Column

Easy Ed's Broadside

Exploring music without a map.

Since 2009, Ed has shared his thoughts on ND about music that touches him, and rambled hither and yon about what else is on his mind.

Easy Ed's Broadside

Exploring music without a map.

Since 2009, Ed has shared his thoughts on ND about music that touches him, and rambled hither and yon about what else is on his mind.

Hillbilly Music Straight Outta Compton

Really got a kick out of Larry Collins...the kid was a guitar whiz...Merle Travis also is quite the hero of guitarists everywhere...great player...

And now you know the rest of the story about Compton...

A kid that was an intern and then hired when I worked at GM (late 80's) was a huge fan of Rap/Hip Hop and once lent me "Straight Outta Compton" (let's just say I wasn't quite ready for that particular record at the time...wasn't so much the anti cop stuff as the misogynist bent)...he made a trip out to LA on company business, and took the time to drive his rental car to Compton, and sent me a picture of him standing next to the Compton City Limits sign...I think it is safe to say he was quite unaware of the history you have presented today...I'm still in touch with him all these years later...he'll get a kick out of this column...

For years I lived in Long Beach and drove to my office in Burbank every day. When you drive through the Alameda cooridor you hold your breath and pray that the car won't break down. NWA weren't just glamorizing some make-believe gangsta lifestyle, they were living in it every day. Compton was, and probably still is, one damn scary place.

When I worked for the Santa Fe Railway late 80's to mid 90's I was at the rail yard in Santa Fe Springs, not exactly a garden spot, and a few times the taxi driver or airport shuttle cut through Compton or South Central (roughly the same thing??). The year after the Rodney King riots we found ourselves at the light at Florence and Normandie, the intersection where the truck driver got the shit beat out of him. Looking around it didn't seem as obviously bad as a bad neighborhood in Chicago - pastel houses seemed quaint - I'm not sure we'd have realized the neighborhood was what it was but not for having watched all the trouble on TV the year before. 

Had a similar experience travelling for GM in the Detroit area...there were places where your car better not break down...even I-94 was supposedly a problem and it was busy as hell most of the time...I never broke down, and never witenssed anything either, but some of the locals had stories, and obviously, the gang influence was pervasive there too...

I didn't doubt Compton was the scary place NWA had depicted either...that stuff was raw...didn't sound like BS to me at all...

 

Interesting as usual, Ed.  Uncanny timing for the Collins Kids reference, I drove this morning from Chicago down to Danville IL to see a customer. On the way I was listening to Tom Russell's Modern Art record, on which is the song Tijuana Bible, in which is the lyric "the Collins kids were playing rockabilly on the TV". Hadn't heard their music until the video you included. Simpler times.

 

Jack...that is one crazy coincidence. There's a ton of Collins Kids videos on YT...go check them out. 

"Hillbilly Music Straight Outta Compton"

Great article and the best click bait headline on the site!    

Another fascinating post Ed. I was especially intrigued by the Collins Kids and that 10-yr-old guitarist. It made me wonder if he was still around and what else he did. Wikpedia has only a small entry about them but it mentioned that Lorrie Collins was Rick Nelson's first full-time girlfriend and she appeared on "The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet." It also said they reformed in 1993 for a rockabilly revival concert in England and still perform.

Still perform... after  watching that video, I'm betting his fingers till move close to as fast as, but...not the rest of him...