In 2008 it was my privilege to perform an hour of Ricky Nelson’s hits backed by the man who played on his records…the great James Burton….whom I have been a massive fan of since I was at school….James has backed many big names including Roy Orbison…Jerry Lee Lewis…Bobby Vee…Emmy Lou Harris…etc …etc…and was Elvis’s lead guitarist during the Vegas years…
Since then I have played another 7 concerts with him and enjoyed every second…to play with one of your heroes is good but when he ends up as your mate it is special…he is a great guy and a joy to work with…I can now add my name to all those who have had the opportunity to say “Play it James”
This was the 2008 concert….the other pictures are a selection of concerts over the following years……
Albert is one of the world’s leading guitarists and has backed many stars from The Everly Brothers…to Shakin’ Stevens and Jerry Lee lewis and numerous others…I met him during a show at Fort Perch Rock on Wirral and we talked about guitars (what else)…he was on Radio Merseyside that afternoon and Billy Butler played my song “The Ballad of Randolph Scott” (see YouTube)…which he enjoyed…so I gave him the CD with it on (can’t see Jerry Lee doing it)……what a nice guy and what a guitarist!!!
…I actually rehearsed with him AND James Burton….Johnny B.Goode with these two backing you doesn’t get much better…..rock on!!
I opened the show for Bobby on two occasions….The Floral Pavilion in New Brighton and The North Wales Theatre in Llandudno…he was undoubtedly one of the nicest guys (if not THE nicest) I have ever met….an absolute delight and we hit it off straight away discussing his hits over a coffee and how he was rocketed to fame at the gig Buddy Holly never showed up to after his plane crash….it was a pleasure to have worked with him…..he will be sadly missed.
Chris was on the same show I was on with Bobby Vee….Chris was a good laugh and always seemed to have a beer in his hand….still looks good and went down very well with the ladies in the audience as he sang his hits…a great guy and a pleasure to know.
Scotty was Elvis’s original guitarist on all this wonderful 50s hits and was an inspiration to me and very other budding guitarists at the time…I had the pleasure of interviewing him with radio presenter Monty Lister….he was such a nice man and a true legend.
I have been privileged to have seen Ken perform on many of his shows and he was undoubtedly the funniest man in the world….I met him at my friend Monty Lister’s 80th birthday celebration and had a chat with the great man who is quite serious on a one to one basis….a true gentleman and a sad loss who will never be replaced
I wrote a song back in the day extolling the virtues of the Isle of Man….I decided to send it to Norman as he lived there and to my amazement he rang me up and told me he was interested in recording the song and we had a 20 minute chat about his films….a few years later I met him at a concert he was performing at in Liverpool….a delightful chap and exactly how you would expect him to be.
I wrote a song about Una who is the eternal schoolgirl who everyone loves…I got a deal from a major label but sadly did do much so when I got it back I sent it to Una who amazingly phoned me up and thanked me for the flattery….she sent me this picture….the song is now on YouTube and is entitled “The Ballad of Una Stubbs”….a lovely lady
Johnny was known for his massive 60’s hit “Runnin’ Bear” and he was on the bill of the Bobby Vee shows in New Brighton and Llandudno which I opened on both occasions…he was a quiet gentle guy and we chatted about his long career…a pleasure to have worked with….sadly no longer with us.
This was the guy who WROTE “Hippy Hippy Shake”….the ultimate classic rock and roll song which virtually every group has played and of course was a world wide hit for The Swinging Blue Jeans….Chan made a welcome appearance at one of our weekly jam sessions and was great…has to be one of the nicest blokes in the world…an absolute delight….a legend.
The stepmum and stepsister of Paul….they were a part of Mingard Music,a publishing company I was signed to in the 70s….they moved to America where they still reside and run various companies…we are still in touch and I learned a lot from this dynamic duo which resulted in me forming my own publishing and record company in 1980…great friends and a pleasure to know…check out their website.
With a reputation of being the loose cannon of Rock and Roll I found him to be a really nice chap….he was at one of the James Burton concerts I was part of and I had a chat with him in the green room….he told me he was a carpenter by trade and when he worked in one of the Liverpool clubs I saw him in during the 70’s he actually did a bit of work on the ceiling during the day to make his money up….he was a real good laugh…he told me I looked like Dick Van Dyke…which I have been told since I was 21 !!!….but I forgive him.
Joe and I became friends through a shared admiration of pop star Bobby Vee….he has a radio station in the States called Doowop Radio…..www.doowopradio.com
Like myself he is a bid fan of droop music which he features on his radio programme where he goes under the name of DJ Brad…..we co-wrote a droop song together called “DooWop Days” which can be found on YouTube….this resulted in me writing an album of songs in that style…a labour (or labor as Joe would say) of love.
We mail each other regularly mainly concerning our golf games….great guy.
It was my pleasure and privilege to meet one of our great actors….Radio Merseyside’s Monty Lister and myself interviewed him in Liverpool…we talked about his illustrious career and I mentioned the film “Ice Cold In Alex” and how I’ll always remember him drinking that pint of beer at the end….he took my arm and said “Lager….it was Lager not beer…and the take you saw was the 15th….by which time I was totally pissed”….he was the ultimate gentleman and a delight to have met….sadly no longer with us.
I met Mike through a mutual friend in the 80s…he was a member of the 60s group The Scaffold and is the brother of Paul…. we became good friends and did quite a bit of musical projects together…I met Paul at his wedding reception…….Mike is one of showbiz’s nice guys and a pleasure to know.