Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Spend Memorial Weekend in rockabilly heaven: the 5th annual Revival Fest

The 5th Annual Revival Fest (featuring several California rockabilly and psychobilly favorites) will take place this Saturday, May 26th, in downtown Austin at 7th and Trinity. I’ve been a fan of this festival for years, which at its inception was associated with Orlando Rios’ Rockabilly Magazine. It’s grown into a highly-anticipated annual event that attracts fans and bands from all over the world, garners support from major sponsors such as Pabst Blue Ribbon, Gretsch Guitar, and Sailor Jerry Rum, and has even prompted the mayor of Austin to designate an official “Rockabilly Revival Day.”

Deke Dickerson chats about Chuck Berry, the rockabilly scene, & 1980s metal

How apropos that, as I sit down to describe my interview with Deke Dickerson, "Go, Johnny Go" would come on TCM. First of all, one of Deke's favorite guitars from his legendary personal collection is a TNM doubleneck made the year this flick came out: "That guitar was actually given to me, so it has a great emotional value to it. The guy that built it back in 1959 had it up in his attic, and it was all thrashed. I found this guy, and I saw the guitar and I freaked out about it and he just gave it to me. It was in bad shape, so I had it restored. It’s an amazing guitar." (Actually, as a result of Deke restoring this custom doubleneck and touring with it, the maker was encouraged to once again start producing these beautiful guitars that remind us of the works of art produced by Semie Mosely, played once upon a time by Joe Maphis and Larry Collins).
Secondly, Deke Dickerson credits Chuck Berry, obviously a featured star in "Go, Johnny Go," as one of his reasons for picking up the guitar in the first place: "I remember seeing Chuck Berry on TV. I think it might have been the Sha Na Na show. I remember seeing him play the big Gibson guitar and doing the duck walk and thinking, man, how soon can I get a guitar? Can I get one tomorrow?" And we're glad he soon did.