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TEDDY BOY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

Crazy Cavan And The Rhythm Rockers led the rockabilly revival of the 1970s. Nearly half a century into their career, we found singer Cavan Grogan and lead guitarist Lyndon Needs still crazy after all these years
Crazy Cavan & The Rhythm Rockers, today; (left to right) Mike Coffey, Cavan Grogan, Terry Walley, Graham Price, Lyndon Needs
PHOTOS BY LYNDON NEEDS

“We were different,” says Lyndon Needs, describing Crazy Cavan And The Rhythm Rockers’ place in the 1970s rock’n’roll scene. “We didn’t think we had any competition because we weren’t doing what the other bands were. Everyone else was playing rock’n’roll standards by Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent. Our attitude all along was we’re gonna play what we’ve written and some of this obscure stuff that we listen to, and if you don’t like it, we don’t give a shit!

“We wanted to play what we liked,” the rocketpowered Welsh guitarist adds. “And thank god, it’s what the audience liked, too!”

There weren’t many teddy boys left by the end of the 1960s, when the ultimate ted band came together to celebrate the rich culture of Britain’s first youth cult.

Cavan and co in the early 70s: “We didn’t think we had any competition because we weren’t doing what the other bands were.”

“Around Newport, in Wales, there were nine or ten of us,” lead singer Cavan Grogan remembers. “But to me, the teddy boys of the 1960s were keeping rock’n’roll alive. You had the mods and rockers, but a lot of the rockers weren’t necessarily into the music. They were into bikes and hanging around cafés but they might have the Kinks written on the back of their jackets. So I thought the people wearing the drapes were wearing them to show that they were rock’n’roll fans. I wanted to write songs about that culture.”

The result was numbers like Teddy Boy Boogie, Wildest Cat In Town, My Little Sister’s Got A Motorbike and Both Wheels Left The Ground that have become enduring standards of the rock’n’roll world, covered by countless bands besides The Rhythm Rockers themselves.

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