Dizzy? Hear about 1963, when The Beatles opened for Tommy Roe! VIDEO

Today’s Guest: Tommy Roe, singer and songwriter of ‘Dizzy,’ ‘Sheila,’ ‘Sweet Pea’ and ‘Everybody.’ The Beatles opened for him in the UK in 1963 and he opened for them at the first US concert on February 11, 1964.
Watch this exclusive Mr. Media interview with Tommy Roe, singer and songwriter of ‘Dizzy,’ ‘Sheila,’ ‘Sweet Pea’ and ‘Everybody’ by clicking on the video player above!

The Beatles (standing), Chris Montez (seated, l), Tommy Roe (seated, r), Mr. Media Interviews

The Beatles (standing), Chris Montez (seated, l), Tommy Roe (seated, r), Mr. Media Interviews

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Chris Montez, Tommy Roe, The Beatles, 1963 UK concert poster, Mr. Media Interviews

Chris Montez, Tommy Roe, The Beatles, 1963 UK concert poster, Mr. Media Interviews

There are two pictures on Tommy Roe’s website of him with The Beatles.

I glanced at them last night and then moved on, looking for ideas about what to ask the man behind such immortal 1960s bubblegum hits as “Sheila,” “Dizzy” and “Jam Up and Jelly Tight.”

This morning, I got to thinking about it some more. Those were some very young Beatles in those photo, gathered around behind Roe. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr are dressed alike in suits and ties, not unlike what they wore on the cover of their first album, Meet The Beatles.

TOMMY ROE podcast excerpt: “At first, I thought The Beatles were our backup band in London in 1963! I’d never heard of them, didn’t know who they were. They came in with all that hair and I thought that was kind of strange lookin’. After the first night, I knew Chris Montez and I were going to have a tough go of it because they created such chaos during their part of the show.”

You can LISTEN to this interview with singer/songwriter TOMMY ROE by clicking the audio player above!

Hair is about the same length, too.

So I did a little more research and this is the moment when my eyebrows shot up. Two days after The Beatles made their American debut, February 9, 1964, on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” they made their first-ever U.S. concert appearance at the Washington Coliseum in Washington, D.C. According to a website called PopHistoryDig.com, the opening acts on the bill were Jay & The Americans, The Righteous Brothers… and Tommy Roe.

Tommy Roe - Greatest Hits [MCA], Mr. Media Interviews

Order ‘Tommy Roe – Greatest Hits’ [MCA], available from Amazon.com by clicking on the album cover above!

But wait, it gets better: The Beatles already knew Roe; they were one of the featured acts on his top-billed tour of the UK a year earlier! And they recorded a cover of his #1 hit from 1962, “Sheila”

TOMMY ROE: “The Beatles were full of questions. John and George got me aside and John said, ‘Y’know, we do ‘Sheila’ during our shows. But I’m not sure if we’re playing it correctly.’ So John played it and was playing chords backward! He was playing A-D-E-D instead of A-E-D-E. He said, ‘I knew something was wrong.'”

Let me give you a quick overview of Tommy Roe’s success: he had his first #1 with “Sheila,” of course, and subsequently charted a number of songs on the Top 10, including “Everybody,” “Sweet Pea” and his biggest single, “Dizzy,” which was #1 in the US, UK and Canada in 1969. And as much as I love that song, I’ve always had a special fondness for his other ’69 hit, “Jam Up and Jelly Tight.”

On February 11, 2014 – 50 years to the day – you can join Tommy Roe to relive a moment of rock ‘n’ roll history as he returns to the historic Washington Coliseum in Washington, D.C., to open a show by the tribute band, Beatlemania Now, replicating the original. You can get tickets online at BeatlesYesterdayAndToday.com.

Meet The Beatles (The U.S. Album), Mr. Media Interviews

Order ‘Meet The Beatles’ (The U.S. Album), available from Amazon.com by clicking the album cover above!

TOMMY ROE: “I sat with Ringo a lot on the bus, or George. John and Paul stayed together because they were writing on the bus all the time, just as I was. I wrote ‘Everybody’ on that tour. John let me borrow his Gibson guitar on the bus and I wrote ‘Everybody’ on it.”

INTERVIEW BONUS: Watch for the moment when Tommy picks up up the guitar behind him and demonstrates how a few songs came together and plays the one hit he thinks got away from him!

Tommy Roe WebsiteFacebook • YouTubeOrder Tommy Roe music on CDBaby

TOMMY ROE: “I really admired the Grateful Dead because of their songwriting skills. When I started writing songs at 14 years old, I idolized Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, Sam Cooke, and Chuck Berry — all songwriters. And they sang their own songs. Songwriting has always been the key to pop music or rock music. Being able to write my own songs is what helped me survive the onslaught of the British Invasion in the 1960s.”

 


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About Bob Andelman (Mr. Media) @andelman (Twitter)

Bob Andelman is the host and producer of Mr. Media® Interviews. He is also the author or co-author of 15 books, including The Wawa Way with Howard Stoeckel, Building Atlanta with Herman J. Russell, Fans Not Customers with Vernon W. Hill, founder of Commerce Bank and Metro Bank UK, Mind Over Business with Ken Baum, The Consulate with Thomas R. Stutler, The Profiler with Pat Brown, Built From Scratch with the founders of The Home Depot, The Profit Zone with Adrian Slywotzky, Mean Business with Albert J. Dunlap, and Will Eisner: A Spirited Life. Click here to see Bob Andelman's Amazon Central author page. He is a member in good standing of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (member page).