Showaddywaddy bassist Al James had died, aged 72

19 November 2018, 12:16 | Updated: 6 October 2023, 08:54

Al James (back, far right) in Showaddywaddy
Al James (back, far right) in Showaddywaddy. Picture: Getty

One of the founding members of Showaddywaddy has passed away.

Bassist Al James, real name Geoffrey Betts, died in hospital on Friday (November 16), three weeks after falling at his Market Harborough home.

Former Showaddywaddy frontman Dave Bartram told BBC News that James was "a great mate and I loved the guy to bits".

The band formed in Leicester in 1973, and specialised in revivals of hit songs from the 1950s and 1960s.

Al James was a member of the band for 35 years, and retired in 2008.

Bartram added: "He just had that little bit of something different to offer. His sense of mischief and fun - that's the unforgettable.

"He lived life to the full. He loved the rock and roll lifestyle... he was a good bloke."

Showaddywaddy - Three Steps To Heaven (1975) (HD)

The singer said he spoke to his old bandmate in hospital before he died:"He's not one to show emotion, but he grabbed a hold of my hand and there was a little tear in his eye and he said to me 'would you say a few words at my funeral?'".

"It will be difficult, but it's something I intend to honour."

Romeo Challenger, who has been Showaddywaddy's drummer since 1973, said: "He was one of the funniest people I have ever met - his anecdotes were hilarious - [he was] generous to a fault, and we all loved him."

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