Well after 40 years in the saddle I'm getting off the old gigging horse, as a professional anyway. Somewhat reluctantly I have been forced to stand down as a member of The Fortunes in the face of diminishing gigs and rising travel costs, which the band don't seem able to cover. That shows how bad things have become. In truth, alongside many others, I believe the Fortunes really died when Rod passed away. He was the recognised voice of the Forts, and it's always difficult for a band to retain it's identity when you lose the original lead vocalist. it is after all the most distinctive aspect of any band. I gave it a couple of years to see how things would pan out, but unfortunately (forgive the pun) things have gone from bad to worse, with earnings plummeting, and the calibre of many gigs becoming decidedly wanting.
Come back Rod, all is forgiven. If only.
Sorry to report that you probably won't be getting the new DVD that I was editing for the band as there seems little point in issuing it now.I would, however, like to take the time to thank those of you who have supported us as close friends and fans over the years. You small band of dedicated followers, (you know who you are) have made much of it very enjoyable. I probably won't see you again, so thanks again for your support.
A chance to also say goodbye to all the guys in the various bands on the circuit. Good times were had by all and it was great to know you. Thanks for the many in our peer group who sympathised with my unacceptable position. I will remain in touch with those of you who I count as close friends.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to let you know that much of what you heard in The Fortunes was in fact down to me. I wasn't just the drummer at the back, and contributed much to the show and other aspects besides. The "'Fortunes will no doubt limp on for a while, but, as some of you have already remarked...a shadow of it's former self. They'll need all the luck they can get. Whether they rise to the challenge or not remains immaterial to me. I'm gone.
I will miss it no doubt, but part of me is relieved to be off the rusty old merry-go-round. There's something a bit sad about a bunch of old farts with a tenuous link to the glory days of sixties pop performing to a lack-lustre audience in a caravan park clubhouse situated in some remote outpost of cheap holiday land.
Meanwhile, I hope to keep playing, semi pro in a local band, hopefully performing the kind of music I prefer to play, which won't be light-weight sixties pop if I can help it!!