Seven astonishing things I learned today:
- Bobby Vee (who died on Monday) was of Norwegian and Finnish heritage. He was born in Fargo, name of Velline.
- During his first U.S. tour, Vee employed a pianist whose real name was Robert Zimmerman, and would soon become Bob Dylan (that much I knew), but who at the time called himself Elston Gunnn. Vee remembered that Gunnn ‘played pretty good in the key of C’.
- ‘Take Good Care of My Baby’, composed by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, which became Bobby’s only No 1 hit in America and was among his biggest successes in Britain, was sung by the Beatles at the Cavern in Liverpool. George Harrison took care of the vocals and dedicated the song to the children’s charity Barnardo’s.
Now that we’ve arrived in sixties Liverpool let’s fast forward a decade to those days of yore when, flicking through the racks of vinyl in Probe Records, punters such as me would be entertained by the sight of the teenage Pete Burns (died Sunday) queening it over the entire shop.
- Pete Burns’ mother, Eva – Evelina Maria Bettina Quittner von Hudec – was a German aristocrat who had been born in Heidelberg but fled to Vienna because of her Jewish background. There she met a British soldier, Francis Burns, who became her husband.
- The young Pete was very close to his mother, speaking only German and a little French until he was five.
- His middle name was Jozzeppi.
- In 2006 Pete came close to inducing nationwide cardiac arrests at the sight of him dancing with George Galloway, both of them dressed in lycra leotards, on Celebrity Big Brother.