Sunday 23 January 2011

The Gene Vincent Method

I remember the illustrator Chris McEwan telling me many years ago about the ongoing love affair that the French have for all things American. He'd spent some time in Paris working in an ad agency and picked up this vibe fairly quickly. This applies in spades to their adoration of rock n roll and when in 1961 Gene Vincent having pretty much run out of mileage in the U.S. moved to London and commenced a series of tours in Europe the singer couldn't get over the reaction that he received from audiences in London and Paris. In fact the French just couldn't get enough of Gene and leather clad rock n rollers such as Vince Taylor and the Playboys made a good career move by relocating to France to fill the gap in demand.

1961 was the year that Ervin Taylor was born and this Frenchman is just one example of the vibrant and thriving rockabilly movement that Vincent helped spawn.

Here's an example of this guy in action - more method performer than mere tribute band leader.

And for Mykal and all other Gene Vincent devotees, here's film of the man himself performing "Rocky Road Blues" with a French back up band in a cinema somewhere in Brussels in October 1963/


  1. Those guys can play the stuff, for sure. It's so hard, though, to replicate Vincent's pure-D country scary, which was the source of his appeal (even more so for the French, I imagine). Can't expect that, though, from Mr. Travis .

  2. Yes, I've got to agree with you Mykal. In fact I've added a clip of the man himself performing Rocky Road Blues. There's two more songs from this show; "Long Tall Sally" and a beautifully sick performance of "Be Bop A Lula" - which really is pure-D country scary!

  3. As you say - the man himself. Those spooky, dark gazes toward heaven, the nearly electrified persona; and (of course) the voice of a greasy angel. Pure intimidation. That's what the man had. And, it must be said, those french fellows rocked the house (who thought it possible?). A great post and thanks.