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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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Windmill Publications

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Specialising in book publications and CD releases about John Barry and our book "Hit ans Miss: The Story of The John Barry Seven.

PIA website

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:

Email
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Location
Bristol, UK

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

This website is not endorsed by the composer's family.
Use of copyrighted materials and logos are for promotional purposes only.

All files on this website are for personal use only and cannot be bought or sold.

 

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John Barry related Events or Concerts


Submit your Event or Concert, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. We will not be responsible for any errors or inaccuracies.


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 Concert Spectacular

Saturday 14th March 2020
7:30pm

Wycombe Swan
St Mary St,
High Wycombe HP11 2XE,
United Kingdom

Website

Guest Compere: Caroline Munro – The Spy Who Loved Me


Q The Music Show
James Bond Concert Spectacular

Friday 1st May 2020
7:30pm

Watford Colosseum
Rickmansworth Road
Watford
Hertfordshire
WD17 3JN

Website

Guest Compere: Madeline Smith - Live And Let Die


Q The Music Show
James Bond Concert Spectacular

Sunday 3rd May 2020
7:30pm

The Spa Pavilion
Undercliff Road West
Felixstowe
Suffolk
IP11 2DX

Website

Guest Compare: Madeline Smith – Live And Let Die


Q The Music Show
James Bond Concert Spectacular

Friday 22nd May 2020
7:30pm

Chelmsford City Theatres
Fairfield Road
Chelmsford
Essex
CM1 1JG

https://www.chelmsford.gov.uk/theatres/whats-on/music/james-bond-concert-spectacular/

Guest Compere: Caroline Bliss – The Living Daylights, License to Kill


Q The Music Show
James Bond Concert Spectacular

Sunday 7th June 2020
7:30pm

White Rock Theatre
White Rock
Hastings
East Sussex
TN34 1JX

Website

Guest Compare : Caroline Bliss – The Living Daylights & License to Kill


Q The Music Show
James Bond Concert Spectacular

Saturday June 20th
7:30pm

Hull City Hall
Queen Victoria Square
Carr Lane
Hull

HU1 3RQ

https://www.hulltheatres.co.uk/events/james-bond-concert-spectacular

Guest Compere: Caroline Munro – The Spy Who Loved Me


Q The Music Show
James Bond Concert Spectacular

Sunday 21st June 2020
7:30pm

New Theatre Peterborough
46 Broadway
Peterborough
PE1 1RS

https://www.newtheatre-peterborough.com/events/q-the-music-show/

Guest Compere: Caroline Bliss – The Living Daylights, License To Kill


Monday 13 July 2020
7.30pm

New Victoria Theatre, 
The Ambassadors, 
The Peacocks Centre, 
Woking GU21

https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/the-james-bond-concert-spectacular/new-victoria-theatre/

With Madeline Smith (Live and Let Die)


Friday 17 July 2020
7.30pm

The Beck Theatre, 
Grange Road, Hayes, 
Middlesex UB3 2UE

https://becktheatre.org.uk/Online/tickets-james-bond-concert-hayes-2020

With Madeline Smith (Live and Let Die)


Saturday 25 July 2020
7.30pm

Longfield Suite, 3 Longfield Centre, 
Prestwich, Manchester M25 1AY

https://bury-mbc.ticketlight.co.uk/order/gateway/13350925

With Caroline Munro (The Spy Who Loved Me)


Sunday 2 August 2020
7.30pm

Cheltenham Town Hall, Imperial Square, 
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 1QA

http://www.cheltenhamtownhall.org.uk/event/the-james-bond-spectacular-2020-315557/

With Caroline Munro (The Spy Who Loved Me)


Sunday 9 August 2020
7.30pm

Weston Winter Gardens, Royal Parade, 
Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1AJ

http://www.westonwintergardens.co.uk/events/james-bond-concert-comes-to-weston-super-mare/

With Caroline Munro (The Spy Who Loved Me)


Sunday 16 August 2020
7.30pm

Buxton Opera House, Water Street, 
Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6XN

https://buxtonoperahouse.org.uk/boxoffice/ticket/469191

With Caroline Bliss (The Living Daylights & Licence To Kill)


Sunday 30 August 2020
7.30pm

West Cliff Theatre, Clacton-On-Sea, 
Tower Road, Clacton CO15 1LE

http://www.westcliffclacton.co.uk/livemusic/james-bond-concert-spectacular/

With Caroline Munro (The Spy Who Loved Me)


Friday 25 September 2020
7.30pm

Kings Theatre, 24 Albert Road, 
Portsmouth, Southsea PO5 2QJ

https://www.kingsportsmouth.co.uk/whatson-event/the-james-bond-concert-spectacular/

With Caroline Bliss (The Living Daylights & Licence To Kill)


Sunday 11 October 2020
7.30pm

Leas Cliff Hall, The Leas, 
Folkestone CT20 2DZ

https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/the-james-bond-concert-spectacular/leas-cliff-hall/

With Caroline Bliss (The Living Daylights & Licence To Kill)


Friday 16 October 2020
7.30pm

St. George's Hall, Bridge St, 
Bradford BD1 1JT

https://www.bradford-theatres.co.uk/whats-on/the-james-bond-concert-spectacular-178147#scr-booking

With Caroline Munro (The Spy Who Loved Me)


Sunday 18 October 2020
5pm

Adelphi Theatre, Strand, London WC2R 0NS

https://tickets.lwtheatres.co.uk/en-GB/events/the%20james%20bond%20concert%20spectacular/2020-10-18_17.00/adelphi%20theatre/2?hallmap

With Caroline Munro, Madeline Smith, Caroline Bliss


Thursday 12 November 2020
7.30pm

The Princess Royal Theatre, Civic Centre, 
Port Talbot SA13 1PJ

https://npttheatres.co.uk/princessroyal/events/james-bond-concert-prt/

With Caroline Munro (The Spy Who Loved Me)