By Thomas Conner
© Chicago Sun-Times
"Live: All Access"
(Digital Music Group)
The liner notes to Dwight Twilley's first live record include a mention of who provided the limos. This is hilarious for two reasons. First, it tells you everything you need to know about how Mr. Twilley remains a legend in his own mind. Second, I spent several years covering Twilley in his hometown of Tulsa, Okla., and the idea that anyone rode in a limo to The Venue, the plain-Jane club where this rollicking show was recorded last year, is akin to a tuxedoed prom stud helping his date out of a stretch Hummer for dinner at Chili's.
But that's the uncompromising beauty of Twilley. Relocated back to what fellow hometowners Hanson dubbed the "Middle of Nowhere," Twilley's regal air has never waned. He had just two Top 20 hits, ferpetesake — 1975's "I'm on Fire" and 1984's "Girls" — and I'm willing to bet you can't hum either of them. More's the pity, frankly, because (a) they're killer rock singles, especially the first, and (b) Twilley's defiant (stubborn?) maintenance of his Rock Star stance is a thrilling anachronism in an age in which the reports of rock's death are not greatly exaggerated. His voice is finally showing signs of wear here, but he charges hard through a criminally overlooked catalog of rockabilly-fueled rockers and McCartney-dreamy ballads. It's a helluva show, kids, swinging from the boogie of his own "10,000 American Scuba Divers Dancin' " to Larry Williams' chugging 1958 classic "Slow Down."
Rock on, brother D., and tell the driver to keep the champagne cold.
These online "clips" reproduce a self-selection of my journalism (music etc) during the last 20+ years. It's a lotta stuff, but it only scratches the surface. I do not currently possess the time or resources to digitize the whole body of work. These posts are simply a bunch of pretty great days at the office.