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Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup

AR282 01 Mar 02 - 10:29 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 02 Mar 02 - 08:02 AM
AR282 02 Mar 02 - 09:38 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 02 Mar 02 - 01:10 PM
AR282 02 Mar 02 - 04:13 PM
GUEST,Arkie 02 Mar 02 - 10:05 PM
GUEST,PJ Curtis(Ireland) 03 Mar 02 - 05:17 AM
AR282 03 Mar 02 - 10:43 AM
Muskrat 04 Mar 02 - 03:07 AM
AR282 04 Mar 02 - 06:57 PM
Muskrat 04 Mar 02 - 11:47 PM
M.Ted 05 Mar 02 - 11:19 AM
tandrink 05 Mar 02 - 02:45 PM
GUEST,JohnB 06 Mar 02 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,james bean 17 Jun 12 - 07:21 PM
Bonzo3legs 18 Jun 12 - 06:20 AM
Bonzo3legs 18 Jun 12 - 06:23 AM
Will Fly 18 Jun 12 - 06:44 AM
Tunesmith 18 Jun 12 - 11:03 AM
Bonzo3legs 18 Jun 12 - 01:31 PM
Will Fly 18 Jun 12 - 01:42 PM
Tunesmith 18 Jun 12 - 02:12 PM
Will Fly 18 Jun 12 - 02:14 PM
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Subject: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: AR282
Date: 01 Mar 02 - 10:29 PM

Everything here is always folk or blues with little variation on a theme. I'd like to dedicate a thread to my favorite rocker--Mr. Gene Vincent.

Most of us are familiar with "Be-Bop-a-Lula" and maybe "Race With the Devil" since the Straycats had covered it (they also covered "Double-Talkin' Baby"). But much of his material is surprisingly unknown.

Born Eugene Vincent Craddock on Feb. 11, 1935 in Norfolk, VA, Vincent grew up dirt poor. It might sound cliche but he was poor and often poached swans as a boy so his family could eat. They moved around and lived at Munden Point near North Carolina (where both his parents actually came from) when Vincent was in his teens.

Here, Vincent began to get very absorbed in music. Raised on C&W, he became particularly attracted to blues and black gospel. His parents owned a general store in Munden Point and Vincent spent most of his time on the porch where white and black musicians congregated playing everything from bluegrass to r&b. He would watch the guitarists' fingers in hopes of learning to play as well.

He managed to cajole his parents into buying him a cheap guitar and thereafter, he sat on the porch playing with any musicians who stopped by--always picking up riffs.

Eventually, the Craddocks gave up their store and moved back to Norfolk. Gene, neither liking studying nor sports, dropped out of school in the 9th grade and lied about his age and joined the Navy as a boilerman at age 15 in 1952. While on a Med cruise, he picked up another guitar and began to entertain his mates with Hank Williams songs and such.

Vincent enjoyed the Navy and reenlisted at the beginning of 1955. While interested in music, he wasn't as obsessed with it as he was with motorcycles--an obsession that stayed with him his whole life. He spent his re-enlistment bonus on a Triumph motorcycle. While riding through Norfolk, a woman jumped a red light and smashed into Vincent, knocking him off his bike and badly injuring his left leg.

The leg was nearly severed and the doctor at the hospital suggested to Vincent's mother that she sign permission to amputate. Vincent though, even under sedation, begged his mother not to sign permission and so he kept his leg but it never healed, was prone to bleed, and caused him great pain throughout the remainder of his life.

However, the 20-year-old Vincent was up and about shortly after his operation. Fitted with a leg brace, he was able to get around well enough--although he spent too much time on the leg never giving it a chance to heal properly. He would walk with a limp but not overly pronounced. Later in his career he would trundle out on stage practically dragging his leg behind him for effect.

The Navy was forced to discharge Vincent because of his injury and the young man needed something to do. He took up his guitar and became as obsessed with music as he was with motorcycles (which he continued to ride). He saw whatever artists swung through town including the Louvin Brothers and Elvis Presley (Ira Louvin and Presley supposedly brawled backstage somewhere once).

The local country station, WCMS (which was still in operation when I lived in Norfolk during the 80s), had a house band called the Virginians who were quite good. Gene hung around the studios of WCMS in 1956 and sometimes sang with the Virginians, being encouraged by his mother to embark on a singing career.

He began to sing a song he'd written with a buddy in 1955. The song was called "Be-Bop-A-Lula" supposedly named after a Little Lulu cartoon. A dj at the station, Bill Davis--who went by the name of Sheriff Tex Davis--liked it and Gene began performing it at the Carnival Room where WCMS held a show called "Country Showtime".

Soon, Vincent was packing the place and all sorts of people became very interested in him. Davis knew he had some hot property. He promptly went to Vincent's co-writer of "Lula" and bought his rights as co-writer for $25. Then, with the help of WCMS and Carnival Room owner Sy Blumenthal, started to put a band together for Gene to perform with.

Willie Williams played rhythm guitar and was taken from the Virginians. Bassist Jumpin Jack Neal (named for his playing style rather than his rather low key character) was taken from another local band. A great drummer, 15-year-old Dickie Harrell, who like Vincent hung around the studio hoping to catch a break got his wish and was chosen as the drummer. All they needed was a lead guitarist and they chose a total monster lead man--26-year-old Cliff Gallup. Their image was carefully crafted and part of their band "uniform" was a blue flatcap. So the band became known as Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps. Rolling Stone magazine calls the Blue Caps the world's first real rock band.

After a few practice sessions at the WCMS studios, Tex Davis realized this was one helluva a great band and he became determined to get them a recording contract. Tex Davis knew producer Ken Nelson, a Nashville recording engineer who worked for Capitol Records. Capitol was desperate to find a way to rival Elvis who was tearing up the charts for RCA-Victor.

Davis figured the Blue Caps were just the thing and recorded demos of "Be-Bop-A-Lula", "Race With the Devil" (a new song Gene had just written) and a country ballad called "I Sure Miss You" in April of 1956. He sent the recordings off to Nelson in Nashville who raved over them. He wanted the Blue Caps to come to Nashville as quickly as possible to record at Owen Bradley's Studio (where Buddy Holly had just recorded earlier in the year).

The rest is history. Although the musicianship, as well as the recording quality, is top notch, it is the guitar-playing of Cliff Gallup that really makes the Blue Caps' music come to life. The story goes that when Nelson was preparing to record the Blue Caps, he had brought Hank 'Sugarfoot' Garland into the studio in case Gallup couldn't cut it. But shortly after launching into their first song, "Race With the Devil" Garland got up saying it was obvious his services would not be required and left. Vincent's voice earned him the title of "The Screaming End".

"Be-Bop-A-Lula" was a huge smash in 1956 and remained in the Top 100 for 20 weeks. Tex Davis and Sy Blumenthal got into a legal snit and the Blue Caps were kept off the road for a while but it mattered little as "Be-Bop-A-Lula" was raking it in. When they did go on tour, the Blue Caps toured with the Johnny Burnette Trio (who also had a fabulous lead guitarist but that's another thread). Reportedly the shows were sensational.

The Blue Caps' first album, "Bluejean Bop", did not contain "Be-Bop-A-Lula" or "Race With the Devil" as those were released separately as a 12" 45 rpm record (along with "I Sure Miss You" and the magnificent "Woman Love"). But that is just as well as it left more room for other terrific numbers including "Bluejean Bop", "Who Slapped John?", "Gonna Back Up Baby", and two marvelous Cliff Gallup numbers: "You Told a Fib" and "Bop Street".

"Bop Street" is perhaps THE definitive 50s greaser number. Just super. Cliff's guitar is alternately soft and lilty then hard-edged and fiery. The dark underside of 50s youth just comes to life in this number. It lets you know that all was not well in white teen suburbia--AND THANK GOD!!!!

Cliff Gallup's guitar sound is quite unique. Since the echo chamber was necessary for Vincent's amazingly expressive vocals, Gallup found a way to rig a tape recorder to his equipment that played through his amp as a slightly delayed signal. So the guitar isn't reverbed but delayed which is unusual indeed for a 50s recording. And Ken Nelson captures it with extremely impressive clarity. Gallup's guitar and Vincent's vocal form this incredible bond. Extremely distinctive and unique. There has never been anything else that even approaches it. It's amazing. No wonder Tex Davis snapped them up.

Nor do I mean to take anything away from the other fellows. They pump it out with great power and skill. Dickie Harrell's drum solo in "Jumps, Giggles and Shouts", Jack Neal's jumping thumping bass, Willie Williams keepin time on an acoustic. Can't beat it. Don't try.

One song, "I Knocked and I Knocked" never came out on any Blue Caps album but it appeared on a popular compilation of that time. Gallup's solo opens with what I call kabuki-guitar--it's in a controlled rage, a managed manicism and it doesn't cease throughout the solo. Strange stuff there.

After the first recording, Willie Williams left the band as touring didn't appeal to him being a family man and all. He was replaced by Paul Peek who was as talented a guitarist and blessed with a fine harmony voice, which would come into the fore later in the band's career. For now, he just played.

Cliff Gallup too was a family man and did not wish to tour any further. He was the oldest band member and he considered his gig in the Blue Caps as embarrassing. He felt that he was too old for it. Gene could never get him to loosen up onstage. "If you think I'm gonna get down on the floor," Cliff said to his singer, "you're crazy!" And that was that.

Russell Wilaford was chosen to replace him. He was a young, good-looking blonde kid with a telecaster. He must have played well to have been chosen to fill Gallup's shoes but we'll never know. He was never recorded. He can be seen with the band in the Jayne Mansfield movie "The Girl Can't Help It" but he's miming to Cliff's lead in "Be-Bop-A-Lula".

Ken Nelson wanted to do another album in October of 1956. Gene had some songs written and other material was prepared. Nelson, in all his genius, was determined to get Cliff Gallup back for another go-around. He called him up and talked him into it. Russell Wilaford fell by the wayside never to be heard from again. Cliff missed playing and wanted to get back in the studio and I know he was touring as late as August of 1957.

This new album was "Cat Man". And it beat "Blue Jean Bop" by a country mile. The opening song is "Cat Man", one of Gene's songs. Dickie Harrell, as adept with the brushes as the sticks, pounds out a hot Latin rhythm and the rest of the band joins in before Vincent puts on one of his most perfect vocal performances. Where the earlier album had a bit of schmaltz with songs like "Peg O' My Heart" and "Up A Lazy River", this new one set the definition of hard-edged rocknroll. Maybe the only fault I find on "Cat Man" is the use of the Jordinaires as backup singers. They're competent and do an enjoyable job, but they're clearly not the type of backup singers for Gene Vincent's music. But they worked well for Elvis and Nelson wanted to take no chances with untested singers.

Paul Peek contributed an excellent number called "Pink Thunderbird" and just the title alone makes it immortal. Vincent also penned perhaps the finest song in all rockabilly (and I realize I might ruffle feathers here), "Cruisin'". Cliff's cool-ass guitar riff, that shit-hot rimshot snare of Harrell whose not even 16 yet--what can you do against that? Cliff throws in a song of his own "You Better Believe" and you'd better believe that this man could have had a brilliant career as a songwriter alone. I wonder if he ever looked into it. "Hold Me, Hug Me, Rock Me" is one of the greatest bashers in all rocknroll. Here, the guys just cut loose with everything. Vincent puts on one of the most sensitive vocals ever recorded and Gallup's first solo cuts in with the wildest licks you ever heard. As Vincent screams, "Rock, rock, rock me, baby!" over and over again, the band is totally cookin'! You could play this one in a mosh pit and get' em slamming it's so damned violent! And then Cliff just burns off this cool lead that abruptly ends with him whang-barring the crap out this chord he hits. Cool stuff!

After that, Cliff, Willie and now Jack Neal were gone for good from the band. Dickie Harrell would stay on and would record with Gene through several more albums. Paul Peek too stayed with the band but became, along with pal Tommy Facenda, a "clapper boy", that is, a backup singer who claps in time with the music. The great Johnny Meeks took over Cliff's spot. Meeks would stay with Gene Vincent for quite a number of albums. A lot of people say that Meeks was closer to Vincent than any of his other bandmates--past or future. And make no mistake, Meeks is an excellent and very competent lead man. His solo on "Lotta Lovin'" certainly would not have been disowned by Cliff. I really enjoyed what Meeks did on the song "Flea Brain". Super sweet guitar on that man.

In fact, Gene Vincent pretty much stole away Johnny Earl's band (Earl wrote "Little Piggy" if you ever want to hear a great tune). Meeks had been Earl's lead man until Gene got him. Then he took Bobby Jones who played electric bass. Later, he would take bassist/guitarist Grady Owen as well. About the only guy from Johnny Earl's band that Gene didn't take was Johnny Earl and it wasn't for lack of trying. Gene tried to get Earl to join his band as well but Earl wanted to be his own man. Vincent also recorded an Earl-Meeks composition called "Say Mama".

Other notables to play with the Blue Caps include Eddie Cochran (who sang bass for him and will get his own thread if I have anything to do with it), and Buck Owens (although I think he called himself Corky Jones or something like that back then). In his later years, Vincent had Robert Knight as his backup vocalist (Knight did "Everlasting Love" also covered by Carl Carlton). Ken Nelson also stayed with Vincent and produced him until Vincent would leave the U.S. and spend pretty much the rest of his career in Britain. While there, he used a group of scruffy unknowns from Liverpool as his backup band for a few gigs. They were called the Beat Boys then and they still had Pete Best on drums.

It was also in Britain that Vincent witnessed the death of perhaps his best friend, Eddie Cochran, in 1960. They were riding in the back of a limo when the driver lost control and hit a lamp post. Cochran's head went through the roof of the limo causing severe bleeding. Vincent held his friend's head in his lap as he died. They say he never quite got over Cochran's death. I have an album of Vincent's made very late in his career called "The Day the World Turned Blue" and I think I know what he's referring to.

After Johnny Meeks, Vincent picked up another great guitarist and close friend, Jerry Merritt. They recorded some great stuff together. They even toured Japan and used a backup Japanese band. It was also the first band since the departure of Jumpin Jack Neal to play the standup bass.

Gene Vincent died in 1971. He was, by this time, overweight and quite ill. His best years were far behind him. But great years they had been and extremely productive. Gene Vincent left behind a body of work he need not be ashamed of. The man made a lot of records. A LOT of records!

But what about Cliff? Cliff did eventually get back in the studio. In the mid-60's Cliff recorded with the 4-C's. They made an album called "Straight Down the Middle" on the Pussy Cat label out of Norfolk (Pussy Cat PCLPS 701). It even has a version of "Be-Bop-A-Lula" on it. His style was as inventive as ever.

While living in Norfolk, I tried to find where the Blue Caps lived--the individual guys. But Navy duties always came first and I never could follow up on it. I didn't know if Cliff was alive or not and I very much wanted to meet him if he was. But it never happened.


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Subject: RE: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 02 Mar 02 - 08:02 AM

Great, Great story. I was a Gene Vincent man and still am, although I feel I've been burned buying a couple of later re-issues of stuff he recorded in England after the fire seemed to have gone out. With Vincent and Elvis and some of the other rockers, they seemed to have a secret urge to be Dean Martin or Perry Como (Elvis openly admired Perry Como's work.) But, the early stuff is great! I guess it's just hard to keep the fire going indefinitely. Elvis could still crank it up after he went Vegas, but didn't bother much any more. Can't do crotch splits in a jump suit when you weigh 250 pounds.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: AR282
Date: 02 Mar 02 - 09:38 AM

You also have to look at it from the pov that it's really rather pathetic to see some guy way past his prime trying to do what he was doing way back when. Even if you want to, your manager may tell you not to bother and start giving you new material designed to get a new audience because you'll never regain that old audience.

Also, rocknroll was having a hard time surviving in America even by 1958. Everybody was going for Fabian and Pat Boone like that. The true rockers like Gene and Eddie and Buddy were already finding themselves crowded out by these whitewashed, pale imitators. Black rockers were just being ripped-off by watered down white artists who were making a killing off the black artist's material. As an example, listen The Chords' version of "Sh-Boom" and compare it to the one by The Crewcuts. Actually, you can't. There is no comparison. And, heck, Pat Boone's still doing it.

At least in Britain, the rreal rockers could continue their careers. And the British never forgot them. We did.


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Subject: RE: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 02 Mar 02 - 01:10 PM

R2D2: You're right. If you want to retain any popularity you have to try to change with the times. I don't think that was as hard for Elvis, because he was a crooner as well as a rocker. I just avoid the newer recordings of Vincent. And as this is a folk community and you and I may be the only ones on this thread, I had an extended play 45 rpm with him doing a rocking version of Frankie and Johnny.
Jerry


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Subject: RE: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: AR282
Date: 02 Mar 02 - 04:13 PM

The first stuff of his I heard was the original Blue Caps and I was totally floored by it. I was already a longtime Eddie Cochran fan. Cliff Gallup knocked me dead. Later, when I first encountered Johnny Meeks, I thought I wouldn't like him. No one could take Cliff's place in my mind. Nobody did but Meeks found his own way to get to me. He placed some damn nice stuff and a great songwriter. It's on those recordings that you hear the kind of backing vocals Vincent should have had on "Cat Man". Especially when Eddie joins the band.

Unfortunately, this stuff was coming out as rocknroll plummeted into mediocrity. As much of it has today. The public didn't appreciate it as they should have.

The guys liked him but not the girls. The girls saw him as the fast-moving badboy stud that moves in and sweeps 'em off their feet and then leaves them heart-broken. The guys liked him for exactly the same reason.

But the teen girls wanted guys cuter and cuddlier. They could either pretend to be bad like Fabian or be clean-cut like Pat--but no impoverished perpetually horny hillbilly 9th grade dropout motorcycle-riding one-legged greasy t-shirted ex-sailors with hair slicked into complex swirls and a cigarette dangling from their mouths and it's obvious they're not faking it.

I have that version of "Frankie & Johnny". I think that's off "Baby Blue". That's the one with "Flea Brain" on it. "Brand New Beat" also. Great album. Great, great album.

Most people think that Blue Oyster Cult came up with coming out onstage on a motorcycle with Judas Priest following suit, but the Blue Caps were the first to do it that I know of. At one point in their live shows, they drove motorcycles onto the stage. I saw some old footage of it. Forgot what it was called.

But I didn't see posting a thread about Gene Vincent to be all that out of place. After all, his direct musical roots were country and blues--basically what this forum claims to be dedicated to. So, I figured, why not? I'll bet Gene could've sat down with his guitar and sang you country tunes you never dreamed existed.


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Subject: RE: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 02 Mar 02 - 10:05 PM

Having spent most of the 1960's in the Norfolk, Va. area I have always had a little interest in Gene Vincent and have wondered why he did not gain a much larger following. I've bought a few tapes of his in recent years in an attempt to interest my son and daughter in the Blue Caps, without success. I was in college with a fellow who claimed to have played guitar with Gene Vincent. His name did not appear in AR282's account of band members, however. I was a bit skeptical of those claims as I was of his tales of how women were constantly throwing themselves at him and how they would answer the door naked when he appeared at the doorstep.


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Subject: RE: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: GUEST,PJ Curtis(Ireland)
Date: 03 Mar 02 - 05:17 AM

I remember seeing Gene perform many times in the Colston Hall Bristol in he early sixties. He was ELECTRIFYING! Dressed head to toe in black leather...silver medallion....black curls falling around his face, hunched over the mic and as raw and ferocious as a genuine rock 'n roller should be. He sure was a hard act to follow in those days. But even then he was already enslaved by his material (doing all his Classics from 56 -60 )and the Beatles were waiting in the wings. As for Cliff Gallup...he wrote the book of rockin' guitar.(along with Paul Burlison ) Just ask Jeff Beck!! We wont see their likes again... pjc


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Subject: RE: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: AR282
Date: 03 Mar 02 - 10:43 AM

Yes, Paul Burleson was the guy who played for Johnny Burnette and he was amazing. Eddie Cochran was also a great guitartist and did not receive his due for the guitar technician that he was.

As for the gentleman who claims to have played guitar for Vincent, I'd need his name and the years he claims to have played for him to verify it. But unless he wants his name spread all over the place, that probably wouldn't be a good idea.


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Subject: RE: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: Muskrat
Date: 04 Mar 02 - 03:07 AM

A version of the Blue Caps -- with Johnny Meeks, "Bubba" Facenda and, I believe, Dickie Harrell, among others -- still works, in the U.S. and, especially, abroad. They have a British singer whom, I understand, is very good.


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Subject: RE: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: AR282
Date: 04 Mar 02 - 06:57 PM

Have they made any recordings?


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Subject: RE: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: Muskrat
Date: 04 Mar 02 - 11:47 PM

Dunno. Perhaps released in Europe, where bands like that tour constantly and have quite a following.


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Subject: RE: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: M.Ted
Date: 05 Mar 02 - 11:19 AM

Are you writing a book, AR? And are we going to be getting it chapter by chapter? From Scott Joplin to Gene Vincent! I am not sure how the world at large will take it, but I love it!

Anyway, a couple thoughts about the short life of real rock'n'roll on the pop charts--Rock'n'roll aroused incredible public outrage from religious leaders, politicians, and many others in postitions of influence--there were pickets and protesters outside performances, concerts were "banned", there were newspaper editorials denouncing it, classical and popular entertainers denounced it, and radio programmers tried to find less controversial music that still appealed to a"teen" audience--Colonel Tom Parker said that this was the main reason that Elvis stopped playing concerts and started making movies--it was just to difficult to fight all that, over and over again--

There were no venues for rock concerts in those days, and, with all the negative publicity, it was impossible for these guys to establish themselves--

I refuse to accept, for even a minute, the idea that the kids liked the watered down stuff better--I've been a musician and performer for nearly 40 years, and I have never played for an audience that didn't respond to "Be-Bop-A-Lula" or the one of the early Elvis tunes--

By the way, any idea what became of Paul Peek?


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Subject: RE: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: tandrink
Date: 05 Mar 02 - 02:45 PM

Glad to see there are other rockabilly fans out there. Anybody have any insights or opinions of why rockabilly is an all but forgotten art form. Other music (folk in the 60's, swing in the mid 90's) have had revivals, but rockabilly is seen strictly as nostalgia. You could make the argument that the Stray Cats led a rockabilly revival in the 80's (BTW Brian Setzer, who is a wonderful guitar player, openly admits to being heavily influenced by Gallup and Cochran), but I don't think one band a revival makes.

Would love to see some young rockabillys come out and crank it up a notch.

That being said, if it became mainstream, it probably wouldn't be as cool


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Subject: RE: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 06 Mar 02 - 12:35 PM

Great article AR 282, I guess I'm a bit too young to remeber the early stuff. What I do remeber is a telivision broadcast of a Gene Vincent concert on TV. It must have been early sixties, I was about 10-12 years old. A whole slew of bikes rode into the hall, where a scaffolding stage was set up, rode round and around the stage then stopped GV gets off one, limps on to the stage. I was blown away by the guy, I do remeber that. Thanks JohnB.


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Subject: RE: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: GUEST,james bean
Date: 17 Jun 12 - 07:21 PM

just been listening to gene vincent rocks and the blue caps roll still amazing music to this day best vinyl i ever bought take a listen younger generation


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Subject: RE: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 18 Jun 12 - 06:20 AM

"But shortly after launching into their first song, "Race With the Devil" Garland got up saying it was obvious his services would not be required and left. Vincent's voice earned him the title of "The Screaming End".

Pete Frame I remember put it slightly differently - he wrote in the Gene Vincent & The Bluecaps family tree that, "they laid on studio musicians in case the Bluecaps couldn't hack it, but as soon as Cliff Gallup opened up with Race to the Devil, they shit themselves"!!


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Subject: RE: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 18 Jun 12 - 06:23 AM

Jeff Beck did an excellent tribute album to Gene Vincent & the Bluecaps a few years back Jeff Beck - Crazy Legs


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Subject: RE: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Jun 12 - 06:44 AM

I met GV a couple of times at rock'n roll weekends in UK seaside chalet parks a year or two before he died. It was a bit difficult to associate the man then with the man he was at the time of the Blue Caps and the peak of his career, but I loved his music at the time and still do today.

I also love Ian Dury's tribute - "Sweet Gene Vincent" - a great track for a great rocker.


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Subject: RE: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: Tunesmith
Date: 18 Jun 12 - 11:03 AM

I liked a lot of Gene Vincent but - like Eddie Cochran - I felt he was playing at being a rock and roller.
It didn't seem natural.
Elvis sounded natural. As did Jerry Lee Lewis - and even Bil Haley.
But both Gene and Eddie seemed, to my ears, that they were merely mimicking Elvis.


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Subject: RE: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 18 Jun 12 - 01:31 PM

I once saw Gene Vincent at a ted's rock 'n roll club in Borehamwood in England - from outside the hall, because my parents took a very dim view of me going into "those sort of places" when 15 years old! I can tell you he was one of the best, and he had a damned fine band as well! Next two weeks were Johnny Kidd & the Pirates and then Screaming Lord Sutch & the Savages - oh for a time machine!


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Subject: RE: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Jun 12 - 01:42 PM

For me, Eddie Cochran was superb. What could be finer than "Summertime Blues" - an absolute classic. EC was a great blues guitarist and, on his tour bus in England, taught a lot of guitar to people like Joe Brown.


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Subject: RE: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: Tunesmith
Date: 18 Jun 12 - 02:12 PM

Eddie was very talented. And, of course, in Britain he is remember as the chap who turned on British rock guitaists to using lighter gauge strings to facilitate bending.
Also, his arrangements were fabulous. I can still remember the first time I heard "Something Else". I thought it was just wonderful.


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Subject: RE: Gene Vincent & Cliff Gallup
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Jun 12 - 02:14 PM

Absolutely!


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