Geoff Betts, the former bass player with top 1970s chart band Showaddywaddy, has died in hospital after falling downstairs at his Market Harborough home. He was 72.
Geoff was taken to Kettering General Hospital three weeks ago after the fall, but died on Friday, November 16.
Already weakened by bouts of cancer, he had fallen from the top to the bottom of the stairs at his home, where he lived alone. It was many hours before he was found.
The band’s former front man, Dave Bartram, told the Mail: “I’ve been in bits; heartbroken. I’ve known Geoff for 50 years. He was a great man and a good friend, and now we’ve lost him.”
Geoff, whose stage name was Al James, was a founder-member of Showaddywaddy, a revivalist rock ‘n’ roll band who had 10 top 10 singles in the 1970s, including a number one, Under The Moon of Love.
As well as playing bass on many hits, Geoff also wrote songs for the band, and took lead vocals on some classics – like Jailhouse Rock – at gigs.
The band played all over the world. Geoff said his most memorable gig was behind the Iron Curtain in East Berlin in 1978, a gig reportedly broadcast to 300 million people.
The band is still going, with Dave Bartram now manager, but Geoff retired in 2008,
Dave said: “Geoff was a talented musician and a great character. He was also the real rock ‘n’ roller of the band. He worked hard but he played hard too, always with a wicked little grin.” Dave was able to speak to Geoff in hospital. “He held my hand and asked me if I would say a few words at his funeral.”
The eight man band Showaddywaddy was formed in 1973, from the amalgamation of two Leicestershire bands – Choise and The Hammers.
Their first top 10 hit - written by the band - was Hey Rock and Roll, which reached number 2 in 1974.
Thereafter they concentrated on covers of rock ‘n’ roll songs from the late 50s/early 60s. Other big hits included Three Steps to Heaven (1975), Under The Moon of Love (1976) and You Got What It Takes (1977).