Monday, 1 November 2010

Fame - As time goes by . . . . .

Sometimes life throws up one of those unforgettable cameo moments - last Saturday was of those occasions . . . . .

As I took my seat on the Saturday morning Lufthansa flight from Heathrow to Frankfurt, I knew the guy sitting next to me looked familiar in a "I know that face" kind of way. It was only when my travelling companion pointed it out that I realised that I was sitting next to Alvin Stardust. My first reaction was that this was his doppleganger (as surely 70's popstars travel first or business?) but then it dawned that life had moved on and this was the real Alvin Stardust and that economy was now his lot in life.

As if this wasn't wierd enough, whilst I was racking my brain to recall an Alvin Stardust hit (all I could remember was that rather dodgy black glove!) a husky American accent struck up inviting Alvin to join her in the next row back. Turning I realised that the voice belonged to none other than Suzi Quatro. At this point I felt as if I was in some twisted version of a Carlsberg advertisment and was half expecting Leo Sayer, David Soul and Dollar to appear - "Carlsberg don't do 70's kitch - but if they did . . . . ".

So there we all were Suzi, Alvin and me. Well, surprisingly Alvin chose my company - but not before he and Suzi exchanged stories about visiting the grandchildren and comparing photos of them on their iPhones - how time moves on! Apparently the Germans are really keen on 70s and 80s retro concerts and so they were off to a gig in some obscure German town. Suzi still has all her fiestiness, clearly has not come to terms with the fact that only people in their forties have any idea of who she is (She still wears the "Don't you know who I am?" shades that only stars wear indoors). I am sure they both put on a great show - the only difference is that, as Suzi confided to me, she just has to take a nap before going on stage these days.

"Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn"? Well not exactly. But these were real people living real lives. They were excellent value, they dished out some great banter, didn't really take themselves too seriously and both were looking great on it all. I hope that I have their energy and joie de vivre when I'm in my sixties.


  1. What a great story! I used to have a massive crush on Suzi Quatro, as well as the Pans People. In a pre-internet culture, with limited TV channels, I think our generation was one of the last to be able to enjoy a sense of communal media consumption. Today's multi-channel, always-on media landscape has resulted in fragmented experiences, where social media allow us to create a semblance of unified engagement; but it's not the same as knowing all of your friends would have watched Top of the Pops simultaneously.

    I hope you invited them to give a sixth form lecture!

    All the best,


  2. Alvin Stardust
    "My Coo-Ca-Choo" - 1973 - No. 2
    "Jealous Mind" - 1974 - No. 1
    "Red Dress" - 1974 - No. 7
    "You You You" - 1974 - No. 6
    "Tell Me Why" - 1974 - No. 16
    "Good Love Can Never Die" - 1975 - No. 11
    "Sweet Cheatin' Rita" - 1975 - No. 37
    "Pretend" - 1981 - No. 4
    "A Wonderful Time Up There - 1981 - No. 56
    "I Feel Like Buddy Holly" - 1984 - No. 7
    "I Won't Run Away" - 1984 - No. 7
    "So Near to Christmas" - 1984 - No. 29
    "Got a Little Heartache" - 1985 - No. 55