|Pam Howes - Author||
Been so busy lately catching up with many projects and getting to grips with further chapters of the fourth novel in my series - NOT FADE AWAY - that I've fallen behind with blogging. So to help me out my favourite character has offered to lend a hand by answering a few questions, on the proviso you treat him gently.
PAM: Roy, welcome. It's a privilege to have you as a guest. Would you like to tell the readers what's been happening in your world since the end of ALWAYS ON MY MIND?
ROY: It's my pleasure to be here. As you know, I re-married my wife Sammy a short time ago and we're kept busy bringing up my young sons and sharing joint custody with their mother, Livvy.
PAM: Well that's a job and a half! Are there any plans in the pipeline for another Raiders tour?
ROY: Yes, Eddie and I are currently working on a batch of new songs for the next album. We'll be in the studios in September and the tour will start with a show in our home city of Manchester around Christmas. It's our annual charity gig to raise funds for Leukemia research.
PAM: A very worthy cause and one I know that is close to your heart. I'm sure all your fans will look forward to that.
ROY: I hope so. It all really depends on what you have in store for me in Not Fade Away. All I want is a quiet life with Sammy and the boys. But I guess there's little hope of that!
PAM: I'll do my best not to give you too rocky a road to travel this time around.
ROY: Well whatever you decide, keep me out of Livvy's clutches and don't make it too hectic.
PAM: I'll try. I've a few things up my sleeve for you. You'll have to wait and see. Now tell us about the first gig The Raiders performed and a little bit about the band in its early days.
ROY: We started playing together after seeing Buddy Holly and The Crickets at The Liverpool Philharmonic in March 1958. My dad took me, Tim and Eddie as a treat. He had an ulterior motive. Des O'Connor was one of the support acts and Dad was a fan. We came out of that show full of enthusiasm and big ideas. We were gonna form a trio and get famous. Later that year my dad bought me a pink pre CBS guitar. Tim made a tea chest bass and Eddie's mum and dad bought him a drum kit for his birthday. That was it, we were rolling.
We listened to all our favourite songs over and over and wrote down the words. We worked our backsides off to learn them. We skipped school and got into loads of trouble, failed all our exams, but it was worth it. We played a few youth club dances and one at Pickford Town Hall and then Mario, the owner of the coffee bar we used to hang around in, which eventually became The Roulette Club, gave us our first gig there and we became the resident group.
PAM: And how did you decide on your name - The Raiders?
ROY: We were called Roy and the Raiders at first. It was my dad suggested we drop Roy and stick to The Raiders. He said it sounded snappier.
PAM: You were introduced to the girls at one of your gigs. Was that the first time you met Sammy?
ROY: Yeah. I'd seen her hanging around Pickford with Jane and Pat, but couldn't pluck up the courage to talk to her. Thought she was out of my league. She was a stunner even at fifteen. Hair down to her waist and legs up to her armpits! Then I was introduced to her and it turns out she fancied me too. Think we fell in love that first night.
PAM: You must really regret what happened with Livvy.
ROY: I do. I regret hurting Sammy and I'll spend the rest of my life making it up to her. But one thing I can't say I regret is my children; Harley and Roy Jnr and of course little Danny, Livvy's son by her late husband, who I've brought up as my own.
PAM: Losing your eldest son Nick must have been a very difficult time for you and Sammy.
ROY: It was. And finding out that Livvy was expecting my child was also hard for Sammy. It couldn't have happened at a worse time.
PAM: I know it tested your love for each other, but would you say that it also strengthened your relationship with Sammy?
ROY: Definitely. Sammy's one hell of a woman. It hurts me to hear people say she was weak to take me back. It takes strength to do that and forgive. Unless you've walked in similar shoes, you can't possibly make assumptions on someone else's life. Call me all you like, world's worst cheating hero etc, but leave Sammy out of it. And to the woman who called me a hippie, get your facts straight, Mrs! I'm a rocker through and through. Never been a hippie in my life.
PAM: Talking of rockers, apart from Buddy Holly, tell me about your other musical influences.
ROY: There have been many. Eddie Cochran, Elvis, Jerry Lee, Chuck Berry, Roy Orbison. And Ed and I have often been likened to The Everly Brothers; the harmonies in our duets, I guess.
PAM: Why did you decide to stop being a trio and become a four piece band?
ROY: We had this mate whose group had folded almost before it began. He was a looker, a bird magnet and he played a mean guitar. Ed thought it would give us more depth so we auditioned him and that's how Phil Jackson joined The Raiders. And then of course we decided to ask Carl on board and became a five piece, same as we still are today. One of Ed's grandsons, Nathan will be working with us on the next tour. He's a great guitarist too.
PAM: Well, Roy, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to me.
ROY: My pleasure. Until we meet again.