Glossary entry for
Taylor, Vince

Vince Taylor was a rocker in the Elvis Presley mold. Vince Taylor and His Playboys were a late '50s UK rock and roll band who followed the Beatles trail to Hamburg and stayed there. Their song "Brand New Cadillac" is a really wild piece of rockabilly which became a bit of a collector's classic in England.

Apparently Vince Taylor was a model for David Bowie's "Ziggie Stardust" character. This excerpt from a 1997 Bowie interview on WBCN radio gives some details:

Bowie: He was an American who had ambitions to be kind of a Presley-esque character in the late '50s. And he never -- he couldn't make it here, kind of like P.J. Proby who's another one of those kind of Elvis lookalike type guys. And they both came over to Eng---

Bradley: Like Reeves!

Bowie: Like kind of a Reeves thing, yeah. And Proby did very well in Britain. But Vince Taylor also bombed in Britain. So he ended up going to France. Ah, quite mad, mad as a hatter, Vince. And he formed a band over there. One night he walked out onstage dressed as Jesus and said, "I won't be needing this band anymore. In fact, I won't be needing any of you. 'Cause I have places to go, and, and a father to return to." And he became Christ! I met him once in London, and he took me down Oxford Street in London, and opened up maps and put them on the pavement and showed me where all the UFOs were going to be landing shortly. And Vince kind of became a role model for the Ziggy-type character.

Well, Vince Vince unfortunately is no longer with us, he died about seven or eight years ago, he ended up -- this is very unsettling -- there as a maintenance man in Geneva Airport for Swiss Airlines...! Not many people know that, Bradley!

Contributed by Mike Burns

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