Saturday, February 14, 2015

Jukebox: I Fought the Law

Bobby Fuller Four: I Fought the Law
Purchase mp3

(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.

blog comments powered by Disqus