Impeccable - Live on the Rox. 1979 USA
CD reissue: 2016 Rockadrome
I originally published this on June 19, 2009. But the CD is just blowing me away. I have to bump this forward!
Impeccable's Live on the Rox is an amazing artifact from another time and place. We’re talking Lubbock 1979... Roughnecks and Longnecks, spur cuts... sawdust floors. Tall Texans with black hats - walking in lockstep. Beautiful cover girl models who work on Daddy's ranch in towns with names like Happy and Muleshoe. Uh Johnny! I wouldn’t lose sight of that Lone Star can and drink it! Probably contains Billy Joe’s Happy Days chew and spittle. This is a cowboy crowd too wasted and pissed off to know that destiny has them strapped to a mechanical bull while supposedly enjoying them some George Strait. No sir Mr. Urban Cowboy, not here, not now. No John Travolta here sonny - he's a weeny disco boy anyway. Rather have some of that bad ass hard rock and roll, which incidentally Marshall Stacks nicely with their Midwest brethren in places like Michigan and Ohio. Album cover even says “Disco Sux”, Johnny Travolta punk. Disagree with me? Wanna take your beef to the parking lot? Hell, let’s just fight anyway.
Guitarist Darren Welch absolutely shreds (riffs and solos) on this monster of underground rock. Vocalist Don Allison selected Geddy Lee as a influence circa Fly By Night to obtain just the right high pitch, to soar over the hoots and hollers of this rodeo crowd. There’s even an intelligent break or two to add to the Rush metaphor. One track is even called Lizzy, so now you know.
Bored tonight? Join Willie, Danny, Bubba, Gary, and me while we head to The Rox and check out those tight jeans on those sexy West Texas mamas. We’ll even buy another round for our boys in Impeccable. See the hazy smoke. Smell the broken beer bottles. For tomorrow is another day at the cotton mill.
This may have been my very first "obscure discovery". Not that I knew it at the time. See, I was a student at Texas Tech in Lubbock in the 1980s. Believe me, what I said above is not merely fantasy, but what I actually observed! The bins of one local store were filled with sealed copies of the album for about $2 each (easily more than 100 they had). A few years later in 1992, when I knew more of what I was doing (if I ever knew what I was doing), I swooped back through West Texas and bought the remaining ones, but that's after a few other folks had done the same. The CD on Rockadrome is excellent, with liner notes from guitarist Darren Welch, and a rare single from their original incarnation as Axxe from 1978 (see below). The liner notes inform us that GBC stands for Great Big Con. LOL.
Axxe - Rock Away The City / Through The Night. 1978 Impulse