Official Showaddywaddy Web Site

Dave Bartram Q&A - 11th November 2002

The first set of questions are from myself:
I've recently been given a tape of radio interviews you have done in recent years. You said that the original Choise drummer (presumably Richard Hough) left in unsual circumstances - what happened?
Richard Hough was sacked after disappearing from the stage during a Choise performance in Woolacoombe in Devon.

I discovered from the interviews that the Leicester rock 'n' roll DJ who recommended many songs to you was called Mike Stacey - does he still DJ and has he recommended any songs to you in the years since the mid '70s?
Mick Stacey put together a cassette of about 30 rock & roll tracks for us in the mid 70's, about 5 or 6 were recorded by the band. He fell out with an ex-member of the band a while later and had no further input after that!

I have often heard you say in the past you have done television work - what sort of stuff have you done for the small screen?
I presented a regional 'Pop News' slot for Central TV from 1983-1987. It was called 'Popwatch' and was a great experience. I've also done a couple of advertising features for Satellite TV promoting compilation albums [See footnote 1]

Which song that you have written are you most proud of and why? (For example lyrically, or final production). Please can I also ask the same question to Trevor and Jeff.
"Don't Turn Your Back On Me Baby" & "Swansong" are my personal favourites. Trevor's favourite is "That's Alright With Me". Of Jeff's 4 contributions, his top choice would be "King Of The Jive".

Many pop stars these days have problems going out as they are recognised and are troubled by people in the street. Did your fame cause you much of a problem in the 70s & 80s when you wanted to go about your daily business? Do you still get recognised in the street now?
We had our share of problems. I once had a family camp outside my house claiming they were related to me. Being recognised in the street was never really a problem, quite fun really. It still happens a fair bit now, which is most flattering.

How do royalty payments work for the band? For example, do you get paid for whenever your records are played on the radio, or do you get paid for the recent reissues? Do payments come from one or several sources? Are royalities also paid to the orignal artists of songs you have covered?
Royalty payments come from various corners of the globe via numerous organisations. UK payments come from all companies that have issued our tracks as albums or individually included on compilations. Also from PRC and PRS companies, normally either 6 monthly or annually. The only royalties paid to original artists are to those who wrote the songs.

What were your feelings towards some of the doo-wop bands that were emerging in the late '70s, for example Darts and Rocky Sharpe & The Replays? Did you feel they were treading on your toes to a certain extent?
It was no secret that Darts and Rocky Sharpe, Matchbox etc were borne due to the success of Showaddywaddy. Indeed Tommy Boyce - who was behind the formation of Darts, was the co-writer of "Under The Moon Of Love". They didn't really tread on our toes as such, but maybe saturated the market with that style of music for a while.

Do you think with it being your 30th anniversary in 2003, it might be a good time to bring out some of your original unreleased songs and demos? This could be a strictly limited edition CD (say 1,000 copies), giving it collectable value and keeping production costs down.
Because of the most disappointingly received "Hey Rock & Roll" album, both critically and in terms of sales, plans for further album projects have been shelved for the foreseeable future!

From Linn Taylor of Perth
Is the show that was postponed in Edinburgh for September still scheduled to go ahead in May next year? Why was it postponed?
The final "Hey Rock & Roll" show was at Billingham on November 10th. The Edinburgh date cancelled in September will not go ahead, although I'm pretty sure that there will be an Edinburgh date as part of the 30th Anniversary tour next year!

From Mark Williams of Lincoln:
I do disco's mainly for children and schools, and given my slight bias, started playing Hey Rock 'N' Roll as an experiment to see how it would be received by todays youngsters. It is now one of the most popular tracks I play, and I am regularly asked by the kids if they can buy it in the shops. Would now be the time to re-mix and re-issue this track for todays new single buying generation to enjoy? If DJ Otzi can remix the old 60's track (Hey Baby), and have a massive no.1 hit, and with Elvis tracks being re-mixed and at the top, why not try and get SWW back in the singles charts? I'm sure with the right mix and marketing a Christmas (party season) charting could be possible. (Or am I letting my head rule my heart...?)
We tried a few re-mixes last year, particularly with Hey Rock & Roll (with the stage show in mind). They were not over enthused. However, it may be worth another try!

From Leonie of Brighton
What influenced you to modify the drapes from the traditional style? Did Teds wear brightly coloured drapes before or did you start this new style? We modified the drape style largely so it would be more identifiable with Showaddywaddy and create a more colourful spectacle on stage and TV. Where did you get your drapes made and how much did they cost?
We had them made originally at a small tailor in Leicester, they were very expensive at the time (about £100 each). We get them from Unicorn in Nottingham these days, at a rough cost of £150 per drape

Did Teds come to your gigs to start fights and cause trouble?
We had the odd bunch of Teds who were living in the past and didn't take too kindly to the band, but it never really amounted to much in a troublesome sense!

Did you ever consider yourselves as Teddy boys, or would you describe yourselves as a rock 'n' roll band /pop stars or something else?
Not real Teds, more the creators of later day Teds.

Who were your major musical influences and why did you choose rock n roll?
It is well documented that our influences included 'Elvis', 'Eddie Cochran' and 'Buddy Holly' etc etc. Plus we had a knack of playing it pretty well live!

Valerie Vernall from Falkirk
Did you enjoy your stay in Glasgow and was it exhausting doing so many nights in a row?
Really enjoyed the week in Glasgow. I thought the band were on top form all week. It was a little tiring but you soon forget about that when you're on stage!

Sue Leach from Newark asks:
We often see Dave credited on records for instruments other than guitar, ie penny whistle, and I seem to remember him playing the piano on "Hey Mama" on a TV show (presume it wasn't mimed). What instruments do the group all play?
I play - Guitar, Piano and Harmonica mainly, but, can get a tune out of most instruments! Danny also plays Drums a bit, Trevor plays Harmonica, Al, Rod and Romeo stick to what they're best at!

Keith Hudson of Oxon
The Choise single Cecilia was produced by a Mike Batt - was this the man of Wombling fame?
Yes it was the same 'Mike Batt'.

Did 'Behind the Painted Smile' make it to vinyl in any form? If not how have so many of us got it on tape?
'Behind The Painted Smile' is not available in any form as far as I am aware. It's a sad cover of a brilliant original track. [See footnote 2]

How far down the line did 'Dot Dot Dot', 'Three Good Reasons' and 'Old Habits Die Hard' get?
The three tracks are illegally available on the web! I have been trying to find the master of 'Old Habits Die Hard' to do something with it, but without success. In my opinion it is one of the finest tracks ever recorded by Showaddywaddy! [See footnote 3]

Steve Thorpe, Berkshire
Only "Red Star" and the "Yellow Album" have details on the sleeve of where they were recorded. I heard a rumour that "Crepes" was done in France, and "Bright Lights" in Ireland...can Dave recall where each album was recorded/mixed?
We recorded albums in all corners of the globe, though to be specific would be rather difficult. The first four albums were recorded in London. Much of "Crepes" was recorded just outside of Paris. "Bright Lights" was recorded in Dublin. Later albums were recorded in Rockfield, Wales and some tracks recorded in Miami, USA.

Would you consider putting some of your unreleased solo recordings as MP3 files on the Website? I'd love to hear some of your other work.
I'm very proud of most of my solo work, however it's unlikely that any of it will ever be made available, mainly as I do not own the rights [See footnote 4]

Did all the albums sell enough to get sales awards?
We have silver, gold and platinum awards for most of the albums up to "Bright Lights" which received silver. "Good Times" and "Living Legends" did not attain silver status!

Were any the B-Sides recorded at the time of album sessions or earlier? For example, were "One of These Days" & "Ever Lovin" recorded during the "Red Star" sessions or some time before?
"Ever Lovin" was due to be included on Red Star, but was left off due to there being 13 tracks, which was thought to be overlong (and superstitiously incorrect!). Most other B-sides were originally intended as album tracks, but not thought at the time to be strong enough.

How's the book on SWW coming along - any news?
It's not a book on Showaddywaddy - It is a book of my own travels (with and without the band) and experiences on the road. As things stand I just don't have sufficient time to complete it for a while yet!

Did the band have much input as far as ideas for album/single covers went - "Trocadero" and "Red Star" are particularly brilliant!
We were allowed a certain amount of input into sleeve design - initially. The ideas were kicked around and given to designers, however the record companies always had the final say.

Which countries have the band toured in / visited for promotion over their career?
Crikey! The list is as long as your arm! I couldn't possibly list all the countries we've visited, I'd be bound to forget some. Having said that we have visited all the continents apart from Antarctica and around 40 counties within them eg China, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, USA and many many more!

I, like Paul, have a copy of the superb 1976 USA "SHOWADDYWADDY" compilation LP on Arista. Which SWW singles & albums were released in the States?
The owner of Arista Records - USA was not a fan of the band! However he also possessed rather a large ego and so as not to get "egg on face" would not release us from our world-wide deal, in order that we could release our songs through another US company. This would now be illegal. So there were no US releases of Showaddywaddy material. [See footnote 5]

When releasing the 2 x "Greatest Hits" albums in 1976 and 1978, did the band intentionally make them Blue and Red in homage to The Beatles' famous "Greatest Hits" albums from the early '70's?
Correct - this was suggested and pleasingly gave us something in common with "The Beatles".

Matthew Spicer of Slough
Is the great Xmas Tears one of your own songs?
"Xmas Tears" is an old song, I believe by Randy and The Rainbows. Can you believe that the record company we did it for didn't like our version of the song! I personally think it knocks spots off the original.