Official Showaddywaddy Web Site

Dave Bartram Q&A - March 2005

In March 2005, I was contacted by John Collier, one of the authors of a forthcoming '70s/'80s nostalgia book 'Penny Mix' who asked if Dave Bartram would take part in an interview/questionnaire for inclusion in the book. Dave kindly agreed, and John has allowed the questions to be used on the site. [See footnote 1]

Showaddywaddy are No. 158 in the Top 500 UK Artists. Are you pleased with this achievement?
I suppose if I'm honest it would have been nice to have been in the top 100! However, I'm not really one for stats and stuff.

At the peak of your career you had seven successive Top 5 entries. Does having this kind of huge success make you crave for the limelight again?
It's the same with a lot of artists, they have a purple patch when they are teen heroes and it was amazing to have experienced that! We sort of became part of the furniture and it's truly fantastic that people still warm to the band and that its identity is so strong. It's always good to have a bit of success and I'd say that we were equally as excited when our "Very Best Of" album did so well at the back end of last year. To attain Silver status this long into our careers is wonderful.

What incident first made you realise you were famous?
I have always had one of those faces that people seem to recognise, so it wasn't long into our career before I got stopped in the street regularly. Mind you it's fun especially when people pay you compliments!

You once described the band as “Later Day Teds”. Is it fair to say that you were Retro before Retro was cool?
Indeed we were retro before it was cool. I like to think perhaps we helped retro become cool!

Is being a member of Showaddywaddy a bit like being a Reservoir Dog? What I mean is once you have chosen the colour of suit to wear do you have to stick with it? If so, who got first choice?
No it's very democratic! We each have several jackets and operate a rota system.

Do you remember where you were when you heard that Elvis had died?
We were all together travelling when Elvis died, we must've been going to Scotland or somewhere long haul, as we listened intently for hours to the radio, which was non-stop Elvis! [See footnote 2]

You must have graced the cover of many glossy magazines over the years (from Look-In to Smash Hits). What has been your most memorable photo shoot?
The most memorable photo shoot was on Skegness beach when we all donned German war helmets and nothing else. The shots were never used although, someone got hold of one and sold it recently on eBay.

Would you say that acts like Showaddywaddy opened the floodgates for artists like Shakin’ Stevens?
As with any kind of music once a band is successful the record companies (who don't really have minds of their own!) look for something similar as an easy sell. So I suppose it was much easier for bands like Darts, Matchbox and Shaky etc to get off the ground. It's happening right now with lots of Coldplay soundalikes!

You have worked with Mike Batt in the past. I recently interviewed Bernard Cribbins. Do you have a favourite Womble?
I would be Uncle Bulgaria!

Between 1983 and 1987 you presented “Popwatch” on our regional news programme “Central News”. Do you still live in the Midlands or have you upped sticks to the Big Smoke?
I lived in Northants for 21 years prior to returning to a small Leicestershire village around 6 months ago! I find London impersonal and too much in a hurry!

Did you ever appear at Jollees nightclub in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent? (This famous venue above the bus station was knocked down last year to the dismay of many locals.)
Yes we played Jollees on several occasions during it's prime years. There are very few venues of that type left (sadly!).

If you did appear at Jollees can you remember the resident host Mel Scholes (he sadly passed away last year) and were you one of the acts that he took for a curry after the show?
Can't say I remember Mel I'm afraid. I think our lot would have left him penniless if he'd taken us for a curry!

I know you are a big Beach Boys fan. Have you ever tried surfing?
Massive Beach Boys fan, I recently put over 150 of their songs onto my iPod! I have tried surfing but not with much success!

Am I right in saying that you were a guest on Alvin Stardust’s “This Is Your Life” and if so, was it really a big secret that you had to keep?
That was silly - I don't know how many genuine friends Alvin has - but we were paid to go on as guests. There was no great secrecy we just showed up and were escorted to a private bar area until we were called to go on! [See footnote 3]

What is the weirdest fan request you have ever received?
Had some very raunchy requests over the years which I'll keep to myself!

“Under the Moon of Love” is regarded as the band’s most classic song. I have noticed the track has started to appear on those free CDs you get in the weekend papers. Is this one way of making a bit of pocket money?
You don't make much out of those free CD's. It's a bit of exposure which never does any harm!

Is it one of your favourites and if not which song is?
I obviously think very fondly of the song! I used to enjoy writing a few different things for our album. One I'm very proud of is "Swansong"!

Our book covers the years 1975-1985. Are there any TV programmes from this period that you miss?
There were 100's of TV shows that we did 'Lift-Off', 'Shang-A-Lang' etc they were all kids shows. We, deep down, would've loved to have done a couple of album tracks on 'The Old Grey Whistle Test' to show we actually could write half decent songs!

Have you had found time recently to work on the book you are writing?
I can't see the book ever seeing the light of day. I'm an avid reader and when I go back to do some more writing I often think "forget it".