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Vic Flick, Guitarman, book review

August 11, 2008
Vic Flick, GuitarmanVic Flick, Guitarman
(Paperback - 192 pages)
by Vic Flick
reviewed by Geoff Leonard

The John Barry Seven only existed for about eight years, and in truth was only really successful for around half of that time. Yet all four of the men who led the band during its relatively short existence have now written or had biographies written about them. John Barry was the first, followed by drummer Bobby Graham, trumpeter Alan Bown and now guitarist Vic Flick becomes the fourth. His is a fascinating book concerning the life and career of a man who always wanted to make his living through playing the guitar. By no means a household name on either side of the Atlantic, we learn how Flick nevertheless became the leader of the incomparable John Barry Seven and eventually the man to turn to for those crucial studio recordings.

he book includes a vivid account of growing up in the UK during the Second World War, before a brief attempt at a non-musical career faltered when the lure of playing music professionally proved too strong. The atmosphere of Butlins Holiday Camps at Skegness and Clacton in the fifties is perfectly captured, as Vic becomes a member of Les Clark and his Musical Maniacs & The Vic Alan Quintet. We re-live the days of endless, tiring, variety tours with The Bob Cort Skiffle group, leading to a meeting with John Barry on a Paul Anka tour which became the first big break for him when John later asked him to join the JB7.

There are tales of the nerve-wracking "live" performances on BBC TV's Drumbeat show - the series which introduced Adam Faith to the general public. Also the JB7 recording sessions at the famous Abbey Road Studios and at CTS Bayswater - where the original version of The James Bond Theme was recorded, and on which Vic played solo guitar. There is even an extract from his diary verifying the time and date on which the recording of probably the most famous film theme of all time took place!

The book is full of hilarious anecdotes of both off and on-stage antics at pop concerts, touring with Adam Faith & Shirley Bassey, characters he worked with and for at recording sessions at virtually every studio in London, often at four different ones in a day. The idiosyncrasies of the powerful session "fixers", meeting and working with star names at both recording sessions and on TV shows. Painful and seemingly endless recording sessions with Burt Bacharach and Tony Newley, embarrassing ones with Angela Morley and Basil Kirchin. Clashes with Sacha Distel and Lita Roza. What happened during a drowsy moment on a Parkinson show recording on which James Stewart was the guest.

There are also some poignant and moving moments, when we learn that the career of a freelance musician is not all roses, including the devastating moment when he eventually discovered he had been denied the chance to become "Britain's answer to Duane Eddy" when executives at EMI were told he was under contract to John Barry during the early sixties - which was not the case. He was later denied the chance of another stab at fame, when his recording with Eric Clapton on a James Bond film theme was ultimately replaced by a pop-ballad.

“Names” are scattered like confetti throughout the book, but never gratuitously. This is simply a reflection of the variety of people he encountered during a long career as one of Britain’s foremost session guitarists. What is apparent is the integrity and honesty of the writer, whose career was well-supported by his family. If you want to read a factual and absorbing account of the life of a professional musician during the heady days of the fifties, sixties, seventies and beyond, this book is thoroughly recommended.

Geoff Leonard

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Have a look at our old "Play It Again" label website here.

Play It Again Records CD catalogue offered the discerning listener a wide choice of digitally re-mastered recordings from film and television, and rare collections of work from the likes of Don Black and Ron Grainer.

Contact the JB site

If you wish to send an email, for example with content for the website, please contact Geoff Leonard:

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Geoff (owner) and Ruud (webmaster) have been running the John Barry website since June 18, 2001.

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John Barry related Events or Concerts


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A lot more James Bond concerts collected on the link below, I have put them all in this news item. So check it out from there!

http://www.moviesinconcert.nl/index.php?page=concertlist


Q The Music Show - James Bond Tribute Band
Live James Bond Concerts

Sun 6th May 18
New Victoria Hall, Woking
with Caroline Munro (The Spy Who Loved Me)
Details: www.QTheMusicShow.com/newvictoria


The Music of BondThe Music of Bond
Royal Albert Hall
Wednesday 19 September 2018
Starts: 7:30pm

Website

Presented by Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace). Over fifty years of timeless James Bond themes from all your favourite 007 films.

Hits from Goldfinger, Licence to Kill, Casino Royale, Skyfall, Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die, Spectre, From Russia with Love to name just a few, all sung by outstanding vocalists Alison Jiear and Matthew Ford.

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Gareth Hudson Conductor
Alison Jiear Vocalist
Matthew Ford Vocalist


James Bond fans are in for a treat in January 2019, as renowned Band, the popular Q The Music Show, are putting on a special concert - performing all the music from Moonraker on

26th January 2019

at the

Wycombe Swan Concert Hall,
High Wycombe,
Berkshire
United Kingdom.

You can back the project and buy tickets here

They are drafting in professional musicians from London to create a 100-piece Orchestra and Choir to recreate all of John Barry’s iconic cues from the 1979 film. As there is only around 50 minutes of music in the film, they will perform the best of the James Bond songs in the second half in true Q The Music style, but with full orchestra.

Because of the nature of this concert, and the huge costs involved, they are crowd funding it, so tickets have to be purchased by 6th May this year for the concert to go ahead on Saturday 26th January 2019.

Q The Music Show are popular with James Bond fans all around the World thanks to their dedicated and authentic versions of the music and were chosen to perform at Sir Roger Moore’s Memorial Event at Pinewood Studios in October last year. The concert will be compered by Bond girls Madeline Smith and Caroline Munro, who have been working with Q The Music this year on their theatre tour of the UK.

The concert will not be available to buy on recording after the show, and the Moonraker score has never been performed live, so this is a unique opportunity for fans to see it. If the project is a success, Q The Music plan to go on a do a different Barry/Bond score each year.

You can back the project and buy tickets here

*Please note, this is a music only performance – no images or footage from the film will be shown, and Q The Music are not associated with EON, Danjaq LLC, or the James Bond Films in any way.

Warren Ringham
Q The Music Show - James Bond Tribute Band
The London Showband - Party & Covers Band