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Buddy Gask (Bill)- Showaddywaddy
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!