Deacon Sings The Blues
Daily Record 12th April 1994
Pop giants Deacon Blue have talked for the first time about the joy and
the secret heartaches after eight years at the top.
In an exclusive Daily Record interview, Scotland’s number one group have given a unique behind the scenes insight into their lives. The six-piece band - including husband and wife team Ricky Ross and Lorraine McIntosh — have become world famous after a string of hit singles like Real Gone Kid and Fergus Sings The Blues. We track their progress to the top through a series of personal photographs, where the band recall their good and bad memories that they’ve kept secret from thousands of fans. The time they
FEARED for Lorraine after she was rushed to a German hospital with severe stomach pains.
UPSET Kylie Minogue and Yoko ‘Ono at the Lennon Tribute Concert.
SCRAPPED an American tour when a doctor discovered nodules in Lorraine’s throat.
Ricky, Lorraine, keyboard player Jim Prime, drummer Dougie Vipond, guitarist Graeme Kelling and bass player Ewen Vernal tell their story. One of the group’s finest years was 1989 after their biggest-selling album When The World Knows Your Name knocked Madonna off the No.1 slot. But their joy was short lived when a spate of bad luck plagued Ricky’s beautiful wife and backing singer. Ricky, 35, from Dundee, explained: “Lorraine lost her voice while we were touring America in 1989. “An American throat specialist told her she couldn’t sing again for at least three months and wasn’t allowed to talk or even whisper for four weeks, because she had developed nodules. “So everyone had to be sent home, the road crew, the band, it was terrible. “I then took Lorraine to a throat specialist in Glasgow who said all she had was a throat infection and she was just to rest for four days.
“I couldn’t believe we were so naive and listened to that American doctor. We cancelled the tour at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds.” But worse was to come when Lorraine’s dad David McIntosh died suddenly of a massive heart attack. Ricky added: “Lorraine was very upset when her dad died. “We were just about to begin a European tour at the start of 1990 when it happened, so we postponed it. “We then kicked off the re-scheduled dates in Germany and the tour was going great when one morning Lorraine woke up with terrible stomach pains. “It turned out she had appendicitis and we had to rush her to hospital to have her appendix out. So we cancelled the whole European tour again. But the singer’s stay in hospital was cheered up when the 85 strong crew and band visited her to say farewell. Ricky said: “The place was run by nuns and all these guys arrived with their black jackets and scars and looking like a lost tribe of Hells Angels.” Lorraine chuckled ‘I was in a ward with three old frail German women. And one after another, 80 leather clad men came in to say goodbye. “One woman went into hysterics and the sister had to ask them to leave.” But the showbiz couple did nothing to enhance their image when Ricky arrived at hospital with pictures taken at David McIntosh’s funeral — to cheer Lorraine up!
She explained: “My dad was a very funny man and his funeral was a great occasion. People sat around and talked about him. Everyone ended up in stitches laughing and a few beers were had by all. “So I was sitting in hospital surrounded by these old ladies and Ricky came in with the photos. I was lying in bed roaring with laughter. “The women asked what I was laughing at and I said it was my dad’s funeral. “At first they wouldn’t believe me until I let them see the pictures. They were mortified.” The group were honoured when they were then asked to sing at a tribute concert to John Lennon in Liverpool in May 1990.But honour turned to horror as the event became a tacky shambles.
One good thing did emerge though, Ricky and the group got to meet one of their idols, footballer Kenny Dalglish. Ricky explained: “When Kenny arrived everyone just went ‘wow’. To my generation he’s the greatest footballer we’ve ever seen.” But Lorraine also explains the gormless look on her hubby’s face. She adds: “He’s p****ed. The funny thing was, Kenny’s kids were there dying to meet us. “But the Lennon day was a disaster. It was televised for America, so it was all these American acts. “They included only three British acts, us, the Christians and The Wets. “We walked out of a press conference leaving Natalie Cole, Cyndi Lauper and Lenny Kravitz. “We were so fed up with all the bulls**t they were talking about John Lennon. People were bursting into tears, it was so tacky.” By now the band were in a jovial mood and started getting up to mischief Lorraine added: “The funniest bit was at the end when we had to sing Give Peace A Chance as the grand finale. “They positioned the mics in order of importance. For some reason Ewen and I ended up next to Yoko sharing a mike. “Yoko is quite small and she pulled the mike down to her level. Ewen gave her a dirty look and put it up again.”
Keyboard player Jim Prime added: “I was standing with Kylie Minogue and she was so p****ed off because she had to share a mic with morons. So she stormed over to another microphone.” After eight years of touring the band described one of their most unusual gigs, in Gandia, eastern Spain. Jim said: “A huge electrical storm blew up and pylons fell down. There was no electricity in the town. So the gig was cancelled till the next night. “The following day the mayor had a meeting to decide which side of the town they were going to take the remaining electricity away from to give us enough power to do the concert. “We were imagining all these life support machines getting switched off, or the airport runway lights going out!”.