2. Ady Croasdell - In early 1995 I got to meet the legendary soul singer Doris Troy and arranged for her to do a live gig at the 100 Club. Doris was working with her own band by then and wanted to put on a great show, so she sweet talked me into adding extra horns and backing vocalists. Unfortunately those extra costs eventually turned the gig into a loss making exercise for me. Doris had been a darling of the original swinging London rock crowd and counted The Beatles, Pink Floyd and many other superstars as her personal friends, though she never name dropped in the slightest; she was very modest and underplayed her own celebrity.
A huge Doris fan was Van Morrison who came down to the show and duly paid the admittance for his diminutive self and his 6’ 4” minder. However due to having an empty feeling in my wallet, I was not in the best of moods at the end of the gig. Various friends and club regulars were queueing up outside the changing room to pay their respects to Doris and I just happened to be passing when Van and his man walked straight up to the front of the line and attempted to gain entry ahead of the queue. The profit and loss motive is a strong motivator to hardworking promoters, and the disappointment of the door take was sufficient to see me barking at the odd couple that if they wanted to see her Doris-ness, they should wait their turn! Fair play to them, they were very apologetic and did as they were told. They apparently spent quite a while in there with her – it must have been funny for the people queueing next to him.
3. WYSIWYG - I attended the Graduation Ceremony when he received his Honorary Degree from Ulster University – he received a lot of criticism for not making a grand sycophantic speech – blah, blah. I think he’s just a very private person. And wasn’t / isn’t that so refreshing? I also know someone who worked very closely with him for years – his grumpiness seems to mostly be reserved for people who just want to interfere in his life. I wish there were more like him in that respect.