Buddy Gask (Bill)- Showaddywaddy

The 1970's

The 1970's were a vibrant period in the British musical scene. There were the big American Boy bands , the Osmonds and the Jackson Five and home grown bands such as the Sweet and The Bay City Rollers. Then there was this band from Leicester, a city in the heart of England better known for its shoe and hosiery industry. That band was the inexplicitly named SHOWADDYWADDY!

Under The Moon Of Love - No 1 in 1976

A Band is born!

The band was formed in 1973 when two groups Choise and Golden Hammers met together. The band shot to national stardom following their appearance on New Faces- they came second but went on to sell millions of records. My husband was at the final and I asked him who won, "some chap, never heard of him again!" Stardom was fairly instantaneous and most singles, either their own composition or cover versions of classic hits made it into the top ten. It seemed to me as a teenager that nearly every Saturday they were on Swap Shop or Tiswas or Top of the Pops with their distinct teddy boy haircuts and brothel creeper shoes.

Bill Gask - Buddy

I was introduced to band member Bill Gask when I met my husband. Jeff told me how in the days before Showaddywaddy Bill would be working with him during the day and playing in a band at night. Jeff got used to waking Bill up to go to work!

Sadly Bill died on 7th June 2011 aged only 65 a victim of cancer although he had been in poor health for a number of years. He is survived by his wife, their five children and many grandchildren.

I wonder why

A service of Thanksgiving

A memorial service was held as a thanksgiving for his life at St Paul's church, Woodhouse Eaves,Leicestershire. This was the church in which he had married his wife.

The church was very full with lots of family, friends and fans- some in classic teddy boy dress. The service was wonderful with beautiful hymns such as "Amazing Grace" and "The Lord is my shepherd". It was interspersed with Showaddywaddy recordings "Only Make Believe", "Smiling Eyes", "Heartbeat" and "Hey Rock and Roll".. The prayers were beautiful followed by The Lord's Prayer.

Malc Allured "The Duke" read the address. He Spoke clearly about a man with whom he had a great friendship and admired but also knew his weaknesses. Malc referred to Bill's love of a bottle of whiskey which was ultimately linked to his ill health.

As my husband and I left and all was quiet we paused outside the church. I have fairly brief memories- my main being that of him attending my wedding in a designer string vest. He was a pop star and could get away with it. For my husband a chapter in his life had closed and only his memories remained. He shed a silent tear during the service.

I have found as many videos as I can so put on your rocking shoes and dance!

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Comments 11 comments

sara 24 months ago

rip buddy you were the best

Steve 3 years ago

Showaddywaddy was my first live band, that was probably about 1973 here in Portsmouth..it was WOW..8 guys,brightly coloured drapes, 2 drum kits..flashing lights..loud rock and roll music...bloody fantastic. just listened to Buddy singing Smiling Eyes..I love that song. No doubt Buddy will have those Angels rocking. R.I.P Bud.

yvonne davies 5 years ago

the group as never been the same since buddy left its so sad about buddy died. thinking of his family i know what they are going through

tony flower 5 years ago

I knew bill only briefly on stocking farm est but even back then in the mid 60s looking back you could tell this boy had something special about him and around him.God bless you Bill.

Ste Rico 5 years ago

Walking into town on a Saturday in 1974, hearing Bill belt out "Hey rock'n'roll....we're into town let's go..." from the amusement arcade jukebox. I instantly became a Showaddywaddy fan.

His "Heartbeat" beats on.

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CASE1WORKER 5 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM Author

daviesplug- sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I understand from his family that he had been quite unwell

daviesplug 5 years ago

I had no idea Buddy had passed on. Thanks for the lovely tribute.

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CASE1WORKER 5 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM Author

Eiddwen- Thank you ever so much. It was so difficult to keep a dry eye in the church. What was so lovely was the respect shown by the fans to the family. They were polite but kept a respectful distance so they could grieve in peace. Truly wonderful!

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Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Hi this is brilliant and was without a doubt a brilliant trip down memory lane.

Thank you so much for sharing and I push all the buttons for this one.

Take care


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CASE1WORKER 5 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM Author

I don't think they ever broke into the states. Definitely a large show band. Some of the original guys are still touring in the UK.

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Stacie L 5 years ago

wow what a name and they were good! never heard of them-too bad!

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