VARIOUS ARTISTS Nowhere Boy (John Lennon Bio Soundtrack 2009)

Nowhere Boy (2009)
Roots Of The Beatles, With A Sales Garnering Lennon Outtake For The Collectors

At first, I wasn’t all that interested in the 2009 soundtrack to the John Lennon bio, Nowhere Boy. After seeing the track list, however, it appeared to be a decent enough, if standard, “roots of” collection worth checking out. Besides, I was curious about the house band, The Nowhere Boys (masquerading as the pre-Beatles Quarrymen), and was wondering if there might be some hidden magic to be found – like the righteous roots rock of Dave Edmunds’ fictional Stray Cats found on the 1974 Stardust soundtrack. Alas… such is not the case. Though credit should be given to Aaron Johnson, the actor/singer tasked with impersonating one of the world’s most recognizable voices. Johnson does an admirable job of suggesting the early Beatle’s vocal inflections without resorting to the conventional mimicry we’re all familiar with. The remakes of two of The Beatles’ earliest compositions (“Hello Little Girl” & “In Spite Of All the Danger”) is a plus. Besides, if you don’t already have some of these 50s essentials in your digital collection, you probably should. Any knee-jerks crying foul about just the idea of trying to capture this particular time in a bottle, should save their wrath for the producers, instead. They’re the ones that stretched this 75 minutes of music into two CDs, with an unreleased Lennon outtake (“Mother,” sans piano) to sucker the collectors in. Which renders the soundtrack (HERE) nearly as expensive as the film’s DVD (HERE) at Amazon. Musically… you could do a lot worse than The Nowhere Boys, but there’s plenty to enjoy here.

JERRY LEE LEWIS Wild One (1:54)
DICKIE VALENTINE Mr. Sandman (2:17)
JACKIE BRENSTON AND HIS DELTA CATS Rocket 88 (2:49)
ELVIS PRESLEY Shake, Rattle & Roll (2:28)
WANDA JACKSON Hard Headed Woman (1:59)
SCREAMIN’ JAY HAWKINS I Put A Spell On You (2:27)
THE NOWHERE BOYS Maggie May (1:56)
THE NOWHERE BOYS That’ll Be The Day (2:10)
EDDIE BOND & THE STOMPERS Rockin’ Daddy (1:59)
EDDIE COCHRAN Twenty Flight Rock (1:45)
THE NOWHERE BOYS That’s Alright Mamma (1:56)
THE NOWHERE BOYS Movin’ And Groovin’ (1:33)
THE NOWHERE BOYS Raunchy (2:04)
BIG MAMA THORNTON Hound Dog (2:51)
GENE VINCENT AND THE BLUE CAPS Be-Bop-A-Lula (2:36)
AARON JOHNSON Hello Little Girl (1:51)
THE NOWHERE BOYS In Spite Of All The Danger (2:54)
JOHN LENNON Mother (3:50)

CHECK BERRY Roll Over Beethoven (2:25)
BILL HALEY AND HIS COMETS Rock Around The Clock (2:13)
LITTLE RICHARD Rip It Up (2:24)
ELVIS PRESLEY Baby, Let’s Play House (1:06)
BUDDY HOLLY Peggy Sue (2:31)
BUDDY KNOX Party Doll (2:13)
BOBBY FULLER FOUR I Fought The Law (2:19)
VINCE TAYLOR & HIS PLAYBOYS Brand New Cadillac (2:37)
DALE HAWKINS Susie-Q (2:14)
SHIRLEY & LEE Let The Good Times Roll (2:24)
BARRETT STRONG Money (That’s What I Want) (2:40)
FATS DOMINO Ain’t That A Shame (2:27)
LLOYD PRICE Stagger Lee (2:23)
FRANKIE VAUGHAN These Dangerous Years (2:14)
THE DEL-VIKINGS Come Go With Me (2:41)

18 Comments

  • 1
    Willard
    September 1, 2011 - 19:19 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • 2
    September 1, 2011 - 20:03 | Permalink

    One of the things I dislike most about projects like this is that it plays into the Lennon-was-a-Saint ploy. His memory is being carved up and parceled out like Ghandi’s fer gawsakes! Lennon (in his own way) was a saint…but he was also a son of a bitch (holding true to the rock & roll tradition, that is…)

    • 3
      Willard
      September 1, 2011 - 20:21 | Permalink

      We’ll never see a realistic depiction of Lennon as long as Yoko is alive. She holds the consent for any major project. I like what she does artistically/musically on Lennon’s behalf, but she’ll never let anyone take potshots at his legacy… and you can’t really blame her for that. Just gives us another reason to outlive her, I guess.

      • 4
        pete
        September 1, 2011 - 21:08 | Permalink

        Keef: John Lennon was ‘a silly sod in many ways’ who came around to Richards’s house with Yoko Ono to take drugs. ‘I don’t think John ever left my house except horizontally,’ he says.

        • 5
          Willard
          September 1, 2011 - 21:12 | Permalink

          Like Keef was conscious enough to remember.

  • 6
    Goose
    September 1, 2011 - 23:36 | Permalink

    Thought this was an OK movie, worth checkin’ out once… thought the kid playing Lennon did a decent job, didn’t care for the one playing McCartney… but I agree with Willard and JP that we’ll never see the real deal on a Lennon film as long as Yoko (and I don’t dislike Yoko) is in the driver’s seat on Lennon related projects. She’ll probably live to be 106 yrs. old Cap.

    • 7
      Willard
      September 2, 2011 - 07:47 | Permalink

      Easily. McCartney’s gonna be one of those 98 year old guys, you can just tell. But Yoko will surely get the last laugh and outlive us all.

  • 8
    aitoid
    September 2, 2011 - 11:37 | Permalink

    I thought it was a pretty good movie. BTW, sorry to be pedantic but In Spite Of All The Danger was a Paul McCartney and George Harrison composition.

    • 9
      Willard
      September 2, 2011 - 12:21 | Permalink

      Not at all. Actually that’s funny. When I first wrote this up, I was thinking the song was a co-write, and my memory (which often works behind my back to print faulty information) was telling me it was a Lennon/Harrison tune. So, at least 3 or 4 times in the last couple days I’ve kept reminding myself to check my Anthology disc when I go into the other room (as late as last night I was thinking that), because something was nagging at me. But, alas, I never checked. So many thanks for the comment. I finally looked, and Anthology reminded me that Lennon sang the lead on “In Spite Of All The Danger,” despite not writing it. Text corrected, thanks. Daisy… Daisy……. give…… meee…… youuurrrrrrrrrrrrr………….. annssssswwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr… dooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

      • 10
        aitoid
        September 2, 2011 - 18:26 | Permalink

        The fact that it’s a McCartney/Harrison competition has always struck me as unusual, which is why I remembered it – one of those useless facts that gets stuck in the back of your brain (obviously it was in your brain too, just not coming out). I don’t think there are any other McCartney/Harrison compositions, are there? I recall remembering it a couple of months back when I saw the movie and though it odd that Lennon was doing the lead vocal when the other two wrote it. I hope you pass the audition.

        • 11
          Willard
          September 2, 2011 - 18:34 | Permalink

          It’s unusual enough information that I should have been able to retain it. Looks like it won’t be long now… Ringo who?

  • 13
    Gummo
    September 2, 2011 - 14:24 | Permalink

    This would make a nifty 50s collection (but what is “I Fought the Law” doing on there?) if you just edit out the faux Beatles tracks, which is exactly what I think I’ll do!

    Thanks, W.

  • 14
    Ice X
    September 3, 2011 - 12:38 | Permalink

    I’m surprised they didn’t use “Cry for a Shadow”, a little instrumental jaunt co-written by Lennon & Harrison. My math might be a little fuzzy here, but I believe it’s the first Beatle composition released on a recording (the album where they backed Tony Sheridan).

    • 15
      Willard
      September 3, 2011 - 14:11 | Permalink

      Wouldn have made as much, or more, sense as “Raunchy.”

      • 16
        Todd
        June 7, 2014 - 22:05 | Permalink

        Actually “Raunchy” makes perfect sense as it was the song that got Harrison into the group.

  • 17
    September 4, 2011 - 20:07 | Permalink

    The Nowhere Boys aren’t all bad. I kinda like “That’ll Be The Day”, and “In Spite Of All The Danger”.

    • 18
      Willard
      September 4, 2011 - 20:26 | Permalink

      Not awful. Just not special.

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