In late 2022, the talent buyers at the Bowery Electric booked Robert Gordon to perform on January 18 of this year. Unexpectedly, Gordon died at age 75 on October 18 after years of acute myeloid leukemia. His most recent band members, guitarist Chris Spedding, bassist Tony Garnier, and drummer Anton Fig – all of whom might have been better known in music circles than Gordon himself – used that Bowery Electric booking to perform a tribute concert, Robert Gordon, Never to Be Forgotten.
Gordon performed at the Bowery Electric several times in the past decade. The venue is one block north of where Gordon got his start in New York music at the famed CBGB’s. Gordon briefly sang punk rock in Tuff Darts in the mid-1970s before reinventing himself as a solo artist singing rockabilly standards. Gordon released his 12th and final album, Hellafied, featuring Spedding, on November 25, 2022.
Robert Gordon, Never to Be Forgotten featured local New York musicians and a few out-of-town guests singing the songs that Gordon used to sing. Spedding flew in from the United Kingdom, Jesse Dayton traveled from Texas, and Nicole Atkins came from Tennessee for the tribute. Gordon’s widow and two sisters attended, as well.
The Hipp Pipps, Diane Gentile, and Brian Hurd / Photos by Jini Sachse
Two local bands that embrace a retro rock and roll sound, the Hipp Pipps and the Joey Kelly All Stars, performed opening sets to start the celebration of his life. Guest vocalists and musicians started taking the stage during the latter set before a documentary video about Gordon was then shown. Finally, Delphine Blue emceed the final segment, welcoming Spedding, Garnier, and Fig to the stage and introducing additional guest performers. They lit up the Electric stage to honor the local legend and folksy, bluesy rock performer.
Chris Spedding, Anton Fig, and Tony Garnier / Photos by Jini Sachse
TO FIND MORE PHOTOS FROM THE NIGHT CELEBRATING ROBERT GORDON, VISIT EVERYNIGHT CHARLEY’S BLOG, THE MANHATTAN BEAT!