Monday, March 7, 2011

It's Not Easy Loving A Genius

My old friend, bandmate and fellow Roy Wood worshipper sent me this video yesterday. I just don't know what to make of it. There are so many amazing things about it---the melody of the bridge, the un-Move-like chord changes, Roy's solo--- and then there are just as many things that make me cringe, like...just about everything else.  I mean, this guy wrote "Beautiful Daughter" and "Curly" and "I Can Hear The Grass Grow" and "Dear Elaine" and "California Man," for Pete's sake,  and then, with the same intensity and no irony whatsoever, tries to pass off bad lounge music as something to be taken seriously...and we take it seriously.

Guy's a genius.


steves said...

I'm not a Roy Wood aficionado, Sal, but that had all the hallmarks of someone taking the piss.

Didn't hate it, however.

Anonymous said...

"It's Not Easy Loving a Genius..."

So true, and yet, all I have to do is choose a slice of that genius, press play, and then it becomes very, very easy to love Roy.

Roy's mind-blowing canon places him among the highest echelon of rock and roll's elite Mensa-maniacs.

The Move has been a personal passion of mine since I stumbled across "The Last Thing On My Mind," from Shazam in the middle of the night back when I was fortunate enough to work on a Free Form FM station in Bean-town.

I searched for and eventually found all of the early Move catalog and never took my ears off of anything Roy released. In fact, when he came to the US with Wizzard, I contacted Creem and got press credentials so that I could interview my hero.

A few years ago, after the wife and I watched Almost Famous, I told her of that night - she refused to believe me, so I dug up the book-length piece I sent to Creem - rejected with regrets, "Holy shit man, how many pages do you think we can devote to this multi-talented Bozo?"

Ah me, it's not easy loving a genius. Roy was hoping for some US press, poor guy, all he got was me. We sat backstage before and after his show, talking for hours. The cassettes from that night have been burned into a CD so that I can always visit the night my hero and I shared together.

Something happened to Roy after he disbanded Wizzard. I think after one does so many incredible things and still can't quite reach the heights he deserves, he folds his tent and simply chooses to enjoy the fruits of his labors. He's a local god in Birmingham, and his Christmas song has made his wealthy. So instead of staying in the zone, he walks away from the grind and enjoys his life. Couldn't happen to a nicer multi-talented bozo.

Love your blog, and man, you hit it on the head with your headline, in regard to Roy Wood, "it's not easy loving a genius." I'm going to go get Shazam, put on my headphones and bask in Roy's genius.

Jeff McKee
Richmond, Va

Albert said...

I remember, back in the day, Carl Mealha and I having benign philosophical arguments on who was the true genius behind Move/ELO...Mr. Lynne or Mr. Wood....Although I was and still am obsessed by all things Jeffrey, I've grown to love and appreciate all things Roy...from Super Wizzo to Move to Wizzard, etc....This entertaining albeit confounding vidclip notwithstanding, let's just say Lynne is the "pop" genius while Wood is the "mad" genius...and that's a very good thing....

Jerry Lee said...

Reminds me of the first time I saw Alex Chilton live. He was touring to support his new album "Cliches", covers of mostly schmaltzy standards. He was like a casino lounge act night. Jim Dickinson said Alex "coasted" a lot, maybe it's the same with Roy. No inspiration = boring art.