News & Tours

Press Release: Remembering my friend “GENE PITNEY”

01 Apr 2006

What a sad day Wednesday the 5th of April turned out to be , you never know what tomorrow brings as they say !. My phone rang about 9-00 pm , a mate saying he was sorry to hear the bad news , I said what bad news , Gene Pitney had died ! it took my breathe away , I was in disbelief , I quickly rang Bill Davidson , Gene’s Australian Tour Manager and Promoter and he confirmed my worst fears , Gene Pitney had passed away in his sleep of a heart attack in Cardiff , Wales aged 65 .

I first meet Gene Pitney 10 years ago when I was asked to be his special guest for two nights in Tasmania , which for me was a real thrill , little did I know it was to be the start of a wonderful part of my life , career , and a special friendship with one of the legends of rock’n’roll . I was then asked to do the following tour 18 months later much to my delight , and finished up doing the last 5 Australian tours and August 06 was to be my sixth .

What was he like people ask ? , well he was a wonderful man , very kind , but very shy , however once he got to know you he felt more comfortable with your company , and as you can understand being one of the legends of the entertainment world he was very guarded with his privacy .

I have no illusions about myself , I have been one of the luckiest people in the world to share the stage with this man , many times , and now that he will no longer grace our stages ever again I realize just how precious each memory is , memories that I will keep in my heart forever . His songs will be timeless and it’s only when you saw his show did you realize that every song , not just one or two , every song was a million seller . Another of my highlights was to write and record 2 songs with him , “What a big Surprise” and “Let’s not make the same mistake again”, both were written on tour , I still have a copy of the original lyrics that he wrote down , something that I will treasure .

As a performer he expected nothing but the best you could give , and my job was to have the audience ready for when he appeared on stage , and that was my pleasure , although he didn’t need much as his fans just loved him and when the band started the overture you could feel the excitement , something I never got tired of , the build up was all a performer could ever want .

When I won the award for “Victorian Entertainer of the Year” 06 , one of the first emails I received was from Gene , and I quote , “Hi , What a great honor ! you work hard , are damn good and you deserve it ! Gene” no need to ask me how that makes me feel , and the last week we spoke via email about my new CD of which I was putting “Let’s not make the same mistake again” on , his UK tour was going great and he felt he was working better than ever , on top of the world .

I will miss him greatly but I am all the more richer for knowing him , and as we all say and think , if only one more time I could shake his hand and say thank you . He rekindled my passion for this business and made me reach higher , I only hope he knew how grateful I was for the experience he gave me , and as he would greet me sometimes , he’d say “G’day Blue”, a saying he got from the song G’day G’day , it’s now my turn to say ……… “see ya cobber”

Rodney Vincent (April 06)

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