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about gene

Ohio native Gene Black (born Gene Block) first made a name for himself in Detroit rock clubs and recording studios. While still in his teens, he recorded with Chicago blues legend Luther Allison, at Motown's iconic facility: Hitsville USA.


Gene joined forces with Detroit rocker Marcus Malone after seeing him perform in a club in Toledo Ohio. The Marcus band opened shows for Bob Seger, Iggy Pop, Stories, Meatloaf, The New York Dolls, and many others. After inking a recording deal with United Artists records, the band members relocated to Los Angeles. The project was short-lived and eventually the band broke up. A bit disillusioned with the recording business, Gene went back to playing nightclubs. After several years in the scene he returned to writing and performing original music.


Gene recorded and performed with many well known artists in Los Angeles, including Rosemary Butler (Jackson Browne), Pat Torpey of Mr Big, and the late John Purdell (Foreigner).


In the late 80s Gene partnered with writer Holly Knight and formed a band for Chrysalis records.  "Device" cracked the top ten in several west coast radio markets. The pair also penned several top ten hits including Hearts "Never" and Rod Stewarts "Love Touch". During that time, Gene also recorded extensively with Tina Turner, and was later introduced to Joe Cocker by Tina's manager, Roger Davies.


Gene was a member of the Joe Cocker band from 1997 to 2014. He  toured extensively with Joe throughout Europe, South America, South Africa, The Middle East,  Australia and New Zealand, as well as Canada and  the United States. Gene appears on several of Joe's live recordings as well as the 2005 studio release “Heart and Soul”.

Gene also played guitar in the "Dicktones" band with  Eric Idle in Eric's musical comedy farce "What About Dick?" featuring Eddie Izzard, Russell Brand , Tracey Ullman, Tim Curry and Billy Connelly. The show ran exclusively in Los Angeles at the Orpheum theatre in 2012 and is available on Blue Ray/DVD and Itunes.


The live DVD from Joe Cocker's “2013 Fire it Up” tour was recently certified platinum in Germany and is now available in the US. This was unfortunately Joe's final live recording, and last world tour.



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