A massive hit single can be a funny thing. ‘You To Me Are Everything’, the disco classic that hit the UK top spot back in 1976, followed The Real Thing around and became ubiquitous with the Toxteth pioneers. It only told part of the story, though. As our city and the world of music mourn the passing of superb Scouse songwriter Eddy Amoo, let Liverpool author and musician Malik Al Nasir give you a little bit of the other side of the mirror.
“I’m gutted to hear of the passing of one of Liverpool’s most legendary and prolific musical pioneers, Eddy Amoo.
Long before he was famous, his family and my family were among a handful of black families shipped out to an all-white ghetto in Liverpool. One of my earliest childhood memories is of Eddy strumming his guitar when we made our rounds collecting the catalogue and pools coupons money from them. His wife, Sylvia, also collected the money from the box on the back of our TV… 50p gave you eight hours viewing in those days.
When Eddy and his magnificent band The Real Thing had their first hit record, I was nine years old, my father was in hospital and the social workers came and put me in a children’s home. When my mum came to see me, she brought me a signed copy of their first album and it was the only thing I had to treasure that connected me with home. I’ve never forgotten that gesture of kindness back in 1975 and I’ve kept that album to this day.
Nearly thirty years later, in 2004, I was about to publish my book ‘Ordinary Guy’ and I asked Eddy for a comment for the back cover. I gave him a draft and he read the whole thing. I went to his house and he praised my work, told me how proud I should be and wrote a beautiful quote which I included on the back cover (“… a black Liverpudlian’s odyssey to find his ‘truth’ expressed in beautiful, but always hard-hitting, poetry… “).
From receiving a signed copy of his album when I was kid, to having him endorse my book as an adult, was a huge milestone for me and a testament to the respect that I had for this gentle and kind man. I’m shocked and can’t find more words to express how I feel seeing this in the newspapers over the weekend. My thoughts and prayers are for his brother Chris, his wife Sylvia and their children.
Rest in peace, Eddy.”
Eddy Amoo (1944 – 2018)
Pic by Robin Clewley