"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
Eddie Cochran : Listen on Real Audio
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.