DJ who partied with Elvis, Paul McCartney, and Cliff Richard | Books | Entertainment | Express.co.uk
IF YOU were a young pop fan in the late 1960s to 1970s, chances are you grew up listening to DJ Tony Prince on Radio Luxembourg on a crackling transistor radio nestled under your bedcovers.
Tony, ebullient, pint-sized self-styled “Royal Ruler” of pirate station Radio Caroline and then influential European station Radio Luxembourg, hailed from humble beginnings in Oldham, Lancashire. Yet the boy “from a Coronation Street terrace” went on to work – and sometimes party – with everyone who was anyone in music from his childhood idol Elvis Presley to Paul McCartney, Led Zeppelin and rock wild man Keith Moon – “a lovely man… when he was sober”. He also DJ’d for the Luxembourg royal family including Princess Marie-Astrid who was once tipped to marry Prince Charles. Related articles Elvis Presley documents where name is misspelt as ALVIS are for sale Sir Paul McCartney reveals the way he wrote songs with John LennonTony’s brush with musical stardust started aged 15 in 1960 when he sang backed by the drumming of a pre-Beatles Ringo Starr. The self confessed “small and cheeky” 5ft 4in Tony, now 71, recalls: “I entered a talent contest at Butlin’s in North Wales. The camp’s backing group was Rory Storm and the Hurricanes and their drummer was Ringo. So I sang with Ringo before Paul McCartney and John Lennon did – and I borrowed Ringo’s cowboy boots. “I sang Be-Bop-A-Lula, the Gene Vincent song. Gene used to kick up his leg on the microphone stand. I tried that but Ringo’s boots, three sizes too big, came off and landed on a Teddy Boy’s head. Ringo couldn’t stop laughing, the audience were laughing and clapping and I guess that first turned me on to the power of an audience.” Tony Prince with Cliff Richard Tony Prince with Cliff Richard Three years later Tony, by now a successful DJ, introduced The Beatles on stage at a gig in Oldham in 1963 as their first number one, Please Please Me was announced. All you would hear at a Beatles concert was screaming Tony Prince“I was the last person to hear The Beatles live because after this, all you would hear at a Beatles concert was screaming,” recalls Tony, who has written an autobiography The Royal Ruler And The Railway DJ (alongside reminiscences from Czech DJ Jan Sestak) which has had interest from Hollywood. After leaving school, Tony briefly trained as a jockey alongside Willie Carson. But he ended up a star jockey of a different sort.