get the credit instead. But you must provide links to video or audio so that we can judge.
Here is my bold, indefensible claim. This song–
–done by the Dave Clark 5 is heavy metal in its early infancy, at least, the early infancy of what heavy metal vocals would be like. Here’s the British kids in love with American R&B but not just doing a straight cover, but adding that growl. Chris Kenner was going to stand on stage and make sure you felt him right in your core way in the back of the room. But take a listen to how Mike Smith is growling where Kenner shouts. That’s a sound that asks–wouldn’t you like to feel me purr like this right up here? as it slides its hand past your knee. That’s a sound that hasn’t forgotten the power of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, even if it can’t quite emulate it. That’s a sound that suggests “Whole Lotta Love” and “Iron Man” on down the road. Yes, it’s a sound that has to ripen up through Janis Joplin and get attached to Hendrix’s guitar before it’s fully recognizable.
But man, I feel like I hear it in there, the noise that suggests the racket to come.
Oooh, here’s a cool article about it. It’s weird to think about Marco Polo bringing yodeling to the Alps, but, hell, I guess that, if my grandmother could be born into a world without chocolate chip cookies, if Thomas Jefferson had to invent macaroni and cheese, it just goes to show that things have to start someplace.
Poor Thomas Jefferson. You know, I like to think of him just smearing his smarts all over the founding of America, running around being all dashing and complex, fatally tainted by the original sin of slavery.
But this macaroni and cheese thing? I don’t know. It’s more like “Don’t mind me, America, I’ll just be over here fucking my dead wife’s enslaved sister while stuffing my face with mac and cheese. No, I’m fine. Really.”
I let my mom read “Frank” and now she’s asking me a million questions and demanding to know backstory. And then she says to me, “It’s just weird when you realize your daughter knows as much about sex as you do.”
And I got all embarrassed and blurted out, “I only know what I read in books!” and then I felt like that made me sound like I just sit around reading dirty books, so I then blurted out “I only know what the Butcher tells me!”
And then my mom laughed and I laughed and it kind of broke the tension.
It’s weird the moments in which you’re both kind of like “It’s the same as when I was 14” and how weird and nice it is when something happens to make you go, “Oh, right, you’re 65. I’m 37. We’re all adults here.”