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Eddie Cochran's Bell Gardens
 
American Legion Hall at 7550 Eastern Avenue, Bell Gardens, California

This is the American Legion Hall at 7550 Eastern Avenue, Bell Gardens, California, where Eddie Cochran rehearsed and jammed with Connie 'Guybo' Smith and other local musicians. He met Bob Denton (Bob Bull by his real name) at the Legion in October 1954 and struck up a lifelong friendship. At the corner from the Legion Hall is Priory Street where Eddie lived and spent his creative years. The house is unfortunately demolished and the site, now a parking lot, can be seen when you stand in front of the Legion Hall.

 Interior with the stage at the American Legion Hall at 7550 Eastern Avenue, Bell Gardens, California Eddie Cochran memorial plaque at the American Legion Hall at 7550 Eastern Avenue, Bell Gardens, California 
 Interior of the American Legion Hall with a view on the stage where a.o. Eddie Cochran performed.  Eddie Cochran memorial plaque designed and crafted by Ruben Gerard.  
Interior with the bar at the American Legion Hall at 7550 Eastern Avenue, Bell Gardens, California   Interior at the American Legion Hall at 7550 Eastern Avenue, Bell Gardens, California
Interior with the bar at the American Legion Hall   Interior of the American Legion Hall   
 
 
 

 
 
This is approximately the site where Eddie's house was situated, 5539 Priory Street and where he spent his creative years until October/November 1959. This is now a parking lot.
 

 
Bell Gardens Intermediate High (formerly Bell Gardens Junior High), 5841 Live Oak Street, Bell Gardens, CA
This is Bell Gardens Intermediate High (formerly Bell Gardens Junior High) at 5841 Live Oak Street in Bell Gardens, California, USA. It was in September 1951 that the 12-year old Eddie Cochran was enrolled in Bell Gardens Junior High. Here he met Connie 'Guybo' Smith and the two soon became inseparable constantly jamming together. One early public performance from the pair on Friday, 19 March 1954, is recorded in the Bell Gardens Junior High School newsletter. In June 1954 Eddie graduated from junior high and was already contemplating a full time career in music. The decision was made and in January 1955 Eddie Cochran left school and became a professional musician as one half of the Cochran Brothers. Eddie was just four months past his sixteenth birthday.
Bell gardens Intermediate High  Bell Gardens Intermediate High - street next to school 
Bell Gardens Intermediate High main entrance Across Live Oak Street
 
 
 

 
 

This is the last house and the street Eddie Cochran lived at the time of his death on April 17, 1960. Eddie and his family moved into this house in Buena Park in October or November 1959 coming from Priory Street in Bell Gardens. Eddie still lived with his parents, Frank and Alice Cochran, along with his eldest sister Gloria, her husband Red and son Ed Julson. As Eddie left for his fateful tour of England the evening of January 8, 1960 one can imagine that he would not have spent much time at this house. But as the house in Bell Gardens is demolished and now the site of a parking lot we may be grateful that this is still standing. The interviews with Eddie's mother were all filmed in this house. The house is not in possession of the Cochran family anymore.

 
 

 
 

This house is somewhat of a mystery. Noted Cochran expert and editor of the Cochran Connection magazine, the late Bill Beard, used to have a picture of this house on his website (which is now off-line) stating that the Cochran family lived there in 1952. The house is located at Gage Street in Bell Gardens. We know, as stated by Eddie Cochran's brother Bill, that the Cochran family arrived in Bell Gardens in the first half of 1951. They first lived at Eddie's aunt's house in a trailer in the back of her property and then moved to a little apartment before moving out into a house. I am not sure if the house after the apartment is the house in Priory Street where Eddie spent his creative years or a house before that. The house seen in the video is on Gage street and is probably the house where they lived temporarily in a trailer. I was there with Ruben Gerard of the Cochran Club and checked to see if a trailer would fit at the back of the property and for sure that is possible. 

 
 
 

 
  Star of Eddie Cochran's good friend Ritchie Valens to be found at the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Will we see the day that a star honouring Eddie Cochran will be unveiled?

Ritchie Valens star at Hollywood Boulevard
This is the Capitol Records Building, also known as the Capitol Records Tower located at 1750 Vine Street in Hollywood, Los Angeles. This is an important Eddie Cochran historic site as it is one of the few surviving studios where Eddie Cochran recorded. It was on February 16, 1956 that Eddie recorded an instrumental named 'Rockin' & Flyin'' with Joe Maphis on second guitar. On May 6, 1956 Eddie was back in the Tower for a split session with Wynn Stewart and Skeets MacDonald. It was also in the Tower that Eddie joined Gene Vincent and his Blue Caps for the recordings of 'A Gene Vincent Record Date'. For once Eddie didn't provide his master guitar licks but a stunning bass vocal used to great effect on the classic 'Git It' and other tracks.  

 


 
 
 

This is Eddie Cochran's final resting place at Forest Lawn Cemetery, in Cypress, California. Eddie was laid to rest at Forest Lawn Memorial Park near Buena Park on Monday 25th April at 10am. His parents Alice and Frank Cochran, his brothers and sisters were joined by some 250 mourners for the service lead by the Rev C Sumner Reynolds of the Maywood Methodist Church. Eddie's devastated brothers Bob and Bill sent a wreath of red and white carnations shaped like a guitar. Amongst the mourners was Mrs Concepcion Valens, mother of Eddie's pal Ritchie, who died the year before.

 
   
Entrance of Forest Lawn Cemetery, Cypress, California.  View of Eddie's grave towards the entrance.
   
Eddie's mother, Alice R. Cochran. Eddie's father, Frank R. Cochran.
 
 
 
Contrary to what I mention in the video as Sharon Sheeley's grave being there close to Eddie's, it is really a cenotaph - a memorial marker placed there because of her closeness in life to Eddie. Sharon Sheeley's ashes are in the custody of her sister, Joie.
 
Sharon Sheeley cenotaph 
Sharon Sheeley cenotaph close to Eddie's grave. View from the main road at the cemetery.
Eddie Cochran's grave 
   
HEAVENLY MUSIC FILLED THE AIR
THAT VERY TRAGIC DAY
SOMETHING SEEMED TO BE MISSING THO;
SO I HEARD THE CREATOR SAY;
"WE NEED A MASTER GUITARIST AND SINGER,
I KNOW OF BUT ONE ALONE.
HIS NAME IS EDDIE COCHRAN
I THINK I'LL CALL HIM HOME."

"I KNOW THE FOLKS ON EARTH WON'T MIND,
FOR THEY WILL UNDERSTAND
THAT THE LORD LOVES PERFECTION:
NOW WE'LL HAVE A PERFECT BAND."

SO AS E GO THROUGH LIFE; NOW WE KNOW:
THAT PERFECTION IS OUR GOAL;
AND WE STRIVE FOR THIS.
SO WHEN WE ARE CALLED,
WE'LL FEEL FREE TO GO.