Spent Brothers Productions Gene Vincent Website

Platenblad April 2006

Platenblad cover April 2006

PLATENBLAD Nr 139 21 april t/m 1 juni 2006

Gene Vincent (1936-1971) was één van de oorspronkkelijke koningen van de rock-’n-rollen wellicht de meest fascinerende rockzanger ooit, met veel schitterende platen op zijn naam. Vincent waseen schoolvoorbeeld van eigenzinnigheid en ervoer extreem veel hindernissen in zihn loopbaan. Ook na de hoogtijperiode van de rock-’n-roll bleef hij overigens intrigerende albums maken, vol overlevingsdrang en melancholie. Zijn invloed strekt zich uit van latere rock-’n-roll bands als The Stray Cats tot popgrootheden als Jeff Beck, John Lennon en Jim Morrison. Henderson (producer van de definitieve Vincent-box set, The Road Is Rocky, op Bear Family) heeft met dit Companion-boek een totaaloverzicht gemaakt van de sessies van Gene Vincent, zoals die sinds 1956 op singles, ep’s, lp’s en cd’s verschenen zijn. Zo weten we thans exact op welke tracks Cliff Gallup zijn legendarische gitaarpartjen bijdraagt, en op welke tracks je andere legendes als Eddie Cochran of (tenorsaxofonist) Jackie Kelso kan horen. Welke versie van Git It staat op Capitol-single F4051? In hoeveel takes zijn klassiekers als Be Bop A Lula en Race With The Devil opgenomen? Welke singles zijn op 78 toerenuitgebracht? En in welke platenstudio, radiostudio of zaal vonden de achtereenvolgende opnames plaats, zoals de Bradley Film & Recording Studio in Nashville, Capitol Recording Studios in Hollywood an die ene sessie in 1963 in Joe Meek’s studio in Holloway Road, Temptation Baby? Henderson leidt je rond langs (waarschijnlijk) elke plaat die er ooit (in welk land dan ook) van Vincent is verschenen. Henderson geeft in Companion een mooie kritische beoordeling van de gigantische hoeveelheid albums die er na Vincent’s dood in 1971 uitkwamen. Wel leuk dat een bepaalde Capitol-lp met bonustracks uitkomt, maar komen de tracks van de mastertapes of van referentietapes, of wellicht simpelweg van bestaande platen (’dubbed from disc’). Welke albums zijn bootlegs? Het discografische deel van het boek is een zeer uitgebreide versie van Henderson’s eerdere uitgave uitgave Gene Vincent - A Discography. Henderson gaat terecht ook nader in op de vele ‘non-Vincent’ opnames van Vincent’s belangrijkste muzikanten zoals Cliff Gallup, Johnny Meeks en Tommy Facenda. Het boek bevat een groot aantal live- en studio-foto’s en afbeeldingen van singlelabels. Essentieel voor de Gene Vincent-verzamelaar en voor eigenlijk elke serieuze rock-’n-roll fan…

Wim van Cleef

Gene Vincent (1936-1971) was one of the original kings of Rock and Roll and possibly the most fascinating rock singer ever, with beautiful records to his name. Vincent was a model of unruliness and experienced an extreme amount of obstacles in his career. Also after the heights of Rock and Roll he continued making intriguing records, full of melancholy and a will to survive. His influence stretches from later Rock and Roll bands like the Stray Cats to icons like Jeff Beck, John Lennon and Jim Morrison. Henderson (producer of the definitive Vincent Box Set, The Road is Rocky, on Bear Family) has made with this Companion book a complete summary of Gene Vincent recording sessions, as they were released since 1956 on singles, EPs, LPs and CDs. Now we know exactly on what tracks Cliff Gallup plays his legendary guitar parts, and on what tracks Eddie Cochran or Jackie Kelso (tenor saxophone player) can be heard. What version of “Git It” is on Capitol F4051? In how many takes were classics like “Be Bop A Lula? and “Race With The Devil” recorded? What singles were released on 78rpm? And in what record studio, radio station or concert hall did recordings take place: the Bradley Film & Recording Studio in Nashville, Capitol Recording Studios in Hollywood and that one session in 1963 in Joe Meek’s studio at Holloway Road, “Temptation Baby”? Henderson will guide you through, possibly every Gene Vincent record ever released, no matter what country. Henderson gives in Companion beautiful critical notes of the enormous amount of records released after Vincent’s death in 1971. It’s nice that a certain Capitol record is released with bonus tracks, but do these tracks come from the master tapes or from reference tapes, or possibly dubbed from disc?. What albums are bootlegs? The discography part of this book is a very extensive revision of Henderson’s former book release “Gene Vincent - A Discography”. Henderson is rightfully taking a closer look at the many “non-Vincent” recordings of Vincent’s most important musicians like Cliff Gallup, Johnny Meeks and Tommy Facenda. The book contains a lot of live and studio pictures and images of record labels. Essential for the Gene Vincent collector and actually for every serious rock ‘n’ roll fan.

(Thanks to Kenneth van Schooten for translation)

Record Collector June 2005

Record Collector cover


“The definitive guide from Be-Bop-A-Lula onwards
Call us what you like - trainspotters, anoraks, or anything else that springs to mind - but record collectors love books like this. Even though it it may contain what looks like lists of boring facts and figures to anyone not deeply absorbed in the hobby of collecting as many vintage records as possible, the information is essential for those that do.

Published to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the birth of Gene Vincent, this book contains every reference you would ever need about his career and recorded output - timelines, sessions, videos, spoken word, chart entries and so on - obsessive detail that does justice to one of the most unique 1950s rock ‘n’ roll stars.

In 1956 when executives at Capitol were searching for an answer to Elvis Presley, they discovered someone who was nothing like him, Vincent, the tortured soul with a voice to match, looked more like a gang-leader than a ladies man. A car accident had left him in constant pain; and eventually hard liquor helped end his life in 1971. He personified the live-hard-die-young legend of a rock ‘n’ roll hero.

Serious Gene Vincent fans will need this book; but despite his agonies, maybe a more exciting high-key cover design would have been better to help generally promote it in the bookshops.

Yes, Gene Vincent may well have had a dark side, but he also remains one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most colourful characters.”

Bob Solly

Jukebox April 2005

Jukebox cover

JUKEBOX No217 Avril 2005

La compétence de Derek Henderson en ce qui concerne Gene Vincent est incontestable. C’est d’ailleurs à lui que Bear Family a demandé d’être le maître d’oeuvre des deux coffrets qui vont être consacrés au chanteur cette année. En 1998, Derek a publié une discographie dont il propose une nouvelle édition augmentée et corrigée (176 p., 21×29cm). Voici ce qu’on y trouve, organisé de manière claire et logique : chronologie Gene Vincent, liste de toutes les chansons, détails des séances en studio puis en concert, discographie complète (simples, EP, LP, rééditions, CD, compilations), filmo/vidéographie, interviews, hommages, Blue Caps, etc. Un travail fiable et impressionant !

Jean-William Thoury

Derek Henderson’s competence as far as Gene Vincent is concerned is unquestionable. Moreover, it is he who Bear Family have asked to oversee two boxed sets which will be devoted to the singer this year. In 1998, Derek published a discography and here proposes a bigger and amended edition (176pp A4 size). This is what it contains, organised in a clear and logical way: complete discography (singles, EPs, LPs, reissues, CDs, compilations), film/videography, interviews, tributes, Blue Caps, etc. A reliable and impressive work!

(Thanks to Janet Bartlett for translation)

Now Dig This March 2005

.Now Dig This cover

NOW DIG THIS Issue No 264 March 2005

What was the first Gene Vincent CD to be issued in the UK? Whose TV show did he appear on in New York on July 26th 1956? Where and when did he make a private recording of ‘Stand By Me’? Which country issued a 78 mislabelled ‘Bluejean Hop’? For which NDT contributor did he record a personal message in September 1967?

The answers to these – and just about any other query you may have about The Screaming End’s recording career – can be found in Derek Henderson’s ‘Gene Vincent – A Companion’, published to commemorate what would have been the rock n roll legend’s 70th birthday on February 11th. It’s a totally revised and updated version of Henderson’s previous self-published Vincent discographies which first appeared in 1992 (see NDT 110) and 1998 (NDT 181). This time he’s extended the book’s remit to also include several extra sections, such as a GV timeline, a selected bibliography, an A-Z of cross-referenced song titles with writer credits, chart positions, video and DVD releases and a guide for vinyl collectors. A selected Blue Caps discography and timeline are other worthy additions.

But the real meat is to be found in the comprehensive sessionography which lists every GV studio date and the musicians who played on them between 1956 – 1971. Live recordings are dealt with in a similar way and no stone is left unturned in an attempt to be as complete as possible. Locations, dates, backing group members, songs performed – it’s all here. The final entry tells us that at the Warehouse in Anaheim on June 21st 1971, Gene’s set included ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down’, ‘Working On The Railroad’ and ‘Corinne Corinna’ – three songs he never recorded commercially.

Where the author has had access to full session tapes there are listings of false starts, incomplete takes and so on. In the book’s introduction he writes that although rumours of further material continue to do the rounds, he lists only known and substantiated facts. He also tells us that some of the fresh data used stems from record company files and musicians union records that he didn’t have access to before.

The sessionography is followed by a mammoth listing of every GV record and CD issued worldwide since 1956 to the present day. This almost a book in itself, spread across 89 of the 172 pages, featuring singles, EPs, LPs and CDs (with full track listings) country by country, year by year. Various artists collections and bootlegs included. The regular items mix with the weird and wonderful here – though surely there’s none more weird than a UK CD from 2000 on HMV called ‘Easy’ which is part of an Easy Listening series! A Gene Vincent ‘easy listening’ album!?!? With ‘Pink Thunderbird’, ‘Race With The Devil’, Cat Man’, ‘B-I-Bicky-Bi Bo Bo Go’ and similar barn-burners on it!?!? Excuse me while I dry off my leather trousers.

The photographic content could perhaps have been better – there are very few illustrations of the records listed – but this is first and foremost a reference book and in that respect it certainly does the business. To gripe about the lack of photos would be churlish. Most of the images that are featured were taken by the author himself, including a few snapped when Gene was on his telly guesting on ‘Boy Meets Girls’ and ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’. Two really unique photos show Gene singing and introducing Little Richard from the audience at the Bristol (sic) Hippodrome on October 14th 1962. The section headed ‘UK Memorabilia’ includes reproductions of various programmes, ticket stubs and even a Vincent autograph obtained by Henderson after the May 18th 1960 evening show in Brighton through a car window whilst driving alongside on his BSA motorcycle! Hardcore collectors will delight in pouring (sic) over the label shots of various promo releases and other oddities.

No Gene Vincent fan will fail to be impressed by this book. Once again, Derek Henderson has delivered the goods. As I said when reviewing his previous book in 1998, it’s the kind of painstaking labour of love that only a die-hard fan could produce. Long may he continue supplying us with such detailed, well-documented updates.
Oh, and regarding those queries raised at the top of this review, you’ll find the answers on pages 96, 37, 33, 47 and 142.

Trevor Cajiao