I’m reading Springsteen’s book. It’s a good read, he’s as bold an overwriter as an autobiographer as he is (or was) a lyricist, and that’s a good thing. It’s very lively and evocative of the time and his passions as a boy, and as a teen learning to play guitar and gig around. That’s how far I am.
When he gets his first electric guitar, which costs $69 with a small amp the size of a breadbox, a Kent from Japan, he sets to learning to play Honky Tonk. Which got me to thinking about what Honky Tonk sounded like, and I couldn’t conjure it. Though, of course, it’s a song we’ve all heard a million times. Here’s Bill Doggett’s original, parts 1 and 2 combined.
It’s a blues, so of course Johnny Winter covered it. Sans shirt, for some reason, which isn’t really an impressive look.
The Winter recording is from an Italian show in 1988. A look at the Honky Tonk Wikipedia page shows tons of covers, very few of them after the 1960s. What’s funny is that the Beach Boys, that premiere harmony group covered the vocal-free song.
The Boss talks about how in the early 60s, before the Beatles, the idea of a rock combo singing was pretty much unheard of. Bands with electric guitars played instrumentals, like Honky Tonk and Pipeline and Wipe Out! Thank you Beatles.