Filmed by the BBC in November, 1969 – (I remember it the first time around!) this documentary follows four days of a UK tour by Gene Vincent to promote a new album released here on John Peel’sÂ DandelionÂ label as well as a single from the album – ‘Be Bop A Lula ’69’. Peel had beenÂ long time Gene Vincent fan and the album, which was produced by ex-Byrd Skip Battin, failed to sell.
The film watches Gene struggle to get promoters and TV producers to pay him. Gene was broke – but even so he arrives at a London hotel in a white Rolls Royce!
Gene had been a massive star only ten years before, but now much of that had gone and the film takes you into a very British world of small dance halls on the Isle of Wight, cheap hotels – where he has to tell the woman on the desk that he will be sharing with his roadie, and a rehearsal room in the basement of a pub in Croydon – where the walls are lined with old mattresses!Â Less than eighteen months later Vincent died – because an ulcer burst in his stomach.
Also listen to Ian Dury and The Blockheads tribute – ‘Sweet Gene Vincent’