JOHNNY KIDD AND THE PIRATES. SHAKING ALL OVER AND THE MAKING OF IT. ORIGINAL ARTICLE BY MORETTI.  CLEM CATTINI. BRIAN GREGG. ART CADDY. JOE MORETTI.

                                              

                              

                                                                                

 

 
 
                                  

OLD TIGERS, AS THEY NEAR THEIR END, ARE AT THEIR FIERCEST. AND THEY DIE FIGHTING.


 THIS ARTICLE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OFJOHNNY KIDD AND THREE VERY TALENTED GUYS : ART CADDY, BRIAN GREGG AND CLEM CATTINI.  IN ADDITION IT IS DEDICATED TO ONE OF THE GREAT MASTERS OF BRITISH WIT,  SPIKE MILLIGAN, ALSO KNOWN AS SIR SPIKE. HIS MEMORY GAVE ME THE INSPIRATION AND COURAGE TO WRITE THIS ARTICLE.  'SHAKING ALL OVER' WAS RECORDED MORE THAN FORTY YEARS AGO. JOHNNY DIDN'T LIVE LONG ENOUGH TO ENJOY THE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IT HAS GENERATED.  IN ANY CASE, THE PUBLISHERS AND PRODUCERS GOT MOST OF IT. THEY ALWAYS DO. NOR DID HE LIVE LONG ENOUGH TO ENJOY THE MEDIA CIRCUS THAT HAS DEVELOPED  AROUND THE WHOLE 'JOHNNY KIDD AND THE PIRATES' STORY AND  THE MILLIONS THAT WERE CREATED FROM THAT SIDE OF THINGS. JOURNALISTS, CRITICS, AND SHOW-BIZ 'INSIDERS' TOOK CARE OF THAT BIT. MANY HAVE BUILT CAREERS 0N THE TELLING OF 'THE STORY' AND OTHER STORIES  LIKE IT, MOST OF IT CRAP. PURE HOGWASH. THOSE ARE THE BASTARDS I'M POKING FUN AT IN THIS ARTICLE.    I SIMPLY REMEMBER THE MAKING OF 'SHAKING ALL OVER'  AS BEING A FUN TIME. JUST FIVE YOUNG GUYS HAVING A GO, TAKING A CHANCE. IN LIFE, AND IN MUSIC. SO PLEASE SIT BACK, PLACE YOUR TONGUE FIRMLY IN YOUR CHEEK, AND ENJOY THE ARTICLE. DON'T TAKE ANY OF IT SERIOUSLY. IT'S TOLD WITH MUCH LOVE AND AFFECTION. Joe Moretti. November 2006.

                   
IMPORTANT :  Dear Reader, before I begin, I must inform you that I've had numerous requests for what one might call  'trivia information' concerning various artists with whom I have worked, eg : what colour were Trini Lopez'  socks when I met him. What size of shoes did Gene Vincent wear, was his hair nice, etc etc. Although I, myself, personally, consider these  to be totally irrelevant, the really incredible frequency with which these questions are asked makes me truly appreciate and understand the fact that they are questions of profound importance to literally hundreds of thousands of people. Nay. Millions. And these questions must be answered, irrespective of personal opinion.  It is a case, quite simply, of it being my literary duty. Thus, I feel utterly compelled to include such information in this article. Every word of the following is absolutely true, and there's a certain gentleman called Jim, from Streatham, London, who will confirm every word I say, or write, rather. I have his surname in a notebook in my other suit. I'll look it up and give you said surname at the conclusion of this article. Thanks for taking note of the aforementioned, and, as I said before, here are the facts behind the truth, and indeed the truth behind those facts, surrounding the making of the epic hit 'Shaking All Over' and it's follow-up - 'Restless.'  Forget what everyone else has ever said, or indeed, written.

                                 
                                   WHERE IT ALL STARTED
 
In my time I have been called a 'Guitar God' and a 'Rock Legend.' Well, this here 'Guitar God Rock Legend' was sitting in the 2 I's staring vacantly into space, scratching my ass, wondering where my next plectrum was coming from. Trying to decide whether I should  buy a new one or just nick one from Tony Sheridan's guitar case, while he was on stage, when....suddenly....the room darkened. At first I thought a wandering, lonely cloud had passed over the face of the mid-day sun outside, thereby inhibiting the admittance of the usual quantity of light normal for that time of day  ( it was approximately 12.07 pm on an unusally warm Tuesday afternoon.) Then I realised that there was a giant of a man standing in the doorway. My first thought was - 'Arnold Schwarzenegger' !! - then I remembered that Arnie wasn't around at that time. No ! It was Clem Cattini, known to all and sundry as 'THE DON CORLEONE' of Turnpike Lane. Clem came from a very wealthy family. Back in 'the old country,' his father owned literally hundreds of thousands of acres of the rich pasta fields that cover the majestic Pampas Plains of Southern Italy.
                                      
                                      clem family portrait
 
Clem Cattini folks! A man destined to become a legend in his own trousers. Master percussionist and balloonist extraordinaire. But I must be forgiven for my mistaking him for Arnie, because Clem had the  physique of Arnie, and this, combined with the rugged good looks of a World War 2 Ace Fighter Pilot, plus the intellect of  Albert Einstein, made him the kind of guy everyone wants to know, apart from which there was just a chance he'd buy me a cup of coffee. He spoke - " 'Allo Joe, me old mate. I heard you were in the local jail, the Soho nick! " "Soho Nick" !!  I cried "That swine !  Why, Soho Nick and Lambeth Tom.....they both tried to.....ah, how well I remember." 
                                          
                                    Clem's house. North London      
 
" Listen " said Clem " Johnny Kidd's across the road in the Golden Egg restaurant  and he has requested  I inform you that he is desirous of affecting a meeting with you upon those premises." Accompanying Clem were two long, lean, rangy gents, who, at first, I took to be Clem's minders. Italians are funny that way, but on reflection  I realised that they were Brian Gregg and Art Caddy ! Two more legends to be ! My God! Could it really be true that they were here, live, in person, talking to little old me ?  I mean, I looked up to these guys. Mind you, being a mere 5ft 5 inches tall myself, I looked up to just about everyone, apart from which, they were standing,  while I, on the other hand, was seated.  I turned to Art.
"What's up, my old china plate?" I asked " why so down in the mouth?"  "New chords" he replied dismally "I need some new chords. You don't happen to have a couple of spares on you by any chance?" 
 I smiled an understanding smile. " I know the problem " I said " Well, Art, you're in luck."  I reached into my jacket pocket and pulled out two D7th chords wrapped in tissue paper and placed them on the counter before him. " My God " he cried " where on earth did you get those from, they're still illegal in Britain." !!  I beckoned him to move little closer, and whispered "A bass player on the Queen Mary smuggled them in, hidden in a box of old E major open chords, you know....that pre-war surplus stock the Yanks  keep dumping on the UK market.  Damn Yankees, those open E chords will be the death of Skiffle.  Listen Art, to be fair, I must tell you that these D7th's are slightly shop-soiled, but otherwise in excellent condition, and perfectly usable. But how about this ?"  And so saying, I laid a shiny, brand spanking new B13 before his amazed eyes. Big as saucers his eyes were by this time, dear reader, let me tell you. "What's that thing in the middle?" he asked, in hushed tones of awe and reverence. "That" I replied " is an embedded pregnant 9th. I stole this chord from the new Larry Parnes book 'HOW TO BECOME A ROCK STAR OVERNIGHT IN SIX EASY POSITIONS.' 

Dear reader :
It is note generally known that Clem was crazy about pirates from when he was a child. At the tender age of 19 years, Clem audioned for the staring role in the classic movie "Captain Blood". Below is the original poster bearing Clem's name. Unfortunately Erroll Flynn  nipped in and nicked the part from him, an incident that caused much pain and hardship to Clem. Ah well, that's show biz. But I deviate in my story. Pray, let me proceed and I thank you for your patience..................
 
                                           
 
Behind the bar,Tom Littlewood, the landlord of the 2 I's hostelry approached us. " Listen Spaghetti " he said - (for such was the name  he had lovingly bestowed upon me) - " Listen Spagetti, if you and your mates aren't going to buy anything you'll all have to fuck off out of here. By the the way, you fell off the stage again last night. Legless you were. Whassa marra ? Were you pissed?"  "Damn your insults sir"  I roared , smashing my hand down on the counter with such violence that I hurt it a little bit, ( my hand, not the counter) - "I was not pissed. I was weak from starvation. Starvation tends to get you here." So saying, I placed my hand upon my stomach and carefully massaged my backbone. Then, with great dignity, I drew myself up to my full height, and, eyes now level with his belly button, I told him in no uncertain terms that I  was taking leave of his wretched establishment.  "Tis a far, far, better place I go to now sir, " I said,   "Namely, the Illustrious Golden Egg restaurant, no more than a stone's throw from this despicable dump, and I, together with my friends, shall partake of a far, far, better cup of coffee than any foul brew you have ever known."  "Gnat's piss they serve over there " he replied  "Just make sure your ass is on stage   tonight, ready to play the 1'st set. Now do me a favour and fuck off. I'm busy." Tom was a stange chap. Kind....but cruel. In fact he was expelled from the Gestapo for excessive cruelty. Giving him four looks of utter contempt, we  turned on our eight heels and left, thus vacating the premises. We then crossed over Old Compton St and passed through the mighty, hallowed portals of the Golden Egg restaurant immediately opposite. Once inside, I looked around. "Which one's Johnny Kidd then?" I asked Clem. "That's him there" Clem replied, pointing to the only customer in the place.  "The guy cutting his waffles with a cutlass." 
                                              
I could tell instantly that Johnny was English. It wasn't just his bearing, or the shape of his teeth. No. It was the ten foot, floodlit Union Jack strapped to his head that gave him away.  Other than this he was the epitomy of sartorial elegance. Unforfunately one shoe-lace had come undone, marring, ever so slightly, what would otherwise have been a perfect portait of a Rock legend to be. Many people think Cliff Richard was the best rock artist to ever come out of the UK. Personally I don't think he was an eye patch on Johnny. Just then the head waiter approached us, a chap by the name of Felipe. He was superbly attired in a dinner suit, bow-tie etc.  He was immaculate, except for the old, faded, blue, polka- dot carpet slippers he was wearing. He said that as his job required that he spend all day on his feet,  they were much more comfortable to work in.  "Hello Felipe" I called gaily - "And how are we today - well, I trust?"  "Piss off wop-head" he said " No more free coffee."  Now, dear reader, that is a fatal thing to say in front of an Italian, or behind him for that matter.  On hearing this dreadful derogatory remark, Clem spun round really very quickly in a flash, like a panther, and booted the guy right in the balls. Felipe collapsed on the floor, feet waving in the air, like some pitiful, up-ended, multi coloured cockroach, screaming in agony.  "What'd he say?" asked Brian (the first words he has uttered in this article so far.)  Luckily I speak agony fluently so I translated for him  "He said 'Thanks very much sir,  I'll bring your coffees directly."   And with this the poor chap regained his feet , assumed his normal cringing, snivelling, 'please leave us a tip' look so common to all head waiters, and  made his exit, stage left, in the direction of the giant, gleaming, steaming 'Gaggia' coffee machine, which was hissing and burbling it's merry little ditty- a light hearted excerpt from the opera Tristram and Isolde, I seem to remember. Yes. That was it. You know the bit - 2nd movement, act two, scene one...the bit just after the interval? .....that bit. 
                                     
                                                      
 I sauntered over to Johnny's table. "Hi"  I said " I'm Joe Moretti, Clem said you wanted to talk to me."  Oh dear Lord, tears welled up in Johnny's eyes. He sprung to his feet crying "Joe! Joe Moretti!  Oh, thank God you've arrived, I need your help desperately. Help me Joe. Help me before I go crazy." !!  "Relax" I said  "Everything's gonna be alright, relax...I'm here now. What's the problem?"  "I haven't slept for weeks " said Johnny " It's this new song I've written, somethings wrong, something just doesn't fit, but I'm buggered if I can figure out what it is. We're recording next week . I want you to create legendary guitar fills on the session and I need your help"  "Lets start at the beginning"  I said  "That's a very good place to start. Exactly where were you when you wrote this song?"  " We were in the cellar of the "Freight Train" coffee bar, rehearsing, and  I decided it was time to create a new rock masterpiece song" said Johnny - "Then suddenly"... ( his voice dropped to a whisper) - " Have you ever heard of the 'Ghost of The Freight Train?"  "I've heard of it" I replied "But I don't believe in such nonsense." "It's true ! It's true, all three of us saw her" babbled Johnny, now on the point of hysteria. "Her?" I asked "You mean this ghost is of the feminine gender? Did she say anything?"  "Not really" he replied  "She smiled, that's all she said, and as we looked, there she was......gone." !!!   "Now I understand" I said "What a strange and dreadful experience." 
 
                                          
                             genuine freight train ghost picture
 
 " I was scared shitless" Johnny continued - " in fact I was so scared I was shaking all over ! Do you hear me?  I was shaking all over."  "Except for his left foot" Brian interjected.  " What the hell's that supposed to mean?" I asked.  "His left foot" Brian reiterated - "He was shaking all over except for his left foot. That remained perfectly still during the entire incident.  I was the first one to notice that, wasn't I Clem?"  "Indeed you were, my old son" said Clem "And for that incredible observation alone your name deserves to  go down in the great archives of Rock History that are yet to come, in the future."  "That's a contradiction in terms" I said "However, pray continue."  "Well" said Johnny "That's when we wrote the new song, it's called  'Shaking All Over Except For My left Foot'  - but something doesn't quite fit.  Help me Joe. For God's sake, help me."  All three were on their six knees by now, weeping uncontrollably.  My brain raced in all directions - the frontal lobe to Charing Cross, the rest to El Paso, Texas.
                                
 "Look" I said "I can't possibly work under these conditions. Get up off your knees Johnny and sing the song to me. Dear Lord, if I don't know how the song goes how can I possibly create legendary guitar fills around it ? Come on guys, be fair."   A faint glimmer of hope shone in their eyes, and now folks, trust me, the moment had arrived for those legendary lyrics to be sung in public for the very first time.....ever. Johnny took a deep breath and began to sing. Softly at first, just a  tad uncertain in his delivery, then, his  confidence growing with each and every word, he felt the great power of the Mighty Creative Force engulf his very being. This is what he sung : "When you're movin' right up close to me" etc etc etc. Then  he reached the last line of the song - "Shaking All Over.... Except for My Left Foot." !!   All four were staring at me intently.  "I can tell by the look on your face that something's not right." said Johnny - "But what?   We've tried to resolve this problem for weeks, but, alas, our efforts have been in vain - any ideas Joe?"   Of course, being a Rock Legend Guitar God,  I immediately knew the answer.  "Get rid of the 'except for my left foot bit' and you have a hit of great magnitude on your hands" I said.  "What?" they exclaimed in unison - "That's the best line in the song. Get rid of the left foot and it doesn't have a leg to stand on." With great vehemence I pushed their protestations aside. " Listen, listen, listen !! " I persisted. "Just try it this way"- and I proceeded to sing the song again, (I'm a fast learner.)  Well, I Sung the song exactly as Johnny had done until I reached the last line. "Now" I said "At this point, all you sing is 'Shaking- All- O-V-E-R-r-r-r-r-r--rrrrr. Just like that. Just hang on to the last word. We'll add lots of echo to give it a somewhat ethereal atmosphere and.... I'll play a legendary guitar fill right there ! You know.. Da Da dada dada da da daaaaaaa ! Like that!  Like really, really loud and stuff -  JUST LEAVE OUT THE 'LEFT FOOT' BIT !!  Now do you understand? Poor innocent, foolish, children that you are."  Well, dear reader, the look on Johnny's face was a mixture of wonder, awe,  admiration bordering on hero worship, and gratitude that knew no bounds - plus lots and lots of other really nice things. Clem, Art and Brian just stared in total disbelief. Turned to stone they was.
                                           
Johnny, on the other hand, leapt to his feet screaming "Un-be-fucking-lievable. You're a Genius! The man's a genius" ! With this he swung his cutlass triumphantly in the air, inadvertently slicing off one of Felipe's ears as he was returning with our coffees. I heard later that Felipe was signed to play the lead role in a West End production of The Van Gogh Story. Unfortunately, on opening night, his other ear was sliced off by a piece of falling scenery, so the gig didn't last very long, one might say. I mean, who ever heard of a Van Gogh with both ears missing? Ridiculous. It's like singing rock and roll in French. It just doesn't work. He now holds the illustrious position of Chief Sound Engineer for Sky News, and the majority of today's recording 'artists' simply refuse to record unless Felipe is there in the control room, checking things out.  But pray,  do forgive me - I digress.
                                          
 
"Alright" I said " Let's get down to the nitty gritty. Lets talk turkey and let's play it straight. I have Italian friends in the business and they don't fuck around."
"How about ten percent of the whole deal?" said Johnny. " Fuck you and your ten percent" I replied " I want a normal session fee, cash, just like every other musical whore in the session business, or no deal."
"That's extortion" exclaimed Johnny." You mention extortion again" I said, gently but firmly "and I'll have your legs broken."  Johnny thought about this for a few seconds then said " OK , you win, we'll play it your way. Agreed?" " Done" I said. " You certainly have been" said Clem.  I still haven't figured out what he meant by that. As you are well aware, the rest is history. We had one rehearsal next day, and on the day after that, we cut the track at EMI, studio2, Abbey Rd. I added  the guitar 'Shimmer' effect on an overdub, using a Ronson cigarette lighter which I slid across the guitar strings.  We got the track in the can on the 2nd take, if I remember correctly, and I was paid my fee of seven pounds ten shillings cash, as I had demanded, plus a quid for the overdub. Oh, I forgot to mention - there was a guy called Peter Sullivan there too. A couple of days later I was back sitting in the 2 I's wondering where my next E string was coming from. I turned to Tom and said "Tom".....  " Fuck off he said " No more free nothin'." "You wound me Tom" I said " It's your advice I want. How come you're so successful while I'm just a guitar playing fool. What's the secret ? Pray Tom, do tell." " Come with me" he said, and led me into the back room. He opened the door to an old wardrobe standing in a corner. There was a  weird looking mirror fixed to the inside of said door.
                                   
                      weird looking magic mirror (genuine)
 
"This is the secret of my success" he said " It's a magic mirror, and it will grant you a wish. Just one. I'll leave you alone now to make your wish." And so he took his leave of me. I thought  " What a load of bullshit, but what the hell, I've nothing to lose, let's give it a whirl.  But I had forgotten all about the success bit in my anxiety to have my one wish granted,  I just said the first thing that came to mind. I dropped my voice an octave, added a touch of bass and reverb and intoned " MAGIC MIRROR ON THE DOOR.. MAKE MY WILLIE TOUCH THE FLOOR" ......... and my legs fell off.   Well, I must have lain there for a good thirty minutes or so before Tom came in to see how I  was doing.  " Upsah Daisy Spaghetti" he said " Dear oh dear, legless again I see." So saying he picked me up, carried me through to the coffee bar, and plonked me down on a stool. " What do I  do now?" I asked " I can't go on stage without legs." !!  " Listen" he said " You've always been a short arse. Just get it on stage tonight at 7pm. No one will notice the difference." I brained him on the spot and buried him at my own expense.            
                         (c) Joe Moretti International  Nov 12th 2006

 AT PRESENT I'M WORKING ON A RAP PRODUCTION OF "LA TRAVIATA"  IN ITALIAN OF COURSE. ANTHING ELSE WOULD BE AN INSULT TO BEETHOVEN. I DON'T BELIEVE IN MUCKING ABOUT WITH MASTERPIECES.

FOOTNOTE. THAT GENTLEMAN I MENTIONED IN THE INTRODUCTION...JIM FROM STREATHAM, I FOUND THE BOOK WITH HIS NAME AND ADDRESS IN IT. HERE IT IS: JIM HETHERINGTON SMYTHE FITZGERALD. 45 BULLSBALLS CRESCENT STREATHAM LONDON.  UNFORTUNATELY WHEN I CALLED THERE YESTERDAY THE WEE WOMAN WHO OPENED THE DOOR SAID HE HAD MOVED TO SOUTH AMERICA IN JUNE 1980 - GUATEMALA, I UNDERSTAND. AH WELL. THERE YOU ARE YOU SEE. THIS IS WHAT WE FIND.
                                                                                      
Joe Moretti. 12th Nov 2006. Copyright Joe Moretti Music International.
 All rights reserved
 
 
 
                           

 
 
                          

                              
                           
 
 
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