STILL SONGS THAT NEED TO BE SUNG
When we started our band back in 1982, there was trouble blowin’ in the wind. The political climate had become harsh, unwelcoming, cynical, and more than a little dangerous. It was a tough time to be poor, which we were. Hell, it was a tough time to be middle class. And, that ain’t all. The musical climate was, if anything, harsher, more unwelcoming, and if not as flat-out dangerous, it was even more cynical. With two guitars, bass and drums, we set out into this hostile terrain on a mission, with a song in our hearts, some four-on-the-four in our step, and, a job to do.
We always believed we stood for something, even if basically it was just am-honest-dollar-for-an-honest-day’s-work that we stood for. Our political stance: strictly Populist. Personally, I’ve always been a (Big Surprise!) Progressive Liberal Democrat. Dick Manitoba refers to me as a “We-The-People Guy”. That’s about right. And musically, of course, we were a Rock’n’Roll Band. Mostly, we were a Rock’n’Roll Band. And, oh yes, we could throw down, brothers and sisters! I’ll tell you what! And, on a good night, we could be just about as good as it got. No brag, just fact. Just like that.
Right now, I’m watching the telethon for Haiti, and Bruce has just finished a version of WE SHALL OVERCOME that was somber but clarion, resolute but compassionate, gospel and the blues. I felt my soul stir as the song ebbed and flowed, and at the way Bruce and the band rode the moment with all this compressed emotional energy, in a way that is everything you can ask of a singer, a musician, an artist, or a song. I am immediately in touch with why I do what I do, and why The Del-Lords are making new music, sharing a stage, hell, sharing a room, for the first time in 20 years.
To actually do what I just watched Springsteen and the band do is HARD, way fuckin’ hard, damn near impossible, in fact, and, to be fair, it requires more than a fair share of magic. But, it also requires some other things. Like band chemistry, the kind born of respect, a strong work ethic, and some familial love; born of common purpose, mutual belief and shared experience. AND, we love playing Rock’n’Roll. And so we do. Again.
A perilous political landscape awaits us, a desperate economy, probably a turning point in the country’s history. And again, a generally lousy music scene. Some small patches of green (Yay! Little Steven!) but generally, lousy. Familiar methinks. Like, haven’t I seen this fuckin’ movie before? But, there’s still work to be done. There are still souls to stir and asses to kick. There are still songs that need to be sung. I still believe in our band, and what it is we do, and that we’re STILL the best ones for the job.
So, a new record is in the works. Some getting-our-toes-wet with some roadwork: imminent. And then? Well, we’ll see ya soon. Maybe sooner than you think.
I know that I also speak for Eric and Frank when I say, that it is out of deep respect, continued loyalty and a still-strong belief in what you have to say with a tune… that we all immediately dropped what we were doing and answered your call…we all heard that “insider’s” whistle on the wind, and we all saw the same light.
And for each of us, it went just like this:
Eric, Frank and Manny: “But babes, but honey…this is Scott callin’. This is the Del Lords.”
Her: “The Del Lords? Shit! They still owe you money, fool.”
Eric, Frank and Manny: “Honey, would it make you feel any better if we told you that what we’re doing is a holy thing? You see, we’re on a mission from God.”
Scott, where still with you…no matter what… and your right about the band…in the immortal words of Donald “Duck” Dunn, “We had a band powerful enough to turn goat piss into gasoline.”
Damn- talk about timing- I have been needing this for 20+ years! Bring it!
I was living in Memphis and you were going to play at the late great Antenna Club. I still remember the message that the show had been cancelled due to a death in the family. I didn’t know at the time that the death was the family. I’ve been waiting over twenty years and cannot wait to hear and see the band again! Make sure your travels bring you to Colorado.
Anyone for Orange Whips,,,can’t wait for the US version of Da Tour, good luck boys, and turn it up!!!
You guys were a big influence on me, at least in so far as what I thought a band should be. But that aside, seriously, anybody playing in a rock n’ roll band who doesn’t feel about their own band like you feel about the Del Lords has no business playing rock n’ roll. Can’t wait for you guys to (hopefully) tour North America and if you do, please come to Vancouver!
Hallelujah and Amen, brothers and sisters!! The Del Lords have heard our prayers for rock n roll salvation!! I am going home tonight, pop a cold one, crank up “Johnny comes marching home” to eleven and prepare for the return of the four horsemen of the rock n’ roll apocolypse!!
This is the most insanely great news I could have heard. Thank you, thank you, a million thank yous! Hope to see you down the road, and I can’t wait to buy the album.
This is exactly the pick-me-up I needed after the passing of two of my heroes (Salinger and Howard Zinn) in the past 48 hours. Twenty years ago, my friends and I cruised up and down the east coast catching your shows. When you opened for somebody, we would frequently leave after you left the stage. Today, when I hear someone say that the 80’s was the worst decade for music, all I can think is that they never heard the Del Lords. For my birthday in December, I got the re-issued discs and they sound as fresh as ever. Good, honest rock and roll has an infinite shelf life. I can’t wait for the new album and the tour. Maybe when Time magazine picks this one as Best of the Year, people will pay better attention.
Hi, guys! I never thought this could happen. This is really great news about the new record. It’s been a long time since those lovers wandered around my teenager room leaving a pocketful of emotions that still come back every now and then, but the live shows in Spain are a present that I take as something personal. I can’t wait for you guys to come here as you did so many years ago with Ross The Boss. Now, with Eric, an even truer version comes to town. I’ll be on the first row.
Holy Shit! I am waiting for my wife to get ready and i was looking up you-tube videos and the Del Lords just popped in my mind. While listening to ‘I play the drums’ (always a favorite!)…..I thought I’d google the band. I cannot tell you how pumped i am to hear this news and I’m calling 10 -15 of my friends who always caught the nyc shows with me. Can’t wait to hear the new music and hopefully see a live show back in NY!