Monday, May 20, 2024

The Great Graham Parker Hits New York’s City Winery This Monday, Still Squeezing Out Sparks


If you don’t have tickets to see Graham Parker this coming Monday at City Winery in New York you may be in trouble. The place is pretty much sold out on short notice.

When I look at the field of pop stars offered to today’s generation, I have to laugh. There was a time when we had Parker, Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, Garland Jeffreys, Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds. Those guys were and still are the real thing.

Graham Parker isn’t in the Rock Hall of Fame, doesn’t care, has gone his own way, and brought with him a magnificent legacy. His stand out album remains “Squeezing Out Sparks,” but that’s only part of a huge catalog catchy, idiosyncratic songs. Look, this was a guy who put out an indie single called “Mercury Poisoning” to get off his label. (Still one of the best ever new wave tracks.)

Parker’s snarling voice is more closely associated with R&B heavy rock, but he even had a top 40 hit back in the day, the kind of record he probably hated (like the Pretenders’ “I Stand by You”) but so radio friendly it’s still drifing through the money making middle of the road. Me, I go for “Heat Treatment.”

Whether you like GP all sweet and ballady or rough and rockin’ I’m sure he’ll serve up both and everything else on Monday. It’s been far too long.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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