I Must Be Dreaming
Gonna Type A Letter
Do You Really Love Me Too
A Wondrous Place
Unfortunately, Russ Dee, who had travelled from Leeds, was struck
down with flu and was unable to perform.
One historic point is that when Johnny Storme sang Billy's unreleased
1965 single, I Must Be Dreaming, this was probably the first occasion on
which it had been performed in public since that time.
Tony has promised to send me a minidisc of the performance, from
which I may well produce a live radio broadcast, and I am also awaiting
As I was able to spend so little time in Margate, I asked for
reviews, and the first is from Roger Sea.
On arriving at the Travel Inn car park, Pat, my wife draw my attention
to a red van with England flags, pictures of Billy and others on the
It was Sounds Magic and out stepped the man himself, all 6 foot 6
plus. We introduced ourselves and then checked in at reception.
While doing so a tall chap with lots of hair came in and enquired
about a room. The receptionist immediately recognised him as being very
dodgy and told him to try the stables as there were no rooms left (I
know this story from somewhere -- do you Ray?)
Anyway, this dodgy chap left with three or four women in tow, only to
turn-up later in the day - read on.
Having found our way through the maze of one-way streets, including
one that I swear had the "one way" arrow pointing in the wrong
direction ( honest your honour) we finally arrived at the theatre. Tony
was already doing a noise check (sorry sound check).
The theatre was really breathtaking, second oldest working theatre in
the country, two balconies, fantastic decor, reminded me very much of
the Leeds Variety Hall ("Your own, your very own...)
Using the stage entrance, we found ourselves looking out into the
auditorium from centre stage...amazing.
I introduced myself to Tony and he said it was to early to sell sea
food. Anyway, Halfway to Paradise was playing so I instinctively grabbed
the mic and started singing.
Tony immediately recognised who I was and gave me the ice cream tray.
Russ was in the wings, not looking good at all and in obvious
discomfort from a bad throat infection and unable to perform, or sing
for that matter.
A few other people started to arrive, including someone from
overseas, I think his name was Johnny Pirate or Kidd or something just
They obviously don't have proper hair stylists where ever he comes
from, but he could sing - shanties and that sort of stuff I
That reminds me, you know that chap who got thrown out of the Travel
Inn, well he walked into the theatre. I think he was looking for work
because Tony said he needed a bloody job.
He also took a turn at singing. I think he must live somewhere
near that Johnny Kidd chap because this Ray guy also needed a good
As more and more people arrived and the foot switch for the backing
tracks still didn't work properly, an air of excitement starting to
Would Rob Dee remember his words even after washing his hands?
Could Dave climb the stairs to get on to the stage and would anyone
recognise Ray as that chap who got thrown out of the Travel Inn?
To add some sanity to the proceedings Laura's sound check made
everyone sit up. Great talent for such a young person. Good luck
for her GCSEs and for her future.
We departed for the Travel Inn at about 4.40pm and having had a
well-earned eigt pints of best bitter, did some scales just to
warm-up. Why do fish have so many of them? The chips were
all right though.
After the necessary preparation, skin scream, oil my ageing hips,
wash my glass eye, rub on hair lotion (OK that bit's not totally true -
I haven't got a glass eye, it's plastic really) we made our way back to
the theatre, carefully avoiding the one way system, I think, but I'll
tell you in a few days.
I don't know who went on first or last and who sang what.
The whole night for me was just a magic wonderland.
I opened the second half with A Thousand Stars followed by I Love How You Love Me and ended with Nothin'
Nobody ripped my pink jacket from me although someone said they should
On a serious note to end, I have worked with some great artists during the many years of being in the business, but none so dedicated, so talented, so
likable and so much in love with Billy's magic music as were the people on the show.
I was proud and privileged to be part of a magical evening.
The audience could have numbered in the thousands but would not have been anymore
enthusiastic. What a crowd, thanks for coming.
Last but not least, thanks to Tony who did it all single-handed. Here's to next time. Cheers.
And a hair-raising account from Johnny
The day had finally arrived, and I was on my way… within minutes I
felt a rush and then……bright lights and sounds of people talking and
screaming……. I was finally born.
I’ll always remember that day because, as I said at the time….
One day, I, will be back in a theatre with bright lights and people
screaming……. Little did I know then that it would take me half my
lifetime to realize my dreams.
I woke as normal, well as normal as could be expected, put my wellies
on and went out to the kitchen to make …… a cup of tea.
I was already packed and the loaned car, a Metro, was sitting eagerly
waiting for the long journey that lay ahead of us. ( Don’t worry, I
will finally get to the Show bit) I had the map of Great Britain, my
passport and a bag of sweets for the journey… and my words!
We followed the map that I had acquired from the internet the night
before and ended up in a large city called Margate. That’s when we
started to have problems. Up one street, down another, but could we find
the Theatre? After another 20 minutes or so of going round in circles we
plucked up the courage to ask a local.
I was told never to talk to strangers especially those with large
bags of sweets, and here we were, total strangers, and large bags of
sweets expecting someone to actually talk to us!!
We finally found someone daft enough in a pub, and 2 minutes later we
were barred for life.
On arrival at the Theatre Royal, we parked the car and bought a
parking ticket for 80 pence for a three hour stay….. We didn’t
expect to stay much longer, but when the ticket came out of the machine
we were surprised to see that we had won an extra days parking!
I could hear someone singing from within, so I new that this was the
On entering I saw a guy up on stage oiling his right hand pocket, so
I new straight away that this person was Roger Sea. He was very slick
especially on his right hand side. In fact, there were a couple of tug
boats with what seemed to be large rubber sausages attached to each one
of them, trying to surround Roger to keep the slickness in.
I was introduced to Russ Dee who didn’t look all that good. He was
also unwell with the flu, which I now have. He showed me a box and said
that if he wasn’t able to deliver it would I do it? I thought to
myself, as long as the address isn’t to far away, as I have a show to
A long haired hippy with very large earrings spoke next….. I’ve
seen some of them on the Isle of Wight in the late sixties, so I now a
hippy when I see one!!
He said his name was Tony so I had to believe him. I was shown to the
dressing closet where I dumped my things and came back for a sound
cheque. He didn’t give me one so I tested out the microphone instead.
Rob Dee was the next person I met, and I thought to myself, I’ve
seen you somewhere before. I remembered later on that he was one of the
people on the picture that I had printed off from Harry’s site so as I
would recognize them. He was a lot bigger than I had imagined but it was
a small print-out.
Then came Dave Michael, he was the same size as the guy in the
picture… smaller than I’d imagined, but what a great personality.
Strange though, he seemed to get a deeper tan as the evening went on.
That’s the thing with the locals, they do catch the sun.
Laura was the next person, along with Kevin that I met, what a voice!
Not as shy as me but better looking……. You can’t have everything.
Nerves were starting to kick in by now and as I came out of the
dressing closet I bumped into someone that had more hair than me...but
in the right colour. The name’s Ray Shenton he said. I may have a bad
memory, but I knew my name…. and it wasn’t that.
He carried on talking and I soon realized that this man was nothing
but a copy-cat.
He had the same hair style as me, (Although more of it. Don’t you
just hate copy-cats that have to go one better?) He had the pointy shoes
the flash jacket and MY sense of humour. I knew then that he’d be
The curtains drew back and suddenly the show had begun. I was in awe.
The acts went on, one after another, and I knew that this was going to
be a great show. Each and every one of them was stunning. Billy would be
so proud of them.
Rob Dee and I sneaked round to the back of the audience in the first
half to watch the show. We noticed a gentleman sitting on his own,
swaying and singing along with the singers.
We both though that he had had a few sherbets but nevertheless he was
giving it some (is that how you say it Tony?) I think his name was Harry
Wotsisname or something like that.
The interval came and went and the time was drawing near so I had a
cup of tea.
I threw some grapes to Rob, but amazingly missed.
The time for me to go on was here, my name called, I sheepishly took
to the stage.
The music started……….. I grabbed the mic…………
The copy-cat who was on before me must have loosened it because it
fell apart in my hands. I fumbled around which seemed like seconds, two
more beats and I would have to sing………… fixed it!!! ………….and
that’s all I can remember.
Dave Michael writes...
I arrived at Margate, only 20 minutes from home.
Tony was doing sound checks.
I met Roger and Russ Dee - poor so and so, he was really suffering
with the flu.
I did my sound check and met the great Johnny Storme - we shared a
Ray and Jean came in and we introduced ourselves. A great guy, Ray.
Jean is marvellous and lent me her Billy badge, which i had to guard
with my life. Thanks Jean.
Just before the show we had a call from Barry (spit) Bethell. (We all
had the flu!)
Poor Tony, he worked his socks off. Thanks Tony.
Laura is a smashing young lady and what a voice. She deserves to make
Dave Pament is a great entertainer.
Roger Sea: I can now say i've been on the same bill as him.
Rob Dee: I’d like to say now a good mate. Brilliant performance.
Ray Shenton: What can you say about this guy? He's got it all - a
Johnny Storme: Great! You set it up, I'll come to the Isle of Wight
just to be your backing.
Jeff Holland: Another great act I would travel to see. We had a chat
over a fag, great guy.
A really great night - thanks again, Tony.
I'm still on cloud nine and it’s Sunday. i've not come down yet.
A fantastic evening had by all and I met Pauline.
I have one regret - I did not meet Harry.
Tony Harte writes...
I arrived at the Royal at about 2pm to be greeted by a very shaky
looking Russell Deighton. The poor man was clearly unwell.
He tried his hardest in the sound check but it was looking dodgy. I
tried to get him just to sing one song on the night but he declined and
i respect him for what must have been a tear-jerking decision after
driving all the way from Leeds.
All the guys and girl arrived within the next hour or so and what a
great cast they proved to be.
After the sound check i got a call on my mobile from Barry Bethell’s
wife informing me Barry had the flu and can’t make it.
So now i have to do my spot, the sound, the music, stage managing and
to can the lot I had to compere as well.
At this point i said to myself there is only one thing to do: Open
the bottle of vodka in my changing room.
The funny thing was that after I had drunk half the bottle I did not
care any more. Can’t think why.
Well 7.45 came, and all the cast were in the wings looking a tad
worried. As for me, being a tad tipsy, I found myself in the dark
waiting for the curtain to lift. Up goes the curtain, bosh goes the
lights, crash goes the music and we are off.
After my mind-blowingly brilliant, fantastic, super dog’s wotsits
of a performance came…
Laura. What a lovely girl, what a voice! Oh if only i was ten years
She stole the hearts of the audience with her 100% act.
Thanks to Laura’s manager, Kevin Summerfield, for getting her to
Margate. Ii don’t know how he managed to put the TV remote down for
such a long period.
Next was my old mate and I mean old, and not handsome at all, Dave
Pamment. Even though Dave had a bad throat, he still managed to come
over very well.
Next came a giant of a man, Dave Michael, a real music veteran. Hhe
too was excellent. The only fault with his act is he ain’t as handsome
as me and that beergut of his must have cost him a fortune.
Next came Roger Sea in his pink sequined jacket. He came across
nearly as big as his beer belly. A great act that’s also not as
handsome as me.
That was the end of the first half of the show and time for me to
finish off my vodka.
The second half was opened by a guy almost as handsome as me, Rob
Dee, and what a great act he was. Sorry I messed up your sound a bit
Rob, but when people are nearly as handsome as me I get worried.
Next up came a guy who thinks he is more handsome than me – Ray
Shenton and his hair, followed by his army of northern groupies.
The grannies in the front row were screaming and chucking their
knickers at him. Ray told me after his excellent spot that he is going
to get a real job when he grows up.
Next was wellie the kid, Johnny Storme, and he did take the audience
by storm, even if he did have my jacket on. Well I wish it was my
I had to have two members of the audience chucked out for saying he
was more handsome than me.
Last was my old my with the young bird, Jeff Holland. Don’t give up
the day job Jeff! Ha ha! He was brilliant, but nowhere near as handsom
Then came the end of the show and i got all the guys back on stage,
even if they ain’t as handsome as me, to thank the audience, when up
comes Rob Dee (that’s the one who is nearly as handsome as me).
He stopped me dead in my tracks and presented me with a fantastic
framed photo of Billy and Elvis from the fan club. What a nice touch and
thank you for that.
For the last song of the night we are all up there. We dedicated to
Billy You’ll Never Walk Alone.
The hair was standing up on the back of my head. It was a moment in
time i think we will all remember for the rest of our lives.
The curtain fell to a standing ovation from the audience, and the
cast were glad they all had a long drive home as it took hours to come
down from such a wonderfull night.
On a serious note, you were all fantastic, and all so friendly and
willing. Thank you all for an excellent job.
And get your hair cut, Ray.
writes....We (that is my better half Chris and I) travelled down on Tuesday as we are
from that area originally and stayed with relatives about 30 miles from Margate.
At about 1pm on Wednesday we had a phone call from young (but very
tall and handsome) Daniel. He said he was already in Margate and that the
Theatre Royal was really easy to find (he lied).
We made our way down to Margate, about 30 minutes as the crow
flies (not that I saw any crows, but plenty of seagulls (I digress).
As we drove into Margate saw the
big sign for
This brought back many happy memories for us, as this is where we
used to spend our Saturday nights way back in the swinging 60s. We were Mods
at the time and went there to see great Motown acts (those were the days).
After driving round for a while we spotted the sign for the Theatre Royal,
not much to look at outside but from inside a "Wondrous Place" full of
I straightaway spotted Russ Dee who was looking very ill (hope
you're better now Russ) and then Introduced myself to a bloke on stage with a
nice "mullet" - Tony Harte.
After a quick sound check we went off into town to
meet Daniel and found a nice pub to waste a couple of hours.
Back at the theatre things were really starting to
I spotted a young-looking James Dean lookalike who I assumed was Johnny Storme,
also Dave Michael and his lovely wife, Roger Sea ( a nice bloke) Ray and Jean( two good
friends) Laura and Kevin, Pauline and Henry, Mags and Chris, John's wife and
The rest of the night was a bit of a blur and I apologise if I have
missed anything or anyone out.
I thought someone was trying to wind me up
when they said there was a lady waiting at the stage door for me, so I went
to have a look. She introduced herself as Jackie and although I have never
met her before I know her father very well. He is Jim Harry and he used to
live next door to Billy in St John's Wood.
She was holding some items in her
hands and asked if I would like them, There was the programme from the
In Thoughts Of You Tribute Show from the Beck Theatre, Sunday 10th April 1983,
the service sheet from Billy's funeral, and a personal thank you card signed
by Lisa, dated February 1983.
This made my day, it was a wonderful gesture from
Jackie. I could not wait to show everyone.
On with the
I suggested to Ray and Johnny that it might be better if
we sneaked into the audience to see the first half of the show. I
don't think Ray fancied the idea much so Johnny and I being the rock and roll
rebels we are, we sneaked off to watch the first half.
We spotted this strange
bloke in front of us waving his arms around and thought it must have been an
asylum seeker who had wandered into the theatre, but when the lights went on
we saw that it none other than the man himself, Harry Whitehouse.
got his own back on him for his surprise visit to the Isle Of White recently.
We all enjoyed the first half performances and made our way backstage for
the second half.
I was on after Roger Sea and was wishing that I had brought
my shades after looking at his pink sequined jacket.
Now it was my turn so I
rolled on my black vinyl (not leather or rubber) trousers and white jacket
and hit the stage. I did not find out until afterwards that no one in the
audience could hear my first song because of some technical problem.
wel, that's show biz for you. I watched the rest of the show from behind the
curtain and then had to go and get the picture for Tony that I had brought
from Blackpool from Chris Eley.
I was hoping that Barry the DJ would
present it. As he did not make it I asked Harry if he would do it, but he
could not as he had to get away straight after the show, so I asked if it
would be OK for me to do it.
When I presented the picture to Tony it was the
first time all day he had been speechless.
We stayed on in Margate
until Saturday and I was lucky to be able to do a couple of Billy Fury songs at a
show at The Winter Gardens, Margate, where my brother was appearing as Elvis
All in all a very special few days that Chris and I will always
remember. Thanks everyone - Rob and Chris Dee.
Venetia Cattroll writes...
It was a fantastic night despite all the setbacks, like nearly all
the artists having colds and flu. So much so that Russ Dee from Leeds,
was too ill to perform.
Also unfortunately Barry Bethell was also ill and couldn t make it,
so Tony Harte had to step in and introduce all the acts and do the
sound, as well as performing three songs himself. Which were very
It went without a hitch.
Talking to him after the show, he said it was nerve-racking as all
the artists had different sound levels.
He sang Like I’ve Never Been Gone, In Thoughts Of You and Once Upon
A Dream. He is a Billy Fury song specialist and fronts a revival package
which tours the country.
Tony read out apologies from Barry Bethell and Chris Eley, as they
couldn t attend.
Due to unforeseen circumstances Clare Mehmet-Nugent and Jenny Warwick
couldn’t attend, so my mum and I had her tickets and ended up in the
front row, sitting next to Rita from the Mill Hill.
I had already brought tickets, so that added to the sales, as not
many tickets as hoped had been sold. But there were a fair few there and
the bar was packed.
The Billy Fury Experience was on the night before at Canterbury so I
thought that would have attracted people. Another great show in tribute
to our Billy.
Anyway back to the show, Tony read out a good luck message from Moya,
who runs the Billy Fan Club in New Zealand.
Next on stage was a very talented 16-year-old girl called Laura, who
has a fantastic career ahead of her. She has a very accomplished voice.
She is from Northampton and sang at the same pub, the Sunnyside that
Billy sang at, and she sang the same as he did there. But hers is a rock
version of Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, which she did for us that
night, along with an upbeat version of Let Me Go Lover.
She very cleverly incorporated references to Billy's hits in her song
Legends Never Die. Laura will be performing at the Philomonic Hall, in
Liverpool, on Saturday 19 April, after the unveiling of the bronze
statue at the Albert Dock. Along with artists Wee Willie Harris, 'Tommy
Bruce and Colin Paul and the Persuaders.
Next on stage was Dave Pamment, from Essex who has a very powerful
voice. He sang Because Of Love, Run To My Loving Arms and That’s Love.
Dave Michael, from Kent, brought us to the end of a great first half,
singing When Will You Say I Love You, I Will and Halfway To Paradise. He
is a very experienced singer and guitarist. He has a CD available
through this website, price £6.
Then it was off to the bar. It was like having it in your own front
room, a lovely small old theatre.
Videos, CD s were on sale by the stage, with Pauline and Mags in
charge. The Without You CD, which inspired the show, was also on sale.
It features 19 artists, six of whom were at the concert.
Roger Sea, from Cambridge, brought us into the second half, with his
bright pink jacket, singing, A Thousand Stars , I Love How You Love Me
and Nothin’ Shakin’.
Rob Dee, was on next, from Wales, singing its It’s Only Make
Believe , Devil Or Angel and Don’t knock Upon My Door, which got
everyone clapping and singing along. I think he has to be my favourite
as he has all the actions and costumes, not forgetting the voice.
He is available for solo performances, with a new backing band, and
he also has an album coming out soon.
We met him backstage before the show. He is a great guy and sang at
Mill Hill in January with Ray Shenton, for the memorial service. He is
originally from Whistable, so was on home terriority.
Next was Ray Shenton, a very nice guy from Preston, who brought all
his family and friends. He sang Last Night Was Made For Love, Lost
Without You and Jealousy. Buy his CD for £7, e-mail him on firstname.lastname@example.org
Johnny Storme, from the Isle of Wight, sang Billy's first and last
singles, Maybe Tomorrow and Forget Him. He also sang I Must Be Dreaming
which I hadn’t heard sung before, as it was Billy s unreleased 1965
single. He had a presence about him (like Billy) and is just a natural
Jeff Holland, from Southampton, was the last act of the night,
singing, I’d Never Find Another You, Do You Really Love Me Too and
Gonna Type A Letter. Very difficult songs to sing but he seemed to sing
with great ease. He is a really nice guy. We met him after the show. He
is touring all over the country, singing Billy songs.
Rob Dee presented a lovely framed photo of Elvis and Billy together,
with a plaque on it, to Tony Harte, from the Sound of Fury fan club
syndicate. Tony was very moved and said he would treasure it always.
All the artists except Laura, who had homework to hand in next
morning, returned to the stage to sing You’ll Never Walk Alone,
supported by the audience.
Harry tells his tale...
I kept telling everyone that I wasn't going to Margate for the show.
Travelling down on the Wednesday and back on the Thursday (which was the only sensible way to do it) would mean having a week off work.
On the Tuesday night, however, I was still awake at 2am, feeling guilty.
I drove home from work at lunchtime, grabbed my going-out gear, went back to work and explained to Maureen that I was going to "pop down" to Margate.
Not for the first time in our married life, she clearly thought I was insane. As on every other occasion, I knew she was right.
However, I arranged to leave work early and at 3.45pm I was on the road, with a 200-mile trip ahead of me.
I knew that a traffic hold-up anywhere en route would ruin everything, so I didn't dare stop. This caused a problem, as Johnny Storme and I share a liking for copious cups of tea, and I had drunk my normal ration before setting off.
Things were getting rather desperate when I found the theatre just after 7pm, and parked outside a nearby old
I changed into my glad rags in the car, hoping that no elderly lady would take fright at the sight of me wriggling into my trousers, then I followed a trail of litter to the local McDonalds, from which I emerged much relieved.
My plan was to sneak into the theatre after the lights had gone down, and out before they went up (who was that old man in the back row,
It didn't quite work out that way, however, as the house lights were shining brightly and I found myself sitting in front of Mags and Jean Shenton.
I'm not going to single anyone out. Yes I am! Wasn't Laura brilliant? I gave her a standing ovation twice - once when I thought she'd finished and once when she really had.
In the interval, I treated myself to a much-needed large gin and tonic, which cost me half as much as an entire bottle of Morrisons' own brand. I'll take my own if I ever have to go there again.
Rob asked me to present the fan club photograph to Tony, but I had already decided to leave immediately after seeing Johnny Storme, who was the last familiar name on the bill.
Many thanks to Pauline Swindells and Mags for their work with the merchandise - they took £132 for our charity fund.
I was on the road again by 9.30 and home by 1am. That was 6 hours 45 minutes travelling for 1 hour 45 minutes in the theatre.
Maureen, as I said, is right.
It was insane, but my only regret (and it's a very, very big one) is that I left her at home worrying about me.
I'll behave in future. Possibly.
More contributions are invited.