December 2018
Geoff’s funeral took place in Billesdon, Leicestershire, on Tuesday 18th December. Family, friends, and band members past and present were in attendance, along with fans of the band. Dave Bartram, Romeo Challenger and Trevor Oakes were pall bearers, and Dave said some heartfelt words during the service. A gathering in the village pub afterwards saw stories regaled and tears shed. RIP Geoff, you brought happiness and inspiration to us all.

November 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!







June 2018

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!


February 2018
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Experienced bass player Billy Norman joins the line-up and played his first gig with the band at Billingham Forum on Friday 2nd February 2018. Don’t worry, Showaddywady’s current and original bass player Rod Deas is not leaving the band! (Picture courtesy Andrew Ball)

January 2018
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.