Now Gene Must Face The Music
(28 January 1961)
Gene Vincent is back. He flew into London last Friday a healthier, happier and heavier man than when he left so hurriedly last June. He’s here for a tour which promises to be one of his most successful. Already there’s talk of extending his visit so good have been the advance sales.
For Gene this is going to be quite an ordeal. Last June, you’ll remember, he broke off in the middle of a tour and flew home, saying his young daughter had died.
The fans, and people in the business understood what had happened…but many people didn’t. As far as they were concerned Mr. Vincent could go for good.
What had really happened? The car crash which so tragically killed Eddie Cochran had also given Gene concussion: “I should have stayed in hospital longer after the accident.” said Gene. “Instead all I wanted to do was get out.”
The price he paid was a complete breakdown. “It’s no good asking me much about it now,” said Gene. “I don’t remember a thing about it. When I got home I didn’t even recognise my family.”
A long spell in hospital and taking life easily since then have made him a changed man. When I saw him a few days before he went home last June his limp was accentuated, his face was almost gaunt and he was incredibly tired.
Now he really looks fit…he’s even put on weight, especially in the face-and he’s much happier.
He has a great disc out, “Jezebel” and “Maybe,” voted a hit by our reviewer Don Nicholl, but Gene is worried about how the fans are going to react after he left many of them disappointed after his last tour.
“When I first heard about the tour I was frightened,” said Gene. And even after everyone had tried to reassure him that everything would be all right he was still understandably apprehensive. “It’s a challenge,” said Gene, “and now I’m really looking forward to it.”
I told him how, after he’d gone last year, we had dozens of letters arriving in the office saying how the writers understood Gene’s troubles, wished him luck and hoped to see him again when he was better. “That was very nice of them,” said Gene…but he won’t be convinced until those dates are under way..
During his stay here Gene is making sure that he has enough time to look up his old friends-he made many while he was working over here. He’s a difficult person to get to know but when he does make friends, they’re real friends.
The tour is being organised so that Gene will get some time off. He wants to meet the people and see the country.
“Last time I was here I wasn’t able to do any of these things.
“This time I’m taking things easily.”
In past months he’s been keeping to this formula. “Five days work and then a couple off,” he told me. “I’ve been doing a lot of one-nighters back home, but now I take time off for a rest.”
No date has yet been fixed for Gene to return home after the tour. If the TV dates now being discussed materialise, he may stay over here for some time.
I knew that on his last visit Gene had missed his wife and daughter terribly. Would they be joining him here after the tour gets under way? “No,” said Gene. “I want to face this alone.”
(quoted in full)