Now Listen ... Eagle Rock Turns 50 and Ross Wilson Talks About Its Origins - Noise11.com
Ross Wilson photo by Ros O'Gorman

Ross Wilson photo by Ros O'Gorman

Now Listen … Eagle Rock Turns 50 and Ross Wilson Talks About Its Origins

by Paul Cashmere on January 20, 2021

in News

Daddy Cool’s iconic ‘Eagle Rock’ is a song based on sexual innuendo or to be perfectly blunt, it’s a song about rooting.

The Daddy Cool classic ‘Eagle Rock’ will turn 50 in May 2021. The song was a national number one in Australia for 10 weeks in 1971 and charted again in 1986 and 1990.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the song songwriter Ross Wilson took Noise11 through the conception and history of ‘Eagle Rock’. The term ‘Eagle Rock’ in song dates back to 1914 when it was used in the lyrics of ‘Ballin’ The Jack’ by Chris Smith. ‘Ballin’ The Jack’ was a locomotive term for going at full speed and Eagle Rock’, well Ross explains … “The Eagle Rock was a dance but like rock and roll it is also a euphemism for you know what, yes rooting, spread eagling.

“It has definitely popped up in a few songs. If its popping up in popular songs then its probably been around for even longer than that because people are doing the Eagle Rock”.

The 1913 ‘Balling the Jack’ lyrics go, “Stretch your lovin’ arms straight out in space / Then do the Eagle Rock with style and grace”. “I remember that song when I was a kid,” Ross says. “I was over in London working for Procession as their singer. We were living in this beautiful mansion in Surrey. I used to get the Sunday Times. They had a lift-out. They were going to have the dictionary of music. B was for Blues. They had a picture of some people dancing and it said “they were cutting the pigeon wing and doing the eagle rock”. I was mucking around with that riff. It was like an early 30s Mississippi type of groove and I thought I’ll call this song ‘Eagle Rock’ and it started from there”.

‘Eagle Rock’ was first performed not by Daddy Cool but Ross’ band before Daddy Cool. “The very first band that ever played it was Sons of Vegetal Mother which begat Daddy Cool. I found a sheet of lyrics for Sons of Vegetal Mother from and it has got slightly different lyrics. It is interesting because Eagle Rock influenced the writing of (Elton John’s) Crocodile Rock. Some of the words I chucked out “we’re rockin’, we’re boppin’ and doing the Eagle Rock”. In that they go “we are rockin’ and boppin’ and doing the Crocodile Rock”. So the ones I thought were a bit trite they used”.

Watch the full Ross Wilson interview to dissect the creation of Eagle Rock.

Ross Wilson and the Peaceniks tour dates:

Sun 24 Jan – Kryal Castle, Ballarat – City of Ballarat free show & live stream

Tues 26 Jan – Melbourne Pavilion Outdoor, Kensington (Brand New Venue!) – “Living in the Land of Oz” Survival Day show with Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission and Jessie Lloyds Mission Songs Project.

Sat 30 Jan – PelicanBar, Queenscliff (run by Queenscliff Music Festival)

Sun 31 Jan – Merchant Lane, Mornington

Fri 12 Feb – Memo, St Kilda “Boppin With The Boss” featuring Pat Wilson

Sat 20 Feb – Rock The House – Lyric Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane. with: Glenn Shorrock, Brian Cadd, JPY and Kate Ceberano. t.ly/QobI

Sun 14 Feb – Archies Creek Hotel, (Caravan Club Presents)

Sat 27 March – Roche Estate, Hunter Valley – Sunset Sounds with Daryl Braithwaite, Ian Moss, Glenn Shorrock, Kate Ceberano, Jon Stevens, Black Sorrows, Richard Clapton, Dragon, Russell Morris, Thirsty Merc and many more

Thur 1 April: Bluesfest Byron Bay

All deets at www.RossWilson.com.au

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