The cultural commentators, vultures and tastemakers of the national media have all had their say. We’ve also read some great things online locally since Pete Burns left us last Sunday. Now, it’s time for one of his mates (and someone who managed Dead Or Alive in the early days) to reveal what it’s like to be left behind by your pal. By Doreen Allen.
The first time I ever saw Pete Burns was on a train going back home over to Wirral after working at The Stadium. This would have been in and around 1973/74 I think. I looked across the carriage and saw this amazing looking person sitting there… at a time when not many people who looked like that were ever on the train, especially getting off at Rock Ferry! I could never in my wildest dreams imagine that I would be managing his band a few years later. A while later, when when I first got friendly with him at Eric’s, he did tell me that he remembered me being on that train…
Pete became my neighbour in the early eighties, before he moved to London, and there was never a dull moment when he was around. We went on many shopping trips to London together and had many adventures when I was managing Dead Or Alive. Of course, I’ve got lots of lovely little stories from around that time, but I’ll share just one today that stands out…
Martin Dempsey was a friend of mine from our Eric’s days who had been in Yachts (now in The Gentle Scars) and he had booked Dead Or Alive to play in his home town of Rossendale. Martin had returned there after Eric’s closed to open a recording studio with a business partner and they also put a few gigs on at the college there… so off we went. It was a Friday night in winter and we found ourselves in a deepest darkest Lancashire valley town for Dead Or Alive to play to about twenty people.
After the gig, Martin’s friend invited us back to his house, telling us that he had a tape of the time he had regressed Lene Lovich! Seems he had heard her on the radio saying she would love to be regressed, and as he had this apparent skill, he had got in touch with her to offer his services. Pete was a big fan of Lene, so we couldn’t miss out on this and we all piled back to this spooky bungalow to hear the tape. I remember there being loads of Toby jugs around the room – which I don’t like at the best of times, never mind also listening to this tape – and we were all obviously terrified! I couldn’t wait to go home… but not before the guy asked Pete did he want to come to his house the next week to be regressed. Pete declined and we all shot out of the house, into the van and had a nightmare journey back home to Liverpool reliving what we had heard on that tape. So much so, that when we got back home, Dead Or Alive (the whole band!) stayed at mine as we were all too scared to be left alone!
I’m glad Pete never held it against me for getting them the gig and I still managed them for a while afterwards. We also remained very good friends. He was always fun to be with and a kind and loyal person who never forgot his ‘old’ friends when he found fame and fortune. Pete Burns played such a big part in my life and I so thank him for that.
He will be much missed.
Pete Burns (1959 – 2016)
Pic courtesy Getty