Eddie Cochran


(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

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(Translated by Paul Chandler from my original Italian text)

Eddie Cochran had an even shorter life than his friend Gene Vincent. Born in Oklahoma but raised in Los Angeles, from an early age he played in a hillbilly duo and stood out above all as a guitarist. He cut his first 45 when he was just 18 and a year later his first album Singin' To My Baby (Liberty, May 1957). His fame is linked to three tracks which, for their energy and sonority, are masterpieces of rock and roll, all issued within a few months: Summertime Blues (May 1958), which launched the reverberating sound of the rhythm guitar (with Connie 'Guybo' Smith on electric bass and Earl Palmer on drums), C'mon Everybody (October 1958), on which he sang and played all the parts himself except for bass, and Something Else (June 1959). But he died two years later at 21, without having been able to follow up these anthems of adolescence.

Cochran was like Elvis Presley, both physically and in the way he played guitar, but his sound was tougher and more mature, and he used avantguard tunings for more powerful effects. He was not a hooligan like Vincent, nor a good boy like Presley, but an adolescent like many others on the verge of the '60s.

Eddie Cochran ebbe vita ancora piu` breve del suo amico Gene Vincent. Nato in Oklahoma, ma cresciuto a Los Angeles, fin da giovanissimo suonava hillbilly in duo e si affermo` prima come chitarrista. Incise il primo 45 giri a soli 18 anni e l'anno dopo il primo album, Singin' To My Baby (may 1957 - Liberty, 1957). La sua fama e` legata a tre dei capolavori, per vigore e sonorita`, del rock and roll, pubblicati nel giro di pochi mesi: Summertime Blues (may 1958), che lancio` il sound reboante della chitarra ritmica (Connie 'Guybo' Smith on electric bass and Earl Palmer on drums), C'mon Everybody (october 1958), sul quale canto' e suono` lui stesso tutte le parti (meno il basso), e Something Else (june 1959). Ma mori` due anni dopo, ventunenne, senza aver potuto dare un seguito a questi anthem adolescenziali.

Cochran assomigliava a Elvis Presley, sia fisicamente sia nel modo di suonare la chitarra; ma il suo sound era piu` duro e piu` maturo (applicava anche tecniche avanguardistiche di registrazione per ottenere effetti piu` potenti). Non era un teppista come Vincent, ma neppure un bravo ragazzo come Presley: giusto un adolescente come tanti alle soglie dei '60.

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