The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168402   Message #4077539
Posted By: Stewie
30-Oct-20 - 10:51 PM
Thread Name: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
I reckon this one deserves a place in any Oz songbook. Here in the Top End, it has been trotted out in many a boozy folkie session - just shows our advanced years!

ROCK AND ROLL (I GAVE YOU ALL THE BEST YEARS OF MY LIFE)
(Kevin Johnson)

I can still remember when I bought my first guitar
Remember just how good the feeling was, put it proudly in my car
And my family listened fifty times to my two-song repertoire
And I told my mum her only son was gonna be a star
Bought all the Beatles records, sounded just like Paul
Bought all the old Chuck Berrys, 78s and all
And I sat by my record player, playin’ every note they played
And I watched them all on TV, makin' every move they made

Rock and roll, I gave you all the best years of my life
All the dreamy sunny Sundays, all the moonlit summer nights
I was so busy in the back room writin’ love songs to you
While you were changin’ your direction and you never even knew
That I was always just one step behind you

'66 seemed like the year I was really goin’ somewhere
We were living in San Francisco, with flowers in our hair
Singing songs of kindness so the world would understand
That the guys and me were something more than just another band
And then ’69 in LA, came around so soon
We were really making headway and writing lots of tunes
And we must have played the wildest stuff we had ever played
The way the crowds cried out for us, we thought we had it made

Rock and roll, I gave you all the best years of my life
All the crazy lazy young days, all the magic moonlit nights
I was so busy on the road singin’ love songs to you
While you were changin’ your direction, and you never even knew
That I was always, just one step behind you

’71 in Soho, when I saw Suzanne
I was trying to go it solo, with someone else’s band
And she came up to me later and I took her by the hand
And I told her all my troubles and she seemed to understand
And she followed me through London, through a hundred hotel rooms
Through a hundred record companies who didn’t like my tunes
And she followed me when, finally, I sold my old guitar
And she tried to help me understand, I’d never be a star

Rock and roll, I gave you all the best years of my life
All the dreamy sunny Sundays, all the moonlit summer nights
And though I never knew the magic of makin’ it with you
I thank the Lord for giving me the little bit I knew
And I will always be one step behind you

Rock and roll, I gave you all the best years of my life
Singing out my love songs in the brightly flashing lights
And though I never knew the magic of makin’ it with you
I thank the Lord for giving me the little bit I knew

Youtube clip

It was a quick song for me because I've spent months on one line. It just came to me one day as I was driving home, feeling all this frustration of two years without making a record. So I decided to write a song not about giving someone the best years of my life, but to write about the pursuit of success, which I thought related to a lot of people around the world, not just in music but anything. Kevin Johnson March 2002.

--Stewie.