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Legendary Lonnie was just 14 years old when he got his first gig. In January, he spoke with the Stoke Sentinel about some of his experiences, which have included meeting Elton. The guitarist has since also shared his thoughts with

EJW: You recently told the Sentinel that you once ran a record shop–and that Elton was among your customers. Do you remember if he brought anything?
LL: Elton, to the best of my knowledge, did purchase a few things.
He bought a signed copy of my own composition, ‘Wine Glass Rock.’ He also bought a copy of a local punk band called The Veins (I unfortunately can’t think of the title) and acquired a copy of ‘Yellow Brick Road’ on cassette, which I think he wanted as a gift.
EJW: How long was this in business? Did you host performers?
LL: The shop was in business for 20 odd years. We never hosted performers, although we had some famous visitors, including JJ Barrie; Mink DeVille; Alvin Stardust; Jackie Trent and Tony Hatch.
EJW: You also had a radio show for many years. Who was on this, and what sort of music did you play?
LL:  I would play a wide range of music which was called The Legendary Lonnie Sunday Best. It covered every recorded era in music and we didn’t pigeonhole or focus on any particular genre. I thoroughly enjoyed doing this and never really had many guests; it wasn’t the purpose of the show. The BBC allowed me to use music from my own collection at my own disposal, the show was in my own format which was very unique for 17 years. I use to have a “B-Side” of the Week and the B-side to Bob Lind‘s Elusive Butterfly was a track called Cheryl’s Coming Home {no connection to this Web site’s Chief Editor} which we played on a show. I also had input and was on other people’s programmes as a special guest.
EJW: You got to know Lord Screaming Sutch well. What was he like?
LL: We met in 1965 at his concert at the Lyceum in Crewe. Over the years we played together many times, which was always fun and an absolute pleasure. He was on my radio show a variety of times. David also stayed over at my house often.
He came from Harrow, the same area as Elton, and that’s why they were friends.
EJW: Do you play covers in addition to your own music?
LL: In all of the rock ‘n’ roll, blues and boogie bands that I have been in, we did cover versions plus a scattering of my own compositions (being instrumentals).
EJW: You’ve opened for acts like the Animals and the Zombies. Who else have you appeared with?
LL:  I’ve also played with many other top British and American names including Dave Berry; Gene Vincent; Rod Stewart; Long John Baldry; A II Z; the Fourmost; and Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas.
EJW: How did you go from ‘Clive Clark’ to ‘Legendary Lonnie’?
LL: ‘Legendary Lonnie’ is a stage/performing name that was coined by a school friend because of the popularity of Lonnie Donegan.
EJW: Do you have some concerts coming up soon?
LL: Live at The Rigger (Newcastle-under Lyme) on the 28th of May for the Newcastle Jazz & Blues Festival. Also some private gigs.

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