Get this crazy baby off my head!


Alexis Korner


Alexis Korner - Juvenile Delinquent - 1984 - Charisma

The late Alexis Korner often hailed as "the grandfather of the British blues scene" and his Blues Incorporated band was a catalyst for the development of British Blues Music which Alexis played with a unique passion. Alexis found ties between urban and country blues. In his eclectic repertoire he played music by Muddy Waters and Charles Mingus similar to artists like Stan Kenton and Duke Ellington who mixed blues and jazz to create great music. In the early '60's "white bluesmen" were mostly playing covers of black man's music, but by the mid-sixties thanks to people like Alexis Korner these "white bluesmen" began composing their own blues songs. The '60's British blues movement spawned bands like The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Ten Years After and many more artists who spread this new form of white blues around the world. "Juvenile Delinquent" is just one of Alexis' many releases. It is not a well known album. It is also a short album. You won't read many reviews of this album, but it has all the hallmarks of the great man's trademark sound of urban blues and blues soul. The album contains two unusual covers; Peter Sarstedt's "Beirut" and The Stones' "Get Off My Cloud". Listen to CCS "CCS 1st" and Alexis Korner's "A New Generation Of Blues" albums


A1 Beirut - Peter Sarstedt
A2 Mean Fool - Alexis Korner
A3 The Sphinx - Joey Alkes, Chris Fradkin, Mitch Rafal
B1 Get Off My Cloud - Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
B2 King B.B. - Alexis Korner
B3 Juvenile Delinquent - Alexis Korner


Alexis Korner: vocals, acoustic guitar (except for track 6)
Alan Ross: electric guitar, backing vocals
Colin Hodgkinson: bass guitar
Adam Sieff: slide guitar
Robin Lumley: synthesizers
Morris Pert: percussion
Tony Hicks: drums
Katie Kissoon, Doreen Chanter - backing vocals


Alexis Korner wanted to revolutionise people's ability to feel and this he did, if not always directly. Like Plato (and Alexis's mother was Greek) he offered the philosophy and the texts; but it was those he influenced who conquered the world. It is a formidable list, for it includes The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Robert Plant and John Mayall. Nor, up in Liverpool, would those who became The Beatles have been deaf to the influential concerts and broadcasts at the turn of the 50's by Korner's Blues Incorporated. We talk of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones as British growths, which is a bit like saying the Californians invented wine,' wrote Miles Kington. It was Alexis's genius to smile away the protests of these sharing his love of American urban blues, and to conjure in London a notional ghetto of feeling and sources and musicianship irresistible to the middleclass kids of the time. ‘Blues is a matter of feeling not of colour,' was his retort. He never envied those players who transmuted his ideas into more lucrative rock and roll, and was always dismissive of attempts to give him a patriarchal role. Yet there is no doubt Alexis Korner is the source of rich delight for the rock'n roll generation, its children, and the music industry. Himself urbane rather than urban, Alexis was a boy of twelve when in 1940 he landed in England on the last boat from France. The son of an Austrian cavalry officer, he had already lived in France, Switzerland and North Africa. The easy, educated charm of the Eurocracy in him sometimes concealed the very real passion of his integrity; as performer, broadcaster and critic. He chose to respect his subject and forego any considerable reward; the lot of the academic. When he died, Alexis was completing his first studio recordings in seven years, with his long-time collaborator and bass-player Collin Hodgkinson. In re-working Peter Sarstedt's excellent and sadly-relevant song 'Beirut' Alexis seems to be attempting an interesting synthesis of his favoured blues style and the gospel-rooted American soul which has now swept the board in black music, notably in the person of Michael Jackson (who offered praise to the late Jackie Wilson at the Grammy awards). I was in Cyprus when I heard Alexis's uniquely abrasive voice had been silenced by lung cancer. The fierce sunset that day was itself a powerful blues. I raised a glass to the Hoochie Coochie Man; only 55, and with much left to teach us. I thank Bobbie Korner and Del Taylor for allowing Charisma to be associated with these final recordings. © Tony Stratton Smith © http://alexis-korner.net/notesjd.html


Alexis Korner (19 April 1928 - 1 January 1984), born Alexis Andrew Nicholas Koerner, was a pioneering blues musician and broadcaster who has sometimes been referred to as "the Founding Father of British Blues". A major influence on the sound of the British music scene in the 1960s, Korner was instrumental in bringing together various English blues musicians. Alexis Korner was born in Paris to an Austrian father and Greek mother, and spent his childhood in France, Switzerland, and North Africa. He arrived in London in 1940 at the start of the Second World War. One memory of his youth was listening to a record by Jimmy Yancey during a German air raid. He said, "From then on all I wanted to do was play the blues." After the war, he played piano and guitar, and in 1949 joined Chris Barber's Jazz Band where he met blues harmonica player Cyril Davies. They started playing together as a duo, formed the influential London Blues and Barrelhouse Club in 1955, and made their first record together in 1957. Korner brought many American blues artists, previously unknown in England, to perform. Although he himself was a blues purist - Korner criticised better-known British blues musicians, during the blues boom of the late '60s, for their blind adherence to Chicago blues, as if the music came in no other form - he liked to surround himself with jazz musicians and often performed with a horn section drawn from a pool which included, among others, saxophone players Art Themen, Mel Collins, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Dick Morrissey, John Surman and trombonist Mike Zwerin. In the 1960s Korner began a media career, initially as a show business interviewer and then on ITV's Five O'Clock Club, a children's TV show. He also wrote about blues for the music papers, and continued his performing career especially in Europe. Apart from discovering various English musicians Korner also introduced foreign artists, such as German Wolfgang Michels, to a larger audience. Korner also wrote the liner notes for Michels' group Percewood's Onagram first album in 1969. While touring Scandinavia he first joined forces with singer Peter Thorup, together forming the band New Church, who were one of the support bands at the Rolling Stones Free Concert at Hyde Park on 5 July 1969. It is said that Jimmy Page found out about a new singer, Robert Plant, who had been jamming with Korner, who wondered why Plant had not yet been discovered. Plant, Korner, and Steve Miller were in the process of recording a full album with Plant on vocals until Page had asked him to join "the New Yardbirds", aka Led Zeppelin. Only two songs are in circulation from these recordings: "Steal Away" and "Operator". In 1970 Korner and Thorup formed a big band ensemble, C.C.S. - short for The Collective Consciousness Society - which had several hit singles produced by Mickie Most, including a version of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" which was used as the theme for BBC's Top Of The Pops for several years. Another instrumental called Brother was used as the theme to the Radio 1 Top 20 when Tom Browne presented the programme in the early 1970s. This was the period of Korner's greatest commercial success in the UK. In 1973, he formed another group, Snape, with Boz Burrell, Mel Collins, and Ian Wallace, previously together in King Crimson. Korner also played on B. B. King's Supersession album, and cut his own, similar album, Get Off My Cloud, with Keith Richards, Peter Frampton, Nicky Hopkins, and members of Joe Cocker's Grease Band. In the mid 1970s, while touring Germany, he established an intensive working relationship with bassist Colin Hodgkinson who played for the support act Back Door. They would continue to collaborate until the end. In the 1970s Korner's main career was in broadcasting. In 1973 he presented a unique 6-part documentary on BBC Radio 1, The Rolling Stones Story, and in 1977 he established a weekly blues and soul show on Radio 1, which ran until 1981. He also used his gravelly voice to great effect as an advertising voice over artist. In 1978, for Korner's 50th birthday, an all-star concert was held featuring many of his friends mentioned above, as well as Eric Clapton, Paul Jones, Chris Farlowe, Zoot Money and other friends, which was later released as The Party Album, and as a video. In 1981, he joined another "supergroup", Rocket 88, a project led by Ian Stewart based around boogie-woogie keyboard players, which featured a rhythm section comprising Jack Bruce and Charlie Watts, among others, as well as a horn section. They toured Europe and released an album on Atlantic Records. Alexis Korner, a lifelong chain smoker, died of lung cancer in London on January 1, 1984, aged 55.


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w aoofc

guinea pig said...

Great name with serious influence.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks GP! He influenced countless bands. We've a lot to be thankful for. Cheers!