They Were Collaborators #545


Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps

9 comments:

Richard Gibson said...

Yeah, pretty cool.

Testify said...

So: from L - R you've got Cliff Gallup (lead guitar) Dickie Harrell (Drums) Gene Vincent himself Wee Willie Williams(guitar) and Jack Neal.. a classic Blue Cap line up and the one that appears in The Girl Can't Help It movie(the DVD of which I took delivery of yesterday weirdly enough).

Talking on the DVD commentary John Waters says: "I loved Gene Vincent but I had never seen him before really, as a kid and he was scary then!He was scarier than Elvis or any of them, in real life I think he WAS scarier.But if you look at that tape the close up of the guy in the background chewing gum and trying to be a juvenile delinquent he's my favourite (it's Wee Willie Williamson BTW)thats maybe my favourite shot in the whole movie...they look scary, they were rockabilly, they weren't even just regular rock'n'roll, they were southern. And they scared people they were like great rednecks that sang like black people."

Gene was from harbour town Norfolk Virginia and so going into the Navy was probably a natural thing to do it was whilst working as a despatch rider for the navy that he injured his left leg. It never fully recovered and thats why its bandaged here.

Great pic, great band.

estiv said...

I'd been hearing of Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps for many years, but until I saw this picture I had no idea that the Blue Caps actually wore blue caps.

swac said...

Before I hit the double-digit years, I had a beat-up 45 of Crazy Legs I used to play all the time on my little portable record player, part of a bunch of my uncle's old r'n'r collection (I think he let me have some Elvis, Fats Domino and...uh, Pat Boone). For years it was the only song by Gene that I knew (besides its slow b-side Important Words) until I saw some TV documentary on the history of rock and roll that cut together footage of Gene doing Be Bop a Lula with Steve Allen attempting to recite the lyrics as if they were free verse. The footage blew me away (and Allen just looked foolish), and I knew these guys were the real deal.

Testify said...

Gene Vincent would've been 73 this month (he was born 11 February 1935) and a group I belong to has just received this email:

JUST LETTING YOU KNOW-- FEB. 21ST. BBC RADIO 2 WILL BE AIRING A NEW
DOCUMENTARY ON GENE VINCENT. FAMILY MEMBERS-TOMMY FACENDA AND MY SELF WILL BE ADDING A
FEW THINGS TO THIS PROGRAM. ROGER DALTREY OF THE ''WHO'' WILL BE THE M C FOR
THIS PROGRAM. CHECK IT OUT. THANKS FOR KEEPING THE MUSIC ALIVE. KEEP COOL./

DICKIE HARRELL, DRUMMER WITH GENE VINCENT AND THE ''BLUECAPS''

(the screaming capitals style is Dickie Harrell's own, and quite fitting when one recalls this is from the man who added the scream to Be Bop A Lula , when he was only 15 years old.)

swac said...

Thanks Testify, if I know the Brits, they'll do a bang up job on this. Hopefully it'll be available in podcast form after the fact.

Here's the BBC page on the Vincent piece, it says the airdate is Saturday, Feb 14 at 1900 hrs (that would be 2 p.m. EST). There's also a link to a radio piece "My Life With Buddy, told by Marie Elena Holly" which I hope to check out should I get any spare time.

Testify said...

Its kind of ironic that the front man of arch mods The Who should be presenting this tribute to Rocker idol Vincent...I'm thinking of the bath house scene in Quadrophenia when mod hero Jimmy sings You've Really Got Me (The Kinks) in an attempt to drown out the sound of the Rocker in the next bath along singing Be Bop A Lula!

Mike said...

Daltrey wasn't a mod, he was a Teddy Boy and the Teds loved Gene.

Gerard Saylor said...

I don't listen to BBC6 Radio as much as I used to but every night at 9 or 10 (Central Time) they run a documentary. They are usually great to listen to, even when I dislike the band's music. The producers are quite thorough in finding and talking to all sorts of people involved in an artist's or band's history.