Official Showaddywaddy Web Site

Dave Bartram Q&A - 7th December 2004

The first set of questions are from myself:
Who decided which tracks were released as singles, the band or the record company? And were there disagreements about which tracks were to be singles?
Sometimes it was the band, other times the Record Company. There were some disagreements, the Record Company wanted to release "Don't Turn Your Back On Me Baby" as a single, but some of the band were not happy, so we recorded "Sweet Music". Mainly it was obvious which were the strongest tracks!

Did you ever appear on Morecambe & Wise?
We never did the Morecambe & Wise show, although I remember meeting Ernie Wise!

How did Dave & Bill decide who did lead vocals on a particular track? Did you do demos and decide whose was most suitable?
I was always the bands first singer & Bill the second. The producer of the early stuff Mike Hurst decided Bill should take lead on "Hey R & R" and as it was such a big hit he also did the follow up. Mostly it was decided fairly democratically.

Rob Dunks of Chesterfield asks a similar question:
Was it planned from the start who would sing on most singles or was it intended to be Bill who would be lead singer? Reason I ask this is I always thought it a little strange that Bill sang vocals on the first two songs, but the lead singer went onto be yourself.
No it wasn't planned, but as in answer 3, I was the main singer (on the first album I sang 7 of the 12 tracks, Bill sang 4). It was good especially from a live point of view for other members to sing.

In old press cuttings from the late ‘70s, it was reported that the band were going to move abroad to become “tax exiles”. How seriously did you consider this and why did you decide to stay?
In 1979 our bags were almost packed to move away as tax exiles - I actually had a flat rented in Jersey, most of the band were going to the Isle of Man. We were due to go in July but Margaret Thatcher got into power and immediately cut tax from a ridiculous 83% down to 60%. So it became affordable to stay in our own country.

There is often talk of bad blood in the original lineup, but surely there was a time when the relationships were very good?
Tricky question! The cause of many internal problems was inflated egos! Certain members wanted to enjoy the fame without putting in the necessary work to keep the band a success. It was left to too few of the band to do all the hard work i.e. Publicity, writing, arranging, PR etc. etc. Without fair reward for their efforts!

In August 2004, NME brought out a “Glam Rock” special edition magazine which amongst others featured Mud and the Bay City Rollers. Were you disappointed that Showaddywaddy did not appear?
The music press tended to go for the more London based artists who socialised with them. It didn't bother us at all. [See footnote 1]

Why are self-penned tracks on the new DMTV release credited to “Betts” rather than “James”?
I think Jeff signed the original publishing under his real name i.e. Betts.

Why were some songs in the BBC Showaddywaddyshow, sung to a backing track rather than played totally live as most of the set was?
Some of the tracks were pre-recorded prior to the live session.

Peter Bulkeley of Walsall asks:
Where is Scott Oakes playing now? I remember him scoring some stunning goals for Luton?
Scott has been playing for Non-League St Albans. He is now taking his coaching badge.

Chris Dabbs of Lincoln:
Did the running of the band's business affairs change much when Bell moved to Arista? Was it for better or worse?
Only in that things tended to be run more from an American perspective

Was one of the first lines in “Rollercoaster” tied in with Freddie Cannon’s ‘Palisades Park’?
I always liked what Freddie did, I don't remember Palisades Park being on my mind when I wrote the song, though it may have been. It's fantastic, Freddie is now a close friend, he's a really genuine person!

Steve Jacks asks:
I think Danny is a great singer! As much as we all love your voice and is the sound of the group, do you ever feel threatened when he sings lead?!
What kind of question is that? Threatened? I personally have been trying to encourage Danny to do more singing!

Ken Surch of Glenbarry, Scotland asks:
In the 1970’s I was a Head Waiter at the “Night Out” Theatre Restaurant in Birmingham, West Midlands. One of my jobs was to take a drink, or more, up to the band, after their performance, in the dressing room which I enjoyed very much as they had been playing music from my era!
My question is not do they remember me as that would be an impossible task, but I wonder if any of the members remember the “Night Out” manager Paul Lillicrap?

Yes, we all remember Paul. He used to treat us very well, and always came across a nice guy.

Keith Hudson asks:
I have recently purchased a Thai 7” EP that features one song, supposedly by Showaddywaddy called “Magazine Madonna”. I must admit it doesn’t sound like the band. Can Dave tell us anything about it?
That is not one of our songs!

Keith Hudson & Steve Thorpe ask about Black Ice:
How did the “Black Ice” sessions come about? Did the single cause friction within the band? What would have happened had it became a big hit? Did Dave do any TV appearances / interviews / gigs for the “Black Ice” single in 1983 (& does a promo video exist)?
Black Ice happened after the band had worked with producer Phil Wainman. He didn't quite understand why the band was covering so many old songs at the time, and after playing him some of my own Demos we decided to work together. There was more friction caused by some members just wanting to sit on their laurels and do cover after cover. If you're a writer you have to write!! It actually did chart and made 58 which was fun. However there was no intention of quitting the band if it had gone big. It would have been a similar situation to Phil Collins with Genesis. I did a couple of TV appearances, but there was no video! [See footnote 2]

Nick LePoidevin asks:
Were the band ever invited to appear on Band/Live Aid? If so, why did they not appear?
No, we weren't asked!

Have you recorded any other material other than “Woo Hoo”? If so, is there an album of new material planned?
This very much relies on how successful the current Very Best Of does. It's selling really well at the most competitive time of year, so fingers crossed!

What is your impression of the current tour?
After a slowish start the tour was a fantastic success. We really enjoyed working with some different artists. The harmony between all the artists and crew was brilliant!

Pete Tustain, Banbury & Steve Thorpe all ask a similar question:
I recently watched a TV programme entitled, “Who Got The Bay City Rollers’ Millions?”, which showed details of how the band had been conned out of royalities etc. Arista / Bell / BMG got a really hard time in it. Did SWW suffer a similar fate? If not, how did you avoid it?
There are always discrepancies, but on the whole we were pretty sensible with our business affairs, and kept a close eye on what was going on.

Pete Tustain asks:
Over the years, many planned SWW releases have been abandoned due to legal problems. Is this a common occurance in the music world of have SWW suffered more than most?
These thing happen in any line of business. People see things differently sometimes. There are only a handful of unreleased tracks out there. Some weren't that good anyway.

Pete Tustain, Graham Goodall and Graham Cottrell, Steve Phillips all ask about a DVD
Will a DVD be released in the near future, maybe to coincide with the tour. A live DVD would be a dream come true for so many of us.
Also, any DVD news, is there any way we could get the "New Faces" recordings released please ? I'm so desperate to see these again, having not seen them for 30 years, that'd I'd throw in some cash to help buy the rights if necessary!"
Is there any chance we could have a dvd compilation of the best of Showaddywaddy or maybe even a live recording of the band in concert. They are still the best live band around and I am sure a dvd would sell really well!
I would like to know when a Showaddywaddy DVD will be released, maybe including interviews, out takes and the videos to their fabulous songs. I would love to see this. Any chance?

We have succesfully negotiated for the rights to our Videos for a proposed DVD compilation, which will eventually see the light of day. As for a Live DVD - logistics of making such a thing would be hellishly expensive, so I somehow doubt that will ever happen. Sorry! Things like New Faces & Top of the Pops we will never have the rights to those, so unfortunately there can't really be any DVD's of old footage and interviews etc. [See footnote 3]

Jackie Crozier of Croydon, S.London asks:
Does Dave or any of the others wake up in a morning and think "Oh God, why am I still doing this after all these years?!" They all put so much energy into their shows it must wear them all out. Do they keep fit by going to the gym or anything?
It is pretty amazing to still be in SWW after 30 odd years. Sometimes it gets very tiring, but what better way to make a crust than playing Rock & Roll
I work out at least 4 times a week when time permits. Most of the guys lead fairly healthy lifestyles. Romeo works out regularly, Danny & Trevor play football most weeks, Rod plays Golf & Jeff walks to the Pub!

Phil Battersby from Bolton:
Have Dave thought of using in concert, any of the new songs they have written recently? If not, can we have released for all us diehard Waddy fans please?! Keep up the good work boys!
We would dearly love to do an album of original songs, but most companies like to play safe and want the band to cover old songs in our own style.

Steve Thorpe asks:
Who was Stephen Stickels who ran the short-lived 1987 / 1988 SWW Official Fan Club (he also wrote programme notes in the 1994 tour programme) – are the band still in contact with him?
Not in contact with Stephen any longer. He tried to keep the fan-club alive but didn't get as much support as he expected. Still it was a noble effort (it's not easy running a fan-club!) He approached us to do it, and seemed very switched on!

Have any of the band actively collected all of the SWW releases over the years – every single, album, CD etc. or do most members just shove them away in a cupboard and forget all about them?!
I have a copy of everything we have ever recorded, as I think do most of the guys!

Would the band consider independently releasing a CD box set version of all eight original studio albums (between 1974 and 1983)…e.g. Showaddywaddy “Steps 1-8: the Definitive Collection”? This could include all the B-Sides, some unreleased recordings and a history of the band (with rare photos etc.) – and sleeve notes by Dave? Any chance, or am I just dreaming?!
That is always a possibility - if there is a demand for such a thing. It's worth mentioning to Demon Records [See footnote 4]

I notice that Dave has mentioned a love of XTC in the past Q&A sessions – they’re also one of my favourite bands…which era is his favourite – early stuff such as “Drums & Wires” / “English Settlement” or the later more Beatles-influenced albums “Oranges & Lemons” / “Nonsuch” etc? Favourite song overall? (For me it’s got to be “Mayor of Simpleton” – a perfect song in every way!)
"Senses Working Overtime" is still my favourite XTC track. Drums & Wires is - in my view - their best album. I agree "Mayor of Simpleton" is a fantastic track!

What does Dave’s daughter Holly think of the band’s records, and has she seen many of their old TV clips (such as TOTP appearances / the “ShowaddywaddyShow” BBC TV special from 1980/1981) when the band were at the peak of their career?
She loves the band! There was a period in her early teens when she was embarrassed to have an old rocker for a Dad, but not any more - she actually went out and bought a copy of the new album!

Which single, and which self-penned track, would Dave play to someone who’d never heard SWW before to best represent the band’s sound?
Perhaps "I Wonder Why" to represent what the band is all about. Self-penned I think "Don't Turn Your Back On Me Baby".

Stephen Shaw of Northern Ireland asks:
Why are Showaddywaddy not bringing 'The Solid Gold Rock 'n' Roll Tour’ to Northern Ireland?
Solid Gold tour is now over, so, sadly no dates in N.I.

James Goldman of Bristol asks
What are your thoughts on the ex members these days - ie would you ever have a pint with any of them for old times sake?
Ha! I doubt it!! They have caused so much trouble and bitterness (and expense!) Why they couldn't just let us get on without making waves I'll never know! Envy I'm sure!

Pat Butler, West London
Have you had any more thought on a previous question I asked, “Has there been any everyday occurrence (no matter how trivial) that inspired you to write a song? Like the Bee Gees driving over a bumpy bridge and the noise gave them the idea for ‘Jive Talking’.”
"Young Indian Brave" was written after watching a John Wayne movie! There is a song I have written after going to Sarajevo called "Red Rose" which I would love to record at some point, basically about what one human being can do to another under the guise of Religion.

Viv Bilton asks:
In the 70's I followed SWW around the country with my mates Anne and Jackie, we had such a laugh and often got to meet the band members for brief moments here and there. We often gave our fave members gifts (I gave Dave a rug I made the first time I met him in Newcastle!) and I wondered what were the most unusual and favourite gifts that they have received?
We had so many gifts bestowed upon us. I don't remember any really unusual ones. There was one girl who gave me lots of gold pendants and chains and spent a small fortune. I was quite amused when I hadn't heard from her for a couple of years and the received a letter asking if she could have them all back! Pop music is a fickle world sometimes!

Stephen Holt of Rochdale:
God forbid, but if Showaddywaddy all went their separate ways tomorrow, what would you all do for a living?
Who knows? I would carry on in Management for sure, but there are no plans whatsoever for us to go our separate ways!

Kevin Wedderburn from Wick asks:
On the track "Teen Canteen", there appears to be female voices as backing singers towards the end of the song. Is this correct, or should I have my ears syringed?
There were a couple of girl session singers on that track. One of the same girls was on Footsteps too!

Throughout the late 70's and 80's, the band's material was instantly recognisable by the logo (as seen on this site), rather than the dozens of different styles used since on various albums etc. Is that something that you have any control over, and indeed has it gone forever?
We love the new logo for the album (a revision of the famous old one from the 70s), and will now use it for a good while. It's not something you really have control over, but companies like Demon ask for your approval. Every now and then it's good to have something a little different!