Vince Taylor & The Playboys - Jet Black Machine 1958-62
•A lavish presentation of one of rock n rolls most curious of sons Vince Taylor.. re mastered tracks delivered on RED vinyl with free cd
•Feature due in Record Collector and Vintage Rock •Includes the classic hit Brand New Cadillac •British born but American raised Taylor went on to be one of the biggest names on the live scene in France •Liner notes by rock authoress and poet Nina Antonia
In May 1965, Vince Taylor aka the ‘Black Angel of Rock’ attended a party in London, hosted by Bob Dylan. And like the lyrics to his finest song ‘Brand New Cadillac’, Taylor was never coming back. At least his mind wasn’t. Having garnered considerable success in Paris but not financial equilibrium, Taylor had returned to London to collect some money to bail out his band, The Playboys, who were holed up in a French hotel, unable to pay the bill. Vince had promised a speedy return but got waylaid at Dylan’s soiree, where he tried LSD for the first time. Whilst the Isleworth born Taylor hadn’t exactly stormed the UK charts, his frenzied onstage moves lent him a certain cache.
Although Vince’s chain wielding leather clad amalgam of Gene Vincent and Elvis Presley suggested sensual thuggery, Taylor was made of more sensitive material, a peacock with a dandelion quality, known for pulling gigs if he suspected his girlfriend was cheating on him. Listen to Taylor’s debut single ‘Right behind you Baby’ (released in November 1958) which could be construed as the first stalker tune. However, little in Vince’s early repertoire suggests his subsequent lysergic dissipation.
Taylor’s oeuvre was polished high-energy bop, exemplified by covers of ‘Long Tall Sally’ & ‘Blue Jean Bop.’ Even ‘Jet Black Machine’ with its hint of smoulder never strays too far from the right hand path. But all that was to change in the course of an evening’s psychedelic revelries, when he spent the majority of The Playboy’s rescue fund on acid. ‘The Black Angel’ returned to Paris wild-eyed and unkempt, where after announcing himself to be ‘Mateus’ the son of Jesus Christ to his band mates, he burned the rest of the money.
Vinyl Vince was no stranger to controversy, and had been deemed responsible for sparking a series of riots at his French shows so ardent where his performances. Still, a good night’s sleep before a gig at Le Locomotif appeared to have done the trick and Taylor emerged spruced up, back on an even keel and ready to rock once again. ‘Mateus’ was however merely waiting in the wings. At the show Taylor requested a large jug of water and commenced, in his capacity of the son of the son of God, to baptise the crowd, no doubt saving them from ‘The white hot fire from the fiery furnace’ of ‘Whatcha Gonna Do’ but no one could save Vince. Following a spell in a psychiatric institution he drifted back to London where in now a legendary encounter on Tottenham Court Road, he showed David Bowie a map of alien landing sites and became one of the key components of Ziggy Stardust, the Martian messiah; quite a leap from Taylor’s ‘Move Over Tiger’ to Bowie’s ‘Tigers In Vaseline’ on ‘Hang On To Yourself.’
The Clash would also laud Taylor, hailing him as a rock n’ roll trail-blazer and covering ‘Brand New Cadillac.’ For Vince however, the Stardust days were over. He died in Switzerland in 1991. At the time he was working either as an airport cleaner or mechanic depending on reports, but savour ‘Jet Black Machine’; for this is the corner stone of a compelling if tragic mythos.
Side One:1.Right Behind You Baby 2.I Like Love 3.Pledging My Love 4.Brand New Cadillac 5.I’ll Be Your Hero 6.Jet Black Machine 7.What Cha Gonna Do 8.Move Over Tiger 9.Sweet Little Sixteen
Side Two: 1.Love Me 2.C’mon Everybody 3. Twenty Flight Rock 4. So Glad You're Mine 5. Baby Let's Play House 6. Long Tall Sally 7. Lovin' Up A Storm 8. Shakin' All Over 9. Blue Jean Bop