Curate 757


Lucky 757

Portsmouth Virginia-based modern retro quartet Lucky 757 would make the founding pioneers of early rockabilly proud, aggressively pushing the genre forward with a combination of chops, passion and innovation.

AIRED: January 22, 2020 | 0:09:30

(upbeat music)

(rock music)

- At 13 I got on stage for the first time,

me and dad played at a truck stop.

- I'm his eyeballs, I guess, in a way,

he has to get to where he goes

and I take him to where he goes.

- Friday night they're playing ODU Goode Theater

going to be making a live album while you're there, right?

- That's right.

- I think we all feed off of a live audience,

you get a little bit of energy from people

that you don't get when you're just in a studio by yourself.

- That's what makes this band work

is everybody knows each others thoughts almost.

- It's what you do, everybody got a gift,

you just got to bring it on out.

(rock music)

(upbeat music)

- The Lucky 757 Band started five years ago,

doing some cover songs

and then we said "Well, we can write our own songs"

and we started doing that

and that's how we started the whole deal.

- It's based on rockabilly,

early '50s rockabilly Sun Record sound

but it has other influences too, it's got honky-tonk,

country, western swing, surf rock, blues.

- I write most of the lyrics

and come up with some of the melody of the song

to get it started.

And then it kind of goes you know?

Just give it to them and they just take it,

what, play their part, whatever they want.

(guitar strumming)

- I've been playing since '78.

I just like to play anything I can get my hands on.

Just like making noise.

(band laughs)

- I met these guys, I was working at a music store actually

and they used to come in

and get strings and stuff like that.

They used to jam outside late after work

and all that kind of stuff

so when I first started hanging out with them

I was just going over playing guitar,

trying to pick up a lick or two you know.

Yeah, and just kept coming back

and they kept lettin' me come back you know?

(bass strumming)

- To my left here is my son Cory.

Been into music since he was a child.

I bought a mandolin and I gave it to him

and on the way home from the music store,

he was playing a Rod Stewart song, "Maggie May".

- "Maggie May".

- And he was playing it

and I'm like, he's eight years old, I'm like

"What am I gonna do now?" (laughs)

So, that was, that's when I knew we were,

we were destined to have me in the parking lot gettin' sick

trying to off stage fright.

But anyway, we got through

and that's been going on ever since.

(guitars strumming)

♪ Trouble... ♪

♪ And misery ♪

- It ain't just part of the look, you know?

It's because of born blind with a rare condition.

After you know a bunch of surgeries,

I was able to get a very teeny tiny part,

partial bit of sight in my right eye.

And my left eye was removed.

But you don't need to see to play good music (laughs).

♪ He said the way I was livin' was right ♪

♪ No matter how wrong it seemed ♪

- He's been singing since he was a little kid

and he just has that, he didn't get it from me.

I sing but, I mean, we have similar tone

but he can just belt it out,

he has been since a little boy.

He starts singing and after a while I decided

well I had to break out the guitar.

So I started playin' the songs for him

so he could sing but then he started learnin' all the words

and I didn't know all the songs.

And so he would get upset with me

even as a little child.

He would point his finger in my face

and tell me how gonna keep doin' it 'til I got straight.

- I do pay a lot of attention to detail.

I'm a bit nitpicky, like when I was eight years old,

after I'd had this eye removed

and we went to see Herman's Hermits,

Peter Noone was the lead singer

and he was up there singing a song

"Just a Little Bit Better".

The second verse says "He'll take you to nightclubs

"in a shiny limousine" but he got the words wrong,

he said "fancy limousine".

I told dad, I was like

"He's got it wrong! That ain't right!"

And he noticed that there's this kid out there

causing some commotion and talking to his dad

and he stopped the show and he's like

"Did I do something wrong mate?

And he'd got the words wrong

and I told him what the words were.

And so the next song he had me sing it with him

so he'd get the words right.

For the last 20 years, ever since that concert

I've kept up with him, seen him on Facebook

and online, and he's got the words right every time

since then so, he remembered.

♪ Trouble and misery ♪

(rock music)

At 13 I got on stage for the first time with dad.

Me and him played at a truck stop,

he played a couple songs, dad was as nervous as he could be.

I wasn't, I've never had stage fright.

Just always felt comfortable performing.

After that we had the bug

and it's been what we've been doing ever since,

since I was 13, that's all we've ever done.

♪ Came to me last night ♪

♪ And he came by way of the dream ♪

♪ He said the way I was livin' was right ♪

♪ No matter how wrong it seemed ♪

- Him and I did acoustic thing called Radio '60s

and we would do music, odd songs from the '60s.

Everly Brothers and all that

and then it went from there to

"Let's do pure '50s rockabilly"

and see you know, where it started.

♪ Teach me how to die ♪

♪ Teach me how to die ♪

- One, two, three, four

(guitar strumming)

(rockabilly tune)

It's kind of fun doing this part

once it starts getting closer

because as you add the water

you can start to see what it's really gonna look like

once it's polished.

- I needed somethin' that would be lighter for me.

I had both my wrists operated on

so I wanted a guitar built for me

with a neck and everything would fit just like me.

And Sam's a luthier (laughs)

- A luthier is someone who works

and builds stringed instruments,

mostly guitars these days.

♪ Caught cheatin' by the dealer man ♪

♪ Skimmin' money from his poker hand ♪

Cory's sound definitely comes from all vintage gear

he doesn't use any of the modern effects pedals

or anything like that.

And Cory's is going to get some actual '60s Fender pickups

so he wanted the vintage sound, he'll get it.

(rockabilly music)

(rock music)

- All right, Lucky 757 Live on Out of the Box

going to be playing on Friday night,

they're going to be recording a live album

at the Goode Theater starting at seven o'clock.

- [Announcer] This is being recorded.

This is a live video and audio

so get up and dance and make noise.

- [Danny] Let's do it, y'all ready?

(crowd cheers)

Okay then.

♪ Hey little baby won't you run with me? ♪

♪ I said hey little baby won't you run with me? ♪

- We wanted to capture what Lucky does live you know?

What we look like, what we're doin'.

- I'm definitely a live player

and they are too

and that's where we feel most at home

is in front of an audience.

And I think, doing this is going to show some people

what we're really about.

♪ I said hey little baby take a ride with me ♪

First of all, the guitar felt like I had owned it

for 100 years, it felt like a part of me.

And the sound was what I'd been chasing

and this is it, I finally got it.

- I kinda knew it was going to look cool.

I knew that.

It was gonna look cool, the shape alone was gonna look good.

But you wouldn't know until you actually you put,

you know, you see it live

and it was like wow!

Yeah I'm thrilled with it.

- They turned out great and I got 'em done

with a couple weeks to spare

so they could play 'em and check 'em out.

(rockabilly music)

- Me and dad, we're extremely close.

We're best friends.

We can finish each other sentences.

That's, I guess that's why we play so good together.

You've heard of family harmony

and it's that way with the vocals

and it's that way with the guitar playing.

And we try to complement each other.

He knows how to enhance what I'm doing

and accent it and me the same thing.

It's always been that way.

And we tried to find players that are the same way.

And Angel and Sam happen to do that.

♪ Hey little baby won't you run with me? ♪

♪ Been a lot of things we can do ♪

♪ Been a lot of places we can see if you run with me ♪

- He's the reason that keeps me drivin' that's the you know,

I love the music but anything I can do to keep him...

He wants to play music the rest of his life,

that's what we're set out to do.

That's why this whole, it's always been about.

(drums banging) (crowd cheering)

- Thank you Norfolk!

(upbeat music)


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