The original Rocket 88 was produced by Sam Phillips (Sun Records) for Chess Records in 1951. Jackie Brentson and his Delta Cats had a number one on the R&B charts with it, and a teenage Ike Turner played piano alongside his Rhythm Kings. Some say it’s the first time a distorted guitar was recorded. One story is that the bands amp fell off the roof of a car while driving– and to fix the amp, somebody stuffed it with newspaper to keep the wrecked cone in place– which then created a fuzzy tone. Besides that story, this song was often debated among musicologists as being the first rock and roll record. Musically there’s so much going on in the original version…Jackie is singing in C, and the rest of the band is playing in E flat. The original has a great feel, and sometimes, wreckless in nature–and I always thought that this would make a fantastic instrumental.
Lip Up Fatty-This is the third 2 Tone era song that we’ve done so far. I first saw Bad Manners while I was in high school-when they played the Berkeley Keystone in 1983. A lot of the punk rock kids went to that show, and it was so cool to see punks, mods, and skaters all under one roof getting along and loving ska music.
I’ve always loved Social Distortion, and Mike Ness is a great songwriter. Rancid and Social D. have a history… Mike played guitar onstage with Rancid at Roseland in New York in 1996, and Matt Freeman played bass with Social D. on tour. We used to love seeing Johnny Two Bags play in Cadillac Tramps, and during his stint in U.S. Bombs. You can see how intertwined we are.