Graham Parker On Punk, New Wave, New Romantics and Paul Young - Noise11.com
Graham Parker photo by Ros O'Gorman, music news, noise11.com

Graham Parker photo by Ros O'Gorman

Graham Parker On Punk, New Wave, New Romantics and Paul Young

by Paul Cashmere on November 2, 2020

in News

Graham Parker likes touring the USA because his lower profile means he doesn’t have to play the hits.

The UK New Wave legend generated radio play in Australia and the UK with songs like ‘Hey Lord Don’t Ask Me Questions’, ‘I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down’ and ‘New York Shuffle’ in the late 70s but America didn’t catch on until his 80s albums like ‘Another Grey Area’, ‘The Real Macaw’ and ‘Steady Nerves’.

Watch the Noise11 Classic Interview series with Graham Parker at SXSW in 2007.

“’Hey Lord Don’t Ask Me Questions’ was big in Australia and England, Europe,” Graham told Noise11 at SXSW in 2007. “In America rarely people call out for that. I’ve trained them well, especially with my solo show. I can do an hour and a half of the less obvious songs. I throw in some weird cover versions. I sometimes do a retrospective set. That’s a good one to do solo. I do something of each album starting in ’76. They are not what you would call the favourite song. They know that I have a right to do what I want. It feels good and its working for my voice at a different point in time”.

‘Hey Lord Don’t Ask Me Questions’ was written by American R&B singer Anne Peebles. “I did a cover version of it as well. Its an Ann Peebles song. You have to check out Ann Peebles. She did the definitive version,” he said. “She is the girl who did ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’. I did the nasty, more intense version and Paul Young did the commercial, unnecessary version. She co-wrote it with someone else. I hope she got her dosh from it”.

Graham Parker grew from the London pub scene just as punk was brewing. “In ’76, the entire year was only happening in the back pages of the music press. I made two albums in ’76. It was like being in a field of one. We established ourselves in one year and then the punk and new wave came along and people put us in a new bag. I don’t think I belonged. It didn’t serve my purpose in any way. Those punk bands were kind of a one note thing and we weren’t. The musicians in the room were varied. Anyone who could do ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ by The Supremes and ‘I Want You Back’ by the Jackson Five is not the Sex Pistols as good as they were. We were much more varied”.

In the 80s England’s New Romantics acts, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Culture Club rendered Parker antiquated. “I didn’t get lumped in with that. It wasn’t me. I didn’t go in for the bad English version of American cocktails and a pirate shirt. It wasn’t a good time for me. I’d be playing shows and no-one would turn out. I can draw a bigger crowd now than then. It was not a great period”.

The most recent Graham Parker album was ‘Cloud Symbols’ in 2018. Graham will turn 70 on 18 November 2020.

Noise11.com

Follow Noise11 on Social Media

NEW: Noise11 on YouTube SUBSCRIBE

Noise11 on Instagram

You’ll discover music news first following Noise11 on Twitter

Comment on the news of the day, join Noise11 on Facebook

Related Posts

David Gilmour and Romany Gilmour
David Gilmour’s Daughter Romany Takes Lead Vocal on ‘Between Two Points’

David Gilmour has recorded ‘Between Two Points’ with his daughter Romany Gilmour.

10 mins ago
Stevie Nicks ADOTG at Rochford Winery on Saturday 18 November 2017. Photo by Ros O'Gorman
Stevie Nicks Cancels Pennsylvania Show At Last Minute

Stevie Nicks was forced to cancel her Saturday night concert at Hersheypark Stadium in Pennsylvania.

1 day ago
Paul McCartney and Wings One Hand Clapping
Paul McCartney Premieres Video for 50 Year Old ‘Soily’

In April 1974 Paul McCartney and Wings gathered at Abbey Road Studios in London for the filming of a documentary and release of a live album to be called ‘One Hand Clapping’. The album was finally released this week, 50 years later on 14 June 2024.

3 days ago
Joe Walsh of Eagles performing at Rod Laver Arena on 22 February 2015. (photo by Ros O'Gorman
Eagles To Play Residency At Las Vegas Sphere

Eagles will do a run of dates at the Sphere in Las Vegas in September and October.

4 days ago
‘Always On My Mind’ Songwriter Mark James Dies at 83

Mark James, composer of the Elvis hits ‘Always On My Mind’ and ‘Suspicious Minds’, has died in Nashville at age 83.

4 days ago
Andy Summers by Dennis Mukai
Andy Summers of The Police To Play Australian Shows

The Police lead guitarist Andy Summers will tour Australia as a solo artist in September.

5 days ago
John Lennon Mind Games box
John Lennon Mind Games Box Features Hidden Tracks

When the John Lennon ‘Mind Games’ box set was announced we were told that the album would contain hidden tracks.

6 days ago