Breakfast Blend: 20 Flight Rock

I know this song because Billy C. Farlow sang it on the first Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen album, Lost in the Ozone. It’s pretty close to perfect (if you don’t watch the “video” part of this clip).

But 20 Flight Rock is an old rockabilly tune, half written by rock legend Eddie Cochran, who recorded it in 1957. And who died at age 21, so there is that.

I got into the Eddie Cochran catalog because of Commander Cody, and there’s lots there to like. And lots of historical interest, but Cochran’s performances have mostly been superseded by covers. This is the original 20 Flight Rock.

And this is an improbable, to me, cover of the song, performed by Jack White and Conan O’Brien on Conan’s first TNT show after he was paid to leave NBC. I have to say that Conan as rock guitarist and vocalist was incredible to me, until I saw this. Jack White and Conan are plenty weird, and this is plenty good.

Let’s thank Eddie Cochran and Ned Fairchild for this tune. Unless we’re too tired.

4 thoughts on “Breakfast Blend: 20 Flight Rock

  1. Conan’s spread-legged rock stance – A. His solo – F+.

    I’ve always had a mild interest in seeing the baseball GMs, media and players who are musicians and supposed rock ‘n’ rollers, who you always read about. I’ll bet they’re lame as all get-out.

  2. Since we’re doing Eddie Cochran, gotta get Blue Cheer in. Despite being a mild hit in its day – Cousin Brucie used to play it – you never hear it on the radio. Both the MC5 and the Dolls learned a thing or two from Blue Cheer, not to mention Black Sabbath, dare I say it Led Zeppelin, and the metal to come.

  3. Good one Gene. I heard Cousin Brucie play this many times. This cover is considered the first heavy metal song to hit the charts, ahead of Born To Be Wild and In-a-gadda-da-vida by months. Something must have been in the air.

    I don’t think we want to hear Bernie Williams play it. I’ve seen Gammons play, maybe with Susan Tedeschi at a fundraiser, and he’s enthusiastic and not a disgrace at all.

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