October 19, 2005
Gene Vincent Tribute
Gene Vincent died at the young age of 36, but his legacy lives on in the music he left behind for the younger generations who are still discovering songs like Be-Bop-A-Lula. I hear people say, but that music was so long ago, it doesn’t fit anymore. Nothing could more untrue. What is time? There really is no time in the grand scheme of things. Today, music has become “generic” and people are looking back to a time when it was still new and creative. There is something to be said about those who pioneered and paved the way for the history of rock and roll. We need to remember that always.
Thanks to the coordination of Bob Timmers, Saturday, October 15th, the Original Blue Caps: Dickie (Be-Bop) Harrell, Tommy (Bubba) Facenda, and Johnny Meeks reunited to celebrate the life of Gene Vincent. Along with family, friends and fans, the Van Nuys Elks Lodge became host to a night of rockin’ live music.
Dickie Harell and Tommy Facenda traveled to California for this special tribute from Virginia, while Johnny Meeks came from South Carolina. I hadn’t seen any of them in about four years. They were last here on a small tour, but I’ve kept in touch with Dickie for some years via e-mail.
On hand to celebrate the music of Gene Vincent were: Billy Zoom, Tommy Sands, Diamond Dave Somerville, Bob Kelly, Don Weise, Larry Merritt, Roman Self, Molly Bee, Suzy Q and her Be-Bob Boys, Tina and Brandi Craddock, Buddy Dughi, Glenn Glenn, Ray Campi, Kim Lenz, Rory Justice, Alan Clark, Pep Torres, Cherri Mae and her Rocket Boys, and more. The tribute included a very touching tribute speech rendered by Legendary producer, Ken Nelson (who signed Gene in the early years), and of course, the night wouldn’t have been the same without the music of the Blue Caps!
We may likely not see these three united again as distance and time make it difficult, but I was very happy to be a part of the audience on this very special occasion. It was so much more than just another weekend gig. I had planned on being at this one for months and wouldn’t have missed it.
Earlier in the day, a gravesite tribute was held for Gene. Later, I had a few people ask me where he is buried, because so many still think his resting place is in Virginia (his original home state) but I’ll clarify that he is buried in the Newhall/Simi Valley area nearby to where his parents lived at the time he passed on.
I would think that were he alive today, Gene Vincent, would marvel at the way his music has made a direct impact on other musicians through the years. I know that Dickie, Tommy, and Johnny would pat him on the back and say, “Ya see man, you were the real deal, and thanks for letting us be a part of it!”
Posted by CindyLu at 6:36 PM
October 11, 2005
Occulator Reviews . . .
Crash Kelly, Penny Pills (Liquor and Poker, 2005)
This album passes the lazy test, wherein I left it in my car’s disc-changer for several spins where other albums might suck or bore to the point where they need to be extracted after the first go-round. But it fails the iPod test, which of course is when it makes it onto my handheld juke box, or particularly into a playlist—truly the mark of greatness. Crash Kelly is inoffensive bar rock. Toe-tapping tunes? Check. Sing-alongable? Check. But that’s about as lukewarm a review as I can offer for these purveyors of sugary, modern-day glamrock.
Posted by occulator at 9:50 PM