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A Personal Look at Bobby Cochran
When I was young I had to endure being pulled apart emotionally by my family.
On one hand Eddie was a God to many. My dad wanted me to be him. All of
Eddie's friends, that I remember, couldn't help noticing the similarities in
us. Keep in mind, I was only 12 1/2 to 15. My Grandmother only saw me play
three times in her life. Once when I was 12 1/2 at a talent show at school.
I had been playing 2 weeks at that time. The next time, I was 14 in my
living room. I played "Little Lou" one of my favorite Eddie tunes. She and
I both started crying and I couldn't finish the tune. She seemed very
touched by the similarities in Eddie & me. All of the early years after
that, she Accused me of Copying Eddie. She Told people I knew that I was
trying to ride on Eddies coat tails and that I based my whole career on
Eddie. She said "there will never be another Eddie." That's one thing she
was right about.
The next time she saw me, I was 24-ish. I played Royce
Hall with Steppenwolf. After that show, her reaction was very peculiar. She
said something to the effect of "You played a lot of Eddie's licks." It
seemed that she was not comfortable with me. Some people who talked to her
through the years, including my dad, Thought she was afraid I was going to
out shine Eddie. That could never be the case. I was and still am so proud
of what Eddie did. I did what any up and coming young talent does. Listen
and learn from their idols and the people they admire. Especially Family.
I resented not being acknowledged for having the determination to do it on my
own (so to speak). But if it wasn't Eddie,
It wasn't good enough. What do you think it felt like being told what you
like and admire doesn't matter? At that early age, I decided I had to do what
I wanted. I had to live by my standards. As I've said many times, I
wouldn't allow anyone to use Eddie's name in connection with me. I didn't
want that to open the doors for me.
When I was 12 1/2, my dad showed me the first 12 or so open chords on the
guitar (the same ones he showed Eddie). From that point on I was self
taught. Except for the following rare insight into my private past. This
may sound a little weird. When I first started playing guitar, I use to
practice 8 to 12 hours a day. I made a promise to myself to practice hard
every day. I remember waking one night at about 1:00 am. I realised I
hadn't parcticed that day. I got out of bed, got my Gretsch 6120, and
practiced till I fell asleep with the guitar in my hands. I use to pray
that someday I would be as good as Eddie.
Shortly after I started playing, I was visited in a dream by Eddie. Actually it was many times.
These dreams were more vivid than real life!! Anyway, as strange as this may sound, he use
to teach me how to play. I still start crying when I remember these
experiences. This is not something I've shared with many people!!! When I
would awaken I could never remember the details of what he showed me.
However it is clear to me and most people who knew me, that I progressed
unusually fast. I've always been referred to as gifted by lots of people. I
always honored Eddie and felt an uncommon bond with him. In a way I felt he
was passing the torch to me and I was honor bound to carry it with pride and
integrity. I've always tried to do that.
I have often wondered if fans of Eddie think he would have stayed static in
his growth as a musician. I Remember Jerry Capehart saying, after he first
really got to hear me, "it's almost as if you have carried on where Eddie
left off and got to continue where Eddie would have gone musically and as a
guitarist." I don't know how much truth there is to that however I did take
it as a tremendous compliment. Jerry was probably closer to Eddie, during
his career, than any other human being.
Other Friends & associates such as Ronnie Ennis, Dave Shriver, Gene Riggio,
Jimmy Stivers, Sharon Sheeley (depending on her mood), and many, many others
have said the same or similar thing.
During the all the Chippenham weekends, The comments I had Were probably 100
to 1 about how they enjoyed it as opposed to wishing I had stayed closer to
their roots. I usually try to accept their opinion and at the same time hope
to open their acceptance of me as an individual with tastes of my own. If I
only did songs Eddie did or Stayed only in one narrow genre, I'd be bored to
death not true to the growth of my spirit. During the weekend, I wonder how
many times the same song is played with the same arrangement? I try many
times, to do my arrangement of a great song, so I can share some of me with
the audience. I have had many people share how much they enjoyed my approach
to some of the songs becauese it wasn't the same old thing. Hopefully
whenever I perform, I can get to the essence of my spirit, My energy and
aggressive (Cochran) exuberance. One of the things that separated Eddie from
the pack was the hard driving approach he had to Rock & Roll. Thankfully, I
was blessed with that same inherent drive. All my career it has made me
stand out from the pack.
Eddie also brought a sophistication to his guitar work, lacking in many of
his peers. Most guitarists don't display any sophistication, because they
My intention has always been to be me. I have always tried to expand and
broaden the acceptance of Rockabilly, Blues, Country, R&B, Gospel and swing.
In the process I've been blessed to bring some of those styles to millions
of Grateful Dead, Steppenwolf, Flying Burrito Bros, Eddie Cochran, Elvis,
Duane Eddy, Gene Vincent, Chuck berry, Little Richard ,Etc. fans. Maybe none
of them got everything they wanted, But All of them got the best I could
If people want a clone of Eddie, they will have to wait several years till it
can be done. If they Are interested in a Living Breathing Continuation of
the Same Blood line & genetic heritage, in Music, I'm all that's left!
Hopefully, I will continue to discover new plateaus and work hard to do the
very best I am capable of doing. Sometimes that even includes being lost in
a time warp! My own time warp and to each his own!
I wanted to share some of this with the fans, to give some insight into who I
am and what my motivations are.
"Bobby Cochran is a guitarists guitarist, one of the
absolute best that's out there. He deserves more recognition!"
"When I hear Bobby play, it makes me want to turn my own
guitar into a coffee table and just listen to HIM !"
After hearing his CD "Private Edition":
"Bobby is a virtuoso, The best guitarist East of
Former Guitarist with Fleetwood Mac.
A Peek in Bobby's E-Mail Bag
A brief word to thank you for your great show at the Chippenham weekend. It
was a wonderful evening - I especially enjoyed the variety of songs you gave
us, including that stompin' version of "What'd I Say".
I was one of the many fans who had a brief word with you on Rowden
Hill the next morning. I hope your finger injury has healed.
I'm a regular contributor to the monthly mag. "Now Dig This" and a
brief piece about the weekend should appear in the December issue. I also had
the pleasure of playing a couple of tracks from your "Private Edition" CD on
BBC Radio York when I guested on the Dr.Rock Show to do a report on
Chippenham and pay our own tribute to Eddie.
Finally I've pitched the idea of a celebratory weekend based on the
Bristol Hippodrome to Bristol City Council for April 15th-16th 2000 - the
fortieth anniversary of Eddie's last show. If it happens, I hope you can make
it! Thanks again and best wishes,
I don't know if you will read and respond to this, but I couldn't let
another day go by without writing and telling you how MUCH I enjoy
listening to your Private Edition CD and that, IMO, YOU outshone the rest
and stole the show at the Olympiad!!!
Yes, I was in Chippenham for the Eddie Cochran Festival last month. I'm
sure you won't remember me shaking your hand (in the hallway of the Angel
Hotel) as I was leaving to go to the dedication and, by the look on your
face, I don't think you expected to hear "Great show last night" being said
in a NY accent.
Anyway, I'm working on returning to Chippenham for next year's festival.
I hope to make it and see you there, too!
All good things,
More from Bridget
What are my favorite tracks on the cd?
As of yesterday (my preferences change, with my moods), they are (not
necessarily in this order):
Milk Cow Blues
My Blues For Eddie
For The First Time
This Moment Without You ******** Your description of this is PERFECT!!!
I absolutely LOVE it!!!!!! Over all, it's my favorite! I could (and do)
listen to this song over and over again. As strange as this may sound,
this song gets to me in the same way as when I hear Rhapsody In Blue.
Tears well up in my eyes, every hair stands on end and every nerve in my
body is working overtime. It's SOOOO filled with emotion. (Sitting here
with tears running down my face, as I'm listening to it.> It is VERY rare
that a song affects me in this manner but, "This Moment Without You" is at
the top of my list. Between your phenomenal guitar playing and the piano,
I'm a goner! (whew) :-)))
You didn't ask, but, here it is. I listened to part of your CD
at the Denver airport during a layover ... and the rest of it here in Las
Vegas when we got here. Jimmy Greenspoon was hyping me ..."Listen to Bobby's
shit. Nice. Really nice".
My Review: I LOVED IT.
As I knew it would be ...... HIDE AWAY was just great. Really great. You're a genius!!
Damn, you smoked it. I couldn't agree with you more
on your liner notes about Freddy King. Basically a WAY UNDER-SUNG guitar
hero. You don't happen to remember other tunes of his called SEN SAY SHUN
and San Jose, do you? I used to love those as well. I'm so glad you did
HIDE AWAY. All us pickers deserved a chance to hear you play it.
FOR THE FIRST TIME Nice vocal, Bob. Nice tune.
Sounds like a hit to me. Who knows?
HONKY TONK Now didn't you have fun with this one? Way cool, Way fun. Same
lightnin' Bobby. Same old smoke. Only thing better than your arrangement and
licks were your liner notes. Saxophone players and the key of F.
Ain't it the truth? Had me laughing when I read it.
CRUISIN I-40 Great opening teenage Link Ray kinda Riff...... followed by an
even greater descending guitar melody line that is absolutely infectious.
Again: Your melodicness stands tall. Beautifully done .... way hummable
melody on guitar. Cool!
THIS MOMENT WITHOUT YOU This was way different than I've heard you play
before. Nice compression... and you really made use of it. Guitar sounds
like a voice many times. Wonderful.
SHOW ME Right down Eddies alley, as I remember him. The lyrics would have
been cutting edge controversial at the time. Really nice Rick Derringer type
opening riff but being an old basic track man I really enjoyed your rhythm
guitar work. The electric rhythm crunch put together with a sort of "power"
acoustic rhythm (if there is such a thing). Cool. The big fat open chords on
the acoustic gave the electric rhythm guitar a unique texture that it didn't
have on it's own. Also, the entire feel of the open chording would have been
Eddie's thing to the bone. He MAY IN FACT have had a hit with it had he
lived. Maybe you can.
Well, that's it old buddy. Just want to share my genius with you on some of
the stuff that stuck out. Whether you know it or not .... you've always
been a rock icon to me throughout the years. It sure was fun having you
come down to the gig the other night. Thanks for the CD. Makes it more
special that you gave it to me personally. Keep the music going old friend.
Lead guitarist with "3 Dog Night"
I hope you are well, I just like to say how much like your PRIVATE EDITION CD.
You have got your own style of playing just like Eddie did back in the 50's.
I like so much your version of Honky Tonk and the song, FOR THE FIRST TIME.
Back in 92 and 94 I went to the Surf Ballroom to see the Eddie Cochran weekend,it was very
good I was disappointed when you was not playing with the Kelly FOUR.
I told a fruend you did the EDDIE weekend down at CHIPPENHAM, NR BRISTOL/BATH ... we
went down to see you play and we enjoyed so much. You signed my EDDIE LP "MY WAY" and we talked
for a while. It was nice to meet you and I hope they will another time when we
can come and see you play. Take care keep well and hope to see you sometime.
Good to see you last Friday night @ Peavey.
I confess- I've only listened to the first 5 songs on the CD - and number 4
I've listened to 3 times - It's great!
Tonight I'm going to take some time and enjoy the whole project.
Thank you again and as always it was great to see you.
Bucky Barrett is a well respected Nashville guitarist that played
lead guitar for Roy Orbison for many years in addition to being one of the
top Nashville studio guitarists.