Official Showaddywaddy Web Site Al James

Al James - Bass - 1973 to December 2008

Al James was one of Showaddywaddy's founder members, being with the band since its inception in 1973. He was a member of Choise, one of the bands that merged with the Golden Hammers to form Showaddywaddy.

He took on the stage name Al James shortly after Showaddywaddy’s formation - in fact some early SWW releases are credited to Allured, Bartram, Betts, Deas, Field, Gask, Oakes.

A bass player by trade, sharing duties with the band’s other bass player Rod Deas, 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. Al played bass with a pick, versus Rod's preferred technique of fingers.

Furthermore, Al 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).

Choise released a single in 1969 to 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.

This wasn't his only non-Showaddywaddy release as he performed on a single with the band Burglar's Dog (also featuring Bill Gask and Malcolm Allured) in 1981 and again wrote the b-side, "Mississippi".

One of the most enduring songs of Showaddywaddy's career has been "Jailhouse Rock", with lead vocals by Al, and performed by the band since 1973 to the present day.

Al also took an active part in the band's stage routines during their energetic shows of the '70s and '80s.

Right: Al performing at the Swap Shop Rock Garden Party, Jubilee Gardens in London, Spring Bank Holiday 29th May 1978. Picture copyright of Peter Lane and courtesy of

Al decided to call it a day and retire, just short of his 63rd birthday, and performed his last gig with the band at the Cheese & Grain in Frome, Somerset, on Saturday 20th December 2008, where the band announced his retirement during the show.

This also marked the end of Choise, whose line-up was still in tact since Romeo Challenger joined in 1971.