Hillbilly Redneck

More about another track from England's Dreaming Spires, Village Green Machine's debut LP.

Mark Lemon - ''This song was inspired by White Stripes Hotel Yorba, one of my favourite records, and also by early Presley, maybe 'Thats Allright Mamma' or one of those great ones with Scotty Moore playing guitar.
I knew it was one of the best songs I'd ever written from the outset. Ofcourse, it is full of 50s influence, but I wanted to put a 60s spin on it recording wise. The drums are pure Bo Diddley, just being a straight rocking rhythm throughout. I played the drums with the maraccas, so no one can accuse me of playing the maraccas out of time with the drums! The vocals were really difficult for me but we got it after a few takes, I think it sounds like Morrissey. I am into that 80's rockabilly aesthetic of The Smiths and I think that shows on this recording. But ofcourse I put a 60's angle in there, which partly here is to do with the guitar line which is pure early Rolling Stones, itself a very Smiths/ Johnny Marr reference point. I wanted to experiment instrumentally so I put a 12 string acoustic on the guitar solo and I think by this stage the track has its own identity, not sounding like any other or from any particular era. Lyrically, its about a character who hasn't seen much cosmoplitan life. I think this track is very much part of the backbone of the first LP, and I would like to add that I set out to not have any filler on the record. It is my intention NEVER to have any filler because that is disreputable and wholly undesireable. I don't intend to let people down.''

This week more overdubs have been applied to Magistrate On A Donkey, namely Mark's 1966 Farfisa organ, which he is delighted to hear sounding brilliant going through his AC30, giving the correct sound. Also fuzztone guitar has been applied to the track, courtesy of The Searchers, whos John Mcnally gave Mark the fuzzbox, which was used on the original Searchers 45s such as Have You Ever Loved Somebody.

Mark - ''I had interviewed The Searchers and met John later at a gig and he happened to mention he had his original fuzz pedal and that I could have it if he could find it. It took a year of e mails with the help of the lady who runs their website, but it eventually showed up. I had despaired of ever getting one, then the next thing I knew I was using the one played on one of my very favourite 60s records. My manager had to fix it. Its sounding great with the Farfisa organ, on the recordings for the second album''.

This week Mark attended the funeral of his Aunt. He says it was deeply disturbing to think of the ''small, dead, broken body of someone you love in that flimsy box.'' To be honest I was worried the lid was going to come open as they loaded the coffin off the hearse. But the ceremony was tastefully carried out and it was all OK. I was not the only family member who was reminded of Steptoe. I've been losing sleep over it though, it has done my head in. The vicar seemed like a nice boy, I rather relish the final irony of someone as homophobic as my Aunt being sent on her way by a sort of Dale Winton man of the cloth''.

This week Mark and his manager have been going more deeply into ways to raise online awareness of Village Green Machine. It has to be said Mark lives in a world of valve radios, radiograms, and Tootal cravats and wears suits made from the same pattern as those made for The Small Faces.

Modernity is not his strong suit, no pun intended.

Sir Percival Spitfire




Reading Village Green Machine's ezine. Hillbilly Redneck
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