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A LIFE IN: Rock ‘n’ Roll

In which Vintage Rock’s resident rock’n’roll diarist, Vince Eager, learns how to stretch time in front of his Grantham hometown audience and discovers that Morrissey seems to be rather obsessed with him…
Photos supplied by Vince Eager

With over 50 TV appearances, three single records, an album and a string of successful theatre dates to my credit, 1959 proved to be a great year. 1960, however, was a different kettle of fish. The ill-fated Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent tour, Eurovision Contest stage wear problems and my futile efforts to get Larry Parnes to allow me to record a big ballad all happened within the first three months of 1960.

Due to Parnes capitalising on Eddie Cochran’s tragic death to promote his own business interests, he no longer figured in my long-term plans and I told him I wanted out of our management agreement. I had, however, agreed to appear on various dates following Billy Fury and my Great Yarmouth summer season and the ‘Idols on Parade’ autumn theatre tour was one I desperately wanted to fulfil, as Grantham Granada was on the itinerary and it was my hometown theatre where it had all began. As I hadn’t performed there since becoming a professional, I was keen to show the Grantham audiences how I’d progressed since I was the lead singer in The Vagabonds Skiffle Group. The Grantham locals had been fantastic in their support for me. Larry was also paying me £2,000 for the tour, much more than he’d paid me before, so I thought it would be a great way to end our business relationship. Mark Forster, who worked in Larry’s office, also told me it was because Larry was trying to sweeten me up following my outburst over his handling of Eddie’s death, but it made no difference and I was still determined it would be my last tour for him.

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