Monday, October 08, 2007

Bad boy Terry Dene returns

Keith was guilty of just a hint of hyperbole at last night's Tales From the Woods gig at the 100 Club, when he described the band as the best British rock and roll band ever to have played at the venue. But OTT or not, it was interesting to see the return of Terry Dene, Britain's 1950s rock and roll bad boy. Dene's short lived career was based mainly on covers of middle of the road hits by Marty Robbins (A White Sports Coat and a Pink Carnation, and Stairway of Love) and Sal Mineo (originator of Start Movin' apparently) and an appearance in a crap British film called Golden Disc. Then after only a year or so it crashed as a result of a tabloid campaign (sound familiar?)

He was accused of getting drunk (shock horror) and was the first teen idol to get married (to singer Edna Savage), thus ensuring that the red tops (black tops in those days I imagine) took an interest in him. But his fate was sealed when he was called up for his National Service and left shortly afterwards having suffered a nervous breakdown. The papers turned on him and he was about as popular as Jerry Lee was following his teenage bride disaster. But unlike Jerry Lee his career never recovered and he faded into obscurity, having made a string of non-hit 45s on Decca and later Oriole.

Terry returned to his rock and roll roots last night with a string of Elvis covers interspersed with a few of his original singles, including the hits. Stand out among those was a B-side called Pretty Little Pearly (was this a cover?) He clearly has a good voice and while his choice of material was rather limited it was good to have a chance to see an original British rock and roller back from the dead as it were.

29 Comments:

At 2:33 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terry was extroardinary. When he appeared on stage, wearing his Italian long leather coat, leather wrist band, shades and hat, looked as much of the authentic rock'n'roller that he has always been.

He started at 8:30 and finished at almost 11 with a 1/2 interval in between. It was only after the encore that the audience may probably have detected a natural undertone of tiredness in his voice. At 68 he is as much of the performer that he has always been.

In fact, even better!

 
At 4:26 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does this authentic rocker keep being reminded of his past? I could have sworne it was clear from one of Terry's interviews and recent comments that his career did not exactly fade into obscurity', but he decided to turn his back on the media and the popular scene trying to get away from lukewarm commenters like yourself, and small minded wannabe reporters whose career was more based on trying to destroy the one of people more talented than themselves. And what a shame for the public that could have enjoyed his talent for a lot more many years that they have been able to instead!

His appearance at the 100 Club was superb and his CD is really fantastic.

I suggest Nick listens to it.

Go Terry.

 
At 10:16 pm , Blogger youngjohn said...

i am john hills i played with terry on the night and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.as i understand it for a long time he has only done small spots of 4 or 5 numbers ,so this was a massive change .we rehearsed for 4 hours the previous week,so whilst the arrangements on over 30 songs could not be expected to be watertight,we were more than satisfied with the results and the audience reactions confirmed this.i heard only praise on the evening and the following day with only one exception the praise continued for terry. all in all the boy did well on his comeback and i for one hope he can play and continue to enjoy his choice of music in the future john hills

 
At 8:10 am , Blogger Nick said...

Thanks for comments. Keep them coming. I wasn't damning with faint praise - it was a good show: Terry looked and sounded the part and the band was tight. I think his problems with the media are of interest though, showing that the press was as aggressive and unforgiving then aa they are now.

 
At 12:42 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unforgiving?! Unforgiving about what exactly, Nick? Terry is a singer, the only thing the MEDIA really should address is his voice.

A singer is not supposed to be a saint, he is not professing good behaviour or moral ethics; he either has or not a good voice!

Quoting from Ivan Beavis' article of 3 October 2007: 'Every would be star would climb on to the tiny stage to strut their stuff but when Terry Dene got up with his strong voice, stage presence and sultry good looks, he blew most of his contemporaries away.'

Let's stick to the subject here, Nick: this article isn't about the MEDIA, what they may or may not have thought about his personal life choices 50 odd years ago when he was a kid or about whether you agree with them or find them even interesting! This article is about Terry now, Terry's real ability as a singer which is now just as outstanding as it was then, if in fact not more.

If your articles can't stick to the point or have no point to make, then please quit writing.

Thanks John.

Keep up the good work and let us know when's the next gig.

 
At 7:01 pm , Anonymous hornsey howler said...

thought that Nick’s blog entry was fair comment, even if you don’t agree with him (and some people didn’t, as the comments posted on the blog indicate). I can understand that Terry was a bit disappointed to read it. My own opinion was that there were too many Elvis numbers, but I knew what to expect, having seen the rehearsal; and I can understand that expanding his on-stage time from around a 15-20 minute set to over 90 minutes meant having to build up a repertoire very quickly.



Terry has a good voice and a good stage presence, and I think most of the punters at the 100 Club really enjoyed the evening. A suggestion that a more “rockabilly” band with a stand up bass might suit him better is probably valid. I’m sure Terry will have loads of success if he is booked into the right venues. He doesn’t have to rely on people who remember him from the first time around; he just needs an audience that enjoys some good rockabilly.

Alan

 
At 10:30 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Alan

Terry did not read the article. He is not the one who is disappointed, I am. I am disappointed at the mentality of this country. You all stand there with your insignificant lifes and have the cheek to criticise what you yourselves have never even dared doing. I can understand why Terry turned his back on the popular scene, because he was tired of this British 'anal'itical approach about what is fair or not fair.

It does not surprise me that most of your own singers end up emigrating to America, where they are spared this 'British' b*****t.

 
At 2:12 pm , Blogger ChrisdeB said...

Hi all

After reading Nick's blog I am puzzled as to why people have been upset by this. I was not at the 100 Club show due to other reasons,. This review was very inoffensive.

In regards to people's comments regarding English Rock and Rollers (and sorry Tony there is no way I woud include Rick Hardy in that category) in my opinion there were proberly about half a dozen who were very good.

Why is anonymous afraid to give his real name?

Chris

 
At 9:14 pm , Anonymous Dave D said...

I am the same age as Terry Dene and I used to get lucky sometimes as I had been told that I looked like Terry. We were both called up for National Service at around the same time and as we all know he did not last very long. I was in the NAAFI when Terry appeared on OH Boy or something like that and he was boo'd.
However as the years have gone by it is understood how mental ill health can be, and if need be forgiven.
So I am pleased to see/here that he has not given up/in.

Dave

 
At 3:40 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there. My dad (Dan Wooding) wrote Terry Dene's biography back in the 1970s - I Thought Terry Dene Was Dead. We'd desperately love to track him down again. Do you have any contact details for him?

Andrew Wooding
(andrewwooding at hotmail dot com)

 
At 6:12 pm , Anonymous Richard .L said...

i played drums for him when he lived in swindon in the 80s. Him and his manerger told lies to me and the rest of the band about how much the gigs were worth so that they could pocket more money. The blokes a cunt and owes me hundreds of pounds in gig money.

 
At 3:20 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember seeing Terry play at Earls Court during the last week of August 1973 (An event called Spree 73). As far as I know, this was the first time he wore a white sport coat and a pink carnation on stage.

 
At 3:41 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had the pleasure of meeting Terry and have cut his hair a few times. It seems that he's enjoying his freedom and obscurity now as he says he started to feel controlled. He's a gentleman and tells fascinating stories about his colourful past!

 
At 2:03 pm , Anonymous Johnny Jalland said...

In 1965 I was in a great little band called the Trentside 4 we used to play resident at a pub called The Cock Hotel in Ripley Derbyshire,and one night who should call in for a drink but Terry Dene.He was a perfect gentleman and asked could he get up and sing a couple of numbers with us.We jumped at the chance of backing one of our heroes.Weloved him and so did the audience.Great to see that like me (who never made it)he's still rockin.Cheers Terry, Johnny Jalland.

 
At 2:56 pm , Blogger superchick said...

terrys shit now and was then

 
At 8:54 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

bore
ing

 
At 8:56 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your right super chick,

 
At 9:52 pm , Blogger superchick said...

nasty wasnt I? sorry

 
At 10:49 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many more comebacks have we got to suffer from Terry Dene,come back to what?he did very little the first time round,he had a couple of low chart entry's and was finished after two years.He was 18 in 1957,which makes him 73 now,methinks its a bit sad to be making another comeback when your an old aged pensioner,for gods sake give up...

 
At 7:46 pm , Anonymous B Marshall said...

In answer to drummer Richard L's comment,His not being paid was more to do with Terry's Manager at the time barrow boy John Aldridge,I too had money problems with Aldridge in the eighties.

 
At 7:56 pm , Anonymous Henry S said...

It is a bit Pathetic hearing a man of 70 plus singing a White Sport Coat,I'm all dressed up for the dance?not in that silly hat and daft coat,someone should tell him,bit sad really..

 
At 8:02 pm , Anonymous H Nesbit.. said...

Its a bit sad when a man of 70 plus sings I'm all dressed up for the dance,and Blue suede shoes,in a silly hat and a daft long coat.

 
At 3:40 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

68? youve forgotten a few years havent you. more like 74..

 
At 3:56 pm , Blogger superchick said...

why

 
At 2:32 am , Anonymous Pirletgala said...

68? youve forgotten a few years havent you. more like 74..  

 
At 12:35 am , Blogger anthony budd said...

with most of the American rock,nrollers,strangely dead.us old rockers are glad of our heritage.billy rip yes and johnny kidd,lennon and Harrison.We still have marty wilde,joe brown and cliff yes cliff,some of the best early rock,n roll.jet and tony are gone of course,but appreciate our legends.terry is one of them.could haqve been the british eddie Cochran.hard act to follow I know,

 
At 12:42 am , Blogger anthony budd said...

slag terry for being 70 something,but nobody slags jerry lee do they?appreciate you,re heritage.tommy steele could still rock with the best at 77

 
At 3:39 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember Terry from his time in Hilsea barracks in Portsmouth and had a few {boozy nights} with him in the late 50s . A great guy, rock on.

 
At 10:49 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you know my Dad, Ken??

 

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