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Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran: Rock N Roll Revolutionaries Hardcover – July 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Publishing (July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852271930
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852271930
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #316,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Collis is a freelance journalist, author and editor. His journalism has included work on Time Out, the Guardian, Radio Times, the Sunday Times, The Times, the Independent and the Observer. He is the co-author of the musical Race With the Devil: The Legend of Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent, which provided the starting point for this book, as well as books on Van Morrison, the Blues, the music of Frank Sinatra, John Denver and Chuck Berry.

Customer Reviews

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Siriam on January 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book has an interesting history in that it is a direct result of research done for an original musical stage show of the 1960 UK tour by Gene and Eddie which sadly never made it to the London West End for a long run after a regional UK tour. The author has then added the prior history of Eddie up to the UK tour and the story of Gene before and after the tour and post the tragic death of Eddie at the tour end in a car crash on the way to London to catch a plane home to the USA.

The best and most interesting aspect is the story of the UK tour itself and the memories of many people who saw the tour and the impact it had on them including the musicians on the tour plus the recording of various national and local press comments (the often quoted story of George Harrison going to several shows in Liverpool and being converted to rock music as a result is missing but not a lot else).

The UK '60s pop scene and its ensuing global presence probably owes a lot more than the author credits to this event given this was probably the first true rock'n'roll concert tour the UK had ever had with highly regarded US rockers featured as the stars supported by other British rock acts of that time. All the prior ones especially Buddy Holly and Bill Haley had been lumped into family style variety shows by their promoters much like the early Elvis tours in the USA arranged by Tom Parker.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Old Enough to Know Better on March 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is about the most poorly written, boring rock bio I've ever read.

The first part of the book deals with the 1960 joint tour of the UK by Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent. If you are interested in the arcane details of a tour 45 years ago you might enjoy this but the account is long on words and short on real information. This is obviously the material that was to be used as a stage show. It's too detailed and slowly paced to read well. There are numerous accounts, one for each performance but it gets repetitive.

If you survive the first section you will be rewarded with the only section of the book that reads like a biography; the prologues for both Cochran and Vincent. These were actually worth the time to read.

Once you've read the prologues you get to read the epilogues which are not as bad as the first section of the book but they don't read nearly as well as the prologues.

Eddie Cochran's epilogue is fairly short (not much happens after you die) and mostly deals with posthumous releases of his recordings.

Gene Vincent's epilogue reads like a slow-motion, millisecond by millisecond account of a train wreck. Mr. Vincent's life didn't seem to be very happy, and his last years seemed particularly unpleasant.

The author manages to work in an attack on Margaret Thatcher along the way and an account of the de-colonization of the African continent too. Interesting but what does it have to do with this bio?

At the end of it all I felt that I learned nearly nothing about their music. There was more talk about boozing, drugs and womanizing than about the musical ground that they broke. Frankly my opinion is this; someone put a lot of research into a play that never made it and they decided to write a book with the information. The problem is that it isn't a very good book.
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By Carole/Baby Blue on July 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I believe this is for a individual who is a true Gene Vincent fan or knew him as I did and can separate fact from fiction . I did not know Eddie Cochran but considering the sources I take everything I read with a grain of salt . I guess its whatever makes for good reading . His truth and mine differ , I will leave it at that . I knew Gene for 14 years . He certainly had more than his share of problems . He suffered with incredible pain due to a serious leg injury from a motorcycle accident in 1955 . Wore a leg brace on his left leg for the rest of his short life . Died at the age of 36 . Gene was a Rock'n'Roll legend , called "The Sreaming End". He was a trailblazer in the world of Rock'n'Roll !!!!! His voice and style so unique . When he sang ballads it was the voice of an angel .Sweet Gene was exciting , he was magic !!!
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By Cochranmusic on November 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. It was a great look into the tour of England and what it was like to be there. I think I read this book in 2 days which is rare for me. It has been a few years since I have read it and I am long over due to pick it back up. This is a book that I will return to again and again over the next years.
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