Our resident blogger is back and this week Self Made Man delivers a fascinating insight into the universal appeal of rock n roll.

Don’t forget to read the views of the North East’s original classic rocker right here, exclusively, every week. 


Let’s face it, not everyone likes rock music.
 There are one or two music agnostics in the big, wide world who for some bizarre reason find Lemmy about as tuneful as a power drill and think that Jimmy Page would make less noise smashing glass than playing the electric guitar.
But when it comes to rock and roll, universal opinion is very different. Everyone loves it.
Last night, we went to a charity bash, held to raise money for a 17-year-old girl, who is raising funds to fly out to Africa to take part in the Help Uganda Grow project.
And happily, such was the success of the evening, she is well on her way towards reaching her financial target.
A worthwhile cause and also a thoroughly enjoyable night, bolstered by the presence of a rather excellent band called The Rockafellas.
The audience, estimated at around 250, was all ages but mainly in the 17 to 21 and 40 to 55 categories.
Hardly age groups with similar music tastes!
Now if the organisers had booked a classic rock band, the male members of my party would have been well satisfied but as for our partners or the youngsters, I’m not so sure.
If they’d gone for the safe option of a mainstream pop band, there probably would not have been too many protests but such acts can  be very hit or miss.
And if they’d chosen a rap artist, an indie band or just gone for a straightforward disco, there would have been as many thumbs down as thumbs up.
But the Rockafellas hit the spot with just about everyone, boys and girls, kids and oldies, rockers and rappers, disco queens and former punks.
Heartbreak Hotel, Stray Cat Strut, Hound Dog, Somethin’ Else, C’Mon Everybody, Rock Around The Clock, Peggy Sue, That’ll Be The Day. The list goes on….
Every one recognisable, every one a winner and very soon, the dance floor was bopping – a multi-generational kaleidescope of pleasure.
Rock and roll of course spawned the music we love and even in the glory years of classic rock, the biggest bands in the world regularly paid homage to their influences.
Led Zeppelin regularly played a rock and roll medley during live gigs, The Scorpions recorded Long Tall Sally and Hound Dog on their Tokyo Tapes album.
UFO did versions of Eddie Cochran’s C’Mon Everybody and Something Else while of course Summertime Blues was a huge hit for The Who and has even been recorded by Rush in the past decade.
AC/DC don’t do covers but to this day, Malcolm and Angus Young, who once threatened to sue a publication for labelling them a heavy metal band, insist what they do is rock n’roll. Nothing more, nothing less.
Whatever the history of rock and roll, its power and its influences, here’s a tip.
If you’re organising a bash, whether it’s an 18th, a 40th, a wedding do or even a golden wedding do, get those blue suede shoes on and take a trip back in time to the fifties. You won’t regret it.
Ian Murtagh