Over the past year I’ve played a handful of shows with Mike Mariconda. If you know anything about rock n’ roll and didn’t just fall offa the turnip truck and into a pile of cut-sleeve denim vests, you probably know Mike as the guitar player for the Raunch Hands, or as producer on a huge list of rock n’ roll records (including the Devil Dogs, Spaceshits, New Bomb Turks, Revelators, and a million bands), or from playing with the Devil Dogs, Cosmic Psychos, and others.
Last year Mike and I teamed up to play as a duo for a show. Mike played baritone guitar, and I played my usual one man band setup like I do. It was originally going to be just a one-off thing, but we ended up doing it a few times, much to the confusion and disdain of Austin audiences.
The original idea was to do all Hound Dog Taylor songs, which would lend themselves to a two-guitar/simple drum setup pretty well. Originally this “project” was gonna be “John Schooley and the Houserockers,” ala Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers, but then it became “John Schooley and his Housewrecker,” and finally just “Schooley and Mariconda.”
Our aesthetic ended up becoming “a combination of Hound Dog Taylor and Suicide,” which we thought sounded genius, but you can probably imagine how that went over with the world at large. We did all Hound Dog Taylor songs for the first show, but ended up adding songs by other artists, until in addition to Hound Dog Taylor we were covering Dale Hawkins, Polka Dot Slim, Alan Vega solo material, Snooks Eaglin, WHATEVER WE FELT LIKE.
Now Mariconda is leaving this godforsaken country and moving back to Spain, so if you missed this handful of gigs, you missed your chance. Luckily, Ángel Delgado-Reyes videotaped a few songs for his blog so you can still catch a glimpse of the Schooley-Mariconda duo in all its “glory.” Mike claimed at the last show that it was his retirement from playing guitar onstage, and we got pretty lit, our playing was sloppy as fuck, and made lots of smartass comments at the audience, so it was a fitting ending to his stellar career.
Probably our best number was our set closer at every show, a version of Hound Dog Taylor’s Let’s Get Funky where I sang the lyrics to Frankie Teardrop by Suicide – Let’s Get Frankie! Genius! Nobody got any footage of that one, though. Aaron Blount of Knife In the Water was the only person in the audience who ever picked up on what we were doing on that song, anyway.
Besides, as Jim Dickinson famously observed:
The best songs don’t get recorded, the best recordings don’t get released, the best releases don’t get played.
So, here’s the only recorded works of Schooley and Mariconda, compiled for you, faithful blog reader. Enjoy.
What’d I Say
Look Out Mabel
A Thing You Gotta Face