Wild Guitar (1962)

Recently caught Arch Hall Jr. in that amazing piece of ’60s celluloid Wild Guitar. Directed by (and starring) no-budget auteur Ray Dennis Steckler (acting under his common alias Cash Flagg), Wild Guitar details the story of recent LA arrival Bud Eagle (played by Arch Hall Jr.) and his rise to fame as a rockabilly wunderkind. Discovered on a local talent show, Bud gets immediately signed by an agent (played to sleazy perfection by Arch’s real-life father Arch Hall Sr.), resulting in a record deal, a new guitar and a frills-filled penthouse. Bud quickly discovers that his new fame comes with a bitter after-taste, when he uncovers payola schemes, loses his girl and realizes that the people around him aren’t looking out for his best interests. The movie has its dated bits but any of the scenes with Arch and his guitar make for solid retro-tainment (his hair has to be seen to be believed) and the film moves along quickly enough. Recommended for rockabilly nuts and 60s drive-in fans.

Note that Arch Hall Jr. is still alive and kicking. Aside from pursuing a career as a commercial pilot and penning Apsara Jet a novel published by Norton Records, Hall Jr. still performs with the Archers. You can check out his website here.

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