I cannot even remember what I was looking for in YouTube when on the list of suggested items I saw a link to a version Dion’s Runaround Sue, just a fantastic song.
I am sure Peter and Gene, New Yorkers both, appreciate Dion, first with the Belmonts, then as a solo artist, who represented the doo wop bands, and the toughness of the New York streets of the 50’s better than anyone.
Dion’s pained voice and words reflected the unspoken angst of an era when angst was indeed not to be spoken about: but, at least we could live our pain vicariously through Mr. diMucci.
Dion, who had his struggles along with his hits, still lives and I believe still performs, but in the 1961, with Runaround Sue, he was dynamite.
What is funny is this clip, of the singer with the band The Del Satins, is just weird.
First, I don’t remember ever hearing-or at least knowing about–a song by them backing Dion.
Second, I could swear they are all just lip synching here, because Dion recorded the song under his name alone after splitting with the Belmonts. And, the song represented sure as hell sounds like the original recording.
But, even for lip synching, these guys have to be the most laconic band in the history of anything.
Even so, my man Dion is still at least trying to perform, but the rest of the band, especially the back up sax guy who largely snaps his fingers, and sings back-up with the two guitar players, is almost dead. And, when they go into their “awwwwwwwws” none of them moves even remotely close to the single mike. Not too mention their lips are way out of synch.
The piano guy is even worse, for though he is playing, or pretending anyway, he is largely looking at the camera in some kind of earlier wishful version of a photo bomb or selfie or something.
But, enough of the band, the audience is even worse. They seem to be in a nightclub, but no one has have a drink in front of him or her (well, ok, I saw one beverage, but it looks untouched). Otherwise, they are just fucking sitting there, while Dion is at least pretending to wail. And, even if the song is piped in from the original recording, that song rocks.
Yet not one person is so much as tapping their finger on the nice white table cloths, or even swaying just a little.
Which confirms my notion of how sadly repressed we were.
Whew. Glad we can all now have sex and drugs and rock’n’roll.
While we are at it, while thinking about this piece, I happened to hear J.D. McPherson on KTKE, in Truckee, performing a song new to me, but surely evocative of Dion and doo wop and rock’a’billy.
Check it out. Pretty cool tune, and though it seems the sax is overdubbed in this video, the sax player still showed more moxie than that guy in the Del Satins.