Park Engineering

 John Park, 32 the Loaning, Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, Strathclyde, Scotland, U.K. ML1 3HE

       mobile 0781 8618547

 "e" mail jpark8@btinternet.com (click on this to send me an "e" mail)
 
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 Billy Fury even The Beatles begged for tickets to see him.

 

He was the rock star so good, The Beatles idolised him -- but Billy Fury could have been bigger. The 28th of January 2013 is the 30th anniversary of the singers tragically- premature death, but for many fans around the world, including Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger, Fury's music will never die. Clem Cattini played drums in Billy's band and toured across Britain with him in the late 1950's and early '60's and had a second stint with him later. And he reckons you can put The Beatles, Stones, Elvis, Cliff Richard, Bruce Springsteen and anyone you fancy in the mixer, and you'll come out with Billy Fury! "He was special, absolutely no doubt about that" says 75-year-old Clem.    "Not just as a singer, not just as a stage presence, but as a songwriter, too, something that is often overlooked.   Just as the other Liverpool bands in the 1960's or punk groups in the 70's could walk in a room and cause outrage and riots, Billy could do likewise.  "I remember going on a tour of Ireland with him in the 1950's, and we were warned that if he didn't stop shaking his hips and dancing so much, they'd chuck us out of the country.    He didn't and they did! the tour was cancelled and we sat about in Ireland for a few days.    On an early tour of Scotland, a big Scotsman stood at the front of the stage, shouting at Billy 'Son, If you shake your hips like that once more, Ah'm gonnae thump ye.'     The Beatles used to beg us for tickets to get in and watch the shows -- then, they'd stand and gawp at Billy. What a front man he was!. I remember John Lennon running after him, begging for an autograph.    That's how good Billy Fury was, like nothing we had ever seen before.   He was outrageous, a showman, with every girl desperately fancying him.        Just like David Bowie they'd see what Billy was wearing and try to find the same clothes---for the girls, they just wanted him all to themselves.    Sadly ill health plagued Billy his whole life, and he would die at just 42, in 1983 at the young age of 42 collapsing after a recording session in London.  A new tour, the Billy Years pays tribute to him this year over the UK, with two hours of his best hits. This features Clem on the drums.   You know Billy was a rocker, and in those early days so was Cliff Richard, another guy I've worked with him a lot and a man Billy liked a lot. But Cliff went on to become a different kind of singer. I really do believe Billy could have done that too, and become just as big as Cliff is today.   Music changed dramatically fast back then -- at one point we'd have Paul McCartney saying 'Oh please, mister, can you get me in to speak to Billy?'  Within a few years Paul was the biggest singer on Earth!.    We'd been doing blues songs before the young bands turned up and did it, because American singles would arrive at Liverpool docks, and we'd go of and learn to play them.     So we were headed in the same direction, but I think Billy's bad health, and the way things changed so fast, went against him.    Years later I met Bruce Springsteen's drummer, who told me they'd admired the we played rock 'n' roll in England -- we pinched it of the Yanks and made it even better.  So people like Bruce Springsteen loved Billy's music, and I've met a lot of super stars who say the same thing.  He was the guy they all looked to as kids.    Born Ronald William Wycherley in Liverpool on 17th April 1940, rheumatic fever, which damaged his heart, would make life unbearable for Fury.   However, even in such a short life, the Liverpool lad equalled the The Beatles' 24 chart hits with 332 weeks in the UK carts.    And he's so highly regarded that he has his own bronze statue at the Liverpool Albert Dock.   More recently, Billy Fury Way was opened in London.    "It's important that the new generation remember him and hear his his work"  Clem stresses.     Actually, he was a shy bloke, really, and very nice to work with.       But he was never well for long . Some days, you could see he looked ill and off-colour, and it was very sad.  When he was well he was full of life, if you had seen him on stage back then, there was nobody to match him.

 

Weekly News dated 10 05 2014

Just 24, Liverpool born Billy Fury, passed away in Paddington, London. Born Ronald Wycherley, he contracted rheumatic fever as a young child, and it affected his heart. He was such a hero to the other budding stars of his era that John Lennon hotly pursued him until he got his autograph, and Fury was often compared to Elvis Presley.     But, all the way, that ill health haunted him --- a new record would come out, be a hit, and he'd have to cancel gigs as he was laid up in bed. In the 1970's having faded out of the Public eye, he returned in a blaze of glory in the film 'That'll be the day', played by Stormy Tempest, a singer based on Liverpool's Rory Storm and the Tempests.  You might like to see the impressive statue of Billy at Liverpool's Albert Dock if you're in that musical of cities. He had the lot -- talent, energy and good looks.    

                       

 

 

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