“Deuce and a Quarter” is a 1996 video featuring Keith Richards, Levon Helm, Elvis Presley sidemen Scotty Moore and DJ Fontana and others. The occasion was a session for the album “All the King’s Men,” a twentieth anniversary commemoration of Presley’s death. It’s a great video and a great name for an album.
I initially made the little video directly above using a neat application called Loom. The video was posted at The Daily Music Break,which I referenced a couple of times. The full video, which is below, was the subject of an article in Rolling Stone.
The full list of players is in the screen shot to the left. The video was the subject of an interesting Rolling Stone article, which is here.
One small correction to my commentary: I identified the folks who made the video as Night Glare Records. It’s actually Night Glare Film. In any case, I couldn’t find any information on the company. I feel confident that whoever put it together has gone on to great success. It does a great job of capturing the spirit of the session.
The song has interesting background. It was written by Gwil Owen and Kevin Gordon. The urban dictionary says that “deuce and a quarter” refers to the Buick Electra 225, which is 225 inches long. It is, according to the site, a “very large Buick from the mid-70’s that can be pimped out like no other.”
More Richards and Helm from The Daily Music Break:
Keith Richards Helps Memorize Merle Haggard
The Rolling Stones: “All Down the Line”
From the Vault: The Great Levon Helm
The star of the show is Richards, in my opinion. The slapstick around him — drug and age jokes — is fine and much it is quite funny. But the bottom line is that he is a genius. He also is one of the white people — like Elvis — who made great art, great livings and became legends by reinterpreting the music of African-Americans for white audiences.
Of course, in Richards’ case the main source was Chuck Berry. Richards never shied away from what he owed Berry and even co-produced and stared in the 1987 concert documentary “Hail! Hail! Rock ’n’ Roll,” the chronicle of a two concert celebration of Berry’s 60th birthday. Check it out if you haven’t seen it.
Richards simply is a very likable figure. It certainly comes through in the images in the video. The sense I get is that he knows how lucky he is: A man from modest circumstances who was fortunate enough to have great talent and experience the right twists and and turns to propel him to great fame and riches. The sense is that he understands all that — and is grateful and a bit mystified by the whole thing.
Bringing Levon, Moore and Richards (and the others) together brings to mind perhaps the greatest “meeting of the giants” in music history: Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong in 1961.
I love Levon Helm and Keith Richards. But they are not Duke and Louis. This is an interesting story on what is known as “The Great Summit.”