This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 13, 2006 1:39 PM. The previous post in this blog was Buck-a-Hit Day (and comment contest) is Tuesday. The next post in this blog is A little nutty. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Boom chuck rock then!

The little essay I wrote four years ago about Portland rock legend Billy Rancher has put me in touch with all sorts of nice people over the years. Billy's buddy Houston even sent me some stunning Rancher recordings that I never knew existed. I have listened to them with great pleasure many times.

The other day, a reader came across that post and felt such a surge of nostalgia that she sent me the following e-mail message:

Well, I have never even been on a blog before, but I had to comment on the Billy Rancher page... I have a friend who knows Galen T (the author of your second comment on the page). She told me I should see it.

I grew up in Salem, and graduated from high school in 1980. When the weekend came, I couldn't wait to zip up I-5 in my little Honda Civic (crammed full of friends) to see and hear LIVE MUSIC in Portland!

One of the best memories of BR and the UR Gods is from a fun night of rockin' at The Last Hurrah.... I was under age, but had GREAT FAKE ID, from my sister. (Back in those days, all it took was a birth certificate to get a valid ODL...)

Anyway, I was slack jawed over Billy and his group. The energy was so high, and the room was hopping. They were so incredibly novel for the day. They had their own look, and sound, and the Goddess A Go Go (the dancers) were not only talented... they were a riot to watch!

You may recall his lyrics from "I Need Some Symmetry In my Play": "I want the two notes that I play on my guitar to be so perfect now, perfect now, watch me now!!" Well, when Billy played that song, he took a little break to ask the audience "does anyone in here know how to play the guitar??" I raised my hand up high along with everyone else in the crowd, and crazy enough, Billy grabbed my hand and pulled me up on stage! Now honestly, I didn't know much more than the C G and F chords, so he put the guitar strap on me, and reached around from behind, (my back) and played those two notes. Perfectly. He was so sweet, and ahhh. Sigh. This is a gal's perspective, now!

I'll never forget that night, and all of the other nights, at Lung Fung and Louie's (La Bambas). It was an amazing time... And to maybe help answer the question, it was a little bit of everything. Our age, our place, but also you know Billy was special. I can't help but think he is in a great place, rockin' out with the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughn, and having as much fun as ever.

I have a cassette of Boom Chuck Rock SOMEWHERE, but with a full house of kids, etc. I have no idea where it has ended up. Where can I get a copy? I live in Eastern WA now...

Thanks so much for bringing back that memory for me.

The joy was all mine.

Comments (2)

Billy Rancher and the Unreal Gods had the potential to go all the way - to be the great, original nationally-recognized rock band that Portland has never had (sorry Quarterflash, but you weren't it). Some of my favorite memories are the "battle of the band" concerts the Ranchers and The Cowboys from Seattle. - Jim Redden

Billy Rancher would have been 50 this next Feb. 28. His friends are planning a party on Feb. 24 at Duff's Garage (where The Unreal Gods have recently started getting together every couple of months) to celebrate Billy's music and play his songs.

It's especially fun for me, because I get to sing and play guitar with the Gods.

Somebody set up a myspace page for Billy if anybody missed it and wants to hear what it's about...and there's a video on youtube too.


P.S. to Jack: glad you like the songs.

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