Sunday, 20 November 2016

The Vapors Back On Stage in 2016

So here's something I never thought I would get to see. Dave Fenton back on stage performing with The Vapors. Last night I went to the Wolverhampton gig of their 2016 tour. It meant a round trip of over 200 miles, but there was no way I was going to miss going to see them on this tour. They were on superb form. Dave alongside original members Ed Bazalgette and Steve Smith with new drummer Michael Bowes played everything you could have wished for. From a personal point of view I was looking forward to hearing News at Ten and Letter From Hiro and they were indeed the high points of a fantastic evening for me. I am looking forward to seeing them play live again in 2017.

About 18 months ago I went up to London to meet and photograph Dave for the book. It's interesting just how much things can change in that period of time. Back then he was working as the in-house lawyer at the |Musician's Union and said he rarely played the guitar at all. Since then he has retired and life has changed a great deal allowing him the opportunity to perform with the band again, Ed is now a highly successful director so I'm thinking he could be on my hit list for me new book. Of course 18 months has seen big change for me too. In August my Mum lost her 4 year brave and courageous battle with bowel cancer. The cancer had spread to her brain and she passed away a week after her 80th birthday. The new fundraising book is being done in her memory. When we met Dave'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. 

I decided to try and track Dave down for the book after I had spoken with Mike Read about Jimmie Jones, which was a minor hit for the band. We met up outside Westminster tube station and 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. So the photo in thee book is a belter! 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.

We were able to chat about not just the band and some of the difficulties they had at the time with record companies, but life after the band finished and his life 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, so it's fascinating looking at these contrasting photos seeing Dave at work and now of course back on stage. 

Lives & Times has now raised over £2600 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. To see how you can order the book, which is available as an eBook, paperback and hardback, click here.

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