Saturday, 17 April 2010

Eddie Cochran – Cherished Memories

As you know, today marks the fiftieth anniversary of the tragically early death of the immortal Eddie Cochran. Here are 50 reasons that I remember and love Eddie baby.

The Holy Grail – These songs are a part of the rock ‘n’ roll fabric, with a massive influence that has seen them covered by everyone from rockers to the top punk bands.

1. Summertime Blues – Flip’s favourite, say no more.
2. C’Mon Everybody – rock ‘n’ roll anthem.
3. Somethin’ Else – so good that the Pistols didn’t have to change a thing to make it sound relevant and punky, twenty years later.
4. Three Steps To Heaven – even better than Showaddywaddy’s!!!!
5. Twenty Flight Rock – I love his voice on this.

Instrumental genius – the solos in his songs were just a glimpse at what this guy could do on the guitar.

6. Guybo – the first instro of his I heard.
7. Strollin’ Guitar – I think I first heard this atmospheric gem on the Arena documentary a couple of decades ago.
8. Eddie’s Blues – could someone really play the guitar like this in 1959?
9. Chicken Shot Blues – another mind blowing guitar tour-de-force.
10. Pushin’

Rock ‘n’ Roll Classics – if the first five were the Champions League contenders, these five are definitely pushing for the Europa League spots.

11. Skinny Jim – dynamic classic.
12. Jeanie Jeanie Jeanie – allegedly written for actress Jeanne Carman who starred and got romantically involved with Eddie during the filming of Untamed Youth.
13. Nervous Breakdown – a rocker in the Somethin’ Else mode.
14. Weekend – hard to imagine why this was never issued as a single at the time.
15. Cut Across Shorty – Possibly the last song Eddie recorded in the studio – what a way to go.

Inspirations – his influence was massive, just ask those British musicians who watched him opened mouthed fifty years ago.

16. Brian Setzer – forget his appearance in La Bamba, and play the Stray Cats’ tribute, Gene and Eddie.
17. Darrel Higham – the Eddie aficionado who lives and breathes Eddie. His two tribute albums for Rockstar will never be bettered.
18. Marco DiMaggio – great Italian guitarist who worships at the Church of Eddie.
19. Tony Barrett – the Rockstar Records owner who has given us a mountain of previously unheard Eddie records. And his good lady comes from Aberystwyth as well.
20. Bill Beard – the lovely Cockney geezer who puts in a phenomenal amount of work for his Cochran Connection mag. Last time I met Bill was at a Stray Cats gig in London where he was waiting to hear Gene and Eddie.

Eddiebilly – I’m not a fan of most of his ballads (Never, Dark Lonely Street, etc), but I adore that mid-tempo sound he had, with backing vocals and smooth vocals. In fact, the next batch are my favourites of his and I play them more than the biggies.

21. Teresa – superb. Dig that voice.
22. Stockin’ And Shoes – my mum and dad bought me the Sunset LP when I was in school and this cracker kicked off the B side in fine style.
23. Drive in Show – I’ll bet my penis to a candy bar!
24. Teenage Heaven – he seemed like he had the idyllic teenage life in California, with pretty girls and rock ‘n’ roll guitars.
25. Sittin’ In The Balcony – probably the song that sums up this Eddie sound the most.

Session Guy – many an artist has had their songs transformed by the blond picker.

26. Guitar Picker (Bob Luman)– an absolutely dynamic rocker that had fans scratching their head when it first surfaced. Luman and Cochran is a winning formula and they’re both on top form here in this early ’58 recording which also has guitar ace Fred Carter in the line-up.
27. Git It (Gene Vincent) – a great doo-wop rocker that me, Julie and my sister used to sing all the time when we were kids. Eddie’s bass vocals as so distinctive on this classic.
28. New Shows (Lee Denson) – stunning space age solo from Eddie.
29. Watch Your Mouth (Troyce Key) – I first heard this beauty on the Red Hot Rockabillies lp back in the late 80’s.
30. You Oughta See Grandma Rock – old country meets young rockabilly gunslinger with great results. Rock it, but don’t ruin it – he won’t!

Early Days – the early collaborations with Jerry Capehart and the Cochran Brothers stuff with Hank Cochran were brilliant. As with a lot of people I heard this courtesy of the Rockstar album, Many Sides of.

31. I Hates Rabbits – a fun bit of nonsense totally transformed by the brilliant guitar.
32. I’m Ready – pure rockabilly.
33. Pink Peg Slacks – hot potato in the mouth rockabilly.
34. Tired And Sleepy – great duet.
35. Latch On – another hot duet.

Any other business – there’s more to the memory of Eddie’s legacy than just the music. His image was sort of wholesome, but with an edge.

36. That hair – apart from Elvis, Eddie’s blond quiff must be the ultimate rock ‘n roll haircut.
37. That guitar – while the photo of Hersel Hickey seems to be the most used rock ‘n’ roll image, to me, any picture of Eddie with his orange Gretsch is the real deal.
38. The Girl Can’t Help It – Eddie’s cameo role stole the show in that film, and with Jayne Mansfield looking like she did that was no mean feat.
39. Sharon Sheeley – whether they’d have stayed together, who knows. But at the time, this was a lovely romance.
40. The 1960 UK Tour – still talked about today. With Eddie playing the cool California kid to Gene Vincent’s dark, psycho rebel. Why isn’t there any tv footage of this tour.

The covers – his best work was his own, but he did a handful of great covers.

41. Hallelujah I Love Her So – roll over Ray Charles, this is how to do it.
42. Milk Cow Blues – More Sleepy John Estes’ than Elvis Presley.
43. Blue Suede Shoes – hard driving, acoustic version of the Carl Perkins classic.
44. Long Tall Sally – piano-less Little Richard tribute.
45. White Lightnin’ – superb duet with Gene Vincent from the Boy Meets Girl tv show in February 1960.

The photos – numbers 46 to 50 come courtesy of these photos. Not only was he a great songwriter, singer and guitarist, he was a good looking dude as well. Thanks for the music Eddie, your memory will never die.

1 comment:

Lexicon Kustoms said...

mysterious disappearing volume knob in one of these pics ....