- In my lifetime I believe there are two decades when giants walked the earth – the 50s and the 60s. Rolling Stone magazine began publication in 1967, documenting the great Rock journey, but by that time more than a decade had passed since the first rockers made their revolutionary mark. I recorded my first two hit records in 1957; I was seventeen. It was an exciting time for me! The Alan Freed shows, The Brooklyn Fox theatre….
All the energy and different sounds of Rock & Roll from all over the country culminated on that legendary stage. Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran…I’d throw my new Strat over my shoulder, walk out to the front of the stage, take the stance, hit the E chord and then hold on to your ass! What a happening! The audience was wild! I still love taking people on a trip…..many friends, many stories, many events are vivid memories for me.
Most of the songs on this CD I heard first hand night after night and sometimes five times a day at the Brooklyn Paramount or the Apollo Theater.
I toured the Midwest for two weeks with Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens – we jammed in the back of the bus for hours on end. These guys were not only great singers and writers – above all they were great guitar players! Today there is a whole new audience out there which has no idea that early Rock was black and white coming together. In my case, it was black music filtered through my Bronx neighborhood, coming out with an attitude.
- This CD is a labor of love. What a blessing to have the privilege of recording these songs. I wanted to capture the original intent, essence and passion of these first generation Rockers. This is an homage – better yet, a way for me to honor and show my reverence and respect for these artists. I want to give people a glimpse of who Cliff Gallup was; James Burton; and Scotty Moore. Guitar innovators who infused fire into the music of Gene Vincent, Ricky Nelson and Elvis Presley.
Sometimes I get the feeling people look at this era of early Rock as light. It was anything but – most of these guys were street punks from all over the country – playin’ Strats, Telecasters, Gretsches, Martins and Gibsons – kickin’ ass, rockin’ out… I put a collection of my favorite songs and stories together. These Giants of Early Guitar Rock are my Heroes