July 16, 2010
Written by Joshua Williams
Photographed by Amy Davidson
Opposite Photo: Gene Summers
In the spirit of full disclosure, I am casually
acquainted with the son of Gene Summers. My fiancée
grew up with him. But that doesn’t matter.
I’m not a PR hack. And if the show sucked,
I‘d probably “forget“ to write
it. But folks, hear me now. There are reasons why
somebody is able to stay in the biz for 50 years.
It starts with a foundation of good songs, then
add to that the dedication of a true professional,
and a commitment to deliver a rocking set. Eventually
they call you legend.
Upon entering the Warsaw, you could almost swear
its 1958. Rockabilly has never died. It has its
recurrent resurgences in popularity, and its always
going on somewhere. There is a definite subculture
of fans who dress in the classic period, obsess
over rare 45’s, and basically live and breathe
all things rockabilly.
One slight problem was with the The
Boarders, a band chosen to be the back up band not
only for Mr. Summers, but for Sun Recording artist
Hayden Thompson. During Mr Thompsons set, they somehow
fell apart. Something technical happened with the
guitarist, which caused the drummer to drop the
beat. What happened I now refer to as the “Folsom
Prison Train Wreck”. If not for the experienced
hand of Mr. Thompson, it would have devolved into
a shit show. However, he held the band together,
and they were able to get it back together.
During Gene Summers set, there were no disasters.
They complemented him nicely. Mr Summers has a presence
that five decades in the biz will get you. He knows
how to entertain a crowd, and did I mention he has
some great songs. If you haven’t heard “School
of Rock and Roll”, go get yourself a copy.
He’s still releasing records today. His newest
is reminisce café. If you’ve ever liked
Rockabilly, you will not be disappointed. If you’re
looking for somewhere to start in exploring the
genre, you couldn’t find a better point of