GENE VINCENT HELPED OFF STAGE AT PLAZA
(local Guildford weekly newspaper)
…There was no need for famous American pop star Gene Vincent to speak when I met him in the house behind the Guildford Plaza on Sunday. His expression was one of complete exhaustion. As he relaxed in an armchair he panted that he had been up since 5 o’clock that morning and had been working under fierce lighting equipment on a television set all day. This had ended at 7.30, when he was rushed to the Guildford Plaza to face 600 enthusiastic teenagers who had been building up an atmosphere of restless excitement since the beginning of the evening. The wonderful climax was partially due to the jazz band, ‘Sounds Incorporated.’ who were specially selected to perform with Gene.
When an announcement was made that Gene would be on in ten minutes’ time, any hopes of more jiving were dashed: the crowd surged forward to the stage. Those who were too far back to see went upstairs for a birds-eye view.
The build-up was certainly justified when the slim figure in black leather jeans and jacket burst on to the stage, grabbed the microphone and in a split second had extracted from the restless, stimulated audience a roar of appreciation and applause. Whether his songs were current or old made no difference to his astounding performance, and he was so exhausted after 20 minutes that he had to be helped off the stage.
It was the first time British teenagers had seen him perform in a ballroom and he was unquestionably a huge success.