Palmer Rockey - a man for all seasons
- Here's a Texas legend as good as Roky Erickson, albeit cut from a
somewhat different cloth. Palmer Rockey was, it seems, a con man who
in the late 1970s swindled a bunch of wealthy Dallas ladies
into "investing" in a movie project that probably never existed.
In order to give credence to his appearance as a showbiz scenemaker
he recorded an LP titled "Rockey's Style" which goes way out there in
the "Incredibly Strange" dimension. The sleeve depicts Rockey as a
handsome James Garner-type guy with slicked back hair and a polyester
suit - arguably more used car salesman than Hollywood celebrity.
The contents of the LP are hard to describe, but it sounds like a guy
who has a working (not good, but working) voice that has NEVER SUNG
BEFORE. He's clueless as how to bring any soul or finesse to the
material, and the stale lounge afternoon atmosphere is heightened by
a pick-up band of local studio musicians who mechanically deliver
music in generic styles such as "rock", "funk" and "disco". The song
lyrics consist mostly of Palmer going "rock, baby, rock" and some odd
digressions that sound ad libbed.
The track everyone flips on is "Scarlet Love 666" (or such), which is
less "rock" and more fullblown creepy lounge, and with extraordinary
(real) lyrics on how "666 will be king" - obviously very different
from the rest of the LP, and a true enigma suggesting that Palmer
Rockey was in fact... well, I'm not sure what he was, but it
certainly is spooky.
Someone managed to track Palmer down long ago and inquired about the
LP & the movie project and was met with the response "Don't ever
contact me about this again". The LP exists in at least 3 different
runs with small variations (and errors) that distinguish them. I
doubt there will ever be a reissue, and in any event this is one of
those artefacts where the background story is half the fun.
Disclaimer: much of this is based on hearsay and rumors from the
loungepsych collector underworld.
>Disclaimer: much of this is based on hearsay and rumors from the
>loungepsych collector underworld.
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- It's "loungepsych" baby - that's what's happening!
I'm gonna find some Texas connection on the Kaplan Brothers and I'm
gonna post on them too, much in the same way that David Shutt managed
to squeeze the Monks into his TX discography.
I take my mission seriously, and can now report back from a visit I
just paid to a friend who is perhaps the leading (non-academic)
Palmer Rockey expert in the world. He confirms most of what I wrote
earlier, except that the movie really EXISTS, and is said to deal
with "the Palmer Rockey lifestyle".
Mr Rockey rented one of the biggest movie theatres in Dallas for the
first screening, and somewhat unwisely invited all the housewives and
widows he'd chatted up for $$$ to come, which lead to him having to
literally flee the scene after the screening was over. "Psychotronic"
film guru Michael Weldon has been involved in trying to track a copy
of the movie down without any success so far. The title of the movie
is "Scarlet Love", for which the LP is the soundtrack.
If you live in the DFW area, be sure to keep an eye out for copies of
this LP at flea markets and bargain bins. It's only about 20 years
old, and only a few have ever been found, so the rest of the pressing
is likely to be around somewhere. The cover has a neat home-made look
to it, b/w photos against a yellow background and "Palmer Rockey" in
large (of course) print. If you find one (or a dozen) you could
easily sell it for 3 figures. Be sure to put one aside for the Lama
There are some technical aspects of the pressings I could add, but
I'll save those for another time and place.
--- In TheTexas60sMusicRefuge@y..., "Andrew Brown" <brown135@h...>
> >"lama_sivart_doz" wrote:
> >Disclaimer: much of this is based on hearsay and rumors from the
> >loungepsych collector underworld.
> No comment.
> Join the world's largest e-mail service with MSN Hotmail.