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giantchicken in a bit of a quandary...

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  • giantchicken in a bit of a quandary...

    The following events are true, but names and other details have been changed or disguised to protect those involved...sorry I can't be more specific but you'll see why....

    At a (non-music related) event somewhere in England last week I met (for the first time) and began a conversation with this guy (let's call him Harry). A few of the things he said raised my suspicions that he had connections with the music business and when I was brazen enough to ask him, he confirmed that he had indeed been a founder member of a well known and successful band. Of course, this was some time ago and since he clearly had some health problems, I wasn't surprised to hear he no longer played. I knew enough about the band to know he was never the most prominent member of said outfit, not a songwriter or frontman or media spokesman and I couldn't even picture him back then, but I certainly knew his name from things I'd read.

    Harry played with the band for a few years and left at about the time they were hitting their peak musically and commercially. There are various accounts as to why he left, but he told me it was because his then wife was ill and he felt he needed to be at home to look after her. He said he'd asked for a year off but had been refused by the management and record company. Naturally, I had loads of questions about the band's early incarnations, the personalities within the band and their recording history which saw them rubbing shoulders with some very big names.

    These were all answered to my reasonable satisfaction, allowing for the usual idiosyncracies of ageing musicians (tendency to embroider the legend a bit, slightly inflated idea of their own influence, celebrity packed yarns and the classic grumbles about other group members, musical differences, managers etc...) and the level of detail supplied in relation to instrumentation in particular was wholly convincing, given that Harry (deservingly) had a good reputation amongst his fellow players and even had a bit of a gimmick that marked him out.

    He said he'd had money issues in recent years (ex-wives, a court case he lost, a bankruptcy) but he seemed very cheerful and chipper on the whole, said he was building his money back up and was thinking of trading his already rather plush car for something even classier. In all I spent around two hours talking to him and we looked forward to meeting up again.

    I was honestly really pleased to have met Harry and full of curiousity when I got home, I dug out a few of the band's records to see how they sounded in relation to what I had learned. I watched a few videos and tried to imagine how the young Harry you occasionally glimpse in them had become the Harry I'd just met.

    Then I saw a picture of Harry attending an event about four years ago. And he didn't really look anything like the guy I'd met. Similar age, similar middle age spread, but a nose and hair quite different and clearly an older version of the young guy in the videos. Also, though Harry had told me that he'd never smoked or drank, the guy in the photo was swigging from a beer bottle. Perhaps the caption on the photo was incorrect - after all, Harry was never a household name; but then I found a video of similar vintage, of another band introducing him by name as an onstage guest to help them cover one of Harry's band's old hits. It was the beer drinking guy in the photo, without a doubt.

    So who was the 'Harry' I met? I know that other people believe him to be that former pop star - do I tell them? And what do I say if I meet him again, which is quite likely? It's freaked me out a bit - why would anyone do this? And how would they hope to maintain the subterfuge? Is it a psychiatric issue?

    Anyone else ever experience something like this?
    you can hear colours when they rhyme...

  • #2
    If the Harry you met has decided to masquerade as the real Harry...it's a little sad, but if he's happy, and not defrauding the real Harry, he's quite harmless.

    I met a cockney character in a bar in the south of Spain once, and he spun a good story about how he had been a jeweller, owned a shop, and on the side, had dabbled a bit in selling cocaine. He said his life fell apart when he was 'exposed' as a drug dealer by Roger Cook in television programme. His side of the story was that he'd already stopped selling drugs a few years earlier, but a friend told him he was under surveillance from a shop opposite and to be careful.

    Sure enough, a young man entered his shop a short time later and started enquiring if he sold drugs and if he did, would he mind selling him some. Kept badgering over a number of visits apparently, and in the end, the cockney character gave him a little plastic bag of chalk powder for free and took no money for it. He guessed that on realising he'd received a bag of white chalk powder the young man would not return.

    Three months later footage of him handing the bag appeared on The Cook Report, with an excited Roger Cook holding it up to a camera as 'evidence' the jeweller was dealing. Shit hit the fan, wife refused to allow him any more access to kids etc etc...and here he was in the south of Spain having lost his business.

    From the detailed way he told it, I deduced all of it had happened, but he had altered some crucial details and HAD been dealing cocaine.

    A year later, flicking through 'The News Of The World' at my mums house (terrible I know), there's a double page spread of a TV insider exposing how Roger Cook fabricated many of his stories, including the one about a jeweller. The text under a still of Roger holding up the bag of powder, said the powder was tested and was nothing more than white chalk.

    The cockney character was 100% genuine, and his story was 100% true....

    'Real' life eh?
    <<Soul Strut 100>>Collectable CDs 1 Forumusic: April 2014 Collectable CDs 2<<'95 WOF>>

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    • #3
      And...oh wow... I've just read the first review of Roger Cook's book 'More Dangerous Ground' , and I'm wondering if the ONE episode (of 130) that is mentioned as a case of false reporting, is the one I have cited above?

      https://www.amazon.co.uk/More-Danger.../dp/184624109X

      Interesting...
      <<Soul Strut 100>>Collectable CDs 1 Forumusic: April 2014 Collectable CDs 2<<'95 WOF>>

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      • #4
        If the Harry you met has decided to masquerade as the real Harry...it's a little sad, but if he's happy, and not defrauding the real Harry, he's quite harmless.

        I met a cockney character in a bar in the south of Spain once, and he spun a good story about how he had been a jeweller, owned a shop, and on the side, had dabbled a bit in selling cocaine. He said his life fell apart when he was 'exposed' as a drug dealer by Roger Cook in television programme. His side of the story was that he'd already stopped selling drugs a few years earlier, but a friend told him he was under surveillance from a shop opposite and to be careful.

        Sure enough, a young man entered his shop a short time later and started enquiring if he sold drugs and if he did, would he mind selling him some. Kept badgering over a number of visits apparently, and in the end, the cockney character gave him a little plastic bag of chalk powder for free and took no money for it. He guessed that on realising he'd received a bag of white chalk powder the young man would not return.

        Three months later footage of him handing the bag appeared on The Cook Report, with an excited Roger Cook holding it up to a camera as 'evidence' the jeweller was dealing. Shit hit the fan, wife refused to allow him any more access to kids etc etc...and here he was in the south of Spain having lost his business.

        From the detailed way he told it, I deduced all of it had happened, but he had altered some crucial details and HAD been dealing cocaine.

        A year later, flicking through 'The News Of The World' at my mums house (terrible I know), there's a double page spread of a TV insider exposing how Roger Cook fabricated many of his stories, including the one about a jeweller. The text under a still of Roger holding up the bag of powder, said the powder was tested and was nothing more than white chalk.

        The cockney character was 100% genuine, and his story was 100% true....

        'Real' life eh?
        <<Soul Strut 100>>Collectable CDs 1 Forumusic: April 2014 Collectable CDs 2<<'95 WOF>>

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        • #5
          About three or four years ago I went to see Ken Dodd at the Lyceum in Sheffield. I went very early and stayed very late, I was hoping to meet some fans and I was planning at the time to write something about it, which I never did.

          Before the show I met Adam Ant's drummer. He was with his girlfriend who was drunk and couldn't stop drinking from a bottle of vodka. She was proper at the edge of consciousness and he kept saying he'd brought her because she loves Ken Dodd. He was saying that he was more of an Adam Ant fan. I said something about that being fortunate you being his drummer and all and I remember him going 'yeah' and opening his leather jacket to reveal an Adam Ant t-shirt. It was pretty clear they were both at the edge of sobriety, were deeply immersed in fan cultures and were a little fragile to say the least.

          Later on I met a dancer who had broken every bone in her body when she was dropped in accident from the top of a human pyramid (only Ken makes me laugh) AND I caught the ping pong ball that the man himself batted into the audience.
          Spirit Duplicator—collectable, charming, affordable... and also socially networked on FB / Twitter / Instagram.

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          • #6
            I always wonder how accurate people are when they claim to have 'broken every bone in their body'. All 27 bones in the hand? All 26 bones in the foot? The 6 bones in the ears, including those super tiny ones? I'm pretty sure it feels like you've broken everything, and I'm not underestimating how awful it must be to, say, break most of the bones in your body (or even some), but come on.
            SPIRIT DUPLICATOR Est 2015.

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            • #7
              You're right of course, but with that attitude you would have killed my hobnobbing with Ken Dodd hanger-ons stone cold.
              Spirit Duplicator—collectable, charming, affordable... and also socially networked on FB / Twitter / Instagram.

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              • #8
                Not related to impersonation but more people celebrity bullshitting. I walked into a charity earlier and the guy was regaling a couple who had just moved into nearby Frodsham that Bob Carolgees owns the entire craft center and now also 'glamping' site on which his 'famous' candle shop resides. He doesn't, the guy also said he'd sold Carolgees his old Jaguar which Bob apparently still drives, cant verify that last bit though.

                I'm pretty sure I've mentioned Bob Carolgees before on here, his candle tips section on his website is second to none.

                Anyway GC spill the beans!
                Mixes, Music: https://www.mixcloud.com/amitron_7/

                Music: https://blackmoofou.bandcamp.com/

                Videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL1...bw92ZSjvLMZKlQ

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                • #9
                  How can you forget the programme we pitched to Sky Arts amidar? Remember I have a pair of Bob Carolgees socks that he auctioned off to set up his candle shop?

                  Be great if you can get the guy in the charity involved? I think the Sky Arts guy was going to bite but just needed to pad the programme out a bit.

                  Spirit Duplicator—collectable, charming, affordable... and also socially networked on FB / Twitter / Instagram.

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                  • #10
                    Hahaha I remember now! I think the anecdote about the Jaguar might just be the necessary padding needed and maybe an interview with Bob and his views on whether the move into 'Glamping' the craft center made has had any impact on his bottom line. I hear he was none too pleased when the children's play barn opened up next door.
                    Mixes, Music: https://www.mixcloud.com/amitron_7/

                    Music: https://blackmoofou.bandcamp.com/

                    Videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL1...bw92ZSjvLMZKlQ

                    Latest Infant Project: https://soundcloud.com/bcmf

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by giantchicken View Post
                      Is it a psychiatric issue?
                      As I read your post and could see where it was heading, this is the first thing that popped into my mind. Who in their right mind would concoct such a detailed ruse, and to what end? You likely hit on it.
                      https://www.discogs.com/user/moecurlythanu/collection

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by amidar View Post
                        Not related to impersonation but more people celebrity bullshitting. I walked into a charity earlier and the guy was regaling a couple who had just moved into nearby Frodsham that Bob Carolgees owns the entire craft center and now also 'glamping' site on which his 'famous' candle shop resides. He doesn't, the guy also said he'd sold Carolgees his old Jaguar which Bob apparently still drives, cant verify that last bit though.

                        I'm pretty sure I've mentioned Bob Carolgees before on here, his candle tips section on his website is second to none.

                        Anyway GC spill the beans!
                        Blimey Amidar, the machinations of big business in Frodsham, eh? There's a 'Dallas' style blockbuster series in there for the making I reckon. Well I'd love to spill the beans on 'Harry' but here wouldn't be the place to do it since both Harrys appear to exist and I know at least one of them is web savvy and, as Mo seems to agree, possibly suffering from an illness. It occurs to me it's possible this fake Harry may be someone who knew the real one very closely and that this has somehow affected them but I'm no psychiatrist and I wouldn't want to interfere in anyone's treatment. I do know one trustworthy person who may know the fake Harry so I might make a discreet enquiry there. Certainly I've found more information to suggest that the real Harry was of a quite different nature to the man I met and (somewhat reassuringly) that he did indeed enjoy a beer.

                        I'm still a bit freaked though.....so thanks for all your kind 'celebrity bollocks' tales which are cheering me up no end. Shame there's no more out and out imposters though. Wasn't there some bloke who pretended to be Eric Burdon and ran up bar tabs all over California or something?
                        you can hear colours when they rhyme...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by giantchicken View Post
                          Shame there's no more out and out imposters though. Wasn't there some bloke who pretended to be Eric Burdon and ran up bar tabs all over California or something?


                          https://www.theguardian.com/film/199.../andrewanthony

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                          • #14
                            Cheers Sir Slim, that's more like it - as Ian T notes above, that someone feels it necessary to impersonate another is rather sad, but a strangely compelling spectacle all the same. I hadn't really considered that 'Harry' might be some kind of conman but being a 'careful' Yorkshireman anyway, I'd already resolved not to lend him any cash!

                            I suspect there must be a more music related equivalent though.....anyone?
                            you can hear colours when they rhyme...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by eine View Post
                              You're right of course, but with that attitude you would have killed my hobnobbing with Ken Dodd hanger-ons stone cold.
                              That's kind of how I operate, you know that.
                              SPIRIT DUPLICATOR Est 2015.

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