Weird or bloody what?

On Saturday, April 16, 1960, at about 11.50 p.m., while on tour in the United Kingdom, 21-year-old Cochran died as a result of a traffic accident in a taxi (a Ford Consul, not, as widely reported, a London hackney carriage) traveling through Chippenham, Wiltshire, on the A4. The speeding taxi blew a tire, lost control, and crashed into a lamp post on Rowden Hill, where a plaque now marks the spot. No other car was involved.[9] Cochran, who was seated in the center of the back seat, threw himself over his fiancée Sharon Sheeley, to shield her, and was thrown out of the car when the door flew open. He was taken to St. Martin’s Hospital, Bath, where he died at 4:10 p.m. the following day of severe head injuries.[10] Cochran’s body was flown home and his remains were buried on April 25, 1960, at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Cypress, California.[11]

Songwriter Sharon Sheeley and singer Gene Vincent survived the crash, Vincent sustaining lasting injuries to an already permanently damaged leg that would shorten his career and affect him for the rest of his life. The taxi driver, George Martin, was convicted of dangerous driving, fined £50, disqualified from driving for 15 years, and sentenced to prison for six months (although by some accounts he served no prison sentence).[12] His driving licence was reinstated in 1969. The car and other items from the crash were impounded at the local police station until a coroner’s inquest could be held. David Harman, a police cadet at the station who would later become known as Dave Dee of the band Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, taught himself to play guitar on Cochran’s impounded Gretsch.[13] Earlier in the tour, the same guitar had been carried to the car for Cochran by the 12-year old Mark Feld, later known as Marc Bolan of T. Rex, who would himself die in a car crash in 1977.[14]

It also all happened just around the corner from the bottom of Peter Gabriel’s driveway.

Coincidence, eh?

12 thoughts on “Weird or bloody what?”

  1. not exactly Peter Gabriel’s driveway – he lives *miles* away in Box, albeit not far off the A4. He grew up in Chobham, I think

  2. Bloke in Germany

    There’s surely a major lack of coincidence in several people in the music industry occupying the same spacetime. And pardon me for missing out on the ’60s, when I was a mere oocyte in my mother’s ovary, but who has heard of Dodgy Dave and the Bazzers, or whoever? Did they seminally change the course of rock music, or were they just another bunch of chancers looking to deposit semen in (or on) teen skirt on the back of thankfully brief Z-list fame?

    Methinks the theft of personal property being held as evidence in a potential crime needs investigamating.

  3. Bloke in Germany

    BTW, it’s tit Monday in Germany, just to preempt our esteemed host’s observation.

  4. Coincidence? Yeah, I’d guess so.

    Unless you believe in some manipulative God of Music who thinks nothing of killing people to get a good tune or two.

    Yeah, on balance I prefer the coincidence theory.

  5. What kind of a person hasn’t heard of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich? I wasn’t around then either, but everyone knows the name just for its comedy value.

  6. Surreptitious Evil

    I refer Mr Geoffers to the seminal work on the subject by, of course, Sir Pterry, “Soul Music”.

    It is said that whomsoever the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. In fact, whomsoever the gods wish to destroy, they first hand the equivalent of a stick with a fizzing fuse and Acme Dynamite Company written on the side. It’s more interesting, and doesn’t take so long.

  7. So Much for Subtlety

    David Harman, a police cadet at the station who would later become known as Dave Dee of the band Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, taught himself to play guitar on Cochran’s impounded Gretsch.

    If I could work up any enthusiasm at all for this story, it would be annoyance that this policeman got away with improperly using other people’s property and no one seems to think it is a problem.

    But, meh, YMMV.

  8. Used to be a favourite trivia quiz question, how many people were in the band Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Tich. Not hard but really easy if you knew of them. Musically, well, I have to say all I can remember is “The Legend of Xanadu” and it’s less memorable follow up, the title of which I can’t recall off hand. Did sell a few records though.

  9. As someone once said, the biggest coincidence of all would the total absence of coincidences.

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