Eddie Cochran awarded blue plaque outside Bristol’s Hippodrome.

Music legends, invited guests and fans joined the filmmaking team behind Don’t Forget Me, the official biography of Eddie Cochran, at Bristol’s Hippodrome for the unveiling of a blue plaque commemorating the place where the pioneering rocker gave his final live performance.

Cochran was only 21 when he played the last show of his 1960 UK tour at the venue with Gene Vincent. While travelling back to Heathrow to catch a flight home to the US, the star was involved in a fatal accident just outside neighbouring Chippenham. Cochran passed away from his injuries on 17 April 1960 at St Martin’s Hospital, Bath.

On 22 May, Georgie Fame – who also appeared on the bill with Cochran that night – was joined by Vincent’s daughter Sherri, and Brit rockers Vince Eager and Darrel Higham, to make the unveiling alongside members of the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation and the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame president Greg Harris.

Eddie Cochran Blue Plaque
The Eddie Cochran blue plaque outside the Bristol Hippodrome

Spot Of Celebration

Harris told Vintage Rock: “Eddie Cochran is so vital to the evolution of rock’n’roll. He left such an incredible body of work and inspired so many artists to become songwriters. I’d like to think that anybody who put a guitar around their neck has been influenced by Eddie.

“I believe the reverence and appreciation for Eddie is greater in the UK than the US. When he played here he was at the top of his game, and then the tragedy happened, so it has become this black moment which continues to bring people together. Clearly people know his songs in the US, but the general populist appeal is not the same. 

“The fact that these blue plaques are given to places of important cultural value reflects just how crucial rock’n’roll is and how significant Eddie Cochran’s contribution to music remains. That it is being recognised here, at the venue where people saw him perform for the final time, is invigorating. There is a memorial where the accident happened and that is a place to remember… this is a spot of celebration.”

Eddie Cochran Three Steps to Heaven Memorial in Chippenham

Iconic Status

Broadcaster and chair of the Blue Plaque Trust, Mike Read, was also in attendance to lead proceedings. The DJ said: “It was while I was at Joe Brown’s house filming a piece for the Eddie Cochran documentary with Joe, Marty Wilde and Bob Harris, that I suggested to Peter Bradley Sr of The Buddy Holly Foundation that a blue plaque in Bristol would offer a fitting tribute to Eddie. The filmmakers agreed, believing that its unveiling would provide a great denouement to the documentary, so that’s why we’re all gathered here today. The front of the Hippodrome is listed so the plaque has been placed on the side wall where people will see it as they queue outside.”

“People forget that he was just a young lad,” Read continued. “What a legacy he has left for someone
who was only 21 years old. When he came off the Hippodrome stage that night he was king of the world and then, suddenly, it was all over. 

“There will never be an old photograph of Eddie Cochran, he will remain forever young and maintain an iconic status. After all these years, it’s incredible that he is still remembered and loved.”

For more on Eddie Cochran and the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame click here

Read More: Top 20 Essential Eddie Cochran Tracks