Rebel Superstar: From Soapdrop To Soapbox
:: I Am An Ex-Convict From A Florida Chain Gang ::
:: Truckdriver's Prayer ::
:: Ironworker ::
:: I Just Closed The Door On Love ::
:: Rebel Superstar ::
I learned another fun fact about myself last week: I am not a Vegas kind of guy. Thanks to my Robot cohorts though, I was able to turn a couple of boring days in Las Vegas into a record shopping extravaganza. While the wife fed the one armed bandit, I tried to help out some local merchants. Big B's CDs & Records on Maryland Pkwy yielded many rare gems for a few bucks each. Downright embarrassing I tell ya. I found this record at the Record City location at 553 East Sahara (there are 5 Record City's in LV, 2 of them on East Sahara). This store has a massive "dollar bin" section, and tons of cool 50s and 60s discs at reasonable prices. Somewhere tucked into the Country section was this still sealed copy of "I Am An Ex-Convict From A Florida Chain Gang".
It appears to be a self produced vanity project, recorded in San Diego, CA in 1978, and I anticipated that it would be quite bad, in a good way. Turns out it's not bad at all. Ol' Floyd is best off when giving a recitation over fine backing tracks rather than actually singing, the title track being the best example of this. Where one might think this 12 minute tour de force could not be topped, one would once again be surprised by this better than one might expect record album.
After a few attempts at contemporary country-pop songsmithery, the last 4 tracks on side 2 suddenly veer off into a whole 'nother direction and Floyd McClellan becomes his alter ego, Rebel Superstar. I wish I could have found some more background information about Floyd because I'd love to know exactly what he or his record label had in mind for this character. More than likely the idea was to launch Rebel Superstar as a separate entity, having nothing to do with the very serious subject matter that dominates the rest of the album. However, it all adds up to a collection of tunes for working men of the 70s to hoist a few brews to, as well as share a few laughs and shed a few tears.
In the liner notes, written by McClellan, he reiterates the fact that he was a WWII vet, and goes on to say that as of 1978, he was happily married and had a 3 year old son named David (?). Overall, Floyd McClellan sounds like a well adjusted, contented man who was probably about 50 at the time of this recording. Here's hoping that he and his family are doing fine, and maybe now this rebel will become the superstar he always deserved to be.