Friday, 10 November 2017

Lives & Times Meets David Fenton From The Vapors

A couple of years ago I went up to London to meet Dave Fenton, lead vocalist in The Vapors. They are best remembered for their worldwide smash hit single Turning Japanese. I decided to try and track him down for the book after I had spoken with Mike Read about Jimmie Jones, which was a minor hit for the band. At the time Dave was the in house lawyer for the Musician's Union, and so I took a chance and sent an email to their press office. Within an hour he'd replied in person, and 48 hours later we met up outside Westminster tube station. Dave was extremely helpful, and happy to let me choose the location. There could only be one place for me to take the photo, and that was with Big Ben in the background. The Vapors best single in my opinion was News At Ten, and the picture sleeve of the single was the classic ITV image of Big Ben striking 10 o'clock for their news programme. I will regularly have The Vapors playing on my iPod, and the other stand out song, for me, by the band is Letter From Hiro, which is just magnificent.

We were able to chat about not just the band and some of the difficulties they had the time with record companies, but life after the band finished and his life now working at the Musician's Union and the problems the bands of today face. All in all it was a fascinating experience, and a great chapter to get for the book.

David sent me a photo of himself with his copy of the book after it was published at the end of 2015. When we met David's brother was beginning treatment for lung cancer, but sadly by the time I published the book he had passed away. Another example of just how awful cancer is. My mother's bowel cancer journey also ended in great sadness. She was diagnosed in 2012, and although the operation on her bowel was successful, she had four further operations on her lungs after the cancer spread. She was coping really well, and bounced bounced very quickly each time. Towards he end of 2015 the cancer spread to her brain. I n spite of CyberKnife treatment her health declined, and she went into hospital in June 2016 following a massive seizure. She passed away peacefully on August 29th 2016. 

The Vapors at 229 The Venue 10/11/2017
When I met Dave, he gave me no indication that The Vapors had any intention of reforming, but the great news is that they are now back on the road. I got to see the band in Wolverhampton last year. It was a fantastic gig, and finally getting to see the band live, and perform the songs of my youth, was amazing. I saw them last Friday night in London, and this was definitely at step-up or 3! The band were out of this world. I will always have two stand out tracks by them, 'News At Ten' and 'Letter From Hero', and they were not surprisingly the highlights for me, but every song was top notch. Looking forward to seeing them again next March.

Lives & Times has now raised over £3250 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, but if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. To see how you can order the book, which is available as an eBook, paperback and hardback, click here. I am also pleased to say that Ed Bazalgette, The Vapors guitarist, has agreed to be in my next charity book, so I will hopefully be meeting him soon.

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