Label: Magnum Force - MFLP-1.023 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album • Country: UK • Genre: Rock • Style: Rock & Roll
Posted in Articles on November 30th, The original article submitted to the magazine, later slightly modified by the editor Trevor Cajiao. Recently new information has come from one of the musicians who backed him during that period. Contrary to the previous received wisdom, Gene actually spent a considerable time in the country, performing many times, before he returned to the USA. I was a member of a British band called We had been offered a six month contract to appear at the Al Fresco by Trevor Boswell as a result of the failed Dusty Springfield tour of when Dusty was deported for refusing to play to segregated audiences.
They had first met when Gene played some dates in South Africa with Mickie Most in Maywhen she was a young teenager. They got together when Jackie went to the UK in She had been with Gene in Blackpool and travelled to South Africa with him. Saturday mornings could be youngsters 16 to 25 ish…you could be playing to two people and still have to go on! I seem to remember we got about people in and they were dwarfed by the Whole Lotta Shakin - Gene Vincent - From L.A.
To Frisco of the place. It was a good night however and the press reports were generous as I remember. Jack has fond memories about his time with Gene. Gene also had a fund of tall stories. He claimed he was on a covert mission to the coast of North Korea intended as a rescue for some downed pilots. He was aboard a submarine and went ashore in an inflatable. There was an exchange of fire and Gene was hit in the leg. His problems began there. It always seemed an outlandish story to me but there was something about his telling of it that made one half believe it.
They had been booked on a tour and the trio decided that Carl Perkins should play guitar on the tour…The trio went looking for Carl and found him ploughing a field. They were in a brand new car just bought by Johnny Cash who had recently had one of his first hits.
The car had white wall tyres. They called across the field to Carl who came over covered in mud and dust. He was by all accounts so disillusioned by the Rock scene at the time that he wanted to stay on Run Rabbit Run - The Hoosiers - & The Trick To Life farm.
They did eventually persuade him to join them however and left the plough right where it was. The dog was in the habit of jumping out of the flat window whenever it needed a wee.
Of course the next time its bladder called the dog jumped 12 storeys to its death. Gene was upset but you can imagine how everybody laughed at the story. He was flat broke when he arrived. He told us that in the months leading up to his arrival in SA he used to go along to other artists concerts in order to get fed at the after show party, where he was of course an honoured guest.
Again it was easy to write him off Whole Lotta Shakin - Gene Vincent - From L.A. To Frisco was one of the architects of Rock and Roll…and a great stylist in Never My Love - Smokey Robinson - Smokey ways.
Spent Brothers Productions is a micro-publisher dedicated to celebrating the music of Gene Vincent, disseminating detailed and accurate information on his work, and bringing the same academic rigour and scholarship to a Rock 'N' Roll performer as we have come to expect in the Jazz and Blues fields.
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