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Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

SHOWADDYWADDY

Showaddywaddy were formed in 1973 in Leicester, England, from two groups, ' Choise' and 'Golden Hammers'.
'Choise' wrote and performed original material and was made up of Dave Bartram, Trevor Oakes, Al James andRomeo Challenger. They also did a few covers - some of the original songs were carried over and used as Showaddywaddy songs. 'The Hammers' consisted of Buddy Gask, Russ Field, Rod Deas and Malcolm Allured and they were a covers band.
They both played at the Fosseway pub in Leicester and soon discovered they liked each others music. After playing together in jamming sessions, they joined together permanently and Showaddywaddy was born.

The Fosseway, Melton Road, Leicester. Seen here Friday 16th December 2005. Now trading as Indigos Vegetarian Indian Restaurant, it was trading as The Fosseway Pub when current owners moved in around 2000.
Thanks to Alan Keeling for tracking it down and taking the picture above and those below!
During 1973, the band were asked if they wanted to be on TV - the show was "New Faces". They won one programme in the series and were runners-up in the "All Winners Final". This led to various record companies racing to sign them up. However they had already signed to Bell Records, (the Bay City Rollers and Gary Glitter were also signed to the signed to the same label).
The first single, Hey Rock And Roll was released on 19th April 1974 and reached number two in the UK charts. Showaddywaddy then hit the UK charts another 22 times until late 1982. These included 10 Top-Ten singles and one number one, racking up a total on 209 weeks in the singles chart - one of the most successful singles groups of all time.

The first few singles were all written by the band and these generally reached the top-20. Two cover versions,'Three Steps To Heaven' and 'Heartbeat' were released in 1975. These both reached the top ten before Showaddywaddy reverted back to their own material. However, these again failed to reach the top-10, so they went back to cover-versions and entered the top-10 once more.
Romeo later quoted, "Dave and Trevor would approach the record company with a song. The would say, 'No we don't want that - you had a hit with a cover last time, you can do it again'". The cover versions were all pop versions of old '50s US rock 'n' roll songs, catchy tunes backed up by their colourful image, dance routines and numerous television appearances.

The original line-up - this picture is an early promo from 1974:
(Back row L-R): Rod Deas (bass), Trevor Oakes (guitar), Al James (bass), Buddy Gask (vocals), Russ Field (guitar), Dave Bartram (vocals). Front row: Malcolm Allured (drums), Romeo Challenger (drums).
With this combination of instrument players - ie two of everything - Showaddywaddy had great flexibility on stage with four or five members playing the instruments and the others doing the dance routines. At their peak, they were doing 250 gigs a year, and the band are still gigging.
2003 saw the band's 30th Anniversary, and they celebrated by completing a successful 40-date UK-wide tour along with The Rubettes and Sweet.

For many years (1987 to 2008), the line up consisted of five of the original eight members: Dave, Trevor, Al, Rod and Romeo, along with Danny Willson on lead guitar. More information about the various members of the band can be found at the 
Group History Page.

L-R: Trevor Oakes, Dave Bartram, Rod Deas, Al James, Romeo Challenger, Danny Willson
Al James and Trevor Oakes retired from the band in December 2008, and were replaced by Paul Dixon and Dave Graham.
The line up currently (2010) consists of three of the original 8 members, namely Dave Bartram, Rod Deas and Romeo Challenger, and they are still belting out the hits up and down the land and across Europe over 37 years after they first formed.

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