Sunday, March 6, 2011

Passion Is No Ordinary Word (Graham Parker)

Garland Jeffreys and Graham Parker performed together last week and I missed it. Despite email lists and Twitter and Facebook connections, information overload let it to get past me. By the time I realized it was happening, it was sold out. ARGGH!

As I've said here before, I've seen Garland perform in my post-rock days, and even photographed him (and yes, I want to do that again), but never Graham. And aside from the fact that I've always loved his music, he does have a special place in my rock and roll heart-- his picture from a show at the Palladium in 1976 was the first rock photo I had published in a magazine, Crawdaddy in March 1977. (Also had a shot of Graham later that year in Rolling Stone!)

Crawdaddy Magazine, 1977

Graham was one of that group of angry young Brits who were part of the New Wave. The big three were Graham, Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson. We all know who seems to be most famous now, and while I liked them all, I, of course, preferred Graham and Joe. (which, of course, tells you something about me -- but then, I also preferred the Sony Betamax)

Graham's concerts were brilliant. High energy, powerful. Photographed three of those shows at the Palladium back in the day. Don't ask me for my favorite, I loved them all.

The Palladium, 1977

And the songs. The music, old and new (2007's Don't Tell Columbus …WOW!), is still in heavy rotation on my iPod. "Nobody Hurts You" (playing right now on my computer), "Discovering Japan", "Mercury Poisoning", I could go on and on. And oh yeah, on my list of firsts, Squeezing Out Sparks + Live Sparks was the first album I bought on iTunes.


  1. Well speaking of the Ramones, the brothers who made the Ramones movie have a Graham Parker movie in the can.
    I was at the GP GJ show which was great aside from the incredibly uncomfortable pews(yes it was in a church). Fret not that you missed GP because he lives in the NY area and is always playing around here, although that is apparently a secret. Today I saw him for about the 50th time just under the Tappan Zee. He is the great artist of our time, but that apparently is also a secret. For now.

  2. Thanks. I'm hoping to catch a show sometime soon.


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