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A LIFE IN Rock ‘n’ Roll

It’s 1960, and Vince Eager is finding himself increasingly frustrated with Larry Parnes. The latest tour proves to be memorable, though, with horseplay by the River Avon, disappearing cars in Cardiff, and punch-ups in Glasgow
Photos supplied by Vince Eager

Summer 1960, and I’m looking at upcoming dates that I’d agreed to fullfil on Larry Parnes’ Rock ’N’ Trad show – there were 15 acts, including yours truly, on this extravaganza, with Joe Brown, Billy Fury, Georgie Fame, Duffy Power and more also on board. One of the dates was in Bristol, and with Joe also on the bill, we stayed together in the same digs and looked forward to refreshing our acquaintance with a local riding stable and its inmates close to the River Avon.

The stage manager on the Rock ’N’ Trad show was Steve, a guy who, according to himself, could outdo Joe in any activity we participated in during the course of the tour. From ice skating to shooting to horse riding, Steve insisted he had no equal. In spite of his insistence to join us, we always managed to find an excuse for him not being able to participate.

The banks of the River Avon were close to the stables, and perfect for the horse riding that Joe and I would go on two or three times a week when we were in the area. On this particular occasion, however, Steve insisted that he would be joining us – in spite of being told there were no horses available, he had managed to secure a ride over the phone. Not only was Steve not the greatest stage manager, he also had a bad case of BO and standing three feet away from him was about the closest anyone would want to be. The day prior to Steve’s intended ride with us, Joe and I explained our plight to the owner of the stables who was sympathetic to our grievance and we suggested that she should give Steve a smaller horse to ride. Unfortunately, the horse in question had a tendency to rear up without warning if an unheralded object such a piece of paper suddenly appeared out of nowhere on its left hand side. She also stressed that it wasn’t the easiest of rides but, in view of Steve’s boasting of his skills, she thought it could be the perfect mount for him. We did attempt to put across the image of Steve as a guy who initially appeared to be a pain in the backside, but was really full of good intentions.

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