Gene Vincent

The Beatles backed Gene Vincent at the Cavern Club in June 1962 before Ringo became their drummer.

The Beatles backed Gene Vincent at the Cavern Club in June 1962 before Ringo became their drummer.

Gene singing Be Bop A Lula that he became known for: It also inspired a young John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Here is a mash up of Paul and John singing the song

Although bands like The Beatles and The Who are ones spoken about when remembering the ’60s “beat” music in the north of Scotland, those who were around at the time, remember the excitement when promoter Bonici booked Gene Vincent whose fans went wild when he appeared on stage…

“Popular legend has it that English producer/parasite Jack Good created Gene Vincent’s “black leather rebel” persona because he was appalled at Gene’s courteous, polite manner.” Don’t Knock the Rock was a 1964 Grampian Television production that featured popular rockers including Gene Vincent, The Animals, and Little Richard.

Gene Vincent made his debut in the UK on 15 Dec 1959 on Jack Good’s “Boy Meets Girl” which replaced “Oh Boy!” that September. Gene toured the UK 1960-’63 though facing tragedy in April ’60 when friend, Eddie Cochran, was killed in an auto accident.  “On 16 April 1960, while on tour in the UK, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, and songwriter Sharon Sheeley were involved in a high-speed traffic accident in a private hire taxi in Chippenham, Wiltshire. Vincent broke his ribs and collarbone and further damaged his weakened leg. Sheeley suffered a broken pelvis. Cochran, who had been thrown from the vehicle, suffered serious brain injuries and died the next day. Vincent returned to the States after the accident.”  “Dundee Caird Hall was the scene of a serious riot, seemingly a Dundee speciality – two years earlier Tommy Steele had been injured when a hysterical crowd invaded the stage.” From: Gene Vincent & Eddie Cochran/John Collis

Vincent Bio:

Rolling Stone magazine called Gene Vincent and his Blue Caps “the first rock ‘n’ roll band in the world.” as they began recording in 1956 and had a successful career performing besides record sales. Gene Vincent  performed several times in Scotland between 1960-’61,  and rocked the Two Red Shoes 9 Nov 61, fifteen months after the dance hall opened.

Here is a correspondence from Albert to the agency [Cana Variety] he worked with to book acts regarding a “teenage riot” during an early tour, perhaps when he performed in Dundee with Eddie Cochran 20 Feb ’60: “the Caird Hall on 20th February 1960. This was the first time these 2 legends of rock ‘n’ roll had toured the UK, and in Eddie’s case it was also to be his last. A couple of months later in April, he died in a car crash in England. The photo of Gene Vincent on stage at the Caird Hall looks as if it was taken by the drummer! The audience in shot look excited, but well-behaved at this point, however, there was a genuine, good old rock ‘n’ roll riot took place during the gig! The crowd also invaded the stage, and as a result, rock ‘n’ roll itself was banned from the Caird Hall for a couple of years!!”



My research began in 2007 as a visitor to the north of Scotland. With a fascination for the beat music era that took place throughout the UK, my research investigates the late '50s through early 1970s. Relying on interviews, the Albert Bonici archives, and other resources, I continue to gather materials to tell the story of a special time in music in the mid 20th century. Scottish promoter, Albert Bonici, brought many of the top beat music acts to Scotland which delighted music lovers during the early days of the beat music era. SCOTBEAT was created to share a bit of history about the BEAT years in Scotland and remembers the contributions of promoter, Albert Bonici, a man with a vision who, with the help of his family and staff, created a happening that is still fondly remembered by those who attended dances and concerts. Besides other local resources and interviews, SCOTBEAT presents exclusive photos, adverts, and documents from the A Bonici Archives [circa 1960s]. Unless otherwise agreed, materials are not to be used for financial gain and ask that you respect the terms below. Materials presented are not to be used for financial gain without consent. © 2014-2019 All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be copied, redistributed, broadcast or published in any form without crediting this blog and/or copyright websites mentioned. All correspondence, flyers, programs, and photos from the Bonici Archives are not to appear in print other than through the propietor of SCOTBEAT. Use of the site signifies your agreement to all of these terms without condition. Please reference when sharing materials found here as the site is continuously updated to present the subject matter accurately and as a historical resource. Thank you.

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Posted in 1960's pop music

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