How do you even try to follow a week of Jimi Hendrix and a going out of business sign?
You change direction. I’m posting Fujiyama Mama by the powerhouse that is Wanda Jackson because there’s so little from the 1950’s on SteveForTheDeaf despite it being the well from which all this rock and roll did spring.
The attitude that rips out from the grooves of this 1957 seven inch single is as punk and rebellious as any record you care to name. The lyrical content would not pass as acceptable in polite society today. It would probably cause many a spiky logo’d metal band to think twice before committing it to record. Even the most Gangsta of rappers would consider;
“I’ve been to Nagasaki, Hiroshima too! The things I did to them baby, I can do to you!”
As a beef worthy opening gambit. I’m not even going to make the ‘times were different then’ excuse for Wanda. This was considered rough, brazen and abrasive in most circles in the era of it’s release too.
“I drank a quart of sake, smoked on a pipe! I chased it with tobbacy and then shoot out the lights!”
Jackson was considered the Queen of Rockabilly and within her scene is as iconic a leader as Iggy, Joan Jett or Strummer were in punk. Acts as diverse as The Fall, Social Distortion and Cyndi Lauper have covered Wanda’s music. This particular track has the distinction of reportedly being a hit in the singles chart in Japan despite (and because) of it’s lyrics referencing the atom bombs dropped which brought the second world war to an end.
“Well you can say I’m crazy, so deaf and dumb! But I can cause destruction just like the atom bomb! ‘Cause I’m a Fujiyama Mama and I’m just about to blow my top!”
This amazing bit of rock and roll folklore goes to show you can’t tell others what they do and don’t want to feel, to say, to hear and to dance to. As American as Apple Pie and as brazen as singing a lyric which compares your temperament to that of a weapon of mass destruction. It’d be easy to be offended it it wasn’t so rock and roll. Amazing to think the hip young things of Tokyo and Texas were all ‘Rockin’ With Wanda’ at the some time.
Wanda went on to record tracks specifically for her Japanese market along side shifting genres in to the 70’s and recording in German and Dutch. She made Gospel records, Pop, Soul and Country diversions followed.
Wanda is still with us and has outlived and paid tribute to 21st century stars Sharon Jones and Amy Winehouse while they were still with us and in the wake of their passing.
How many people can say they dated Elvis, covered Amy, had hits in German, Japanese and English and are still kicking arse?
Wanda Jackson Ladies and Gentlemen a true queen of the rock and roll world.