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The Rockin' Vickers

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Biography

A competently energetic but relatively faceless British mid-'60s band, the Rockin' Vickers are mostly remembered today because the guitarist for the bulk of their recording career was Ian Willis, who would eventually gain international fame as Lemmy with Hawkwind and Motörhead. The Blackpool band were still Lemmy-less when they made their debut in 1964 with a supremely raunchy version of Neil Sedaka's "I Go Ape," which was anthologized in the '70s on Hard-Up Heroes, the British equivalent of Nuggets. They'd only record three other singles, all of which had Lemmy aboard on guitar. Although capable of generating respectably raunchy, modish heat, they had nothing in the way of original material. Their third single, interestingly, was a version of a Pete Townshend song called "It's Alright," which sounds like a prototype for the much superior "The Kids Are Alright" (although, puzzlingly, the Who had already released "The Kids Are Alright" by the time the Rockin' Vickers' "It's Alright" appeared in March 1966). Who producer Shel Talmy liked the band and produced their final 45, a cover of the Kinks' "Dandy," which actually made number 93 in the States (where it was far outpaced by Herman's Hermits' version) before the Vickers split in 1967. ~ Richie Unterberger

Formed:

1962

Genre
Years Active:

'60s

Contemporaries