Tag Archives: Bruce springsteen

45: “Fire” b/w “If This Is Wrong” by Robert Gordon w/ Link Wray. Private Stock 45203. Recorded in New York City, 1978.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Born in 1947, Robert Gordon spent his Bethesda, Maryland childhood devoted to Elvis Presley, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, and other rock and roll pioneers. The sixties were spent ignoring the British Invasion bands and focusing on soul singers like James Brown and Otis Redding. After his stint in the National Guard, Robert moved to New York City.

By the mid-70’s, Robert was singing in the Tuff Darts, a punk band that, like the Ramones and Johnny Thunders, had a deep love for 50’s rock. Here’s “All For the Love of Rock and Roll.”

Producer Richard Gotterher was impressed with Robert’s voice and invited him to do a solo recording, suggesting that he work with Link Wray. Robert was probably thrilled at the idea of working with an early rock hero like Link.

You don’t know Link Wray? Sure, you do. You’ve heard his music. Listen to this.

Right? One of the most famous rock instrumentals ever.  Jimmy Page is a big fan.

Private Stock Records released Robert Gordon with Link Wray in 1977. It featured some Wray originals and some well-chosen covers, like this faithful take on Billy Lee Riley’s 1958 hit “Red Hot.”

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45: “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” b/w “Baby Please Don’t Go” by Ronnie Spector and the E Street Band. Epic/Cleveland International 8-50374. Recorded in New York City, January, 1977.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Born Veronica Yvette Bennett in New York City, Ronnie Spector was the lead vocalist of The Ronettes, with her sister Estelle and cousin Nedra on backing vocals. They had some massive hits in the 1960’s, including “Walking In the Rain,” “Baby, I Love You” and, of course, “Be My Baby.” That last number is possibly the best known example of producer Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound”, a recording formula that incorporated multiple guitarists playing in unison, full string and horn sections, the unusually reverberant echo chamber of L.A.’s Gold Star Studios, and a band of the best studio musicians in the business—The Wrecking Crew. It all came together to create mono recordings that didn’t lose their grandeur, even when played through the tinny speakers of transistor radios. That sound would have a profound influence on the Beach Boys, The Beatles, and countless others.

Phil Spector was a genius, but a mad one. The Ronettes broke up in 1967 and Ronnie married Phil in 1968. It didn’t take long for his possessive, threatening type of madness to surface.  Continue reading

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