Geoff Betts (AKA Al James) 1946-2018


1974 tour programme (2)
“It is with enormous sadness that we say goodbye to my close friend and band-mate of more than 40 years, Geoff Betts, who sadly passed away in hospital on Friday 16th November following a recent fall at his Leicestershire home. Geoff was born to a career in rock ’n’ roll, being both a talented bass player, vocalist and songwriter whose contribution to SWW during his 35 years in the band was nothing less than invaluable.

I will remember the countless experiences we shared together throughout a 50+ year friendship, made all the more special by his mischievous sense of humour and trademark wicked grin.

My deepest sympathies go out to his children Joanne, James and Natalie. I will miss you my dear friend!”
(Dave Bartram, 17th November 2018)

“He was one of the funniest people I have ever met - his anecdotes were hilarious - generous to a fault, and we all loved him”. (Romeo Challenger, 17th November 2018)

“A sad day indeed. Geoff, along with Bill and Malc, were the real rock ’n’ roll stalwarts in the band, and his infectious sense of humour and upbeat character were a mainstay in the development of SWW’s early days on the road. We will all miss him terribly. RIP my friend”. (Russ Field, 18th November 2018)

Geoff Betts, better known to Showaddywaddy fans as Al James, passed away on 16th November. He was one of Showaddywaddy’s founding members, and retired from the band in 2008.

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Geoff was originally a member of the band Choise, one of two bands that joined together to form Showaddywaddy in Leicester in 1973. Choise released one single in 1969, of which Geoff wrote the B-side, “She’s A Man”. He also wrote a number of other songs that Choise performed live in the pre-Showaddywaddy period. (Picture R: Leicester Mercury)

He took on the stage name Al James shortly after Showaddywaddy’s formation. A bass player by trade, he played on many Showaddywaddy songs, including the debut single “Hey Rock And Roll” (1974), as well as other singles, “Sweet Music” (1975), “Three Steps To Heaven” (1975), “Trocadero” (1976) and “Sweet Little Rock ’n’ Roller” (1979), not to mention numerous other tracks in the band’s career which included over 30 singles and almost 20 albums during his time in the band. Furthermore, he wrote and performed lead vocals on a number of songs including “King Of The Jive” (1974), “Rocker Boots” (1975), “Record Machine” (1976), “Superstar” (1977), “Feelin’” (1977), “Teen Canteen” (1980) and “Do It Again” (1982), and also performed lead vocals on Showaddywaddy’s cover of “Say Mama” (1976).

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On stage and during TV performances, Geoff took part in many of the band’s animated stage routines, the band performing thousands of gigs over the years, and with over 300 TV performances the band were rarely off our screens during the 1970s and 1980s.

In 2008, Geoff retired from the band aged 62, playing his last gig in Somerset on the 20th December that year. (Picture L: Robert Lynn).

I caught up with Geoff in January this year, and he told me of some of his fond memories during his time in Showaddywaddy. Since leaving the band, he enjoyed spending time reading and gardening at his home in Market Harborough, where he lived for many years.

Rest in peace Al, and thanks for the memories!








Legends Live 2019


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Tony Denton Promotions proudly presents Showaddywaddy, Suzi Quatro, David Essex and Les McKeown’s Bay City Rollers - Legends Live on tour in April 2019. Over 50 top-30 hits and 100 million record sales between them!

One of the finest rock & roll bands of the 1970s, Showaddywaddy also proved to be one of the most successful and enduring. The group entered and won television's “New Faces” talent show in 1974. Their many hits include, “When”, “I Wonder Why”, “Pretty Little Angel Eyes”, “A Little Bit of Soap”, “Hey Rock And Roll”, “Rock 'n' Roll Lady”, as well as several covers that include Eddie Cochran’s “Three Steps to Heaven”, Buddy Holly's “Heartbeat”, Sam Cooke's “Chain Gang”, interspersed with Showaddywaddy's own note and stylistically perfect originals. “Under the Moon of Love” gave the group their first British number 1 hit in 1976. They continued racking up further hits into the early '80s, even presiding over (and outliving) a whole new generation of rock & roll revival acts!

Check out the Gig Dates page for details!


New Showaddywaddy Vinyl!


SWW Greatest Hits 2018 Cover
7th September 2018 sees the release of Showaddywaddy’s first vinyl record for nearly 30 years, on the Demon label (cat. number DEMREC292). Vinyl has undergone a resurgence in recent years, with its fully analog and warm sound without the complications digital sound can bring! Sales of turntables are also on the increase, and this release harks back to the exciting days of the 1970s and 1980s when millions of fans couldn’t wait to get their hands on the latest Showaddywaddy record from their local record shop!

Showaddywaddy had more UK hits in the 1970s than any other act…including Abba! From their winning appearance on an edition of 'New Faces', the 'Britain's Got Talent' of the day, to become runners-up in the series' 'All Winners Final', it took just a matter of months until the band released and secured their debut hit, 'Hey Rock And Roll', which reached #2 in the UK Singles Chart. This 'Greatest Hits' vinyl LP collection, features 16 of the band's best-known singles, including nine Top Ten hits and the Million-Selling #1 single, 'Under The Moon Of Love'. Showaddywaddy are recognised as one of the hardest working touring bands in the UK.

Order your copy here!

SWW Greatest Hits 3D


Still On Tour!


Showaddywaddy 2018
Showaddywaddy have been on tour since 1973 and in 2018 are the hardest working touring band in the UK! The guys are playing sold-out shows up and down the land, and with gigs booked as far ahead as 2019, the band are as popular as ever….

The band continue to entertain crowds at some of their old favourite venues where they played in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as new live venues across the country. Showaddywaddy will be in most places throughout the UK from Scotland to the south coast - check out the band’s gig dates here, and go along and find out why the band are getting rave reviews!

(Pic courtesy Andrew Ball)

20th Anniversary of Showaddywaddy.net


SWW 1975
2018 marks the 20th anniversary of Showaddywaddy.net, with the website going live way back in June 1998.

When I first got connected to the internet all those years ago, there was no broadband, only 56k dial-up which disconnected whenever someone called your landline! The first thing I searched for was “Showaddywaddy” on a search engine called Altavista (no Google back then), and there was very little about the band online. There was also no Twitter, Facebook or any social media to speak of either. I learned how to write web pages using basic HTML code, and quickly had a basic Showaddywaddy web-site up and running.

Slowly but surely the web-site started to expand, and after around a year, the web-site came to the attention of the band who all liked what had been done, and before too long Dave asked for it to be come the band’s official web-site.

Since the site went online, I have met all members of the band, past and present, and all of the guys have been really helpful with providing details for the site and filling in any gaps where appropriate. After being a fan of the band since a 5 year old in 1983, and idolising them on TV as a child, it is wonderful to be in contact with them. Somehow I’ve even managed to make appearances on BBC and Channel 4 and local and national radio talking about the band, something which I never envisaged!

I have to particularly thank Dave Bartram for all his help and support over the years - I couldn’t have done it without him. And last but not least, thank you to Showaddywaddy’s legions of fans! There was one time before the Internet when I went to see the band and I used to think how many people here are actually really into the band? I didn’t have long to find out, as when the web-site went online it wasn’t long before emails started flooding in, not only from the UK but from all over the world. It was amazing that I could send an email to Germany to the first ever person to contact me from abroad (hello Torsten!), and then receive a reply within only a few minutes!

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This year marks the 45th anniversary of Showaddywaddy. The band might not have the top-40 chart and TV exposure that they had throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s but they continue to play sold out shows up and down the land, and have a loyal army of fans who follow them all over the country. Without the fans, there would be no Showaddywaddy, and without the dedication of the band members there would be no Showaddywaddy.

As for me, I am still listening to Showaddywaddy, 35 years after hearing “Pretty Little Angel Eyes” on a cassette tape in the family’s Austin Mini car. I can remember the excitement from what I was hearing, even at such a young age, and growing up during the 1980s, all I wanted to spend my pocket money on was Showaddywaddy records and cassettes. The music is timeless and alway a pleasure to listen to! Long may Showaddywaddy continue!


Flashback


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1976-1978 were arguably Showaddywaddy’s peak years of popularity. 1976 got off to a slow start with the single “Trocadero” and the album of the same name released during the Spring not doing particularly well in the charts. The follow up single in the Summer, “Take Me In Your Arms” did not chart at all - hardly surprising given the A and B sides were already available on the album released a couple of months earlier. Despite this, the band still kept the momentum going with numerous TV appearances, as well as being on the road touring all year. However in October, things were to take an upward turn with the release of “Under The Moon Of Love”, which was to prove to be the band’s only number 1 hit.

Showaddywaddy first performed the single on TV 4 days after it was released on the TV show ‘Arrows’, and the track was performed another dozen times over the next couple of months, culminating in the band reaching the number 1 spot in the singles charts in December. Not only that, the band’s first ‘Greatest Hits’ album reached number 4 in the album chart, featuring the aforementioned “Under The Moon Of Love”, and all but one of the singles released to date (plus select album tracks). What a way to end the year!

1977-1978 saw Showaddywaddy striking gold with every single they released, with seven consecutive top-5 hits - “When”, “You Got What It Takes”, “Dancin’ Party”, “I Wonder Why”, “A Little Bit Of Soap” and “Pretty Little Angel Eyes”. Promo videos were recorded for most singles in this period, some of which were later officially released on VHS. The guys were barely off the TV, racking up at least 54 television appearances in addition to the 19 spots on the small screen in 1976. Gig-wise, at least 100 gigs were performed in 1976, 97 gigs in 1977, and 78 gigs in 1978.

The latter stages of 1978 saw Showaddywaddy perform live on TV in November in front of the Queen Mother at the London Palladium for the Royal Variety Performance, with the band overcoming technical difficulties after their cables got pulled out of their equipment due to the rotating stage going the wrong way. However those technical problems were soon forgotten when the band met the Queen Mother after the show, a moment of which they are all very proud of. The same month also saw the release of the ‘Greatest Hits 1976-1978’ LP, an album which gave the band their only number 1 spot in the album charts. Showaddywaddy’s final gig of the year was in their home town of Leicester at the Demontfort Hall on 19th December, where it was announced on stage that the album had reached number 1 in the charts, the band playing one of their best ever gigs, and partying well into the small hours after the show, celebrating a fantastic end to the year!

1976 to 1978 proved to be a phenomenal three years for Showaddywaddy, and a period which they will never forget.


Latest Releases


Showaddywaddy - Complete Studio Recordings
Showaddywaddy continue to release material from their extensive archive as well as new recordings. Dave Bartram has also released two books with a third book in progress! Links to all of the band’s most recent releases can be found below






















Al James Interview


Al James 1975
It is 10 years this year since original bass player Al James left Showaddywaddy. I caught up with Al recently for a brief catch.



















Rare Material on Soundcloud!


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It’s been a while since the last update, but a couple more rarities are now online on the page on Soundcloud dedicated to rare Showaddywaddy recordings. These rare tracks are shared for the enjoyment of Showaddywaddy's loyal fans. Any attempt to download and use the tracks anywhere else will hinder further uploads, so it is hoped the page will be used in the spirit it is intended. Enjoy!