For Blue Murder, revenge is a dish best served with ... a jelly roll?!?
Have you ever been given the shaft at your job? Would it make you mad enough to give you the motive to murder? In John Sykes' case it caused him to make Blue Murder and the late '80s hit Jelly Roll.
In 1984, guitarist English guitarist John Sykes joined forces with David Coverdale and helped take Whitesnake from being a popular U.K. hard rock act to a worldwide stardom. The duo teamed up to write classic '80s songs like Slow an' Easy, Still Of The Night and Is This Love? Just before the release of 1987's monster Whitesnake album, Coverdale fired Sykes and most of the other members who recorded the album. While videos would feature Adrian Vandenberg and Vivian Campbell on guitars, it is Sykes playing you hear on the album that sold 8 million albums in the U.S. alone.
Sykes rebounded by forming his own band Blue Murder that featured many all-stars like Carmine Appice on drums and Tony Franklin on bass. The lead single of their 1989 debut album was Jelly Roll and the video is fantastic cheese as Sykes goes from sports car enthusiast to horse whisperer to bare-chested hunk disrobing in the rain. Jelly Roll the song is all over the place gliding from acoustic funky pop to power ballad and reached No. 15 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
The phrase Jelly Roll does not appear in the lyrics of the song begging the question of what does it mean? I wish I could say the phrase describes a pastry delight, but actually it is obscure slang for sex and in the video it's model Meg Register doing her part to excite males watching the video. If she looks familiar, Register played a small part in Running Scared (1986) with Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines and had a bigger role in 1993's weird Boxing Helena.
Blue Murder made just one more album before Sykes joined Thin Lizzy. He is currently a solo artist.