Sunday, September 16, 2007

a few words on Jesse Hector and The Gorillas...

No doubt that in the very near future someone will take on the task of running a Jesse Hector/Gorillas website. Sadly I've neglected adding much to the pages currently (or now previously?) I've done at Mohair Sweets,though in fairness apart from the Gorilla Garage release and the forthcoming Jesse Hector story DVD ol' Jess ain't been up to much musically in the last few years. Bit o'jammin',but that hasn't resulted in any gigs or anything and after him blowin' out the Marriot tribute show at Albert Hall and other offers I've been told of it sure doesn't look like he'll be playin' any time soon. Shame really, but I understand a lot better now where he's comin' from with regards to all that.
Anyhow, Mohair Sweets the zine was started as a tribute to Jesse and other great faves of mine who are often neglected and under-appreciated and so as a tribute -- again -- to Jesse here, here is my take and tale as life as a Gorillas/Jesse Hector fan... THIS was probably the first I saw of the Gorillas; the sleeve of the legendary "She's My Gal" 45. It was in a local shop back just when the record came out and I immediately thought to myself, "Now THIS is a band with something to offer me!" The jump! The trousers! The sideburns! The shoes!
And you know what? I wasn't wrong. At this point I'd long been a fan of the likes of the Feelgoods, Slade, Dolls and any number of back to basics and original 50s and 60s rock'n'ravers, so when I slapped on "She's My Gal" and heard Jesse's Marriot-influenced wail and the band's hard drivin' rootsy beat I knew I had picked a winner and I'd be grabbing every new release I could find. On a trip to the UK in '79 my pal and I were lucky enough to run into Jesse in one of his favourite haunts (and no doubt on one of his regular rounds) Rock On Records (RIP) in Camden, the home of Chiswick/Ace Records and the most seriously cool record shop perhaps that has ever existed. It was here and then that Jesse proceeded to tell us about some of his fave bands and leap about the shop. To say we were seriously impressed with is enthusiasm and style would be an understatement. My only regret of that meeting is that we never asked if we could accompany him to the band rehearsal he was on his way to. Damn.
I wouldn't meet Jesse again until the very end of the 1990's, of course in Camden Town. I had discovered in '97 that Jesse had resurfaced with a 45 a couple of years before and felt this would be a great opportunity to chat and perhaps get back to doing something music related myself after a couple year layoff. Well that interview turned into a 5 issue print zine with international exposure, a long running website and more fantastic meetings and musical experiences than I can possibly relate here.
I guess a big "Thank You Jesse!" is in order here... So, yeah, thanks Jesse! And of course big thanks to his manager (at the time) and pal Philippe Korpar-Migrenne, Ace Records Roger Armstrong, and Phil King who has carried on Philippe's torch and tried his very best to get Jesse's name and bad self out to the world....
I think at this point I'll say "more later". I can see a few more words about one of the greatest rock'n'rollers ever comin' on down the line sometime soon...

4 comments:

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Crawdad said...

Hi, I just found this blog. I was looking for the old Mohair Sweets website, but I found out it was deleted. Great to find it again!
I also ran on Mr. Hector at Rock On. It was in '96 with my pal Felix (then bass player in Doctor Explosion). Felix asked to see the Small Faces, mod bands etc singles box. Jesse was there and he said how much he liked them and that he saw them a lot of times. I recognized him and I told him that I was very happy to meet him... "Wow! the fuckin' Jesse Hector!" Everybody laughed and the guy in the counter said "Yeah, you're right, the FUCKIN' Jesse Hector!" (more laughs). I had a nice chat with him and some years later I run on him again at a Camden 2nd hand clothes shop. One of my heroes. I don't know what he's doing lately, but I wish he comes to Spain with a competent band backing him. I wish him all the best. And also the best to Mohair Sweets!

Mohair Sweets said...

Hey Crawdad! Thx for the comments!
Not too sure what Jess is up to but more than likely it's record shopping and hangin' out with his pals. There was some word of gigs but it looks slim as usual. Too bad.
CB

Danny Bayer said...

I found a copy of the Gorillas' "You really got me/leavin 'ome" at a pawn shop in Sanford, NC of all places. Still have it, still listen to it.