Bobby Fuller Four: I Fought the Law
(Slightly tangential to our theme - a related last minute entry)
If I don’t misremember, most of my association with the jukebox is vicarious: I read lots of Archie comics and watched shows like Happy Days. There weren’t any jukeboxes where I grew up, but that’s probably because the Jukebox was rather American. That’s not to say I had no direct experience with them, but mine was limited to that period of my life when I had my own money and was of an age where my tastes would have run in that direction. I recall a “Wall-o-matic” I ran across in a booth at a diner oncet, and a couple of full-size Wurltizer kind of things in a bowling alley or maybe a bar I might have been in.
When I was in the the USofA for one year in 1965-6 and had just started to listen to the kind of music that would have likely been stocked in a jukebox, I was just a little too young to be putting my own quarters into jukes. A few years later, when I next returned to the land of ”Good and Plenty”, my musical interests had veered toward music like “Long Distance Runaround” by Yes - clocking in at around 13 minutes and not the kind of material that was generally used to stock most jukes.
|my 45 collection|
However, back to ’65, when I had just started listen to juke-potential music a-la top 20. I was in the habit of using my allowance to purchase the occasional 45 and had begun to amass a collection of the things – storing them safely in a case made specially for that purchase (that's mine above). One of my first purchases was a copy of Bobby Fuller’s “I Fought the Law”. I don’t recall ever having watched this clip – looks like it might have been made for TV – but I couldn’t help but grin at how politically inappropriate it must seem today. In further doing my research, I see now (and wasn’t previously aware) that Bobby Fuller was dead less than a year after his version made the charts (and the jukeboxes of America).
Written by Sonny Curtis (who took on Buddy Holly’s lead role with the Crickets after Holly’s death a few years before this version came out), the song has since been covered and covered, and is ranked well up the list in Rolling Stones Top 500 of all time.