Saturday, May 30, 2009

Devil or Angel? & What About Billy Fury?

Before I continue my saga about my meeting with Billy, I would like to thank my kind bloggeroos for their messages and awards. I don't think I've ever had a cold that made me feel so poorly or lasted that long before. (I will add the awards over the weekend when I will have sussed out how to add them etc!)

Where were we?..................Oh yes........

The Night I Met Billy Fury

The year was 1973, I was at The Flying Bowman Club at RAF Scampton. Billy Fury had had health problems and was now relaunching his career following a heart operation. This was in the wake of a new album and his appearance with David Essex in the film "That'll Be The Day."

I knew Nick the booking agent for the club and had asked him to get me an autograph.

So there we were, Sidesaddle Sally, Showalot Sharon, Legover Linda, and me.

We were all balancing our glasses of Babycham, puffing on our Player's No. 6, and dancing round our Freeman Hardy and Willis handbags that were arranged in a heap on the dance floor.

(God, we were sophisticated in those days, doncha think?)

Just as I was rearranging the pop socks inside my bra for the umpteeth time, Nick came out of the door that led to the dressing rooms and beckoned me me with a gentle

"Oi you! You with the black satin flared trousers !"

I ran over quite quickly and ladylike considering the huge platform shoes I was wearing.

Not only had Nick got me Billy's autograph, it was a signed photograph!

Now, it has been said in the past that I have neither tact or diplomacy as a character trait.

In my own defence, I will say that this is because both of my grandfathers were of good Yorkshire stock.

Yorkshire people are famous for their plain speaking, so, on seeing his photo I blurted out,

"Oh my God! What the hell's happened to his hair?"

It was really bouffant and he looked like Mrs Slocombe.

I was brought up to be polite and thanked Nick profusely and he told me Billy's hair was different in the flesh. I walked back over to me mates, holding his pic close to my heart.

Just as I'm about to join in bopping to a bit of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Nick reappears and beckons me again.

"Come with me, you can see for yourself, he would like to meet you!"

I followed Nick through the door and Billy was standing there, waiting. Yes! Waiting for ME!

Anyone will tell you that I'm not shy and certainly not known for blushing, (except for the time aged 9 that I curtsied during the Military Two Step at Dance Class and ripped me drawers!)

He was soooo gorgeous!

My face was flushed and my heart was beating so fast, I thought I would die.

"It's lovely to meet you," he said

I wanted to say, "It's lovely to meet you too, and your hair is great tonight"

What I actually said was, "Ner mer ner mer ner"

He smiled at me and gently took my hand. He had beautiful twinkly eyes and he laughed.

"I always find meeting someone new nerve wracking too. I won't bite, promise."He said

He made me feel so relaxed. Then he said, "You're a bit young to like my stuff."

So I explained about having older cousins and my liking for 50's and 60's music.

"What's your favourite?" he asked.

"Devil or Angel", I replied.

"Wow, I'm impressed. You DO know my music. Most people say "Halfway to Paradise"

We chatted a bit longer, I told him I liked his hairstyle.

He was lovely. so shy and unassuming. We said our goodbyes and he gave me a gentle kiss on the cheek.

I knew, even then, that I would never forget meeting him.

I joined me mates. Billy came on stage.

After a few songs, he looked out across the audience. He had his hand up to his eyes against the glare of the spotlight.

"I met a lovely young lady here tonight, and this song is for her. Where are you, Sue?"

I was jumping up and down. "I'm here Billy, I'm here!"

He sang "Devil or Angel" all the time looking out at me. He made me feel so special.

Sadly, Billy died in 1983, aged 42. I will never forget him.

A few years ago I went to see a tribute night to Billy Fury. The chap singing was excellent and sounded quite like Billy. As good as this soundalike was, no- one could ever match Billy's charisma or stage presence.


Moonspinner said...

Great post!

Sal said...

That brought tears to my eyes,Sue!
What lovely memories.Shame he died so young.
Have a great weekend ;-)

Lalabi-baby said...

Glad you're over the lurgies Sue .... great Billy story .... keep 'em coming x

Menopausal musing said...

More......... More...... Brilliant.x

Elaine said...

Lovely post, lovely memories,
thank you.

Love and blessings

Country Cottage Chic said...


angel said...

Glad you feeling better honey.:-)

I remember singing away to Billy when i was a icklie, listening to his dulcet tones on the wind up wireless......Awwww those were the days.........
Thanks for your lovely post, keep it up girl, you have a knack for this ritin stuff...... :-)

Love hugs and blessings. X x X x X

Anonymous said...

Hi Sue,

I really hope you are feeling better now XXX

Rose XXX

Cal said...

What a lovely story. And your anecdote about the ciggies and handbags took me back to visiting a pub in Lincoln with a friend, both underage but trying to look oh so sophisticated and we got thrown out. What gave us away? We couldn't smoke and balance our drinks and handbags at the same time!!

Cal :>

Lisa said...

Your post had me laughing all the way through!
Have only found your blog today.
I love Billy Fury too, it comes from having a Dad who loved rock n roll.
Lisa x

Elegancemaison said...

Hi there - was following your blog and especially about Billy Fury, when you disappeared. It was shortly after you got the 'gormy ruttles'. I do hope that you are OK and have recovered and there is some other reason for your being missing? Very best wishes, Marie.

Felicity said...

what a lovely tale! lovely memories! fliss xx

Elise said...

Oh WOW, this is a great post & you have the most gorgeous site here. I had to stop by to leave this comment for you – and to say hello of course ! Your posts are creative and original and you have interesting pictures. It's all perfect ! Thank you for sharing your site and best wishes....

OhSoVintage said...

I only remember 'Halfway to Paradise' but I do remember how he used to curl up his lip when he sang. What a claim to fame having met Billy Fury! My Helen shapiro autograph comes a close second though!!!!!!!