Bells (slight return)

Chuck Berry, RIP. Forgive him, Lord, for My Ding-A-Ling, he knew not what he did. (Actually I’m sure he and his bank manager knew very well). So long, and thanks for all those great, great songs. I see him duck walking with the angels now.

Anyhow, one of those great songs was of course Johnny B. Goode, which we’ve all thrashed out at one time or another. I could never get that opening riff right, but I’m in good company, neither could Jerry Garcia.

What with all this talk about Chuck and about bells, I’ve been reminded of the inimitable Les Barker’s poem Quasimodo. Sadly, I can’t find a clip of him  reading it, but he recorded it on Oranges and Lemmings.
Who can resist the last line of the first verse?


Deep down inside of Paris close to Nôtre Dame
You can hear them rockin’ bells like a fire alarm.
He can really ring the changes, he can rock as well,
It wasn’t Avon calling when he rang his bell.
He’s bigger than Mike Oldfield, he’s a superstar
And he can ring a bell like playing guitar-

Go, go- go Quasi go
Go, go- Quasimodo
Go Quasi go, go Quasi go
Quasi B. Goode.

Rockin’ Quasi was a red hot campanologist,
A heavy metal hero with a flying fist.
The cuties used to queue up for that Quasi man,
You could tell him by the belfry on his Transit van.
He’d grab hold of his baby, call her petite choux
And grab hold of his bell rope and he’d boogaloo…

Garçon have you frogs legs, garçon have you please?
Then hop into the kitchen, I want pie and peas!
Gonna go to Nôtre Dame I’m gonna eat my lunch,
All the tribes come for vibes when Quasi plays his hunch.
And one day his name will be in white on black
Saying “Quasimodo’s back!”

Les Barker


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