Eddie Cochran

Eddie Cochran

"I was supposed to see him on the second leg of his tour of Britain, but that was when he was in the accident........That was a great tragedy for rock 'n' roll. He and Holly were the ones who inspired me to play guitar" Lemmy

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Eddie Cochrane was a great rockabilly player whose importance to music is far greater than that suggested by chart success. With just two and a half minutes of music and words he could sum up a teenager's hopes and fears and it was this ability that made him so influential; it was this that led many teenagers to follow in his footsteps and form a group.

Eddie Cochran's musical roots were laid down while he was still at school, forming his first proper group at the age of 15 and striking up a lifelong musical partnership with his bass playing school friend Connie Smith. Cochran was already an accomplished player in the style of Chet Atkins when he formed the Cochran Brothers with Hank Cochran (no relation). Raising his profile by playing gigs resulted in Eddie becoming a sought after session musician and led to his other lifelong musical partnership with his Gretsch 6120 guitar.

Eddie's opportunity to step up into the spotlight came in 1956 courtesy of the film "The Girl Can't Help It". With his recordings making no impact on the charts or the radio he was offered a cameo role in the low budget film. He played "Twenty Flight Rock" in the film and his good looks coupled with his guitar playing and songwriting resulted in interest from major record labels for the first time he signed with Liberty.

His first Liberty single was the atypical ballad "Sittin' in the Balcony" that made the US Top Twenty. It wasn't until the following year that he hit the charts with a real rocker and that was the classic teen anthem "Summertime Blues", making the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. A song that reflected teenage angst, with its lyrics as relevant today as they were then, it has been covered by numerous groups most notably The Who. Another rocker followed in 1959 with "C'mon Everybody", again a timeless classic that has been reinterpreted down the years.

In 1960 Eddie toured the UK extensively and became a firm favorite. After a gig in Bristol his taxi crashed and he was killed he was only 21. Eddie didn't leave a massive number of hits or recordings behind him. What he did leave however was more valuable, he left people understanding the joy of rock, the exuberance he felt when he was performing and he inspired many teenagers to do as he did pick up a guitar and play.

  • While the Sex Pistols' biggest UK chart success was "God Save The Queen" their next two biggest sellers were the Eddie Cochran numbers "C'mon Everybody" and "Something Else".

  • It's rumored that John Wayne had wanted Cochran to appear in the movie, The Alamo.

  • Paul McCartney ended up in John Lennon's band because he knew all the words to the Cochran classic, Twenty Flight Rock.

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