top of page

Robert Gorden with Chris Spedding - Hellafied

Produced and Mixed by Robert Gordon and Chris Spedding

Vocals - Lead and background - Robert Gordon / Guitars - Chris Spedding / Drums - Anton Fig , Todd Glass , David Vantiegham / Bass Guitar - Tony Garnier and Lasse Sirkko / Keyboard - Chris Spedding

Recorded and Mixed at - The Record Plant , NYC ; The Power Station , NYC ; and FarrebackStudio , Denmark

Many fans and music historians believe that , had he been recording in the 1950's , Robert might have become a rockabilly legend . Instead Robert Gordon kickstarted the worldwide rockabilly revival with his 1977 release , which featured guitar legend Link Wray , " Robert Gordon With Link Wray ".

Robert Gordon: I think there is a lot of stuff still in the can from those two albums with Link. I had multitrack tapes from all of those sessions that got stolen. I had a whole wall full of tapes with outtakes and everything man, and somebody ripped them off. There must be some copies somewhere.

It’s a real shame – there was so much good stuff on there. I’ve still got some reel-to-reel tapes that are good enough to use for one last play before they fall apart, I guess. Maybe someday someone might want to come in and try to do something with them.

It was totally mutual when we parted. Link wanted to do his own thing, and of course I was moving on too. I wanted to get into a more modern sound, and that was why I went with Chris Spedding next.

I loved Link, but he was really locked into a certain time, and although I’ve always done music from that period, I’ve mixed it with all kinds of things, including new music by new writers as well, and it got a little tired for me.

Robert Gordon first gained notoriety as part of the infamous CBGB NYC Bowery band scene as part of the beloved - and hated - " Tuff Darts " band . In 1977 Robert Gordon released " Robert Gordon With Link Wray " and in 1978 came " Fresh Fish Special " . This LP included a throwaway track given to him by friend Bruce Springsteen , " Fire " , and Bruce also played piano on the now-classic track.

Robert often regretted leaving RCA Records . At the time he was listening to other voices offering him bigger and better things that never seemed to materialize . As other bands like the Stray Cats realized fame and glory Robert was disappointingly left behind . Robert oftentimes said that had he stayed with RCA his career might certainly have taken a different path . However , Robert enjoyed his time on the road , and loved performing with his bandmates in the studio , creating tracks that have become timeless and oftentimes classic recordings .

"HELLAFIED " , released in November , 2022 , by Cleopatra Records , is an excellent collection of unreleased studio recordings , tracks meant for a 1998 album release that never materialized . Filled with superb original material and sensational covers , " Hellafied " is a party-ready release done in the unmistakable , and always impressive , Robert Gordon style .

Robert Gordon died of acute myelaid leukemia on October 18 , 2022 . He was 75 years old . Chris Spedding , longtime collaborator , guitarist , and friend , didn't get a chance to say goodbye to his friend and musical partner but , " He did actually tell me the dreaded news - that he had leukemia " .

In the late 1970's Chris Spedding was living in his native England when he took a call from legendary producer , songwriter and record executive Richard Gottehrer . At this time Richard was managing and producing a rockabilly singer named Robert Gordon who was creating enormous buzz on the music scene .

Chris recalls , " He said , " Link Wray and Robert are doing one of your songs on stage , " Wild Wild Women " from your album " Hurt " . We wondered if you'd like to maybe fly over and do a studio date with us , so we can record it and you can partake and sort of show them the ropes".

Chris was excited at the prospects ahead but , a few days later , Richard called again with an even better offer - Robert Gordon and Link Wray were parting ways so there was room for a lead guitarist . Did Chris want the job? " I said yes because then I've got a gig for me there " . Chris Spedding and Robert Gordon would collaborate together over 40 years , on stages big and small , and their mutual love and unequaled respect was unmatched .

" It was always like a pick-up band situation . He'd call up and say, " Are you free for these dates?" So it was never a long , ongoing , joined-at-the-hip type of thing . There was a period of ten years when we didn't work together , and then we decided it would be nice to do it again " .

During the time that the duo spent making " Hellafied " ready for release , with Chris Spedding adding guitar parts from his home studio , " Robert was in full health . He had a few little glitches with his health , but he was not thinking he was going to have a terminal illness" .

Chris Spedding talks about Robert Gordon as singer and collaborator , " He was a great singer . I kind of got spoiled standing next to him , 'cause of the vocal thing and then he'd look to me in time for a guitar solo , and I'd try and play a solo that was worthy of the vocal . We had a very good symbiotic thing going on ".

" We hardly ever rehearsed . He would call out a song or play it for us in the car , going to the gig . He'd say , " Hey , I just heard this song . It's really great . We should do it". We'd all listen to it , then we'd run it at soundcheck and put it into the show ".

Drummer Anton Fig performs on " Hellafied " . He says of Robert Gordon , "He knew what he wanted , and it was very hard to change his mind . Plus , he had a deep understanding of the idiom . He always sang in tune , with great time - and of course that huge voice ".

Robert Gordons unmistakeable baritone will always be fondly remembered . Chris says about " Hellafied " - : " It's a good thing it's coming out and getting a lot of attention . Unfortunately Robert won't be around to take advantage of it , but it's a good last comment from our friend . We've made a really good record".

Disclaimer - For those of you - the Robert Gordan fans and friends who were always there with this incredible talent through the years - for those of you expecting a Rock-A-Billy Boogie set-list - this CD will surely disappoint you - as good as the record is - and it is a very good album - the lack of Robert Gordon - the rebellious singer with the swaggering attitude - is sorely missed here - in fact , many of the songs have a death-knell quality , an eerie premonition of things to come . Considering that these tracks are from an unreleased 1998 album - and worked on in recent years by the masterful Chris Spedding - the lack of rebellion - the good - times , hit the dancefloor , rock and roll that we have always expected from Robert Gordon is sorely missed here - is a very good record. Hopefully we will get some unreleased rock-a-billy from this amazing vocalist and songwriter sometime soon....

Gordon - is sorely missed here -

NOT TO BE MISSED : The Robert Gordon Memorial Show and Chris Spedding solo shows C. Spedding, Tony Garnier & Anton Fig who used to back up Robert Gordon and were to play some dates with him this past summer, are going to play the Robert Gordon Memorial Show in NYC on 18th January 2023. Some guests will sing tribute songs.

Then, Spedding will have some his own show with T. Garnier and A. Fig on the east coast of the US -- Jan. 28, Chris Spedding, Flemington Elks Club, Fleminton, NJ, USA / A. Fig & T. Garnier

23 views0 comments


bottom of page