Official Showaddywaddy Web Site

Dave Bartram Q&A - 8th August 2007

Dave Kennedy from Chapel-en-le-Frith:
On the televised performances of "Why?" Geoff is playing a double bass. Was this used in the recording of the song or just used for TV purposes and was it used at gigs at the time? Also, have either Geoff or Rod used a double bass on any other Showaddywaddy recordings in the past?
We actually used a session upright bass player on "Why". It's a totally different technique to a guitar, and a very skilled one too.
That is the only song we ever recorded with an upright bass, although we have a technique with a fretless acoustic that we've employed a few times, (and will be on the forthcoming album)

When did the band last wear full colour drapes and where did the 'stripey' look in the 80's come from?
It must be a full 20 years since we wore suits. The stripey was just something different, a lot of metal bands had already used that look. To my mind it was a bit of a disaster!

I had a poster many years ago of the band in 'civvies' in a changing room sponsored by Patrick. How did this sponsorship come about, seeing as Patrick were a sportswear manufacturer?
We did a photo session with a then famous footballer Charlie George. Patrick were sponsors for his club at the time Derby County, and gave us all a load of sportswear.

Phil Bond:
Could the band re-release UTMOL and try and make the million mark (If it works like that?)
Afraid it doesn't work like that. Demon own the title but are not (as we found with Hey England) a singles label. Which I understand as you just don't make money out of singles! [See footnote 1]

Stephen Durkin:
I would like to know if the lads ever intend to return to Liverpool? The Cavern Club is very popular with 70s groups and is acoustically superb. I believe the last time the lads played in Liverpool was 3rd December 1979!
We've been to Liverpool quite a few times since 1979! We even did our Hey Rock & Roll show at the Empire around 4 years ago. The Cavern used to be an amazing gig, would certainly love to play it again.

Pete Tustain of Banbury:
Some seventies acts are now releasing CD's on their own label (The Glitter Band are a prime example) they are releasing old tracks that never were released, new stuff, live shows etc. Have SWW ever considered going down this route?
There's not really many of our songs that haven't seen the light of day. Also we have a new album project in the pipeline, and contractually it wouldn't go down very well if there was other new product available at the same time.

How are sales of the DVD going, has it been a success?
The music DVD market (I'm told) is on it's knees at present, with sites like My Space, YouTube etc it's not easy selling retail product. I understand from Cherry Red that sales have been respectable though.

Do you still run 'Jive entertainments'?
I do. Jive handles all the band's affairs.

This question has been asked in the past, but not for a while. What cars are the band members driving these days?
Myself and Romeo BMW. Trevor Toyota. Rod Mercedes. Danny Vauxhall. Al does not drive.

Several acts have had books published over the years, including The Rubettes and David Essex. Have SWW ever considered doing one?
I was working on one for a couple of years. Unless it's something worth reading and publishers are interested it's a very time consuming and arduous task for little reward.

Will the proposed new album consist of purely covers, or will you and Trev have some tracks on it?
The new album will be all covers. We should be announcing the details very soon.

Any plans for a tour to celebrate the bands 35th anniversary?
We have spoken to a couple of promoters about touring next year with a view to promoting the new album. Once again the UK touring market is not exactly booming so it may be a while before we know anything more. These things have to be on the right terms!

Terry Gaffe asks:
What did Dave and the rest of the lads think of other bands around the late 70s/early 80s, Darts and Abba etc. Did they regard them as rivals or were they friendly with them?
Crikey Abba are legendary! I was lucky enough to dance with Agnetha once. We were pretty friendly with Darts, Mud, Sweet (still are!). We didn't really see them as rivals, although we had a lot of banter with them (particularly Mud, for nicking our drape jacket idea!)

What groups do the lads like listening to now?
DAVE : Crowded House, Cherry Ghost & Ryan Adams
ROMEO: The Displacements, The Killers, White Stripes
ROD: Rufus Wainwright, The Enemy
TREV: The Who
AL: Green Day, Girls Aloud
DANNY: Crowded House, XTC, Flaming Lips

David O’Rourke asks:
When television programmes or reporters do a retrospective look at music in ‘70s England, they seem to focus on the Glam of Marc Bolan, the terror that was the Sex Pistols or the punk/rock of the Clash. Does it annoy the band that not alone do SWW often seem forgotten, so do lots of top chart acts of the time and to me more importantly the massive rock 'n roll /rockabilly revival that swept Britain all through the 70s and early 80s?
Teddy boys from all over the country sent their money to Teds Corner in Camden Market for rock ‘n’ roll gear. There were teds on every corner, bands like SWW, Matchbox,Crazy Cavan, Jets, Shaky, Racey, Rocky Sharpe, Darts had loads of top 40 hits.....or was it all a dream?
Quite right, those programmes have become very predictable. They always seem to focus on the same artists. Our record speaks for itself - More Top 40 hits than any other artist during the 70's decade.

Gary Oyitch of Lincs:
How surprised / disappointed were the band that “Take Me In Your Arms” didn't chart. Especially after their first 8 singles had made the top 40?
Take Me In Your Arms was something of an 'interim' release and we didn't promote it on TV at all. You can never take a top 40 entry for granted. We managed to recover from it which was pleasing.

Dave has previously said he would love to record a song he's written called Red Rose. Any chance of that happening?
Red Rose is not really the band's style. I've been speaking with our new record company and if the new album is a success we may well do a project focusing more on original songs.

Julie Slator:
Would you ever consider making a CD of songs of girls names? I think it would be a great idea, and if you do, would you please sing 'Oh Julie'? Many many thanx,. keep up the fantastic work.
Ha ha. Rather narrows down the choice of material.

James Goldman of Bristol:
You have often talked of an "unnecessary court case" regarding ex members – what basically, was the case about and what was the result?
Won't hark on about this too much. Had previous members been more business-like and consulted us prior to forming another band purporting to be SWW, the court case and cost could have been avoided. They were very foolish! Judgement was awarded in our favour. [See footnote 2]

Linda Macdonald, Canterbury:
I was listening to one of my fave SWW tracks 'The Party' and I have always thought that the end of the song was influenced by Dr Who!! I'm not sure what instrument would produce such a sound but it was very 70s in it's feel. Apart from 50s Rock and Roll, who were they influenced by? Maybe other acts of 70s were an inspiration.
Dr Who? Every artist likes to experiment a little in the studio. We weren't really influenced by any artists in particular. Sometimes you just come up with something quirky and record it!

Paul Fixter of Wakefield:
How the band feel from 1979 onward, after a run of top 10 hits in the mid 70s, when singles were struggling in the top 40?
One thing with our current line up is that we are all realists. No one can expect their careers to go on for years without a few dips in fortune. After weathering the low period and sorting out the personnel who really wanted to graft their way to a longer period of success, things improved vastly. It's all about attitude and commitment.

What kind of stuff do you watch on the TV at the moment, and what are your favourite programmes, past and present?
It seems all of us loved Fawlty Towers, we often recite old episodes when we're travelling. Romeo is the band's TV addict and seems to see everything that's on. Me personally, I like dramas such as Life On Mars and Rome.

On a recent interview with Steve Lamaq on BBC 6 Music, you stated a song was written in the car on way to studio, and you recorded it that day. Which song was it?
It wasn't one we wrote, it was actually 3 Steps To Heaven. We learnt all the harmonies and arrangement in the car on the way to the studio.

Trev seems to be using the same guitar now that he was using on TV and live in the 70s. Is any other band member using the same equipment now they have used for the last 30-odd years?
It's not actually the same Les Paul, just a similar model. Most of the guitars are old. Rod has a vintage Fender Jazz, Danny a vintage Strat, me a vintage Telecaster. Geoff has quite a collection of guitars also!

Having seen some set lists from gigs in the 70s and 80s, they didn’t seem to contain album tracks. Have most album tracks never been gigged?
We've often slipped album tracks into our set, but there's nothing worse than an audience looking puzzled because they don't know a song. I know many diehard fans would love us to play some old album tracks, and we would too. It just doesn't seem to appeal to the masses.

I see that Trev plays bass on Dancin’ Party live – did he play bass on the studio recording of that track?
I actually think Russ Field played bass on Dancin' Party.

You have to earn money like the rest of us, so how does it feel when people download your music “for free”? Do you feel like you have been denied income?
Mmm, certain countries (especially Arab nations) have sold our music through various means. There's little that can be done about it. Although some of the big guns are frightening off pirates. It obviously doesn't please us, particularly after all the hard work that goes into recording.

Romeo mentioned in a 1984 TV interview that the band had been in the studio recording tracks for a new album – can you shed any light on this?
'84 would have been some songs we did down at Gary Numan's studio in Shepperton. We were not proud of those sessions. I sincerely hope they never see the light of day. It just wasn't rock n roll. [See footnote 3]

Having recently seen footage of Marc Bolan’s funeral, lots of stars of the time were there. Did SWW attend? The band had been on his show only a month or so before, promoting “You Got What It Takes”.
No we didn't attend. We met Mark a couple of times and he was a real gent. However we didn't know him well enough to be classed as friends. [See footnote 4]

Why did the band decide to go to Miami to record in 1982? Which tracks were recorded there, other than Who Put The Bomp? I heard that with Who Put The Bomp, the vocals were recorded, or finished, in the UK.
It was originally for tax reasons. It was cheaper to fly out there and record than it was to do so in the UK. There were also other loopholes we could exploit because it was done outside of Europe. [See footnote 5]

They say bands often have difficulty with their second album, especially where the first album was a success. What were your impressions of “Step Two” at the time when compared with your debut?
We were pretty pleased with Step 2. We had such a stockpile of songs between us that it gave us a great variety to choose from.

Were you worried that the band had bombed out in mid ’76 with the relatively low chart placing of Trocadero, and disappointing chart positions of the singles prior to UTMOL?
Not worried, but what concerned myself and Trev was that once we started doing the covers the original songs would be largely overlooked. Every song really should have been judged on it's own merit.

Have any of the band guested with other bands, or even tried to be ‘poached’ by other bands?
Oddly enough apart from the odd jam with artists on the same bill this has never happened. We're a pretty close knit bunch!

We know who did the bass vocals, but there are some particularly high backing vocals on some recorded tracks from the 70s and 80s. Who did those?
You may think you know who did the bass vocals!! You may be surprised! Either Bill or myself. Sometimes we'd speed the track up so it made the voice sound deeper. The high parts were usually myself and sometimes Russ Field.

Did you personally play guitar on any recordings, or was it left to Trev and Russ?
I played guitar on loads of songs (mainly acoustic rhythm). Most notably on Heavenly, and on much of the first 3 albums.

John Yiangou of Cyprus:
Hi guys do you remember me John from Chesters Bar in Cyprus?
Of course we remember John - a West Ham fan - we went across there lord knows how many nights! Are you still on the Island, and what are you up to these days?

Any chance of Showaddywaddy performing in Cyprus again?
I'd like to think so, not sure what venues are out there that we could do, as I understand the military don't really ship bands out any more!

I have written lyrics and music to a song, which has got rave reviews here, but I would not know what to do to get it heard by a recording company. Is it like throwing a needle into a hay stack if I was to send it to one of them?
It is a bit of a minefield especially these days. There has to be an angle that makes it marketable, and you would need an album of songs rather than just one.

If you’re ever over my number is still the same, look me up and we can go karaoke again and have a few jars, take care!
I remember the Karaoke well. I think we went out to celebrate Danny's birthday. All the very best to you.

Mark Unsworth:
After watching old TV appearances, were the band never happy having to mime on TV appearances? Obviously out of your control. Did you think it was making your job easier? Or were you satisfied knowing that true WAD fans would know the true talents of the band after watching them live?
What would you say was your best live TV performance was? Personally I think “Rock 'n' Roll Lady” from 1974 on the Kid Jenson Show was sensational

TV is the most powerful form of media, and can break a song almost overnight. So whatever format the company preferred we'd usually agree to. Sometimes the sound crews left a little to be desired, so we'd prefer to do it to a track, but generally we liked doing things live as they came over with more energy. The best live TV we ever did was at the Golden Orpheus Festival in Bourgas, Bulgaria in (I think) 1982.

Graham Cottrell of Neston, Cheshire:
Who is the drummer on the “A Night At Daddy Gee’s” clip on Musikladen, which is on the new DVD?
We were talking about this when we first saw the DVD footage. The guy was the drummer for a blues band called the Lew Lewis Band. We were in a bar the night before the TV show and he said it was his dream to play with us. So we thought why not? [See footnote 6]

From various:
When are the band coming to: Northen Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Yorkshire, Liverpool, Margate.
Not been to Ireland (N or S) for a while, although we played to a purely Irish crowd over in Ibiza in April. Hopefully when we next tour we could include a few dates on the Emerald Isle. As for Yorkshire we are doing a gig in Barnsley on August 30th. Liverpool & Margate - nothing planned as yet.