By and large, Dave Nicolson has waited at his home for his favourite rock’n’roll stars to appear in Newcastle and then interviewed them. I know only too well the problems of interviewing hitmakers for 20, or hopefully 30, minutes before going on stage. They may get distracted (I’ve had some understandably more interested in arranging dates than talking to me), they may be tired (same problem) and there may be faulty equipment or poor acoustics. Glen Campbell was so upset by something in the Daily Mirror that he cancelled all interviews, but no one thought to tell me until I arrived, quite happily, at the stage door.
Dave Nicolson is to be commended for getting such good material from Freddy Cannon, Bo Diddley, Dion, Ben E. King and Del Shannon. There are some intriguing opinions: Pat Boone says that Bobby Darin took “a meagre vocal talent and stretched it”. Come again? Gene Pitney says, “Phil Spector didn’t really produce my recording of ‘Every Breath I Take’ in 1961: he was one of a million people who were all shouting at me.” Tommy Roe: “When I toured the UK with Chris Montez and the Beatles in 1963, I got about $3,500 a week. I was probably making more than the Beatles.” Fats Domino: “Sometimes it would take eight hours to record one number. Now you can record a session in no time.” Funny – I thought it was the other way round.