You never know what’s going to be a hit. Bruce Springsteen wrote ‘Fire’ for Robert Gordon and played piano on the track in 1978. The seminal rockabilly’s version never took off. However, the Pointer Sisters covered the tune and it hit number two on the pop charts.
“That’s the way it goes sometimes,” Gordon said. “That recording could have been a lot better and maybe that’s why the Pointer Sisters had the hit with that song. But it was a thrill working with Bruce. We became fast friends. I was so flattered that he wrote that great song and gave it to me.”
Gordon, 64, who will perform Friday at the Sellersville Theater, has been a rabid music fan ever since he was a kid growing up in Bethesda, Maryland during the ‘50s.
The charismatic entertainer became an Elvis Presley maniac during the late ‘50s. ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ inspired Gordon to pick up a guitar and play rockabilly. In 1978, Gordon signed to RCA Records, which he dubs the ‘Elvis label.’
The Elvis fascination continues for the stylish singer, who crafted ‘Now or Never,’ a sonic ode to the King, which features guitarist extraordinaire Chris Spedding.
“Chris and I talked about doing this to mark the 30th anniversary of Elvis’ death (in 2007),” Gordon said while calling from his Manhattan apartment.
“It was something that I thought would be fun to do,’ Gordon said. “It was a great deal of fun.”
Gordon and Spedding had the pleasure of recording with the Jordanaires, the vocal group, which backed Elvis during many of his RCA sessions.
“That was just great,” Gordon said. “It was an honor to work with the Jordanaires. It was amazing but it’s not the first time I’ve had the chance to work with such great talent.”
Gordon recorded and toured with late guitar icon Link Wray during the ‘70s. “Link was a sweet guy,” Gordon said. “I loved being in the studio with him but he was impossible to work with live. He was too damn loud.”
The candid Gordon also co-starred in the forgettable 1982 biker movie, ‘The Loveless,’ with a then unknown actor named Willem Dafoe. “I’m not an actor,” Gordon said. “But I did the soundtrack and I had fun with that.”
When asked if he was surprised that Dafoe became a prominent actor a half decade later, Gordon paused and chose his words carefully. “There seemed to be more talented people in the movie (than Dafoe),” Gordon said. “You never know what’s going to happen with someone’s career. Some take off and other don’t. But about him (Dafoe) personally, no comment. This is a funny business. You never know who is going to become a big star. You never know if you have a hit or not. But there’s no business I’d rather be in. I’ve been able to record and play a lot for a long, long time. It’s been a great life.”