Essential Records: Gene Vincent and The Blue Caps

Posted by Amoebite, August 8, 2016 03:58pm | Post a Comment

Gene Vincent and The Blue Caps - Amoeba Music

Call it a rough patch, call it a dry spell, call it whatever, but let's just say a while ago the relationship between my guitar and me got a little stale. Now of course I loved that thing dearly but, well, you know how it is: sometimes it just seems like the two of you are stuck in the same old routine. Now the electric guitar is a tricky instrument, there are so many variations, effects, and styles, and it's so overly saturated in the mainstream consciousness that while it can be the most primal and cathartic sounding of instruments, it can also be the most horrendous, self-involved sound known to modern man. At this particular juncture, I just wasn't hearing anything new that was compelling me towards the former sentiment. In an attempt to revive our relationship I pulled out this guitar magazine I had from high school that was all about rockabilly and the late '90s neo-swing revival. In it was a picture I always found striking but was never sure why: five young men all dressed in white, wearing dark, floppy caps. I thought to myself: it's finally time I really dug into Mr. Gene "Be-Bop-A-Lula" Vincent and His Blue Caps. I learned a couple of riffs out of the magazine, all attributed to Gene's original guitarist, Cliff Gallup, then I went to the record store and picked up their second album (thinking it was their first), Gene Vincent and The Blue Caps.

I put the needle on and right out of the gate the band is swaggering and in full swing. My toe's tappin', my hand's snappin' and my hair's getting greasier by the second. Gene finishes his first verse of "Red Bluejeans and a Ponytail" with the order to his band to "Rock!" and the next thing I know Cliff Gallup's guitar struts onto the scene and picks up the lead while someone lets out a banshee wail in the background. Gene comes back into the second verse, singing like he's crooning and panting at the same time, a cross between Dean Martin and that cartoon wolf from the droopy cartoons whose mouth drops to the floor at the sight of the cute redhead, and before I can finish that thought the second verse is ending and Gene calls out, "Rock again!" and Cliff's back with his plunky, shimmering, echo-y tone.

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Happy 88th Birthday Fats Domino!

Posted by Amoebite, February 26, 2016 01:33pm | Post a Comment

Fats Domino

Today marks the 88th birthday of Fats Domino, one of the great living legends of American music. To mark the occasion PBS will be airing a one-hour documentary entitled Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock and Roll. Check your local schedule here.

When we speak of the birth of rock and roll, the names most often cited in popular culture are probably Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley or Carl Perkins, but Fats Domino’s contributions to rock are no less important. Fats Domino was rockin’ on 88 keys before the term "rock" became synonymous with guitars. His name belongs among other great Louisiana piano men such as Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. Fats Domino’s early recordings with Dave Bartholomew and legendary drummer Earl Palmer at Cosimo Matassa’s studio are among the most influential in early rock and roll history and are worthy of all the recognition they receive. He pioneered the sound of early Rhythm and Blues by blending together the sounds of swinging Big Band jazz and Cuban rumba and mambo records.

So Happy Birthday to the great Fats Domino! May your music live on for generations to come and continue to bring joy to the many souls who hear it.

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The Art Of The LP Cover- Guitar Power!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, March 11, 2013 11:20am | Post a Comment

The Art Of The LP Cover- Smokers

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, September 23, 2012 02:05pm | Post a Comment

It's truly amazing how many smoking themed covers there are out there!
Click here to browse some of my other smokey galleries.

100 Famous Rock Guitar Riffs Offers Concise History of Rock N' Roll

Posted by Billyjam, July 17, 2012 10:00am | Post a Comment

Rock music has way too many incredibly memorable guitar riffs to limit a best of list to just one hundred, but the 100 riffs that guitarist Alex Chadwick of The Chicago Music Exchange came up with for the above video performance ain't half bad, and it is a nice informal overview of the history of rock n' roll. Sure it's a subjective selection that includes a lot of mega hits of the genre, and no doubt every rock fan could come up with their own unique list of a hundred best guitar riffs. But I like what Alex has done: from his playing to his choices of riffs, and from how he segues from song to song, to how he plays it on his 1958 Fender Strat all in chronological order. Below is that list of songs and artists in order with the artist names that are blue highlighted linking back to the Amoeba Online Store. where you can find their respective music (CDs, LPs, DVDs) including (in near all cases) the song played by Alex.


1 "Mr. Sandman"  Chet Atkins
2 "Folsom Prison Blues" Johnny Cash
3 "Words of Love"  Buddy Holly
4 "Johnny B Goode"  Chuck Berry
5 "Rumble"  Link Wray

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