Annals of College: My Wild English RoseSeptember 22, 2010 at 4:27 AM | Posted in Annals of College, Music | Leave a comment
Tags: Fleetwood Mac, St. Bonaventure University, Wilmer & the Dukes
One of the delightful perks of working at the radio station at St. Bonaventure’s was that we often got free records. Now that children are generally rich and can download the world I doubt if they can conceive of the sheer pleasure, the visceral thrill of a free record.
All records were not available for the taking. When the White Album appeared it was guarded at the station as if it was gold, which it was. Labels sent the station new albums hoping that they would get some play. I must mention that upstate New York was not Greenwich Village and the reigning musical deity was Wilmer & the Dukes, who’s biggest number was Baby Let Me Bang Your Box (uh huh). Wilmer was a man and he looked like a combination of Sly Stone and Mick Jagger.
My greatest find, and still prominent in my collection, is a very early Fleetwood Mac album, English Rose. The cover is hideous (as you can see) and perhaps this is what put off the other disc jockey’s. But a number of members from that initial group had played with John Mayall and his Bluesbreakers (as had Eric Clapton) and I was hip to them. This was way before they had Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks. Peter Green on guitar and vocals simply must be heard. He is super-soulful and English Rose and Mac’s early albums are true classics and really a must for any decent shelf in your house.
(As I write these blogs I attempt, on occasion, to check my facts. For this note I went to Wikipedia to see if I remembered who went from Mayall to Fleetwood Mac. It was Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Peter Green. In doing so I learned that English Rose is a compilation album. My heart sunk as I’ve lived for 42 years thinking it was their first album. That was — and is – my preferred truth.)