BT payphone engineer, music fanatic and familiar figure around many Preston pubs, but until then someone with zero broadcasting experience, some time in the early 00s my dad found himself being invited on BBC Radio Lancashire for a one hour special on Dr. Feelgood.
My dad was, indeed, a huge fan of Dr. Feelgood just as he was a huge fan of many bands but I think one of his regular drunken Saturday night conversations about bands and rock music ended up with an invitation from one of the presenters to take part in a show.
Happily, a friend of his recorded it at the time and I recently rediscovered my copy.
“Alan Johnson has popped in to see tell us all about Dr. Feelgood. We’re doing a feature on Dr Feelgood and he’s ably assisted by Andy Stones,” the show starts off.
As well as playing tracks like ‘Back In the Night’, Down At The Doctors’ and ‘Milk and Alcohol’ the discussion meanders through the band’s early years with Wilko Johnson, then the illness and death of frontman Lee Brilleaux as well as the continuation of the band by Brilleaux’s former bandmates and a new frontman.
My dad reminds the presenter they did, in fact once make the Top 10 singles chart before being asked whether what they play is blues. “Not in the true sense,” is my dad’s rejoinder. “It’s just really good-time music, blues or not.”
The show draws to a close. There’s time for my dad to choose one last song. He says it has to be ‘Milk and Alcohol’ and he recounts his abiding image of frontman, Lee, on stage.
The hour is nearly up.
“Thanks for coming in,” says the presenter.
“I’m getting used to it,” says my dad.
“It can be a bit daunting sitting here with all the microphones and the gremlins,” the presenter says reassuringly.
“Without a pint,” my dad observes.
And with that the show comes to an end. I believe this was the sum total of my dad’s entire broadcasting experience. But I’ve got a recording of the show for posterity and it is comforting to be able to hear his voice. Here’s that clip of him talking about that abiding image of Lee Brilleaux on stage.