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JIMMY PAGE: Influences


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eddie cochran was not only a huge influence on jimmy page but the entire platoon of influential guitar players from britian in the 1960's. paul mccartney got a job in john lennon's skiffle band by knowing the words and chords to 'twentyflight rock'. zeppelin covered cochran's 'something else' and 'c'mon everybody' in concert (and beyond). it has even been suggested that zeppelin borrowed from 'nervous breakdown' for 'communication breakdown', which i find ridiculous and i don't consider myself an apologist. i've added the song at the bottom so you can make your own mind up.

side note: you'll notice that cochran spent alot of time with gene vincent (of the bluecaps and 'be-bop-alula' fame) whose lead guitar player was the influential cliff gallup. cliff was undoubtably a serious influence on page although jeff beck claims him as his #1 influence. since this isn't beck's website, i will add cliff bio info and clips to later postings under this topic.

the bio below is the best and most complete i could find. after sifting through a couple of hundred sources i decided to go with this one even through i was never able to locate the author.

here is a link, though:link

PLEASE NOTE: The following biography appeared on the internet several years ago and has since disappeared. I printed it out at the time, and have painstakingly re-typed it in order to present it here. I am not sure of the source, but in no way do I claim to have written it, although I did do some editing. Some of the information in this biography is unquestionably inaccurate; for example, it speaks of Eddie being in Bell Gardens in 1951. How could this be possible when Eddie's picture appears in both the 1952 & 1953 Albert Lea school yearbooks? Regardless, if you're an Eddie Cochran fan, you'll like this biography!


Part I


Ray Edward Cochran was born in Albert Lea, Minnesota on October 3, 1938 to Frank and Alice Cochran who were originally from Oklahoma City. He had four older brothers and sisters: Gloria, Bill, Bob and Patty. The Great Depression forced the Cochrans to move north to Minnesota. Eddie was the only one in the family really interested in music. At the age of 12, he wanted to join the school band as a drummer but opted for the trombone when he discovered he would have to take piano lessons in order to play the drums!

In 1951, the Cochrans decided to follow the golden trail to California to join Bill that had already moved there after a hitch in the service. Two cars totally packed up, Eddie would not part with his guitar. “For pity’s sake Eddie, with all the other odds and ends we have to carry, that guitar isn’t the prized possession in this household, you know”. “Possession, Mom? This guitar is my best friend!”

In Bell Gardens, California, the new kid on the block focused his attentions on the guitar to compensate for the lack of companionship. In September 1951, he met Conrad “Connie” Smith. Connie shared the same musical interests as Eddie and played the upright bass in the school orchestra. He was also competent on the steel guitar and the mandolin. In late 1953, they formed a trio with another student on lead guitar. They often practiced in a rehearsal room in the back of a local music store (The Bell Garden Music Center) which owner Bert Keither was very interested in Eddie’s music and would later sell him his legendary sunburst Gretsch guitar. The trio started playing at parties, amateur gigs, supermarket openings and other local affairs that would help them gain experience, not to mention a few extra bucks!

The great country picker Chet Atkins was one of Eddie’s favorites and mastering his complex bass-melody picking style with lightning speed helped build Eddie’s incredible dexterity and versatility. Eddie was also very bright and his natural curiosity drove him to research and experiment new sounds and techniques. His mother claims that everything came easily to him, that he was an honor student, and that there wasn’t anything he couldn’t play after hearing it once or twice. All of his associates confirm this last point; Chuck Foreman jammed with him in the early days: “When I met Eddie he couldn’t have been more than 15-16 years old, and we were listening to a lot of jazz in those days. I remember we had old Johnny Smith Royal Roost 78 rpm records; Smith was playing a lot of triads and this really fascinated Eddie. He’d say ‘I wonder how in the hell is he doing that” and in no time at all, he was playing it. Eddie was very aware, very astute, he retained things. He was playing a lot of Chet Atkins, Joe Maphis – he could duplicate all those Maphis high speed licks note-for-note very easily".


In October 1954, Cochran walked into the American Legion Club to watch a semi-pro band called Richard Kay and The Shamrock Valley Boys run through their repertoire of Hillbilly standards. He coyly approached the members of the band between sets and asked to join them on stage for a few numbers. In such informal surroundings this was easily arranged and Eddie struck up a lasting friendship with Bob Bull, the band's rhythm guitarist. Bull Asked Eddie if he was related to a local singer named Hank Cochran who had recently gigged with the band. Eddie had never heard of the other Cochran and Bull suggested that the two should meet as Hank was trying to form a group.

Hank Cochran had come up the hard way which could explain why he had chosen to live his life out of the limelight. By the time he and Eddie met, he had turned professional and was working in clubs. Hank offered Eddie a job as his accompanying guitarist, and in January 1955, Eddie left school for good. He was only four months past his 16th birthday.

Fraternal duos were very popular in the country music field at this time and as they shared the same surname and vaguely looked alike, the two Cochrans decided to pool their talents and go on the road as the Cochran Brothers, with Hank singing and playing rhythm guitar and Eddie on lead guitar and vocal harmony. The group was augmented by an unknown bass player and Billy Watson on guitar and vocals.

The most prestigious event on the coast was Cliffe Stone’s “Hometown Jamboree” which was televised on KLAC every Sunday from the Legion Stadium in El Monte followed closely by “Town Hall Party” in Compton, 25 miles south of Los Angeles. Both shows featured visiting headliners supported by local acts and promising newcomers.

Steve Stebbins arranged an immediate audition with EKKO Records, one of the dozens of tiny independents scattered across Los Angeles. It was owned by Ed Bloodworth and two partners, and its’ ambitions outweighed its’ budget. Unable to sign up big names, it settled for small-time local acts such as the Cochrans, Jess Willard, and Western Swing veterans from the previous decade. EKKO’s A&R man, Charles “Red” Mathews was based in Memphis where the company had its main office, and would make periodic recording trips to California. Assuming a managerial role as best he could, given that he was not locally based, Mathews based his faith in the Cochrans and rehearsed them thoroughly prior to recording.

In May 1955, at Sunset Records in Hollywood, he produced 4 tracks by the duo in the plaintive hillbilly style popularized by Hank Williams and issued two of the titles, “Mr. Fiddle” and “Two Blue Singing Stars” as their debut single. Vocally, Hank is stronger on these recordings and is ably supported by Eddie who also plays some nice country-style guitar.

In the Autumn, Hank and Eddie were booked to appear on the “Big D Jamboree” in Dallas. Broadcast locally on KRLD, the “Big D” ranked alongside Nashville’s “Opry” as a prestigious country music showcase and was held every weekend in the Dallas Sportatorium, a huge corrugated iron building that played host to wrestling contests on weekdays.

Elvis Presley had stormed out of Memphis with an astounding fusion of country, R&B and pop and cut a swathe across the south with a stage act that had a galvanizing effect on audiences. Hank and Eddie arrived in Dallas only days after Elvis had appeared on the “Big D”.

The pandemonium which accompanied Elvis’ personal appearances was a phenomenon in country music and the Cochrans listened in awe as a security told them that he had nearly been torn apart by fans as he attempted to protect Elvis. Hank, who had heard some of Elvis’ sun records on the radio says that “He and Eddie knew right then that this new stuff was about to happen!”

The Cochrans traveled East through Texarkana and on to Memphis where EKKO had a small office on Union Avenue, not far from Sun. The unscheduled trip left the Cochrans virtually penniless forcing Eddie to hock his amplifier to boost their finances; in fact, they were only able to make it back to LA by hitch hiking!

In October, EKKO had issued a second single “Guilty Conscience” which had not fared any better that the first, and with Red Mathews spending most of his time in Memphis, Capehart’s burgeoning entrepreneurial instincts began to come into play. Capehart had an infectious enthusiasm which made for convincing salesmanship.

Compromised by his own limitations as a singer and the fact that the Cochrans were already under contract to EKKO, Capehart concluded that any deal was better than no deal and began casting his net. In November 1955 he drove to the Watts district to confer with a black entrepreneur name John Dolphin who ran a thriving record shop in the heart of the black community. Dolphin was notable for having a DJ named “Huggy Boy” broadcasting from a booth in the record shop window. Dolphin operated two R&B labels from his shop and made his own masters in a small studio housed in the rear of the premises; he could cut a record in the morning, give Huggy Boy an acetate in the evening and having customers asking for pressings the following day.

Capehart pitched Dolphin the idea of cutting some “Hillbilly” sounds and came away with the promise of a one record deal although he had to give away his sons to get it – Dolphins name routinely appeared as the writer of any songs released on his labels. Backed by four black musicians with Hank and Eddie on guitars, Capehart recorded “Rollin and Walkin Stick Boogie” just before Christmas 1955.

In January 1956, the Cochran Brothers went on the road to San Francisco and beyond to Oregon and Washington. KOVR-TV in Stockton, California had recently introduced a television show called “The California Hayride”. The visiting Cochrans were invited to join the resident cast or performers which prompted Hank and Eddie to make the Bay Area their stomping grounds during the early part of 1956 and to take up residence in Napa, California. Thanks to their TV appearances, The Cochrans enjoyed a busier work schedule. On March 10th, 1956, they appeared with Jerry Capehart on “Hollywood Jubilee”.

On April 4th 1956, Capehart and the Cochrans went into Goldstar Studios to make demos for a batch of songs written for American Music. Of the half dozen or so songs recorded, “Pink Peg Slacks” stands out as an early Eddie Cochran tour-de-force. Modeled after Carl Perkins’ Blue Suede Shoes”, it was the first rockabilly song Eddie had recorded and it showed his peculiar mush-mouthed enunciation, mis-timed phrasing and popped consonants. Yet there were definite hints of things to come in the voice and guitar interplay and overall dynamic impulse of the performance.

Eddie began to pick up more session work as his reputation as a versatile guitarist grew among California’s closely-knit country music fraternity.

Capehart had been doubly fortunate in his timing. He was vaguely acquainted with Boris Petroff. In July 1056, Cochran and Capehart were in the studio recording some background music for one of his low budget movies when Petroff asked Eddie if he would be prepared to appear in a film which a friend was directing. “I thought he was joking and asked him to call me” Cochran explained in an interview shortly before his death. The next day he called and asked Eddie to make a demo of a song called “Twenty Flight Rock”. Capehart and Cochran could scarcely believe their luck. Within the space of a few weeks, they were moving in film circles and had a bona fide record deal thrown in for good measure.

Cochran went back into Goldstar Studio with Connie Smith on the bull fiddle and Capehart thumping a soup carton and emerged three hours later with “Twenty Flight Rock” and “Dark Lonely Street”.

Propelled by the magnificent bass work of Connie Smith who had mastered the percussive “slapping” style pioneered by Bill Black on Elvis’ Sun recordings, “Twenty Flight Rock” was essentially a pastiche of early Elvis mannerisms and came to be regarded as a minor classic of the early Rock era, especially in Europe where it was released as a single and sold steadily over a long period. Smith developed a telepathic music rapport with Cochran and went on to play on virtually all of his recordings until late 1958.

Cochran’s cameo part in “Do-Re-Mi” was filmed on August 14, 1956 at the Fox Studios. Jayne Mansfield and Edmund O’Brien are seen watching a television variety show on which an exciting new talent has just been announced. Cochran appears on the screen heavily made up to look like Elvis and sings “Twenty Flight Rock” to rapturous applause. “Do-Re-Mi” was still in the early stages of production and by the time it reached screen six months later, its’ title had changed to “The Girl Can’t Help It” after the song by Little Richard.

Liberty was readying the film version of “Twenty Flight Rock” for release in December 1956, but before the record could be pressed a new priority had developed. Sy Waronker had been trying to purchase the rights to a record on the Colonial label owned by Jack Bentley. The song “Sittin’ in the Balcony” by Johnny Dee was attracting strong regional sales and was shaping up to be a smash. Bentley was being courted by several other labels and eventually placed his master with ABC Paramount. Not to be outdone, Waronker decided to record a cover version of the song for Liberty using Cochran as the proposed artist. Capehart and Cochran were summoned to Liberty’s offices where Waronker gave then Dee’s original and a day to make up their minds about covering it. Capehart remembers that on the ride home, he asked Eddie what he thought of the song. Eddie turned to him and said “Well dad, I think it’s a hit!” When they got back, they called liberty and told them to prepare a session. “Sittin’ in the Balcony” was recorded three days later and took several hours to perfect – a long time in the 50’s!

“Sittin’ in the Balcony” was a perfect teen ballad for the times and in the ensuing chart battle between Dee’s original and Cochran’s more polished facsimile, the rival had a canceling effect on each others sales. Both versions entered the “Hot 100” in March 1957, but while Dee’s faltered at No.38, Cochran’s went all the way to No.18 and might have made the top 10 had there not been another version of the song available. Cochran evidently lacked faith in his singing ability because when the NME asked him to describe his biggest disappointment, he replied “Hearing the playbacks after my first recording session. I cut ‘Sittin’ in the Balcony’ and didn’t like it at all. But it went on to sell a million – and I was the most surprised of all.”

“Sittin’ in the Balcony” established Cochran as one of the most exciting newcomers on the Rock n’ Roll scene and could not have come at a more fortuitous moment since its’ chart progress coincided with the release of both “The Girl Can’t Help It” and “Untamed Youth” on the movie circuits. Suddenly, it seemed that Eddie , unknown at the beginning of the year was everywhere to be seen.

Cochran began the inevitable round of touring. In April, he spent a week at the Mastbaum Theater in Philadelphia on a package show with Al Hibbler, Nappy Brown, George Hamilton IV and Gene Vincent. It was there that he and Vincent met for the first time. In August, Capehart took Eddie on a promotional tour across the Mid-West and on through to the Eastern States. In the 50’s, it was an established practice for artists riding on a hit to make such trips to meet the DJ’s and thank them for their support.

While filming “Untamed Youth”, Eddie befriended Johnny Russell and in the Spring of 1957 they collaborated in writing a handful of songs including Eddie’s follow-up single “One Kiss” and “Sweetie Pie”, a track which recorded at the same time but was shelved until 1960. A hollow facsimile of “Sittin in the Balcony”, “One Kiss” was one of the first pop singles to be packaged in a color picture sleeve – a touch of luxury only accorded to Elvis’ singles. Released in May 1957, it flopped disastrously, failing to even dent the “Top 100”.


Most of Cochran’s sessions took place at the Goldstar Studios at the busy intersection of Santa Monica and Vine. In 1956 it was a very small studio housed in a one story shop and very popular as a demo studio with the pre-rock songwriters of the day. When the hosiery shop next door went out of business, Goldstar expanded by taking over the premises and constructing a larger “A” studio in which an echo chamber was installed that was so deep that the studio’s future reputation would center around it.

Cochran had also recorded another fine rocker titled “Pretty Girl” (co-written with Capehart) which stayed in the can for a couple of months before being released as the B side of his next single. Numerous takes of this number were made in a variety of tempos and shading before it was finally discarded. It eventually surfaced on a variety of European releases during the 60’s.

“Jennie, Jennie, Jennie” was Cochran’s first release of 1958 and came out at a time when competition in the field was more intense than it had been a year earlier. The winter of that year was probably one of the most exciting and most competitive seasons ever for new singles with hundreds being issued every week. It would take more than an honest to goodness rocker such as “Jennie, Jennie, Jennie” to re-establish Cochran although the record did sufficient business to scrape up to No.94 for one week in March. Cochran followed up with “Theresa”, a graceful and melodic rock ballad that traded off Cochran’s ever-so-earnest vocals against a softly cooing girly chorus, but time had been kinder to the B-side, “Pretty Girl”, a savage rocker which picked up where “Jennie, Jennie, Jennie” had left off.

Although Cochran was working steadily doing studio dates and public appearances, he needed a hit record to lift his career. “Theresa” has bombed out.

“Love Again” c/w “Summertime Blues” was rush-released on June 11, 1958 – only one month after the single “Theresa” had bombed. Some of the biggest hits of the 50’s and 60’s started out as B-sides, “Summertime Blues” was another record destined to confound its’ birthright. In any event, it didn’t stay a B-side for long! Most of the trade reviews chose it in preference to “Love Again”, as did DJ’s. Something of a “sleeper”, it entered the “Hot 100” two months after its’ release and eventually peaked at No.8. But it was more than a hit, it was a classic!

After “Summertime Blues” had run its course, Cochran and Capehart turned their thoughts to a follow up. An infectious guitar figure again formed the basis of the new song which was similar to “Summertime Blues” yet different enough to be regarded as a classic in its’ own right. The master was again built up in layers, with lashings of acoustic guitar, a folksy tambourine beat and a few well placed foot stomps to emphasize pauses in the song. In their search for the ultimate commercial denominator, Cochran hedged his bets by recording two slightly different sets of lyrics set to the same backing track. Opinions were canvassed and a decision was made to release “C’mon Everybody” (which made No. 35 in the States and N0.6 in the UK).

“Summertime Blues” and “C’mon Everybody” established Cochran as a durable talent and brought him back into the limelight at a time when the American pop scene was entering a transitory stage.

In December 1958, Eddie went to New York with Sharon Sheeley, now his steady girl. He had been booked to appear at Loews State Theater in a package show promoted by DJ Alan Freed and featuring a dazzling array of chart names

Connie Smith had married and came off the road and Eddie had to put together a semi-permanent band which he named “The Kelley Four”. Members of “The Kelley Four” played on most of his 1959 sessions including “Weekend” and his idiosyncratic version of Ray Charles’ “Hallelujah, I Love Her So” , which had a commercial string line added prior to release. In between, he cut “Something Else”, his most enduring record since “Summertime Blues”. Sharon Sheeley co-wrote the song with Eddie’s brother Bob which reached No.58 on the charts in the summer of 1959 and helped keep Eddie’s name in the limelight.

In April 1959, British TV director Jack Good, whose weekly show “Oh Boy!” had revolutionized television pop in the 50’s, announced that he was seeking to recruit top-line American stars for “Oh Boy!”. He was evidently frustrated by the limited selection of British acts available to him and longed to feature the Real American McCoy. Unfortunately, all of the “hot” American acts were busy cashing in on their home territory to consider a trip to England.

After an 8 month run, “Oh Boy!” was superceded by a new Jack Good TV pop extravaganza called “Boy Meets Girl”. At Good’s behest, the search for American acts continued. Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and Ronnie Hawkins would be available towards the end of 1959 and in October it was confirmed that Vincent had been booked to appear on “Boy Meets Girl” sometime in December.

Gene Vincent presented Jack Good with his greatest challenge yet. Handicapped by a marked limp, a braggy countenance replete with bad teeth and unruly hair, Vincent was the antithesis of the 50’s pop stereotype. As nothing could be done to disguise these imperfections, Good decided to exaggerate them by persuading Vincent to discard his homely woolen sweaters in favor of a creaky leather suit complete with gauntlets and topped off with a large silver medallion.

Vincent’s initial 12 day tour proved so successful that fresh bookings were quickly arranged announcing “The Gene Vincent Show”, an 11 week nationwide tour in which Gene would co-star with Eddie Cochran who was coming to Britain for Jack Good on January 10. Cochran had recently completed a tour of the American Mid-West and managed to squeeze in a recording session at Goldstar Studio on the eve of his visit, which produced three titles: “Cut Across Shorty”, “Cherished Memories” and “Three Steps to Heaven”.

Cochran flew into London on Sunday January 10th, and was given an official reception at the Albert Embankment headquarters of Decca Records on the 11th. While Vincent continued his concert schedule, Cochran was in Manchester rehearsing for two appearances on “Boy Meets Girl” which were transmitted on January 16th and 23rd. Cochran and Vincent played their first show together at the Gaumont, Ipswitch on January 24th before taking a three day break to rehearse with their British backing group, The Wildcats, on loan from Marty Wilde.

Now, the big moment had arrived. “And now … direct from the U.S.A., the recorder of “C’mon Everybody” and “Summertime Blues”, the great EDDIE COCHRAN!!!”

A wall of sound greeted the opening of the curtain and then came the familiar driving opening of “Something Else”. Wearing a white shirt with grey leather jeans, the star was playing a light brown guitar. With the Wildcats providing a driving backing, he rocked through “Something Else”, “Hallelujah”, “Sweet Little Sixteen”, What’d I say”, “Fever” and “C’mon Everybody”.

His Singing was strong, gritty and powerful, just like the records: his guitar playing superb, flowing through his arms into his guitar. His fingers seemed to glide over the instrument. As he sang and played, he was up on his toes, all the while playing the most driving rock imaginable. Throughout his act, there was a pandemonium, screaming and cheering with the audience on their feet from start to finish. An unforgettable tour-de-force by this incredible artist. Peter Jamieson, Manchester Hippodrome, April 1st, 1960.

Cochran and Vincent were seen together on “Boy Meets Girl” on February 20th. The following day at the annual NME Poll winners Concert at the Empire Pool, Wembly. The month closed with a second appearance on “Boy Meets Girl” followed by a series of one week engagements in Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle and Manchester which took them into early April.

“Eddie and I were as close as two guys can get without being queer” Vincent once revealed, adding that the few short weeks spent touring with Cochran were probably the happiest of his life. Not since the heady days of 1957 had he enjoyed such acclaim and the money that went with it. On a personal level, the self-doubt which loomed large in the Vincent psyche was offset by the reassuring presence of Cochran who Gene regarded as his fraternal alter-ego. If Vincent’s pained rough-hewn looks set him apart from the mainstream, Cochran’s stocky, well-scrubbed demeanor symbolized the pop idol of the time; and whereas Vincent was hesitant and fey in his dealing with the media, never uttering more than a few barely audible words, Cochran spoke with a relaxed, eloquent manner which came over well in interviews. He was brighter and more musicianly than Vincent who worked strictly by ear, and was held in high regard not only by Gene, but all musicians who came into contact with him. For his part, Cochran looked on Gene as a drinking buddy whose disregard for the conventional mores of showbiz distinguished him from the dozens of ingratiating showbiz types Cochran normally met in his travels.

The continued success of the tour prompted arrangement of further concerts with an almost indecent haste although allowances had to be made for Cochran’s American commitments; he was scheduled to the States on Sunday, April 17th for recording sessions.

Cochran and Vincent’s work permits had been extended to enable them to play one further week at the Hippodrome in Bristol, beginning April 11. This done, Cochran and Vincent traveled to Bristol and checked into the city’s largest hotel, the Royal. Cochran was experiencing depression and he and Vincent continued to drink heavily. They were joined in Bristol three days later by Sharon Sheeley who seemed unwilling to let Eddie to let him out of her sight for long.

They went through their familiar twice-nightly stage routine, but Cochran seemed to have lost some of his enthusiasm and west-country audiences were treated to perfunctory rather than inspired performances.

When the tour manager delivered the plane tickets to the singer’s hotel room on the last morning of the tour, Cochran ripped open the envelope while sitting in bed and exclaimed – “Take a look at these, boy, real genuine tickets to the USA.”

On the last day, British pop singer Johnny Gentle arrived in Bristol by car to deputize for one of the support acts who was taken ill. He was accompanied by his girlfriend and another couple. Immediately after the curtain fell on the last show, at 10:30 PM on Saturday night, Gentle met Cochran in the corridor outside his dressing room: “The rest of the show were traveling by coach but because I was only standing in for somebody, I had come by car. Eddie knew this and asked me if I was going back to London and could I take him, Gene and Sharon. Sharon was standing next to him and said “please”, but I had a full load and couldn’t take more than two. I really would have driven them otherwise. Eddie said he would take a cab”.

Cochran was booked on the one o’clock flight from Heathrow on Sunday and had originally intended to catch a train to London after the show but abandoned the idea after learning that services from the West Country shut down at night. Instead, a cab was hired for the 100 mile journey.

The Ford Consul which arrived was littered with confetti and the driver, a 19 year old named George Martin, explained that it had been used for a wedding earlier in the day. After packing most of their baggage, Vincent, Cochran, Sheeley and Pat Thompkins left the Grand Hotel at 11 PM. The cab hurtled through the dark Wiltshire night at 70 MPH winding its’ way through a series of small towns. At approximately midnight, they reached the outskirts of Chippenham, a small town 20 miles from Bristol. Passing under the narrow Chippenham railway viaduct, the car had to negotiate a gradual curve in the road leading up to a gentle uphill gradient called Rowden Lane. “The road had recently been re-graveled” explains Hal Carter, who heard the story first hand from Pat Thompkins, “and the driver was racing like a madman to get Eddie back and he had taken a wrong turn and was doubling back on himself to Bristol. When Pat saw the road signs, he said, “You’re going the wrong way, mate, and you should have turned left there somewhere. We’re going back where we came from. So the driver hit the brakes”.

Martin misjudged the curve of the road as the car emerged from the viaduct, lost control and hit the curb on the far side with his brakes locked. The impact spun the car around and it went into a backward skid, bouncing uncontrollably of the curb on both sides of the road, careening crazily for about 150 yards before impacting a concrete lamp standard. The impact snapped the rear left roof support away from the body and badly buckled the left rear panel which bore a perfect imprint of the lamp post. Cochran had been thrown upwards against the roof of the car by the force of the crash then propelled on to the road as the door burst open on contact. Vincent sustained a broken collar bone while Sheeley received back injuries; Martin and Thompkins emerged unscathed.

The injured passengers were rushed to St. Martin’s Hospital in Bath where they were treated by emergency staff. Cochran did not regain consciousness and died of severe brain lacerations at 4 PM Easter Sunday, sixteen hours after the crash. Although his death made headlines in Britain, the news received only minor coverage in the USA.

On Wednesday, April 20th after less than three days in the hospital, Vincent discharged himself with the apparent intention of flying back to Los Angeles with Cochran’s body. He immediately rang his mother in Norfolk, Virginia. Gene said “Eddie and I started together and we’re coming home together”.

Eddie Cochran was buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Cypress, California on Monday April 25, 1960.


summertime blues

thanks, moonmaid for the suggestion!

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You are fabulous, beatbo! I'd like to add a degree or two of separation from Eddie to our Jimmy. Eddie's fiance, Sharon Sheeley was a brilliant songwriter in her own right. She paired with Jackie DeShannon to write such hits as Brenda Lee's Dum Dum and Irma Thomas' Break-A-Way. Jackie dated Jimmy.

Again, beat, great work. I love this forum!

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  • 12 years later...

Yeah, so... I haven't read the whole manifesto yet, but you mention that some people think "communication breakdown" borrows from "nervous breakdown" and I agree, i'ts bull. Although I do feel that "living loving maid" does borrow a little from "nervous breakdown". What do you think?

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