Thursday, July 31, 2003

Man who invented modern civilization dies.

Sam Phillips has died. His impact on our day-to-day lives over the past 50 years is incalculable. I'm serious. Without Sam Phillips the last half of the 20th century would've been a very different place.

Everyone else is going to drone on about Sam Phillips recording Elvis, so, naturally, I'm going in the opposite direction. In 1966 or so Phillips produced a couple of tracks by the Yardbirds. In Robert Gordon's wonderful It Came from Memphis, Phillips is quoted as saying to Yardbirds bassist Paul Samwell-Smith, "[...]whip that guitar like a mule's peter.[...]" I have no idea if this second or third-hand story is true, but if you listen to "Train Kept A-Rollin'", one of the tracks Phillips produced, you believe it because everyone's whipping everything like a mule's peter.

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