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Friday, January 14, 2011

Review: The Magnificent Eric Delaney by Eddie Sammons

This is the revised and updated 2010 edition and it makes good reading - despite the fact that it has a photo of me next to the great man himself (In Rosie Malone's)!
Still going strong in his eighty seventh year Eric Delaney is a survivor and Eddie Sammons has captured his life - well most of it! - in great detail.
From his early days as a child prodigy through playing in Geraldo's Band, his own big band and various smaller units both at home and abroad it is a portrait of a man who never waited for opportunity to knock but made it happen. There are a number of musicians with North-east connections mentioned - Des Lumsden (who provided much of the material), Vince Bovill, Malcolm and Brian Saul, Ronnie Aspery, Colin Hodgkinson, Gerry Gerke and, of course, Bobby Carr (who joined in 1957) are some of the ones I noticed. There is also a couple of photos from The Porthole with Miles Watson and Doug Fielder and references to such local venues as the Fiesta Club, Stockton, the Sage, Gateshead, the Rex, Whitley Bay and Newcastle City Hall.
He also married a Sunderland lass - Pat Bergson.
A girl, Sarah Jane Burn from Annfield Plain, is quoted as winning a drumming competition - wonder what became of her?
Parochial interests aside - it's a great read that takes you back to the days when the Big (or in Eric's case 'biggish') Bands roamed the pre-motorway land to the present time when Eric Delaney still plays concerts, clubs wherever there's music he's there. The mutual admiration between Eric and Louis Bellson indicates if nothing else does Eric's standing in drum society.
I automatically reached out for my Oranges and Lemons CD at the finish of each chapter. Truckin' is a really fine arrangement. Eric told me a risque story about the title of that tune which I won't repeat here!
The Amazing Eric Delaney (329 pages) by Eddie Sammons is available from Amazon £11.99 + pp.
Lance

3 comments :

Berb said...

Sarah Burn is a good friend. We played in the same brass band together, (The Ever Ready Band, now The Reg Vardy Band. She is now playing in the Leyland brass band and is getting married this year.

Bob Stephenson.
Drummer/Percussionist/Actor

Lance said...

Thanks Bob and best wishes to Sarah.

Liz said...

Eric Delaney was a real character & hero to my generation .. "Delaney's delight" was always my fave..
Liz

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