Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Eddy Dixon

I had Robert Gordon's records, but never saw him back in the day. I did, however, see him and Willem Dafoe (in his first movie role) in "The Loveless," a movie about two 1950s bikers who are headed for the Daytona races but mechanical difficulties in a small town with a hard-nosed sheriff with a smoking hot daughter get in the way. I saw this at the 8th Street Playhouse on, uh, 8th St. in "The Village." (Ask me about how when we went to see "Rock & Roll High School" there Marky Ramone and his mother sat right in front of us.)

Anyway, "The Loveless" had a great soundtrack, with a couple of Robert Gordon originals and re-recordings by the the likes of Little Richard of signature hit tunes.

Also on there was this guy Eddy Dixon, with a song called "Relentless." It was a slow one, but it boomed with singing emotion and twang guitar. Eddy Dixon's voice sounded at times otherworldly, like some latter-day Gene Vincent. The song had great lyrics too, containing a refrain "Look out, cat, I'll kill you twice." It was, to put it in WFMU "Fool's Paradise" DJ Rex's words, "a remarkable achievement in recorded sound."

A couple of years after the movie came out, I was skimming the Village Voice one week, and I saw that Eddy Dixon would be playing one of those music joints that crowd Bleecker St. I rounded up a crew from Staten Island and my East Village girlfriend and we went. We arrived midset and it was I must say disappointing. They must have been on something. No tightness, all over the place, and the guy couldn't sing. I kept calling out "Relentless!", "Relentless!" Eddy Dixon flipped because someone actually knew a song he recorded, and he tried. Oh, he tried. Poor guy. The "Relentless" he played was unrelentlessly piss-poor. Sounded nothing like the record and you could see he was struggling. I'm not really knocking him, it could happen to anybody. I screwed up singing a couple of times me-self.

My girlfriend recognized Eddy as a freelance plumber from the East Village, who had done work in her co-op tenement. Turns out he later played some bit part in "Wild at Heart" and was in a David Lynch short film "Rockabilly Guy". I wonder what he's doing today.