Friday, July 3, 2009

ROCK Sex: "Brand New Cadillac" - Vince Taylor > The Clash > Ziggy Stardust

ROCK Sex puts the rubber to the road.


UK Rockabilly rebel Vince Taylor should have been his country's Elvis. Instead he ended up having two powerful impacts on the future.

Firstly he recorded this slamming classic:

VINCE TAYLOR & THE PLAYBOYS -"Brand New Cadillac" (1958)

This was propelled to international status with The Clash's stellar cover on the crucial London Calling album:

THE CLASH -"Brand New Cadillac" (1979)

This led to other great versions in the chain by Brian Setzer, The Kelpies, Os Catalepticos, and Joe Strummer himself.

Taylor was a volatile personality whose charisma onstage was matched by self-destructiveness backstage.

He was poised for another surge of fame in the mid-'60s, including opening for The Rolling Stones, when these both combined for the worst. Binging on acid, speed, and drink, he proclaimed himself a prophet onstage and sermonized the audience about UFOs and Jesus in white robes before abruptly tearing up the stage.

This theatrical meltdown, essentially a live Pop career suicide akin to performance art, had a huge impact on David Bowie, which inspired him to combine the incident with the feral implosion of Iggy Pop and The Stooges (and a sprinkle of Alvin Stardust) to create the breakthrough concept album, Ziggy Stardust.


During the Punk days, Adam Ant came by a gold chain once owned by Vince Taylor and later wrote a song about it.

ADAM ANT -"Vince Taylor" (2013)

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

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