Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lightning Strikes

Okay, this is another trip on thebrainpolice time machine and you can thank fellow blogger, HISTORYMIKE, for rhe inspiration. This is a video of an American Pop legend, Lou Christie performing what was his biggest chart hit, Lightning Strikes on The 70's TV Show, Midnight Special. Lou probably had performed this song thousands of times and the almost introspective reading of it here is well, almost moving.

Lou was an original, a singer who could effortlessly switch between his "normal" range and an almost superhuman falsetto with a natural elegance...

He was even more interesting because he was a real singer/songwriter.  In many interviews, John Lennon referred to Christie as one of his vocal idols. He had a relationship with a woman who was almost 40 years older than he was who was his spiritual mentor and co writer. His songs about teenage lust and desire pushed the limits of what could be acceptable.  To my ears, Lou Christie was writing music that was outside the definitions of the time he existed in. It sounds better today than it did in 1966. In the case of Lightning Strikes, pure commercial pop pleasure won over the protests of propriety. His next single, Rhapsody In The Rain, went even further, the melody was inspired by Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet, a teenagers regret over a sexual experience in the backseat of a car, while the windshield wipers rhthymicly say, "together, together" which change during the song to regret, saying "never, never"....the brilliant piece of 1966 pop was banned by radio stations all over America.

Christie kept on releasing visionary, unique pop referencing classical themes but disappeared for quite a while working as a ranch hand, off shore oil driller and a carnival barker.

I was recently made aware of the fact he was still alive and has been performing again since 1990, voice and spirit intact. Lugee Sacco, who never wanted the name Lou Christie, possessor of the voice I still try to emulate, the epitome of the white boy falsetto...True American Rebel and True American Original.

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