"Who's the band? Oh, The Rapiers, I know them. Yes, no problem!"
Thus spoke Sir Cliff Richard, a surprise guest Friday at the Runnymede Hotel, Egham, Surrey, before walking on stage and singing The Young Ones with a chuffed Colin Pryce-Jones, Neil Ainsby, John Tuck and Nathan J. Hulse.
The evening, 50 Years of Cliff Richard and The Shadows, was a benefit in aid of Caron Keating Foundation, set up by television presenter and celebrity Gloria Hunniford and her sons Paul and Michael to help cancer charities.
The Rapiers were there backing Cliff impersonator Kytsun Wolfe. Lo and behold, "the man himself turned up," notes Dave Lawes. "A request was made by the organisers for him to do a number. He asked: 'Who's the band? Oh, The Rapiers, I know them. Yes, no problem!'"
"First, Cliff gave a really good speech," adds Neil Ainsby, "then did an acapella version of Miss You Nights then The Young Ones with us. Fab! He was great—signed stuff for fans (including us). Wahey!"
Neil "gave Cliff an E chord" to start Miss You Nights," says Nathan.
"It's great that after all these years, Cliff has finally seen and played with the band," says Dave.
FOREVER YOUNG ONES: Sir Cliff Richard, Colin Pryce-Jones. Photo by (no surprise) Nathan J. Hulse.