GENE (I’M STICKING TO ROCK) VINCENT CONDEMNS HIS LATEST RELEASE
(16 December 1961)
GENE VINCENT, who has now returned to America, has no desire to change his style and become the kind of singer Capitol have made him on his latest release “Unchained Melody”. “THAT RECORD SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN RELEASED” GENE TOLD ME.
“It was made in 1956 for an album, but I had no say in it being released here. If I had it would never have come out. It’s a ballad and just isn’t what the fans expect of me.”
Gene, with his all-black leather suit and wild gyrations with the microphone, has not changed his style since the early Bill Haley days of pure rock music and when you ask him why, you get a direct answer.
“Listen,” he drawled, “My style has sold records consistently and the kids like rock; that’s what they pay to see. You have to have the right feeling for rock and not many singers of today have it. But if you saw my record royalties you’d realise why I don’t need to change.
“Sure I’ve thought about it from time to time but the fans don’t want it. Years ago, When I started in this business people told me it would never last. Well I’m still around and the beat is, too, and rock has become an accepted from of music.”
Certainly rock stars come and go but none come to Britain as frequently as Gene, who clearly loves it here, “I find the people are terribly kind wherever I go and your musicians have improved tremendously.
“The people aver here have longer memories and they are the most faithful fans in the world. They come to see me because I am something of a legend to them; as far as they’re concerned it is not what you’ve got now but what success you’ve had in the past that counts.
“And if I started to change my style they would drop me quicker than that.”
But when he does return to Britain it invariably brings back memories for Gene of the fatal car crash in which his friend Eddie Cochran was killed.
“Eddie and I were great buddies,” said Gene. “It’s only natural that I should think about him when I’m here; but, you know, I only remember the good times we had.
“I see his mother quite often and his records mean a lot to her. Eddie was really her boy and if you saw her face when I play his records to her, you’d be glad that a lot of his work is still around.”
This has been a busy trip for Gene, who besides his tour of one-nighters, has completed a role in the film, “It’s Trad Dad,” and cut two new singles - “Spaceship To Mars” and “Whoops I’m Falling.”
“This film should be great,” said Gene, “although I’m not in love with movies - I prefer to play to a live audience. As for the records, they’re the type of songs my fans associate me with and the backings and arrangements are terrific.
“I wasn’t too happy with my previous recordings here, but this time everything has worked out great and I’m pleased.
“I’m going home for Christmas to be with my family and take a look at my business interests in the States, but I’ll be over in the New Year to tour on a big Brenda Lee package. Will it be the same act? But of course it will!”
(quoted in full)