Official Showaddywaddy Web Site

Dave Bartram Q&A - 23rd November 2003

From Gary Oyitch of Lincolnshire:
I think it would be good if you could do a show comprising of peoples favourite tracks. A poll could be run in which people send in their favourites and from them it could determine which songs they perform at the gig, ie the fans choose the playlist. After all there are loads of great songs which haven’t seen the light of day for a long long time such as “Lucy Jane”, “I’m A Traveller”.
It sounds like a nice idea however, a lot of people that come to concerts don't have the full SWW collection, and only really want to hear the hits! What we could do is a poll to find out maybe 1 or 2 of the fans favourite tracks and then possibly include those in the set.

From Patricia Luty of West Yorkshire:
I would like to ask Showaddywaddy if they remember playing in a place called The Grand Pavilion in Withernsea on the East Coast. The reason is that they stayed at the only hotel in Withernsea at that time, The Queens Hotel and my Mum and Dad cooked their breakfast.
We returned to Withernsea for an outdoor gig in mid-August this year after our last visit of 25 years ago, I'm afraid it's that long ago I can't remember the hotel. It was a great gig in August though! [See footnote 1]

From Steve McArdle:
Did you sing the theme tune to a TV programme called “Rentaghost” in the ‘70s? I think Sue Nicolls starred in it.
Not guilty of that one!

From Julie Staddon:
Today’s Pop is a bit of a let down so it's great that bands like you are still going. Are you still writing new songs? Do/did you get flashes of inspiration & just have to rush home & write down some lyrics or a new tune?
Yes we are still writing songs, if it's in your blood you never stop. Maybe someday we'll do a new album of original songs especially for SWW devotees.

From Pete Tustain of Banbury:
I have recently obtained a copy of the German CD single 'Rock Christmas', I think the track ‘Perfect Harmony' is superb. Have you ever thought about releasing this track as a single in the UK? I have been a fan for thirty years, and this could well be the best SWW track I have ever heard!
I'm pleased you like 'Perfect Harmony' as it's one of my own songs. It was actually a demo that was submitted to the F.A and shortlisted for Euro 2000 theme tune. However, I soon learnt that these things depend rather on 'who you know' rather than being judged on a songs true merits.

Will the 'Hey Rock n Roll' or other theatre show ever go back on the road? I thought it was fantastic.
I think we can say that 'Hey Rock & Roll' is now dead and buried, although there are plans to do a 50's style Rock & Roll tour, possibly as soon as next November.

From Dave Hutson of Bristol:
On the Hey Rock 'N' Roll album, you do a version of Reet Petite. Is there any chance of a full version of this song being available? I think it is a good version by the band.
I don't think we'll record a full version of 'Reet Petite', it would be so hard to come close to the original version. Jackie Wilson was a superb singer, and died way too young!

From Steve Thorpe of Berkshire:
Was "Sing on Louise" written about anyone in particular?
Sing on Louise was written about my God-Daughter Louise, who unfortunately I have not seen for about 15 years.

I've noticed quite a few songs on the Cherry Red CD's are mastered from vinyl - where are the original master tapes these days?I
I wondered the same thing as the master tapes were submitted to Cherry Red. Some of these companies try to recreate the original sound, scratches and all!

Any chance of the 'official' lyrics for Showaddywaddy's own songs ever being made available, for example (on the site or in a book). On some song the words are really difficult to hear (particularly Buddy's last verse of 'Love For A Star' and all of 'The Party'!)
I think that's highly unlikely!

What's the story behind "You Will Lose Your Love Tomorrow", as it's one of my favourite SWW tracks, and yet quite unlike anything else you have ever done! Did Dave write it? Why wasn't it on the first album as it's certainly good enough?
I just tried to write a simple Buddy Holly type song - no particular story behind it. It was actually included on the second Greatest Hits album by public demand!

In the BBC TV "Inside Out" piece in June 2003 Dave mentioned that they hoped to do "a new album of original material, which we've wanted to do for a while". Any news on this, e.g. song titles, recording dates etc?
I think that album is some way off as there has not been much interest in the project from any UK companies. The bands' future album projects have been somewhat put on hold for the time being.

Did the band ever have any Annuals published in the 1970's - (like the Bay City Rollers Annual 1975 etc.) - I've seen numerous pieces about them in TOTP/Popswap annuals etc. over the years, but none of their own.
There was a 'Look In' special on the band I think in 1977.

Do any particular recording sessions stand out as being memorable from over the years at De Lane Lea, Rockfield, Music Centre Wembley?
The most memorable was at le Chateau just outside of Paris as the building was rumoured to be haunted! It was a little weird, we didn't go back there after the initial week long session. [See footnote 2]

Who chose what songs were included on the two "Greatest Hits" albums in 1976 and 1978? Was it the record company, the band, or the fan club members?
Mainly the record company, although there was a fans choice on each album which were 'You Will Lose Your Love Tomorrow' and 'Paint Your Picture'.

Go Johnny Go has always seemed to be one of the most unlikely SWW recordings, it doesn't sound like anything you’ve done before or since. Was Johnny someone the band knew, or just fictional?
Go Johnny Go was just a Chuck Berry inspired bit of fun!

From Chris Dabbs of Lincoln:
A recent record for sale on eBay, Boy George’s “Wishing Well” is said to contain backing by Showaddywaddy. What is the history behind this?
The "Wishing Well" charity single is still a bit of a mystery, although Romeo and Rod attended a session a few years back for a charity song, which they did a few bits of vocals on, so it must have been that. Unfortunately they can't be more precise.

From Janet of Portsmouth:
May I ask how many children you have? I know you have a daughter called Holly. If it’s too personal I understand.
I only have the one which you are quite right is Holly.

From Dianne (Marcel) Finnegan from Manchester
Do you like cooking?
Perhaps beans on toast or a cooked breakfast is my limit.

Do you have any pets? (Ps Thanks for all the great years of music, I enjoy every show!)
Used to have a couple of Guinea Pigs now both deceased! Thanks for the compliment!

From Martin Diamond of Cumbria:
The Civic Hall in Whitehaven, Cumbria has bands of all calibre play, from Ash to Buzzcocks and so on; Maybe you could investigate playing there?
We have been in touch with Whitehaven on numerous occasions but, they have never been able to strike the right deal!

From David O’Rourke:
What are the band’s favourite memories of their hey-days in the 70's? Was it their first time on TOTP, having a big hit at Christmas or the girls/the cars etc
I could write a book in answer to that one, there are numerous memories!

What were the strangest things (without being too personal) that the fans did? ie I know there was a woman who named her kids after the band
I think the family who named their son with all the bands names was the oddest! We met them on an Esther Rantzen TV Show, I think he was pretty embarrassed by it all as he was in the process of simplifying his name by deed-poll!

Did the band ever consider recording “Duke of Earl” before Darts?

Was Romeo sponsored by Premier in the ‘70s? Did he prefer their kits to others, but had to use them because of sponsorship?
Yes Premier were sponsors right up until recently (being based in Leicester had a lot to do with it). It think Romeo always preferred Ludwig, but Premier were and still are great kits!

Who was the best record producer you worked with? Would you have worked with Dave Edmunds if you had a chance?
We actually did approach Dave Edmunds to do some songs with SWW, but an ex-member of the band had upset him at a party they both attended, so he turned the offer down. We were more happy producing ourselves, although we enjoyed working with Phil Wainman (who is still a personal friend)!

What happened to the countless drape costumes the band have worn since the start?
Many of them were donated to various charity auctions and causes!

Finally! Did the band enjoy the Christmas special of ‘Only Fools & Horses’ from a few years back where Delboy was selling Showaddywaddy LPs? I think they were copies of the 1976-78 Greatest Hits.
We had a right laugh about that! It was great to be included on one of the best comedy series ever!

From Kira Ball of Chatham, Kent:
A quick question: I’m 18 and would like to know how does it feel like when you see the younger members of the generation getting up singing and dancing along to your music?
That gives us a great buzz. Too many teenagers are obsessed with 'being cool'. If you go to a rock concert you should go to let your hair down, to dance, sing - whatever! It's all about having a great night!

From Kevin of Wick:
Back in the 70's, many SWW 45's had "Kev" etched into the vinyl near the label. At that time I had a trouble convincing my pals I hadn't done it myself! Was this the record company's doing?
It must have been some kind of code. I've never been aware of it. I must check it out!

In response to an earlier question, revamped SWW tracks would catch on. My daughters take part in local disco-dancing contests, and in the Rock 'n' Roll section, SWW songs are often played (although seem to be a bit speeded up). Maybe a whole new market opening up!
We've contacted all kinds of DJ's and remixers, somehow things never quite happen - not sure why?

From Robert Render of Malton, North Yorkshire:
I was wondering about the song you did Michael Barrymore - 'Saturday Night's Going to Be Alright'? Is it a Showaddywaddy original or an old song?
The BBC asked us to do that song with Michael. I understand it originally came from 'The Kids From Fame' series.

From James of Greater Manchester:
I have recently purchased a SWW acetate LP. The track listing is interesting; it looks like it could have been a demo for ‘Red Star; (though there is no date on the LP)
The track listing is:
1. You Got What It Takes.
2. '68 Teenage Queen.
3. Lost.
4. Lucy Jane.
5. In Above Your Head.
6. Sweet Georgia.
I’d be interested to know in this case when Dave wrote “Lost” as this didn’t appear until 1979.

I wrote 'Lost' in 1977 originally for inclusion on Red Star, however it wasn't quite finished when the album was delivered to the record company.

From Linn & Yvonne of Perth:
My friend and myself were trying to get tickets for the concert in Glenrothes in December, guess what it is sold out! We saw Showaddywaddy at the Normandy Hotel back in September and as usual you guys were just terrific. We were wondering if you guys were doing a tour next year like the Glitz Blits & Hitz tour. If so are you coming back up to Scotland?
Don't worry we'll be back up in Scotland soon. The Scottish leg of the '03 tour was wonderful. I know Glenrothes sold out very quickly so I'm sure we'll play the venue again before too long!

From Michael Setchell:
As a die hard fan from the beginning, in 70's package shows the audience is there for the 70's hits like 'Sweet Music', 'Heavenly', 'Sweet Little Rock 'n' Roller' and other classic 'Wad' hits, not the rock 'n' roll fillers that are played. If they are playing a rock 'n' roll show then that format would be fine, but not for a 70's package.
Not quite with this one the 'fillers' I assume to be C'mon Everybody/Summertime Blues which have become the bands' live 'anthems' and 'I Hear You Knockin' which features Danny (who makes a great job of it). Some of the lesser hits you mentioned don't have the same impact as the so called 'fillers'!

A few from myself:
Did you ever do any live Radio shows, such as sessions with John Peel on BBC Radio 1?
Not for a number of years! I don't think we'd be quite up John Peels' street! We did sessions for the BBC at Broadcasting House on a couple of occasions, one I believe to be in '77 and the other as recently as '95, unfortunately I can't remember the names of the programmes. If they come to light I will let you know. [See footnote 3]

How disappointed were you that Arista would not release your own material as singles?
The thing was if you find a winning formula, the company will try to milk it for all it's worth! There were some original songs that were worthy of being singles and of course it was frustrating at times!

Why did you decide to start producing your own singles from 1977 instead of using Mike Hurst?
I've already got myself into bother in the industry through my criticisms of Mike Hurst, when he came up for a long service award! He was not a dedicated or thorough producer and let some awful things go! Towards the end of his association with SWW his input was very limited and it was obvious the band was more creative in it's own right. He wasn't thorough and was more interested in getting home after a few hours in the studio. The two real howlers that stand out which we wanted to re-do were on 3 Steps To Heaven at the end of the first verse on the word "tightly" there is a serious timing fault by the drummer (Malcolm Allured). I remember being disgusted that this was allowed to stand, particularly as it was to be a high profile single!
The other really bad one (there were a number of other lesser errors let go) was on "Rock & Roll Man" where the guitars are out of tune. It was just down to laziness. Perhaps we were too soft and worked with Mike for too long (in excess of 2 years) I remember Mud did a session with him after we had been to No. 1 with Under The Moon (when lots of artists wanted to work with a successful producer) and Ray Stiles called me to say they were really unimpressed with Mike and axed him after just 3 days. Anyway it makes us sound bitter to go on criticising him any further. Though the sessions were far more creative between 77-79 when we had a free hand.

In some early photos, you are wearing jeans with your drape jackets. Was the image tidied up by Bell?
Those photo's should never really have got out. Bell didn't dictate as to the bands' image. [See footnote 4]

How soon did you start wearing teddy boy suits – did you wear them almost as soon as Showaddywaddy were created by the merger of the two groups?
Very early on, as soon as we could afford to have them made.

You were all recently sent the back catalogue of CD’s by Cherry Red. Is this the first time some of the band has listened to old material for years or is it often played back?
You are so close to those recordings that it's very rare that you listen to them at home.

Which songs did you record much earlier than they were actually released, for example “Really Going Out Of My Mind” is shown as 1978 but didn’t appear until 1980
There were always songs that were not quite right to be included on some of the albums i.e. 'You Are Love', 'Really Going Out Of My Mind' and 'Lucy Jane' and quite a few others. A lot of these found their way onto B-sides.

Your album track “Good Times” is credited to Sam Cooke. I have listened to the Sam Cooke version of Good Times and it sounds totally different. Did he write two versions of a song called “Good Times”?
I think you've unearthed an error! 'Good Times' was written by Vanda/Young who were members of 60's band The Easybeats, and is a totally different song to Sam Cooke's similarly titled track