Several years ago my daughter Macy was enthralled with Hamilton. She sang all the songs and studied the back story in depth. She was a bit obsessed. Hamilton inspired her to study history even more and to pursue a field of study that brings history, film and theater arts together in a way that will bring a deeper understanding of life.
I admired her for seeing the value art has to education and not just for entertainment alone.
So I began thinking of other important bits of history that could be brought to life thru the arts. Considering we had just started a theater I wondered if I could write a play.
I looked at many obscure periods of history and learned a lot but nothing jumped out at me. And then it occurred to me that not many people know about where rock and roll comes from. I collected a lot of records in my youth and it was a hobby to connect all the artists genres and music styles.
One over shadowed figure stood out from my recollection of mid 1950's music. I had a couple Gene Vincent records in my collection of vinyl and had always liked him better than Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Johnny Burnett etc... Something about his music was more real and more raw. It's the kind of music that makes you feel like dancing and yelling. It's the origins of Rock and Roll and Punk Rock.
So, I researched the heck out of his story. It's everyone's story. Happiness, joy, love, luck, tragedy, pain, friendship, downfall, torture, redemption and peace.
Once I knew what I wanted to share with people through a drama, it was pretty easy. I could hear the dialogue in my head and typed it as fast as I could. It's a pretty interesting journey with a lot of great music.
The other interesting thing is, I have met the cast of this show over the past couple years as we have put the cafe and theater together. The so very talented Parker Garman is Gene Vincent, looks and sounds like him. Preston Flamont is also a great musician and looks and sounds like Eddie Cochran. Aiden, Gavin, Will and Zack are rock musicians that already look like the Beatles. Before all these talents leave Brighton for college we just have to do this show.
The play is historically accurate, with some dialogue taken directly from recordings and interviews. Other scenes are from first person accounts. Getting the rights to the music and Gene's life story has been a big task.
I hope audiences will enjoy this musical drama about a time in history that shaped the decades to follow.
Opens April 24!