Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Rubber Bobby Ball.


Right now, I should be going to bed, but instead I find myself staring at a yawningly empty page.

Despite keeping my blog up almost daily for over three years now (an anniversary that snuck by without me noticing), there will occasionally be times when I have little to say. To be honest, I’m surprised to have said so much since I began; you can’t always have something of interest to impart.

One thing that was personally notable for me last night was finding out that Bobby Vee had passed away. While I don’t know a great deal of his music outside of the obvious big hits, I actually saw him play once. It was in 1995, when I won tickets to a concert celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Paul McCartney-organised Buddy Holly Week, at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, through the McCartney fan club. Looking back, it was a pretty incredible line-up, including the original Crickets, Carl Perkins and Bobby Vee, plus a surprise appearance from Macca himself, who came out to front the 1950s super group with a rendition of 'Rave On!'. For a Beatles & Holly fan like me, it was pretty exciting.

My other run-in of sorts with the singer was less direct: I understudied the part of him in the Bill Kenwright actor / muso musical ‘The Roy Orbison Story’ (a show in which I played Paul McCartney, to add a sense of full circle to proceedings). I only went 'on' once, for one night only, at Sunderland Empire. I came on in a burst of nervous energy, sang a medley of 'Rubber Ball', 'Take Good Care of My Baby' and 'The Night Has a Thousand Eyes' and then buggered off; it was probably the least convincing portrayal of the man of all time, but I still did it. How many people can say they impersonated him in Sunderland, damn it?

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