Photo of Vince Taylor

Vince Taylor

Actor, Additional Credits
Died August 28, 1991 (52 years)
Vince Taylor (14 July 1939 – 28 August 1991), born Brian Maurice Holden, was an English rock and roll singer. As the lead singer of Vince Taylor and His Playboys, sometimes Vince Taylor and The Playboys, he was successful primarily in France and other parts of Continental Europe during the late 1950s and early 1960s, afterwards falling into obscurity amidst personal problems and drug abuse. He is best remembered for his 1959 song "Brand New Cadillac", which The Clash covered on their album London Calling. He was among the inspirations for David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust character.

Taylor spent his early life in Isleworth, Middlesex. When he was seven, the Holdens emigrated to America and settled in New Jersey where his father found employment. The family moved to California, where Taylor attended Hollywood High School. As a teenager, Taylor took flying lessons and obtained a pilot's licence. In 1966, his sister Sheila married Joe Barbera, of Hanna-Barbera.

At age 18, impressed by the music of Gene Vincent and Elvis Presley, Taylor began to sing, mostly at amateur gigs. In the summer of 1958, Taylor was in London and went to The 2i's Coffee Bar on Old Compton Street in Soho, where Tommy Steele was playing. There he met drummer Tony Meehan (later of The Shadows) and bass player Tex Makins (born Anthony Paul Makins, 3 July 1940, Wembley, Middlesex). They formed a band called The Playboys. Whilst looking at a packet of Pall Mall cigarettes he noticed the Latin phrase, In hoc signo vinces. He decided on the new stage name of Vince Taylor.

His first singles for Parlophone, "I Like Love" and "Right Behind You Baby", were released in 1958, followed several months later by "Pledgin' My Love" backed with "Brand New Cadillac", (the latter track featuring guitarist Joe Moretti, who later featured on "Shakin' All Over" with Johnny Kidd & The Pirates). Parlophone was not satisfied with the immediate results and severed the recording contract. Taylor moved to Palette Records and recorded "I'll Be Your Hero", backed with "Jet Black Machine", which was released on 19 August 1960.

"Brand New Cadillac" is now recognized as a landmark in the development of British rock and roll. The song became a hit in continental Europe from chart-topping cover versions by The Renegades, Hep Stars and the Shamrocks in Finland, Sweden and France, respectively.

On 23 April 1960 ABC Weekend TV screened the first edition of their new weekly rock and roll TV show, Wham! The first show featured Taylor with Dickie Pride, Billy Fury, Joe Brown, Jess Conrad, Little Tony, and Johnny Kidd & The Pirates.

While Taylor was dynamic on stage, his unpredictable personality led to many arguments within the band, who parted company with him in 1961 and changed their name to The Bobbie Clarke Noise. Under that name they were contracted to play at the Olympia in Paris in July 1961. The top of the bill was Wee Willie Harris. ...

Source: Article "Vince Taylor" from Wikipedia in English, licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0.


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