Wednesday, September 4, 2013


If ol' Ronny Weiser isn't good at tooting his own horn, I'll toot the damn thing for him. First a little background. Weiser is the founder of Rollin' Rock Records, specializing in rockabilly records. In the late seventies, because rockabilly was big in the UK, interest kind of seeped into the record collections of the punk rock crowd, including Southern California. That's where Rollin' Rock, a Los Angeles based label comes in. Former rocker Ray Campi, then a moonlighting school teacher, was already getting a lot of attention in the UK in the late seventies, for his Rollin' Rock 45 "Rockin' at the Ritz". Then, about 1979-80, British rockabilly band Levi and the Rockats appeared in L.A., for what was an extended stay (they may have moved there, I forget). Though well intended, I gotta say, they always reminded me of a rockabilly version of what boy bands are now, pretty boy types; maybe because gals seemed particularly interested. Those unconvinced, like myself, would find themselves gravitating towards Rollin' Rock, which was slowly gaining appreciation from a whole new crowd. They had a few old rockers, like Campi, Mac Curtis and others, a few a little further out there (the long hair and bearded Johnny Legend), and some other younger out crowders just cutting their teeth. A Rollin' Rock compilation from the mid-seventies included three songs by Billy Zoom, who was in X around the time all of this backtracking was happening. In 1980, The Blasters debut LP was released, and all hell broke loose. Okay, maybe just some of hell.

Recorded a year or so before their Slash debut, which shares three of the same songs, there were only 2,000 copies of the Blasters Rollin' Rock LP pressed. It sold out quick. Adios Lounge just posted a handful of songs from the original LP, along with a great long and detailed thing about that particular Rollin' Rock LP. That's what prompted this mess, and had me digging for the past day and a half.

Weiser moved to the U.S. in 1965 to go to college. Bummed that authentic early rockabilly, and rhythm and blues weren't quite the rage he thought they'd be, he networked, meeting like minded nuts, and starting The Hollywood Rock 'n' Roll fan Club in 1969. The club needed a fanzine, so that's how Rollin' Rock began. In 1971 he started Rollin' Rock, the label, recording bands in his home (there are records with telephones ringing and dogs barking in the background). Crude, but it worked. What followed became a rocker's safe haven, for decades. His is a fascinating story. Check the links below for more on how things coalesced. These were true believers, an island surrounded by a sea of Marshall stack miscreants.

The Blasters - American Music (Rollin' Rock version) mp3 at The Adios Lounge 1980
The Blasters - Crazy Baby (Rollin' Rock) mp3 at The Adios Lounge 1980
The Blasters - Barefoot Rock (Rollin' Rock) mp3 at The Adios Lounge 1980
The Blasters - Three more songs at The Adios Lounge all from 1980
Billy Zoom Band - Bad Boy mp3 at Mid-70's
Billy Zoom Band - Say When mp3
at Mid-70's
Billy Zoom Band - Crazy Crazy Lovin' mp3
at Mid-70's
Ray Campi and the Rockabilly Rebels - Rockabilly Man mp3 at Music Pop Hits (?) 1980
Ray Boy (Campi) and Jimmy Lee - I Need Love mp3 at 1980
Ray Campi - Rockin' at the Ritz mp3 at 1977
Rockin' Ronny Weiser and Rollin' Rock Records at Rockin' Records Translated from French (by Google bot)
The Vinyl File: The Blasters – American Music at The Adios Lounge
Ronny Weiser Interviewed by his son at Rock In Roll (?) Very short, just the facts.
Ronny Weiser interview at The Rockabilly Hall of Fame 2001
Ronny Weiser interview at The Rockabilly Hall of Fame 1999

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