Shpeak to me
Working with Martin was always interesting, on one occasion, working in a large empty mill building he had brought his trumpet with him, and during lunch he decided to play it, the acoustics in the empty mill were incredible and his playing reverberated throughout the whole mill.
During lunch Martin started to tell some of his tales, he had been a trumpet player in a band, and he claimed this was why he had pursed lips.
He went on to tell tales from the era and recalled vividly an encounter with an attractive female bugle player, he had told her that playing the bugle had not affected her lips in his opinion, and even persuaded her to let him kiss her to test her lips.
He also related a time when the band decided to dismiss one of the members who was a guitar player, but not up to their standard. One day they all drove around to his house in the minibus, most of the band remained in the vehicle, but he and one other member rang the doorbell.
Upon answering, the poor guy (who had a lisp), was surprised by the visit. He looked at all the band members and, bemused by the fact that none of the band spoke, he repeatedly said shpeak to me lads, shpeak to me.
At which point they all departed leaving him alone. From that day forward he was known to the rest of the group as ‘shpeak to me’, he never played with the group again.
Martin recalled a year or so later, one of the band members just before going on stage saying, hey lads, guess who I saw yesterday playing at the local pub, shpeak to me.
Some years later shpeak to me suddenly found fame, in 1969 he became one half of the two singers in the newly reconfigured duo act Black Lace, achieved fame with several cheesy pop songs such as Agadoo, appeared on Top of the Pops several times and even went on to represent the UK in the Eurovision song contest in 1979.
Like anything, fame is short lived, shpeak to me was later prosecuted for a benefit fraud and jailed for six months.