I played in Shirley’s rhythm section traveling around the world with her for 3 years. Along with Ian Thomas and Dave Hartley we had quite the time. The dame, as she is now, was a real star. When she’d come on stage the place would go crazy, she just has IT. Playing those songs with this great little band was a joy, and we got treated very well too. I remember a huge limo, one like the queen is driven about in, picking me up at my 3 bed semi in East Barnet, then on to Hendon to pick Ianto up. She brought us leather jackets with ‘Shirley Bassey, Family’ inscribed on them. I kept my badge on, that’s all I’m saying.
We had rock n roll touring buses that just the band, TM and Shirley would travel on, expect she didn’t travel on them very often so it was very comfortable. On one journey she did travel on was from Scotland to Birmingham. She had a lovely room at the back of the bus and there was a lounge at the front where we would stay and watch movies, hang out and drink in. On this night the guys in the band decided to watch a horror movie, I don’t like being scared so I knocked on Shirley’s door and asked if I could watch her movie. She said yes and I sat down beside her bed and started watching. She was watching ‘the fly’ which was a scary movie, to me anyway, but I couldn’t leave now. So I watched the film with her. As time went on we arrived at 4am in Birmingham and the film wasn’t finished so she wanted to wait. So we continued to watch the film and as we did I had a sneaky look out the window to see a line of hotel staff waiting to welcome Shirley. She didn’t know this of course so carried on watching as the people were waiting, I watched the band go into the hotel and really wanted to get into my room to sleep, but could leave. It took half hour for the film to finish and we walked into the hotel past a line of hotel staff. I was a very sheepish bass player.