Other Players

Eddie Cochran Rehearsal Space

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Had a great visit this afternoon with the wonderful folk who manage and run the American Legion Hall in Bell Gardens, CA.

This is the hall that Eddie Cochran used as his rehearsal space early in his career when he lived just two blocks from here on Priory Street.

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Although primarily run as a meeting place for the Veterans of the community it is also the home of The Cochran Club.

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Rita, the manager, who very kindly invited me inside to take photos when she saw me outside taking photos told me that the hall was built in the early 1930s and used to be a church hall. The American Legion took it over in 1947 and it hasn't changed much since.

The floor is the original floor.

Eddie trod these very boards...set up his gear on these boards...the end-pin of Guybo's bass sat on these boards...this floor soaked up the vibrations of songs like "Skinny Jim" and "Pink Peg Slacks" and "Twenty Flight Rock".

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The walls are adorned with pictures of musicians who have played here in tributes to Eddie.

By the way, Rita was quick to point out, and apologize for (which was absolutely not necessary) the mess in the hall. They were in the middle of cleaning up from a big party the night before. Their hospitality impressed me even more when I realized that they had invited me in despite being up to their eyeballs trying to get tidied up. Great people

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A plaque honoring Eddie.

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When I left the hall I drove to the nearby community of Buena Park. This is the neighborhood in which Eddie bought a home for his parents late in 1959. Eddie lived in this house with his parents for the last few months of his life.

The house is no longer in the Cochran family, but Eddie's mom lived here until her death in 1994 and Eddie's sister Gloria lived here until she passed away in 1999. Gloria ran Eddie's fan club in the 1950s.

Eddie's room in this house was kept for many years the way he left it when he flew to England in January 1960. His famous 6120 was here all those years until the family loaned it to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

I wonder if the current occupants know they're living in the house of a Rock 'n' Roll legend.

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...and of course I always visit with Eddie for a while when I'm in town.

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On stage at the american legion.

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Amazing to see that mate, I love it when there's details like this to explore. As you say, it's amazing to think that they practised the songs we know and love in that room

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Very Cool post. Thanks for sharing.

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Thanks for this... It's funny that I live about 15 minutes away from Buena Park and that and have never been to any of these. One day...

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On stage at the american legion.

– DIDIER D

This photo of Eddie and Hank Cochran with Don Deal is at a different American Legion. It was taken in 1956 at the El Monte Legion Stadium during the Cliffie Stone "Hometown Jamboree" show. El Monte is in East LA, north east of Eddie's home at the time in Bell Gardens.

Sadly, the Legion Stadium no longer exists as it was torn down in 1975.

On another note, I own an original photo from that gig, bought from the Cochran family and the details of the gig in pencil on the back.

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What a sweet Cochran connection. A great visit, lovely photos.

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This was my favorite picture on the wall. Two of Eddie's bass players...his best friend and first bass player Connie 'Guybo' Smith who played upright bass on all of Eddie's early recordings and toured with him. He switched to electric bass around 1957/58.

And the late Dave Shriver who was bass player for Dick D'Agostin and the Swingers who backed Eddie on the televised 'Town Hall Party' show and then with The Kelly Four who recorded and toured with Eddie in 1959.

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Guybo with Eddie.

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...and Dave with Eddie.

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Here's something else interesting...Eddie took some publicity photos up in Griffith Park in probably 1958/59 and some years ago I found the rock that he sat on.. This was the photo shoot where he was in blue jeans with his .45 Buntline and his 6120.

There's been some erosion to the landscape of course but you can tell it's the same rock.

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And here's the old Ekko Records (Cochran Bros) building at 4949 Hollywood Blvd.

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Here's something else interesting...Eddie took some publicity photos up in Griffith Park in probably 1958/59 and some years ago I found the rock that he sat on.. This was the photo shoot where he was in blue jeans with his .45 Buntline and his 6120.

There's been some erosion to the landscape of course but you can tell it's the same rock.

– Mr. Trouble

thanks for your post. Where is the water now ?

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This was my favorite picture on the wall. Two of Eddie's bass players...his best friend and first bass player Connie 'Guybo' Smith who played upright bass on all of Eddie's early recordings and toured with him. He switched to electric bass around 1957/58.

And the late Dave Shriver who was bass player for Dick D'Agostin and the Swingers who backed Eddie on the televised 'Town Hall Party' show and then with The Kelly Four who recorded and toured with Eddie in 1959.

– NitroG

on the town hall party it's Connie "guybo" smith on precision bass not Dave Shriver

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This photo of Eddie and Hank Cochran with Don Deal is at a different American Legion. It was taken in 1956 at the El Monte Legion Stadium during the Cliffie Stone "Hometown Jamboree" show. El Monte is in East LA, north east of Eddie's home at the time in Bell Gardens.

Sadly, the Legion Stadium no longer exists as it was torn down in 1975.

On another note, I own an original photo from that gig, bought from the Cochran family and the details of the gig in pencil on the back.

– NitroG

sorry, my fault.

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on the town hall party it's Connie "guybo" smith on precision bass not Dave Shriver

– DIDIER D

Yep, you're right Didier it was Guybo

EDIT: The only surviving piece of TV footage of Eddie on 'Town Hall Party' featured Guybo, but other TV show appearances in mid/late 1959 after Guybo left Eddie's band featured Dave on bass.

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Mr Trouble! So good to hear from you.

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Thanks for sharing Greg!


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