Evesham, October 2009
ROB DEE reports
Pat Chris Karen Rob
(Karens Rob) and I went to the club early in the afternoon to
set everything up, the room was looking great with Rock N Roll
balloons and decorations all over the wall, we also had table
decorations to make the room look great. and put out the raffle
Chris and I
concentrated on the p a and getting the sound right, after a bit
of fiddling about we got it just right.
We all went home
to get ready and arrived back at the club at 6 pm
That left us just
one hour until the doors opened.
By 7.30 the place
was packed, we had been worried that people would not turn up
but had to turn a lot of people away as we didn't want to over
crowd the hall.
The bar had opened
and I put some Rock N Roll on the disco.
It was great to see
so many friends old and new.
Cris Eley and Linda,
Ken and Cecilia from the Sound Of Fury Fan Club, Jenno and his
lovely wife from the m/b and of course the Wonderful Daniel, who
made it on time despite getting his van stuck in a ditch and
arriving covered in mud.
8 o'clock soon came
round and it was time for a good mate of mine Dave Wickenden to
take to the stage as Buddy Holly, Dave is the best Buddy tribute
in the UK and from the very first line of "That'll Be
The Day" had the place rocking, well done Dave
(Unfortunately Dave had to leave straight after his set as his
Daughter was taken in to hospital the day before, hope she is ok
now Dave and thanks for doing the show, it could'nt have been
easy with that on your mind)
A short break with
our mc for the night Magic Daniel singing a song and keeping the
I was up next with
my Billy Fury tribute and from the moment I walked on the stage
I knew this was going to be a good night, the audience were
great and really up for a good time. Everyone was dancing
and singing along to all of those great Billy songs. My hour spot
went much too quickly and it was time for the longest raffle in
history and the auction, well done Daniel Pat and Chris you done
a great job.
It was now 10.30 and
time for the headline act, SHEEBOP a fab Rock band from
Gloucester and boy did they rock the place, they had everyone up
on the dance floor and even on the stage (see pics) their one
hour set went much too quick we wanted them to carry on for
another hour and was tempted to turn the clock back an hour
early, well done Sheewi, the lead singer he said this was the
best gig he had done in years.
The band left the
stage at 11.45 and I carried on with some great Rock N Roll
on my disco until 12.30, everyone left saying what a great night
it was and (When are you doing it again)
Well done to Pat and
everyone who helped make this the "Best Evesham Ever"
If anyone has any
more pics could they send them as I took these from Pat's camera
and couldn't find any of Dave or Daniel on there.
A further £500 has been sent to
billyfury.com's appeal for Alder Hey Children's Hospital's Heart
Fund, and the receipt will be added when it is received from the
In Evesham Friday October 22 2004.
night was full of surprises, starting with Daniel's disco from 7-9pm.
is truly a great star. Everyone enjoyed him.
then came Daniel's first surprise of the night. He called up Chris
and me and gave us a bottle of Billy wine - yes, that's right, a bottle
with a Billy label,
came more rock 'n' roll with Daniel. He also sang a great version of
Adam Faith's What Do You Want. Well done Daniel!
came the biggest surprise of the night. Daniel called Chris and me
back and handed us three tickets. I will let Daniel tell you all
about that one.
Thank you Daniel.
notes: Daniel handed over three tickets for the event at The Adelphi,
Liverpool, for Pat, Rob and Chris. The event is a sell-out and all
three were disappointed to be missing it. Daniel obtained the
tickets from a seller on Ebay.)
9- 9.40pm: Rob Dee as Billy Fury and what a star. Rob was on
top form. He dedicated many songs, including I Will to Moya.
people were saying to me that they couldn't believe their eyes. What
many people did not know was that on Wednesday, Rob was so ill. Well
lovely wife Chris worked very hard all night on the soundtrack.
9.40pm: Mike King helped out with the raffle, with Lee winning a
Billy photo, and then he won another Billy prize, but sadly not a
T-shirt. Wel done to Fran for winning a Billy prize too.
10.15pm: Rob Dee was back again in his black leathers, doing more Billy
rock 'n' roll and looking stunning.
11pm-midnight: The Fury Sound provided more rock 'n' roll.
They were brilliant, with Rob coming on again at 11.30. They had
people shouting for more.
you everyone for making this such a great night. About 220 people
attended and 100 were turned away. After expenses, we
were left with £1,400. £100 will be given to the upkeep of Billy's
grave, and the rest will be split between Alder Hey Children's Hospital
Heart Unit and Auckland Hospice.
Café Saturday October 16 2004.
Despite a wet night and
heavy London traffic, over 250 fans attended the Ace
Café's tribute to Billy.
The evening began with one
of the café's regular DJ's who is a huge Billy
fan, playing some of his more unusual tracks and snippets from
A blue-haired rock and roll
artist from Scotland was first on stage and
launched into some standard numbers to get the crowd 'warmed-up' (not
they needed it!)
After Jessee Garron had sung
for about 30 minutes, it was back to the DJs to play and talk about
Billy until the arrival of the guests of honour for the night, Jean and
Albert Wycherley. They received loud applause as they walked into
the Ace Café announced by our DJ.
Jenny Warwick thanked them
for attending on behalf of all Billy's fans and
presented them with a small gift each.
Jenny then walked around
holding up a painting so everyone could see, which had been donated by
an artist who is a fan club member.
Bidding then got under way
and many bids from around the room soon got the price up to over £200
where it became a two person event.
Barbara Carylon finally won
the painting with a bid of £325. A huge thank you
goes to David Wyatt, the artist and to Barbara and the money will go
Billy's fan club funds.
After Albert drew tickets
for the raffle the Flames started the live entertainment.
The band played for
almost an hour before being joined by Dave Sampson. (Dave used to be a
good friend of Billy's in the early 60s).
Following Dave's set the
Flames invited anyone from the audience to join
them on stage. This has become a traditional and very popular part of
First up was a tribute
artist Jett Screen who sang three numbers. The
audience loved him and he said it was great to sing at this event, but
honour to sing before Billy's mother and brother.
Next on stage was Danny
Rivers who sang three numbers but he said that he was not going to sing
any of Billy's songs as he, along with everyone else, hoped this honour
would go to Albert. Despite the fact that Albert is not well and had
never sung with the Flames before, he agreed to sing to the delight of
He sang five of Billy's
songs, openning with A Wondrous Place and including I'd
Never Find Another You and My Babe.
A fan kept calling for
Albert to sing Collette but the band said they didn't know it. Not for
her to be disappointed he sang the first two verses to her without any
To cries of: "More,
more," Albert stepped off the stage. What better
way to close a wonderful evening than a tribute to Billy from his
Ace Café Saturday October
By Pierre Petrou
I knew that it was going to be a cold night, so I dressed adequately along with my Billy Fury Wondrous Place T-shirt to get to the venue just before 8pm, when it was all due to start.
Upon entry, I was greeted instantly by Clare Mehmet-Nugent from the Billy Fury
Fan Club, who gave me my name badge, which had a picture of Billy on a
motorbike, as the Ace Café is widely regarded as the bikers' haven..
Printed on the badge was:
“I supported the Billy Fury bronze fund at the Ace Café”. (I managed to get a couple of extra badges, as it is believed that these could be rather
In the background, I could hear the Marty Wilde Radio 2 tribute, Like I’ve Never Been
Gone and I got myself a drink and walked around to see what was going on.
As I walked further in, I saw what, in my opinion, appeared to be a very
moody Jess Conrad and Jet Harris.
I thought to myself, that it was really good of these legends to make the effort to come to a Billy Fury Memorial night and that these people are really true rock ‘n’ roll “gangsters”!
Along the walls and windows were pictures of Billy, with a huge poster of Billy up towards the stage and a small stall where Chris Eley, Jenny Warwick and
company were selling items and raffle tickets to raise funds for the bronze statue.
CDs of the new Love Songs album were available, along with T-shirts of Billy on a motorbike,
sweatshirts, belt buckle and tie sets, limited edition Billy Fury scarves, (I think that I bought the last
two), a limited edition mahogany plaque with a photo of Billy, a guitar and an engraving
saying: “Billy Fury, 20th Anniversary 1983 – 2003, Souvenir Limited Edition, No 021 of 200”. This came with a certificate and photo of authenticity.
Also available were computer mouse mats, coasters, badges, key rings, fridge magnets,
etc - all with photos of Billy Fury on them.
A raffle and an auction were planned for midnight that evening. Raffle items
included large photo frames of Billy, and Billy’s meeting with Elvis Presley,
chocolates, CDs, and dinner for two at the Ace, among some other items.
There were three main lots for the auction: Billy’s autograph, along with
four or five other contemporaries autographs, three copies of some rare magazines
with Billy features inside, and the main item of the evening, a framed
Cecil Gee shirt owned by Billy in the 70s, with photos of Billy around the shirt.
This went for almost £300.
I met several new people, as well as some familiar faces from Mill Hill. Clive, a new person I had met, told me about his Internet website and radio station- www.hitradio.co.uk and a site very well worth having a look at.
As the night progressed, Billy tracks were being played and more legends from the
50s and 60s emerged.
The first person I was lucky to interview was Terry Dene, one of Billy’s friends and singing
co-stars (A White Sport Coat, etc). What a lovely man. He was sitting on the stairs in a baseball cap and we went to the top where it was less noisy to record the interview.
I managed to record the conversation onto my small Dictaphone and he told me all about how shy Billy was and
unsure of his stage performances.
Terry also went on to tell me what he had been doing over the years and I am hoping that he stays in touch and sends me some material. After an autograph, I went back downstairs.
Then, as I came down the stairs, everyone surrounded this tall man in a hat who had just walked
in - it was Mike Sarne (Come Outside). I managed to get his autograph and bought him a
I then saw Colin Gold arrive and introduced myself. I also bought Colin a pint and went on to have a word with Jet
Harris. I went outside to speak to Jet, who was quite a character. Again, he told me of his fond memories of Billy and how shy and quiet Billy
was, also that Billy was a complete gentleman. I had my photo taken with Jet, who I must add is also a
gentleman and a very lovely person to talk to.
I was in my element! As I went back into the café, Clare pointed out
to me Clem Cattini, the original drummer of The Tornadoes, Billy’s backing group and
who played on Telstar. I said hello and we went outside for another interview. Again, it was great to speak to someone who was so close to Billy. Clem told me all the wonderful things about Billy and felt that if Billy had had the same support and backing as Cliff Richard, then Billy could have been just as big,
if not bigger than Cliff. Clem also told me how he had re-formed The Tornadoes in the past 11 years and was also kind enough to offer me the opportunity of a studio interview in the future. Again, after a photo and an autograph, we went back into the café.
Other stars that I managed to get autographs from were Tommy Bruce, (Ain't Misbehavin’) and Danny
Rivers (Can’t You Hear My Heart).
Unfortunately, I didn’t see any of the other invited guests, but also there on the night were Jett Scream, Brian Gregg, Dave Sampson, John
Allison and The Flames.
Then, I went back to speak to Colin Gold who told me about what it was like to be doing the circuit as
"Billy". Colin was sincere and kind enough to arrange to meet me later in the week at the radio station to record an exclusive interview with him.
As I went back into the café, the place started to really fill, with several bikers, rockers and teddy boys and
girls, all dressed in the clothing of that era and making the night an authentic
50s rock 'n' roll event.
Someone told me that Judith Hall (Billy's ex-wife) was also present. Thanks to Chris Eley, I was honoured and fortunate enough to have my photograph with her and an opportunity to say a quick hello.
Some TV camera crews were also present for part of the evening. The music was loud and many of the singers who
attended performed on stage.
Of particular note was Danny Rivers who sang
Little Sister and Can’t Help Falling In Love. I recall many people pausing and making an effort to listen to his superb voice. I also overheard someone
say: "That is the best Elvis-sounding voice, I have heard in a long
At midnight the raffle and auction were held and the night started to
I think that almost £2,500 was handed over by the Ace Café towards the statue
I left at about 1am and drove home on an infinite "high". The night is still buzzing in my head, after mixing with so many legends and true friends of MY idol, Billy Fury.
For more information on the Ace Café, see http://www.ace-café-london.com
I would like to thank all the singers and legends who spoke with me this night, because for me, it was truly amazing. Extended thanks also go out to Clare Mehmet-Nugent and Chris Eley, who helped me with the