I loved Jerry Lee Lewis’s rockers, but also his country weepies, such as How’s My Ex Treating You. It was thus disconcerting to hear from a friend how the star behaved at a press conference to launch a UK tour in the early 1970s.
Lewis was taking questions amiably enough until someone asked, “Do you see yourself as more a rock’n’ roller, or a country singer?” At that he jumped down, grabbed the reporter’s tape recorder and stamped on it. He returned to his seat and, with a defiant look in his eye, quietly said: “Next question.”
Catch My Soul, the blues/rock version of Othello, premiered at the Ahmanson theatre in Los Angeles in March 1968. I had the pleasure of seeing Jerry Lee Lewis as the piano-playing Iago (to William Marshall’s Othello and Julienne Marie’s Desdemona). The show rocked even from the beginning. As the Venetians took to the stage there was a vamp that brought me out of my seat and up to the balcony rail to clap. Lewis inspired the damnedest Shakespearean revival ever.