Showaddywaddy's Dave Bartram on Jimmy Savile, and performing with The Osmonds and David Essex (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Showaddywaddy's Dave Bartram discusses Jimmy Savile, and performing with The Osmonds, Bay City Rollers and David Essex at the 02
BY JIM PALMER
For entertainers of the seventies, there will always be an indelible link to Top of the Pops and, inevitably, Jimmy Savile.
The man’s dirty laundry has soured many memories of an era of glam, glitter and fun.
Dave Bartram, former lead singer of Showaddywaddy, understandably thinks that’s a travesty.
He said: "It’s a shame that such a sparkling era and an era where people didn’t take themselves so seriously at all is now much-maligned because of the disgraceful stuff these guys got up to."
The 61-year-old, who quit the band two years ago but continues as its manager, added:
"Obviously we worked with all these people.
"I was actually asked to give evidence against one of them. It wasn’t Savile.
"It was an incredible era. It was an era of fun and showbiz. People used to go on Top of the Pops to try and out-glam each other with their clothes and movement.
"It is just so sad that the minority of these egotistic b******s have led to the 70s era becoming so maligned."
As for Savile himself, Dave said he always regarded the man as odd.
He said: "Savile was always a bit weird. He didn’t socialise with anyone. He would say his hellos and clear off somewhere. Now we have evidence to suggest what was going on.
"It’s beggar’s belief that people kept so quiet for so long. That’s what really saddens me."
Despite that terror, many still have fond memories of the 1970s and Showaddywaddy has teamed up with fellow icons The Osmonds, David Essex and Les McKeown’s Legendary Bay City Rollers for an arena tour that comes to the O2 in a few weeks.
Dave said: "It is sorely tempting to climb on board to do these arena shows because when we last did them in 2007 it was great, it made the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.
"It’s just such a buzz. It’s one of the things as a performer that you live for."
Though he is no longer part of the fold as a performer, Dave said the band sounds as good as ever.
He said: "The look of the band is pretty much identical. The presentation of it is the way Showaddywaddy has always been presented - it’s lively, it’s fast-moving, there are lots of close doo-wop harmonies and a wealth of hits to choose from.
"I’m envious in a way that I won’t be doing it. I have every confidence in them to step up to the plate and make it happen.
"They are sounding great. It has changed quite a bit since I moved on, that was inevitable, but they’re doing a great job."
Showaddywaddy play the 02 Arena, Peninsula Square, London SE10, June 26.
Details: theo2.co.uk, 020 8463 2000