The 'Simon Dupree And The Big Sound' Story.

'Gene Pitney' UK Tour of 1968.


'Simon Dupree And The Big Sound' was with the 'Gene Pitney' tour of the UK in 1968.

Also on the tour were 'The Status Quo', 'Amen Corner', 'Don Partridge'
and 'Lucas and The Mike Cotton Sound'.

Gene Pitney was a real likable guy, one of life's true gentlemen.
He traveled on the tour coach with the rest of us.
Gene Pitney played cards with us, listened to our bad jokes and told a few.
When the tour coach stopped for lunch, he wasn't averse to paying for the whole party.
At the end of the tour he payed each member of the 'Mike Cotton Sound'
( who backed him on-stage) a £50 bonus.
He had no need to do this as they'd already been paid by the the agency.
£50 was a lot of money in 1968 !

On the last night of the tour 'The Status Quo' gave him a hard time.
They covered him with 'Crazy Foam' just as he was about to go on stage.
Being the professional he was, he changed his suit, arrived on stage on time,
and still gave his usual good performance.
He took all this with good humour.
A tip here, if you go to
a touring show, try not to go on the final night.
Some of the cast like a bit of a celebration .. Who me ? .. 'Not guilty mi - lud' !

Somebody came up with the idea of marking a front tyre of the tour coach with numbers.
Using crayon the tyre was divided into 24 equal parts.
The idea was 24 people on the tour coach could buy a number for £1.00.
The number that was closest to the bottom of the road when the coach stopped outside
the theatre and the driver said 'That's it', was the winner and won the kitty/pot of £24.00.

Now this sounded great in practice, ( and it was once for myself 'cos I won £24.00 )
But .. the last half mile or so from the theatre the fans would run alongside the coach
waving and shouting for their favourite artist, ( mainly Gene Pitney )

A bit of a 'situation' was about to happen in 30 seconds or so ....... !
When the coach stopped, and the driver said 'That's it', he opened the door.

We had loyal fans wanting autographs, pieces of our hair, neck chains, or anything
that could be removed from our person as a trophy.
( The loyal people who bought our records and paid our wages )

On the other hand .... we had 24 band members on board the coach, who were
desperate to know which number was closest to the bottom of the road.
And only one door at the front of the coach ....
It was a state of complete chaos until the 'magic' number was confirmed ......

Then it was signing autographs and trying to find out which girl had your watch !

The main thing to remember was, who had won the money .......

Because he had to buy the drinks later ..........!

© Peter O'Flaherty. 2003.

Gene Pitney - 1968

Gene Pitney.
5th April 1968.

Outside his dressing room after the evening show.

Gene Pitney - 1941 - 2006.
Photograph © P. O'Flaherty 2003.
This photograph may not copied, linked to, or published
in any form without permission.

On this tour 'The Status Quo' had just released there record
'Pictures Of Matchstick Men', which was soon to be in the charts.

Derek Shulman.
(Simon Dupree)
Ray Shulman.
Derek Shulman - Simon Dupree
Ray Shulman
Derek Shulman.
Ray Shulman.
© P.O'Flaherty 2003.
© P. O'Flaherty 2003.


Gene Pitney UK Tour - 5th April to 7th May 1968
Artists - 'Gene Pitney' - 'Amen Corner' - 'Simon Dupree & The Big Sound'
'The Status Quo' - 'Don Partridge' - 'Lucas & The Mike Cotton Sound'.
Compare - 'Tony Brandon'.
  Venues : : : -

April 5th Lewisham Odeon.
April 6th Hanley Gaumont.
April 7th Coventry Theatre.
April 9th Glasgow Odeon.
April 10th Manchester Odeon.
April 11th Wolverhapton Gaumont.
April 12th Leeds Odeon.
April 13/14 Blackpool ABC Theatre.
April 15th Derby Gaumont.
April 17th Cardiff Capitol.
April 18th Bristol Colston Hall.
April 19th East Ham Granada.
April 20th Bournemouth Winter Gardens.
April 21st Leicester de Montfort Hall.
April 23rd Gloucester ABC.
April 24th Portsmouth Guildhall.
April 25th Birmingham Odeon.
April 26th Sutton Granada.
April 27th Finsbury Park Astoria.
April 28th Liverpool Empire.
May 1st Peterborough ABC.
May 2nd Stockton ABC.
May 3rd Sheffield City Hall.
May 4th Newcastle City Hall.
May 5th Hammersmith Odeon.
May 7th Walthamstow Granada.
..... The End.

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