Official Showaddywaddy Web Site

Dave Bartram Q&A - 11th August 2006

First few again from myself:
1) You mentioned in an old TV interview that New Faces was a fix? Was this really true and what did the band think about this at the time? Did you awkward about it?
We knew that Tom Waite was going to win as he was already on the schedule for the winners slot on Sunday Night at the London Palladium. Our manager actually told us that we were going to come 2nd. We obviously weren't particularly happy about it, but it was a good introduction to the workings of our weird & wonderful industry! [See footnote 1]

2) Would you go on a reality TV show if asked, eg “I’m A Celebrity….Get Me Out Of Here!”
Yes, why not? I'm a Celebrity would suit me well, as I'm a bit of a country bumpkin at heart! Think I might be out of place on something like Love Island though!

3) Are you a lager or bitter drinker? Which is your favourite tipple?
Bitter, though only real ale! My favourite is Youngs Special. Though I've been enjoying Magners Cider through the warm summer days.

4) Have you ever been refused permission to cover another artist’s song?
No. All artists and writers are more than happy to see covers of their songs!

5) Which has been the band’s favourite gig in the last couple of years?
We did a magical gig at Lincoln Castle a couple of years ago, where the band performed out of our skins! I'm pleased to say we're doing it again on August 26th this year. We also had a great gig last week at the Cowes Festival.

6) What do you remember about having to postpone a gig at Oldham Civic Centre in March 1979 due to snow – it was reported it took you 8 hours to travel from Leicester to Oldham!
I remember it well! The traffic conditions were horrendous. It actually took 13 hours to get there, which I remember was around midnight. That was the longest car journey of our careers!

7) I was lucky enough to be at a gig a couple of years ago where you gave "Lookin' Back" a rare outing - will you be giving any other album tracks/b-sides any run outs in the near future? Also, the Rock 'n' Roll Lady/Sweet Music/Blue Moon etc medley was one of my favourites of recent times!
We are planning to include 4 or 5 songs from the new album in the near future! As for any B sides, probably not, as a lot of the audience would not be familiar with them!

8) What are your memories of appearing on Top Of The Pops? Did you meet and get on with artists from other ‘types’ of bands, eg Paul Weller from The Jam, Joe Strummer (Clash), Pete Shelley (Buzzcocks), Feargal Sharkey (Undertones)
We met the Clash, who were really quite normal guys who seemed a little intimidated by us (I'm not sure they were comfortable with our sense of humour!) I met Paul Weller who was a decent bloke! We've rubbed shoulders with loads of 'legends' like Elton John, Sting and even Bing Crosby & Fred Astaire!

9) What do you think about old episodes being destroyed, especially the early ones including “Hey Rock And Roll”. Does any of the band or old management have old (no longer existing) episodes?
I don't think we have any recordings of those early TOTP shows. I think it's crazy that they would wish to destroy what is a part of Rock & Roll history.

10) Top Of The Pops was a bit of an institution in its time but went downhill in the last 10/15 years. Are you sad to see its demise?
Had they not switched it from it's original Thursday night slot I think it may have survived! I suppose it is a little sad, but there is plenty of music television these days. However nothing really for the masses, which is what TOTP was all about.

11) Now that a couple of months have passed since the disappointment with Demon over the release of the album, what are your thoughts now you have had time to reflect on it? The fans were all pretty angry with how Demon treated the band.
Demon got their marketing strategy completely wrong! If they had really got behind Hey England I'm sure it would have charted, then they could have marketed the album on the back of it! No retailers could possibly have refused to stock it then! It is still a bitter pill to swallow!

From James Goldman of Bristol
12) Does the band earn money from other sources other than gigs and record sales, eg by sponsorship?
We have had the odd sponsor in the past, but they're not easy to come by! We get some advertising revenue and obviously publishing royalties.

13) What would you put into “Room 101”?
Interesting one: I would put in Music Snobs - people who boast about things that they think they should be listening to, rather than what they actually really like. The whole music spectrum is so broad that we can enjoy whatever our ears find pleasing!
Package Holidays - Obviously travelling a lot over the years I find it difficult to understand why flying scheduled should be so different to a package flight? The passengers are treated like cattle, with huge queues and staff who seem to look down on their customers! Never enough check-in desks etc. etc! There is a completely different atmosphere when you take a scheduled flight! George Michael - I just don't like his music at all. It is insipid, his songs go nowhere! He is so up himself!

14) What role did Newton Wills have in the band? I seem to remember he might have been your tour manager in the 70s and 80s
Newton was only employed on odd occasions to help with promotion. He was never a tour manager.

From Mark Unsworth
15) Who were the uncredited session saxophone players, songs such as’ ‘When’, ‘Shake’ and ‘Sea Cruise’? The saxophone backing is absolutely brilliant.
The main man was Sax player Jeff Daly, who was a great player and a good lad too! "Shake" was recorded in Miami, we asked around for a brass section and 3 guys showed up who were totally amazing. I can't remember their names, but a couple of them had played with the famed Muscle Shoals section! [See footnote 2]

From Andrea Green
16) Why are CDs not available to buy at gigs?
When theatres have in house merchandising facilities we always try to make CD's available. The problem with doing it at all venues is that we would have to provide and pay someone to do it for us, and more often than not the cost outweighs the revenue we take.

From Scott Stimson in London
17) Were Showaddywaddy asked to do the Les Gray tribute night in London a few years ago.
We were asked to do the tribute to Les, but it was arranged at short notice to be during our band holiday period, and most of us had already booked to go away. We tried to make up for it a little by recording Tiger Feet as a tribute to Les.

18) Have the band ever been approached to do one of the "An Audience With….." shows.
Afraid not! It would be great to do something like that!

19) What motivates you or inspires you to write song?
It depends on what mood you're in! If you're in a happy frame of mind you write something upbeat, if you're sad then something a little more emotive. If you're angry about something (I'm furious about the Bush/Blair warmongering right now) then something much tougher!

From Nick Oliver
20) One of my favourite SWW tracks, and one of the most under-rated in my opinion, is 'I Don't Want to Dream Anymore' from the 'Living Legends' album. Can you tell me more about this - i.e. who wrote it, who plays piano, and your feelings about this track, whether you think it was 'single' material etc.
This was one of Trev's songs. I played piano on it. Like a lot of our slow songs it was never considered as single material.

21) The latest SWW album sees the band doing songs from the 70s. Just supposing - and I know it's probably unlikely - that SWW were to do an album of 80s songs, are there any songs from this era you'd particularly like to do?
It would be much more difficult to cover songs from the 80's in our style. Though I'm sure there would be some Crowded House or Springsteen songs in there! It was an uninspired period for rock & roll, but saw the beginning of the brilliant U2 to spark it to life!

22) Finally, is there any news on a DVD release?
Afraid not! I spoke with Demon about a 'bonus' DVD to go with I Love Rock & Roll but that was another idea that didn't see the light of day!

From Ferne Dunne of Scotland
23) Have the guys got a problem with Scotland? They haven’t been here for ages! Please can the guys please come and see us - on the east coast of Scotland preferably - Edinburgh or the surrounding area, we could do with some reminiscing.
Nothing wrong with Scotland, great place! I can tell you that we'll be coming up for a gig in Glasgow on April 10th 2007, details to be announced any time now!

From Beverley Ann of Southport
24) What was the first record you ever bought?
It was 'Like I Never Been Gone' by Billy Fury.

25) When did you learn to play guitar? Are you self taught?
I started at the age of 10, and yes taught myself!

From Emma Johansson from Östersund, Sweden
26) Just got the newest album, and saw that you guys were thinking of recording "Witchqueen From New Orleans", but instead you recorded "Let's Work Together" - why didn't you record them both?
We chose around 25 songs for the album, but wound up recording the songs ourselves and Demon were most enthusiastic about. We thought giving Let's Work Together the Witch Queen treatment really suited the song and got away from the Canned Heat version (which was awesome) to make it more of a Waddy song!

27) A lot of bands from the ‘70s still play live tours here in Sweden, do you guys ever do that? It would be so great to see you live!
I was talking to a promoter a few months ago about some Swedish dates, but his offer was not to our liking!

28) Even though I'm from Sweden I love your World Cup song "Hey England!". Do you know what Malcolm, Buddy and Russ thought about the fact that you changed the lyrics in it, with the original credited to them too (even though we know it was actually written by yourself and Trevor).
The 5 original members in the band own the rights to the song, so it was purely our decision to do the rewrite! After an unnecessary court case a few years ago we no longer keep in touch!

From Peter Eames of Cardiff
29) I am still not happy with Demon over the way they treated the band when “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” came out. Would Showaddywaddy consider another record company to sign with so that all future albums and DVDs get the best treatment?
I have to be a little careful here, as we still have an album out and ongoing projects with Demon! They are well aware that we are not happy with their handling of the new album, or their reluctance to release the Hey England as a single!

From Colin Croucher
30) The new album is great! Love ‘Old Habits….’. Why did the band give special thanks to Jonathan Ross on the sleeve notes?
Jonathan Ross wanted the first play on National Radio of Hey England, which we thought was great. He also genuinely seems to like the band. The credit was because he helped get the ball rolling with the (as we thought then) single and has since played a couple of album tracks.

From Graham Goodall
31) Just seen the August issue of Record Collector – “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” not even mentioned! Didn't Demon send out ANY promos to magazines etc?!
I can't keep on complaining about Demon, although their sales team should have done better!

32) How did the band come to select those two particular female singers?
It was sort of a friend of a friend kind of thing which it so often is in our world! One of the girls i.e. Michelle was a member of Chumbawamba! [See footnote 3]

33) Which is each band member’s favourite track from the new album?
Rod - Spanish Stroll. Danny - Let's Work Together. Al - I Can Do It. Trev - I Love Rock & Roll. Romeo - Spanish Stroll, and myself - Old Habits Die Hard.

From Gary Oyitch of Lincs:
34) Were any other tracks recorded at the “I Love RnR” sessions but didn't make it onto the album?
We didn't actually start recording any other songs in the studio! Most of the other songs we'd considered had fallen by the wayside during the preparation and rehearsal sessions!

From Keith Adams
35) Old Habits is a masterpiece! Shame on you for hiding this for all these years! It is absolutely fantastic, even more so when played at an extremely high volume! Now here's the thought - it was recorded (1989) after "Living Legends", and never made it on the "Jump Boogie and Jive" album the following year, so it must have been a completely different recording session. So, I ask, surely there must have been other tracks from that session. Hey guys, are we gonna have to wait another 17 years for them? It is a CLASSIC Showaddywaddy track - thanks - better late than never!
Old Habits Die Hard was recorded in 1988 at Masterock in London, the other track recorded during the same session was Nobody Is, which we included on Jump Boogie and Jive. There are a few other recordings that have never been released, and we have suggested to some companies that a "Rarities" album be put together, however the masters of many of the songs have gone missing over the years!

From Sue Leach of Newark
36) How did the group decide on which songs to cover in the new album and who did the arrangements?
Most of the arrangements were done firstly by myself, then Danny would add guitar ideas and Romeo do some drum things. We then got together to rehearse and more ideas were added until we were basically happy to record!

37) Also was there any song they would have liked to have done but didn't have room for?
There were so many suggestions. The 2 songs not included that were close to being recorded were Mama Told Me Not To Come by 3 Dog Night, and My Sharona by The Knack.

Linda McDonald of Canterbury:
38) I just wondered how Dave would feel if he and the lads were in their ‘fame prime’ now? I'm thinking of the huge press intrusion that stars of today have to endure. Would he see himself featured in 'Hello' magazine and being pursued by photographers in his daily life? Maybe the band did have to fight for their privacy in the 70s and perhaps he could tell us about this darker side to fame?
The press could be pretty nosey at times even then! I remember the Sun doing a centre spread thing on myself when Nina Myscow came and spent a day at my house. The article - although it wasn't harmful - contained so many things that she'd twisted about my private life. I think the seeds were already sown for the gutter journalism some people have to put up with! Though some high-profile celebs will do almost anything to stay in the public eye!
I probably would have said yes to Hello magazine or similar, as they pay crazy fees for those features!

Tanya Cox asks
39) I read in an article that Dave used to work in telecommunications. What did the other band members do before Showaddywaddy?
Trevor and Al worked in a sheet metalwork factory prior to turning pro.
Rod was an accountant. Danny had his own painting and decorating business. Romeo had various jobs, but turned pro very young. He is a qualified bookkeeper and does a little bit in his time away from the band!

Ian Coe from Ipswich
40) May I congratulate you and Trev on your excellent song writing especially 'Perfect Harmony'. Will you be pushing it for the Olympics - the words of the song are perfect for the games.
I wrote "Perfect Harmony" for consideration for Euro 96. It is a song about togetherness. Be nice if it could be considered for 2012!

41) Does any other member of the band have other jobs?
I just mentioned Romeo in no. 39. Rod has an interest in a haulage company. I obviously have the management company!

42) Is there any song that you sing kills your voice afterwards? Doo Wah Diddy kills mine in karoke! It is a shame some of your own material isn’t available on karaoke discs!
The one that used to make me hoarse was Sweet Music! The voice is produced by a set of muscles and like any part of your body as you get older need plenty of warming up! I understand that Under The Moon is available on several Karaoke CD's!

43) Do SWW do charity gigs? I remember in the late 80's you did a concert for Papworth Hospital - you and Trev and some of the nurses did an interview for Anglia television promoting the gig. My dad is going there early next year for a triple heart-by-pass so some of the equipment there could have been funded by you...THANK-YOU
We do charity gigs (and other stuff) every year, usually 2 or 3 gigs per year. They are normally for childrens charities! I hope all goes well for your Dad! Papworth is the best for anything such as that!

44) I’m a European lorry driver, its really good in Germany to hear your tracks are still being played on the radio!
We still have a great following in Germany! I'm trying to get Demon to release the new album over there.

From ‘Noel’
45) Will the band ever put “Christmas Tears Will Fall” on CD?
Christmas Tears Will Fall is actually owned by a German company called Choice Of Music. It is available on some Christmas collection CD's. One I know was a German release entitled "Holy Night"! See if you can find it on the net. Further info from Dave: "'Christmas Tears Will Fall' and 'Rock Christmas' by the band are both available on a CD called 'New Christmas Collection'".

Another one from James Goldman of Bristol
46) When old tracks, or even previously unreleased tracks come out, do ex members have to be negotiated with? If so, who does the negotiating? Do you ever speak to former members regarding issues relating to the “old” SWW?
This would be the same answer as question 28.