Revered the world over as the Titan of Twang, 80-year-old guitar legend Duane Eddy rode into London Town to play his ‘strum and drang’ to a sold-out Palladium.
His Stetson hat still intact, the fleet-fingered Eddy chugged out the enduring riffs from his Gretsch guitars to some of the most famous of early rock ‘n’ roll tunes. A rich and majestic a back catalogue as the embroidered suit he donned for the evening.
The many stars in attendance on the night: Jimmy Page, Johnny Walker, Mike Read, Jarvis Cocker, Mark Lamarr, Guy Fletcher and Peter Blake all gawped as the toppy, treble sound of Movin’ ‘n’ Groovin’ powered out over the adoring applause that greeted this living legend’s onstage arrival.
Backed-up by Richard Hawley’s band of precision players, Eddy effectively dropped the coin into his own solid gold jukebox to play a career defining set. Hit after hit found this octogenarian oracle of the guitar rock and rolling back the years with the soundtrack to teenage rampage.
And those hits: Cannonball, The Lonely One, Ramrod, First Love, First Tears, Boss Guitar and Dance With The Guitar Man flowed from the magical, gifted hands of this native New Yorker. He was joined onstage by The Shadows’ Bruce Welch for a knockout Shazam with a silver haired Welch strumming chords as sharp as a lumberjack’s axe chopping winter firewood.
More guests appeared with the glamorous Imelda May bringing her sultry Irish brogue to flutter the hearts of and ears of the congregation on Tennessee Waltz and Rollin’ and Tumblin’. She even lead the audience into singing a round of ‘Happy Birthday’ to Eddy.
However, the commotion created by Richard Hawley joining his band to lead with Eddy on Chuck Berry’s Memphis Tennessee and Keep A Knocking upped the ante which he rounded off with encores of Some Kinda Earthquake and Hard Times.
A legendary and starry night with one of the true greats of the guitar.
Event Date: 23-Oct-2018
Words: Paul Davies Photo: Eric Fairchild