Caught by the River

Jim Dickinson remembered

17th August 2009

James Endeacott, 1965 Records (ex Rough Trade);

Back in the mid to late ’80s there was one record on our lips, one record that was spoken about in almost mythical terms… it was the third Big Star album also known as ‘Sister Lovers’ – the first 2 albums were available but the 3rd…? Once you found someone who had it you begged for them to tape it for you. When you were alone with the album you were transported into the often fucked up world of Alex Chilton and his band Big Star – songs like ‘Kangaroo’, ‘Holocaust’ and ‘Thank You Friends’ are as chilling and other worldly now as they were as a teenager all those years ago. On closer inspection you noticed that the producer was Jim Dickinson… the mind started to whirr and the dust blown away… the same Jim Dickinson that played with The Rolling Stones… oh my god – a new world was opened. A word of great and beautiful records touched by the hand of Jim Dickinson – Tav Falco’s Panther Burns, Green on Red and The Replacements to name just a few. I had the pleasure of working with Jim’s two sons, Luther and Cody, a few years ago…they are in a band called The North Mississippi All Stars… go check ’em out especially the albums ‘Shake Hands With Shorty; and ’51 Phantom’ both great blues/jam albums (don’t be put of by the phrase blues/jam… I was initially and I was wrong)… I remember one time at the Cambridge Folk Festival I was chatting to Luther and Cody just before their band took to the stage… they noticed my 4 year old child was playing on Cody’s drumkit as it waited at the side of the stage. They told me their father Jim bought them a childs drumkit from an old music store in Memphis when they were roughly the same age and it set them on their own musical journey… the story was told with love and respect in their eyes and voice… respect and love for their father, his love of music and the fact he gave cool presents I guess. Two months later there was a knock on my front door… a courier delivered a childs drum kit from a music store in Memphis. I was overjoyed – even more than my son!!! Luther and Cody had bought my son a kit – I know it’s a weird link to the late Jim Dickinson but it’s all I know. Jim gave his sons a love of music… and they pass that love on to all who meet them. When I heard of Jims death I thought of Luther and Cody and the rest of Jims family… he touched a lot of people and will never be forgotten. The piano playing on ‘Wild Horses’ is, of course, genius….

To understand more about Jim Dickinson and his influence on Memphis and Ardent Records then go and buy the double CD ‘Thank You Friends: The Ardent Records Story’ – it’s essential.

Also, someone with bigger balls than us has posted a load of Jim Dickinson songs on this here blog…