The Stray Cats frontman Brian Setzer expressed his admiration for Gene Vincent by showing Goldmine his own personal copy of Bluejean Bop! — an album that Brian claims spent the most time on his turntable while growing up.
Here is what Setzer had to say to Goldmine about Gene Vincent's influence (Q&A by Ken Sharp):
GOLDMINE: Goldmine's a magazine geared towards music collectors. Vinyl is back in a big way. Had I met you and walked into your bedroom back in the ’70s before you made it, in terms of your vinyl collection, what would have been the vinyl album that spent the most time on your turntable?
BRIAN SETZER: I’m looking at it right now because I’ve got the original one, Gene Vincent Bluejean Bop. The first two Gene Vincent records are the staples of the history of my life. You know, some people say some of their music is the soundtrack of their lives. I grew up listening to that. “Honky Tonk Women” is when I graduated high school or something. But for me, it was Gene Vincent. I’m looking at the original LP right there, because my turntable’s broke and I wanna play it. There’s just something about those records. So the first Gene Vincent record, Bluejean Bop. Magic.
GM: Who turned you on to Gene Vincent?
BS: Accidentally. I discovered it accidentally. I heard “Be-Bop-A-Lula” on the jukebox at Max’s Kansas City in 1978. It was on there and it was like this hand came across over the pool table and grabbed me. I ran over there. What is this, the sexiest thing I’ve ever heard?
GM: You paid both Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent a worthy tribute with the Stray Cats song, “Gene and Eddie.”
BS: Oh, yeah, it’s a love song, and then it became a Stray Cats song. Again, I gotta hand it to Slim Jim, who came up with those lyrics. He said, “Why don’t we write a song that mentions all their song titles. It would be a tribute to Gene and Eddie.” It lit me up and I pieced it all together. There it was. I’m waiting for the next one.
Read the Brian Setzer cover story in the December 2021 issue of Goldmine. Get a copy here.