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Veteran rocker Alvin Stardust to light up Grantham Guildhall stage

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Veteran rocker Alvin Stardust will hit the Guildhall stage next month when he performs in Grantham for the first time since the early 1960s.

Stardust was a shining star in the Glam Rock era of the 1970s with a string of hits including My Coo Ca Choo and Jealous Mind. But he had already made a name for himself as Shane Fenton in the 1960s and his band scored several chart hits in 1961 and 1962.

In the 1980s he had further success including a hit with I Feel Like Buddy Holly.

His Grantham show on September 20 will feature songs from all these eras of his career.

The show is being promoted by another veteran rocker, Vince Eager, who hails from Grantham, and has known Stardust since the late 1950s. They have performed together on the same bill and played the Granada in Grantham in the 1960s.

Speaking to the Journal this week, Stardust said: “I am really looking forward to playing Grantham. Vince was one of the old boy crowd with Billy Fury and Gene Vincent. He really was up there with them. We have worked together on a number of shows and he is as good as he ever was.”

Because Stardust’s career has covered more than 50 years his audiences come with varying expectations. Some will want to here the Shane Fenton songs while others are more interested in the Glam Rock era.

Stardust said: “We get people who remember the 60s and may not be into the 1970s stuff but they are polite when we play the 70s songs and there are those who are there for the 80s songs. I have got such a cross-section of people who have bought the records over the years that we do bits of everything. It’s a great night.”

Stardust says “I work when I feel like it”. At the age of 71 he is still doing plenty of shows. He plays abroad with his band, having had plenty of success in Europe. His single My Coo Ca Choo sold two million records in Germany, almost twice as many as in the UK.

Stardust was born Bernard William Jewry in 1942 when his parents lived in the Mile End Road in London. At the age of two his family moved to Mansfield where his father had got a job.

As well as his music, Stardust has also taken to the stage as an actor. He has played roles in Godspell and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Recently Stardust was in the news because he owns a guitar which he was offered £1 million for. The acoustic guitar was bought for him as a boy by his father for £1. Since then Stardust has collected the 
autographs of some big names in the music industry including Buddy Holly, The Beatles, Chuck Berry and Jeff Beck. Stardust turned down the £1m, but says now he just might sell the guitar which calls Peggy Sue. He said: “I am thinking seriously of selling it now because the gas and electric bills are going up... But I would like to know who is buying it because it is an historical piece, not just a guitar. It has a lot of history, Buddy Holly was the first to sign it.”

Eager said: “It’s great that he is going to play in Grantham. I think a small theatre like the Guildhall will suit him very well. he is great with the audience.”

Another Grantham rock ‘n’ roll veteran, Trevor Leeson, will support Stardust at the Guildhall show. The show takes place on Saturday, September 20, at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £18/£16 concessions. Call the box office on 01476 406158 or visit www.guildhallartscentre.com

 

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