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Race with the Devil: Gene Vincent's Life in…

Race with the Devil: Gene Vincent's Life in the Fast Lane

by Susan VanHecke

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A moving biography of one of the great rockers, probably more revered in Europe (especially in the UK) than in his own country. This book pulls no punches in describing Vincent's gradual decline and the terrible pain he went through, although the author is quick to point out that he remained a true professional right to the end, and his voice was never short of immaculate.

Personally, I'd have liked a little more detail all round (250 pages seemed barely sufficient for a career that lasted 15+ years!). However, I was impressed with the wealth of information about his repertoire (songwriters, arrangements, etc.). All in all, a good bio which I think will appeal to casual readers as well as hardcore rock & roll enthusiasts.
  dom61uk | Nov 2, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312262221, Hardcover)

Gene Vincent--most famous for his classic 1950s rendition of "Be-Bop-A-Lula"--is one of the most influential rock and roll artists of all times. Elvis Presley adopted his loose-hipped style, and bands from The Rolling Stones to The Beatles toured Britain with him throughout the fifties and early sixties. Led Zepplin's Robert Plant lauds Vincent as his favorite vocalist of all time, Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck claims Vincent is the reason he played music, and Paul Westerberg of the Replacements calls him "the soul of Rock and Roll." But beyond his undeniable musical importance lay a man with an almost pathological personality whose creative talents and volatile temper never failed--for better or for worse--to touch those around him. Elvis Presley, with his suggestive gyrations, was disturbing to mainstream America in the 50s. Gene Vincent, with his earthy lyrics, moans and pants, and full-on bodily contortions was downright shocking. This is the first biography of this incredible figure in the history of American music.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:52 -0400)

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