Story and video by Joel Patterson
Photographs by Rich Borden
Tribal, jungle rhythms. That’s all punk was – that’s all any music is, anyway – something to motivate you to dance and/or writhe. Any era’s “underground” music will always be about taboos being wrenched out of their sockets and sacred cows keeling over. It’s when this music speaks to the core of what a generation believes, when it provides a framework to understand the world and our place in it, well then mister, you’ve got real, true pop culture.
Part of all that in our time has been Willie Alexander, a fragile, crazed, sensitive rocker of the old school. At Valentine’s Music Hall last Saturday (October 12) he totally lost himself in the swaying, hammering heartbeat of his nimble-witted songs, each one like a decree, the testament of a true believer. At 70, he’s more than twice as old as someone not to trust, but he was VERY convincing. Accompanied by the dynamic duo of Jim Doherty (drums) and Mark Chenevert (horns.)