When The Crystals performed this song live, La La Brooks, who sang lead on their hits "Da Doo Ron Ron
" and "Then He Kissed Me
," did the lead vocals. When we spoke with La La in 2013, she explained that Phil Spector was being strongly encouraged to get another Crystals record out when he relocated to California. As La La tells it, the group's manager Joe Scandore sent a thug to Los Angeles to help encourage Spector. What they didn't count on was the producer using a different group to record the single they were asking for.
"The next thing you know we're riding in a car, all of us girls going on a gig, and we hear: 'He's a rebel and he'll never never be any good.'," La La said. "We hear 'He's a Rebel,' but we don't think anything of it. At the end, the DJ said, 'The Crystals, 'He's a Rebel.'' We looked at each other like, 'The Crystals? Where did that come from?' So we were confused."
The Crystals had to learn the song, along with the other Love-sung release "He's Sure the Boy I Love," in time for their next gig. La La did her best to extinguish her Brooklyn accent and match Darlene's voice for the performances.