A Tribute to Eddie Cochran

A Review by Bob Wellington.
Surf Ballroom Lounge, Clear Lake,
Iowa, February 1, 2008

I had never seen an Alan Clark performance before, so I really didn't know what to expect. Man, was I in for a surprise!

Shortly after high noon on that cold February day, things started to heat up as Alan took the stage before a standing room only crowd at the Surf Ballroom Lounge. Guitarist Graham Pugh and his wife Ira completed the band's line-up along with his regulars Alan Wellman (bass) and Alan Page (drums) that performed at the Surf with him last year.

Alan launched his Tribute to Eddie Cochran with a driving version of "C'mon Everybody" followed by one of my personal favorites, "Skinny Jim". Other Cochran favorites were "Summertime Blues", "Sittin' in the Balcony", "Nervous Breakdown" and "Somethin' Else". For variety, Alan included some Buddy Holly, Gene Vincent, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ritchie Valens, Big Bopper and a little Elvis. He dedicated "Chantilly Lace" to the The Bopper's son Jay who, unfortunately, could not be there due to illness. Alan also performed a couple of original compositions which included "I'm You're Rockabilly Man" that had the audience jumping and dancing wherever they could find a space!

It was not planned, but Alan could not resist playing "Peggy Sue" when he spotted Peggy Sue Gerron in the audience. The song was well-received with cheers and a standing ovation. Also in attendance was Rockabilly legend Sonny Burgess.

Incorporating a sometimes humorous rapport with the audience, Alan's high energy performance was well delivered and well received. It is obvious that the music he plays comes from the heart. In summary, it was a jam-packed solid hour and a half performance of Rockabilly and pure Rock n' Roll. Hopefully, we will see him at the Surf again next year.

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