Fortune favours 60s pop fan John

ONE of the biggest fans of classic British pop group The Fortunes was stunned when he won an electric guitar signed by some of the biggest names from the 1960s and 70s. John Holman, from Ilfracombe, has run the band s UK fan base for several years and was

ONE of the biggest fans of classic British pop group The Fortunes was stunned when he won an electric guitar signed by some of the biggest names from the 1960s and 70s.

John Holman, from Ilfracombe, has run the band's UK fan base for several years and was in Birmingham attending a memorial show to Fortunes lead vocalist Rod Allen, who died last year.

And as if the gods of music were rewarding him for years of devotion to the band, from among 5,000 people in attendance it was his raffle ticket which won him the guitar, specially commissioned for the event.

It is signed by all of the acts performing on the night at the Stadium Club in Kings Heath, including Chip Hawkes and the Tremeloes, Alan Lovell of the Swingin' Blue Jeans, Alan Mosca of Freddy and the Dreamers, The Merseybeats, Gary Pucket's Union Gap, Sandy Newman of Marmalade, Geoff Turton and the Rockin' Berries and of course, The Fortunes.


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Now the instrument has pride of place in John's Barnstaple music and memorabilia store Little Shop of Memories, in Joy Street.

John still works closely with a number of British songwriters and artists. He manages the websites for names such as Barry Mason, Roger Cook and Tony Hiller. He even once wrote a Christmas song for Gene Pitney and his latest claim to fame is mastering 10 of the backing tracks for a new album by Mitch Winehouse, father of a certain well known female singer!

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He has been involved closely with The Fortunes since he was a teenager, running their fan club and continues to be involved today.

"With all the people there on that night and all the work I have done with the band since the 70s, it's almost as if Rod was saying I couldn't go home without that guitar," he said.

"It was their song Storm in a Teacup which got me going all those years ago and the band still does four or five gigs a week today."

Classic Fortunes songs which may ring a bell with music fans include You've Got Your Troubles, Here It Comes Again and The Golden Ring - plus they were responsible for the iconic Coca Cola jingle It's the Real Thing.

North Devon fans can see the band play in their regular Christmas slot at the Durrant House Hotel in Northam on December 27 at the Sixties Christmas Special also featuring The Tremeloes and others. For tickets and information call the hotel on (01237) 472361.

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