It was 62 years ago today (April 16th, 1960) that Eddie Cochran performed his very last show at the Bristol Hippodrome before his untimely death just hours later.
The show was the very last date of the tour that had kicked off at Ipswich Gaumont on January 24th.
This was the culmination of the UK’s first ever rock’n’roll package tour pairing American stars Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent with a cavalcade of homegrown talent.
There was a whole week of shows at Bristol Hippodrome that had started on April 11th – it was the climax to the tour that had criss-crossed the country through the winter and into spring.
Attending that final show was stage and television actor and rock'n'roll fan Peter Bowles who vividly recalls Eddie's final performance;
“When he came on, the stage was in complete darkness. The spotlight came on as the music started, but it was on his bum. He was wearing a pair of tight red leather trousers, never been seen before. I'd never seen that before and it was just on his bottom gyrating. This was wicked, this was sexy, the audience was screaming. The other thing I particularly remember about his performance was at one point he said to the audience, 'I'm gonna do something I've never done before, I've never done this before and I'm gonna do it now, I'm gonna do it for you, I’m a gonna, I’m a gonna.’
And we all thought my god he’s going to drop his trousers!
He didn’t. He actually said…’I’m gonna… smile!’ And we all went raving crazy!”
Tragically Eddie Cochran died at 21 years old in a road traffic accident just hours later.
But the seismic impact he made in those few short weeks provided a blueprint for so much that followed in the sixties.
Eddie Cochran RIP (1938 to 1960).
- Taken from Eddie Cochran: A Fast Moving Beat Show – the Tragic Story of the Final, Fatal UK Tour.