B Bumble and the Stingers: Nut Rocker


This version of the March from Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker was arranged by US record producer Kim Fowley. It was recorded early in 1962 by the house band of session musicians at Rendezvous Records in Los Angeles under the name B Bumble and the Stingers. It reached No 23 in the US in March 1962 and No 1 in Britain in May 1962.

From Wikipedia: ‘At the time of its original release in the UK, the BBC had a policy of banning records which parodied classical music. Nut Rocker was put to a committee, which decided that “this instrumental piece is quite openly a parody of a Tchaikovsky dance tune, is clearly of an ephemeral nature, and in our opinion will not offend reasonable people”, and was not therefore banned.’

For some reason Nut Rocker became a favourite with the prog rock movement. Here is a wonderful performance by Emerson Lake and Palmer in Zurich in 1970.

This is very like the version included on their 1971 live album Pictures at an Exhibition, but that performance was recorded in Newcastle. It was released as a single in 1972 but like most of their singles it bombed, creeping to No 70 in the States. It did get to No 48 in Canada, though.

Perhaps even more surprisingly it was done by Led Zeppelin and here is a 1977 performance at Madison Square Garden.

Even later, in 2009, here it is by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra with Greg Lake on bass.

Finally Terry Miles, who gives lots of enjoyment to travellers at London’s rail stations (and that is an almost impossible feat).


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