Off Topic Messages

Gene Pitney has died

Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:31 pm

Just heard that Gene Pitney died this morning in Cardiff.

Apparently found by his tour manager after last night's gig at St David's Hall.

Sad loss


Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:33 pm

R.I.P. Gene Pitney.

And just 24 Hours From Tulsa, too.


That was spooky !

I just posted this, and as I was reading it, a BBC News flash popped up on screen with the same news !

Weird !

Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:56 pm

R.I.P. Gene!!! :cry:


Wed Apr 05, 2006 1:46 pm

R.I.P. Gene! :cry:

Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:04 pm

Here's the article from Yahoo news:

Gene Pitney Dies On Tour In Wales

Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:55 pm

R.I.P. Gene :(

Wed Apr 05, 2006 7:57 pm

Rest in Peace Gene... "Town Without Pity" was sure one of my Favorite Songs... Sad :( Dovey

Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:25 pm

That is so sad- 65 is not that old. Pitney was a terrific singer and one of the best of that early '60s era. He was one of the best Bacharach/David interpreters around along Dionne Warwick. He had a very cutting emotional style, kind of a higher voiced Orbison. "It Hurts to Be in Love", "I'm Gonna Be Strong", "Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa", "Half Heaven-Half Heartache", "Only Love Can Break a Heart", "Every Breath I Take", "I'm Gonna Love My Life Away" all classics.

Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:34 pm

likethebike wrote:That is so sad- 65 is not that old.

Err...... not old at all.

"Dearest, darling, I have to write to say that I won't be home anymore"

He won't now.

Thu Apr 06, 2006 1:02 am

ColinB wrote:
likethebike wrote:That is so sad- 65 is not that old.

Err...... not old at all.

"Dearest, darling, I have to write to say that I won't be home anymore"

He won't now.

As one of the older members on here, I could not have said it better, I was trying to work out where I could go to see him on his tour... not to be sadly, condolances to his family and friends

Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:07 am

I had the pleasure to see Gene Pitney perform at The Royal York Hotel's Imperial Room in Toronto, early '80s.
At the time, he was pitching a new song called "TransCanada Highway".
He sang his great power ballads, backed by a full orchestra, dressed in a white tux jacket ... very elegant show.
He also sang the two hits he wrote for others ... MaryLou and then Rubber Ball.
I believe that even back then he was only working when the spirit moved him... he seemed to enjoy life, touring when he wanted to do so.

A class act who gave us some timeless, beautiful ballads.

Thu Apr 06, 2006 9:23 pm

The Funeral Directors have announced that it will take three to four weeks to make his coffin from oak, but only twenty four hours from balsa.

Apologies for any offence.

RIP Gene, a true talent.


Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:40 pm

yes i was kinda hoping Elvis might have given us a 1 liner about '24 hours from Tulsa' at either the Tulsa or Hartford 76' show but alas NO! :cry:

Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:30 am

I have to admit to being barely familiar with Pitney. I've heard his stuff probably on oldies radio years ago.


Some of his unflattering comments on Elvis have made the rounds recently:
Interview with Gene Pitney by Gary James:


Q - Did you know Elvis?

A - "No. The day he died I was out cutting the grass. I didn't know what had happened during the day. My wife waved to me and said there was a long distance phone call. I came in, and it was Bert Newton who was a very big DJ in Melbourne, Australia. He said, 'Gene, this is Bert'. I said, "Hey, how you doing?, 'cause he does call now and then. He said, 'Gene what did you think of Elvis Presley?'

I said I wasn't that influenced as most people were, and I told him the truth. All of a sudden he says, 'You don't know what happened, do you?' And I said, 'No, I've been out cutting grass for the last 3 hours.' He said, 'Elvis is dead.'

Then, we just talked a little bit more about it. But, he was so surprised that I didn't know him. When Elvis came out with 'Heartbreak Hotel', I had just gotten into my Freshman year of high school. So, by the time I started recording, Elvis was gone. Elvis didn't do tours or anything like that.

Tragically, I think that was the thing that affected his whole life. He was locked away. He didn't partake in the touring, so I never did see him..."

.....Q When you were touring England in the early 60's, did the whole long hair and rock 'n' roll pairing surprise you?

A - "Well, nothing in music surprises me. Everything is so cyclical to me in music. That period of time was almost a ten year cycle from when the 'Heartbreak Hotel' of Presley, which I think was around '54, and you're talking about '64 when The Beatles and Stones came out. Then, to me, everything got lost in the 70's. To me, it was a washout with the heavy metal and disco. There's not that many songs that I can remember that were stand-out things."

Image ... 070537.asp
Dawn Eden (from the NY Daily News) in the National Review:

I asked Pitney why he never recorded anything by another Los Angeles writer popular at the same time as Newman: Jimmy Webb. He responded with a story about another acclaimed artist who never quite caught on with him.

"I give Jimmy Webb all the credit for what he's done and all the success he's had, but it's just like — I remember the day that I was out cutting the grass and someone said Australia was on the telephone. I came in, I huffed and puffed up to the phone, and it was a guy that I knew very well, calling from Melbourne, Australia, and he said, "What did you think of Elvis?"

I thought, what a strange thing for a man to ask, calling me from Australia in the middle of the afternoon. (Piers....?! :lol: )

And I said, "Y'know, I was never really that impressed. I was not a great Elvis fan."

Then all of a sudden he stopped me and he said, "Do you know what's happened?" And I said, "Well, I've been out cutting the grass for about three hours. No, to be honest with you." He said, "Elvis has died."

[Both] Jimmy Webb's songs, and]Elvis as a performer never had the depth of the people that I liked.I like a lot of people who were obscure. [Original Drifters singer] Clyde McPhatter was one of my favorites, just a unique individual, in his own pattern, not following after anyone else...."

Rest in Peace, anyway.
The late Gene Pitney

Wed Apr 12, 2006 2:47 am

Gene's comment about HH being recorded in 1954 provides a good indication of why he didn't think Elvis had much depth as a performer. He probably knew very little about the man!

Still, his comments aren't malicious, so no reason for anyone to get on the guy's case. He made some cracking records and I'm sure will be greatly missed by his fans.

Wed Apr 12, 2006 6:48 am

Not everyone has to be an Elvis fan. I have a Pitney interview in Goldmine that says about the same thing. He seems respectful of Elvis' talent but bewildered by his genius. I have a feeling if Pitney were not backed into a corner by the interviewers he would have been more than happy to keep his views to himself.

Listening to Pitney you can see he comes from a different base. Like Bobby Darin, he was not a rock and roll artist but a traditional pop performer with r&b and rock influences.

Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:26 pm

I agree with both of you. Quite a few performers (some faves of mine) have said some half-cocked things about other performers: the late Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown said some moronically disdainful things about his fellow bluesmen (he saw himself as a multi-genre guy); while I've heard Little Milton mutter a bit about the Elvis hype in a UK blues magazine; John Lennon made his famous "Elvis died when he went into the army" comment; the Sex Pistols rudely seemed to discount Elvis; Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley have also said unkind things, among others.

I do think that some terrific 2nd and third-tier performers often have been lost in the gleam of someone of Elvis' star-power. Some fans in turn have no interest in the great constellation that is the full world of music.

Wed Apr 12, 2006 9:12 pm

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley have also said unkind things, among others.

Chuck has also said some very positive things. Not sure the same can be said for Bo though. He has a habit of rewriting history to prop up his ego.

Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:09 am

Oh, sure, I know Chuck has said some nice things as well. So has Bo.

It seems (from past threads) that some fans of Elvis have a hard time even considering how some other acts felt a bit steamrollered by Elvis, Inc. It's not easy to discuss because one risks having one's fan credential questioned.

It's hard to deny that it's been a tough road for many a talented Black performer, be it R&B, blues, Soul or rock. Inevitably, a partisan then takes that side too far and ends up discounting Elvis as well. It's a complicated thing not given to folks who want a black hat / white hat situation.

Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:32 am

I agree Greg that Elvis' stardom makes it hard for some people to see through and hear the music. A lot of the old timers like Mel Torme' would never agree that Elvis had a good singing voice despite the fact it eclipsed theirs in vocal range and was by most considerations quite beautiful.

Believe it or not I've heard Don Everly get all snobbish about Elvis' music although Brother Phil is a big fan. Don, like Bo Diddley, has always been something of an egotist which can also get in the way of an appreciation of another artist's music.

Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:29 am

Well, you can all excuse those who dismiss or disparage Elvis.........but it sits uneasy with me.

I simply find it difficult to trust anyone who doesn't like him. It's not really an issue of taste or preference any more than breathing is.

No one says,"I really don't enjoy the whole breathing thing. In and and out. So monotonous. Not my cup of tea."

Breathing is so intrinsically good and necessary that the subject of whether it suits a person is reduced to an exercise in assininity.

It's like hearing someone try to rationalize disliking children, or puppies.

It's unnatural. It's unsettling. It's downright spooky.

I always find myself wondering if the moron who just told me he doesn't like Elvis has now gone home to shag a sheep, or pull the wings off of butterflies, or if there was a gerbil up his ass even as we were speaking.

Something is seriously amiss with these imbeciles. :lol:

Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:57 am

Putting it that way, I hear you too! :lol:

My heart tends to sink one someone I otherwise like blurts out " I never got Elvis."

:roll: :evil: :lol:

Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:42 am

I never got Barbra Streisand. I know people that think Shakespeare is overrated. Andrew Sarris wrote that Teresa Wright's work in "Shadow of a Doubt" was better than anything that Marlon Brando did. And on and on. It's natural. A guy like Pitney just doesn't enjoy Elvis' music.

Thu Apr 13, 2006 7:26 am

likethebike wrote:I never got Barbra Streisand. I know people that think Shakespeare is overrated. Andrew Sarris wrote that Teresa Wright's work in "Shadow of a Doubt" was better than anything that Marlon Brando did. And on and on. It's natural. A guy like Pitney just doesn't enjoy Elvis' music.

Dammit Bike........stop analyzing everything and LAUGH once in a while. :lol:

Start out slowly..........unstretched facial tissue has been known to split.

Do this.........tee-hee.

Then, after a day or two.........heh-heh.

On the third try, attempt a genuine HA......but only one. Ha-Ha must be worked up to slowly :wink:

Thu Apr 13, 2006 7:31 am

If he goes all out and tries to laugh and something drastic happens, his blood will be on your hands. I hope you know what you're doing!