Two Stars To Ricky Ross Diario Alcala 9/10 Nov 2002-11-12

LIFE IS BEAUTY. - not only the bad news are the news - The Deacon Blue song for two alcalaineans.

Do you remember Deacon Blue? Ricky Ross, the singer of this band that shined in early 90´s, has included on his latest album a song called “Angel and Mercedes”, a title which was inspired by the names of an alcalainean couple, which came about through a friendship.

This could be the story of any of those teenagers who dream of meeting their musical idol one day, and while this moment comes, they conform hanging in their bedroom a real-size photograph with a thousand-times-printed autograph to be distributed by one of those magazines bought by young people.

However, those whom we are talking about here are not teenagers anymore, they are in their twenties; a poster with a mass-produced signature is not on their bedrooms walls, the autograph of his idol is autographed by hand; they have no need to dream about knowing their idol, because they already do. Their names are Angel and Mercedes. He is 28, Pharmacy student, from Madrid; she is 25, physiotherapist and she lives in Alcala. Now, both have, in their friends list, a famous friend, because they have got, not only the autograph of the singer Ricky Ross, better known for being the leader in Deacon Blue, one of the most celebrated pop-rock bands in Scotland in the beginning of 90´s, but he dedicated them a song entitled by their own names and even more, it is in his last work, now on shops, called “This is the life” (for those curious it is the fourth track).

The story of this meeting, with a background that could be a chapter for a possible book of memoirs by this artist and almost of the life that exist behind the stage of any musical star begun in 1997. The origin was in Ireland. Mercedes and Angel went on there on holidays. They were on a bus when they saw a poster announcing a Ricky Ross concert in Dublin. “Ricky Ross is the singer of Deacon Blue, a very famous band in 89 and Nº1 in 40 Principales. I have always been his fan and even after the group´s split in 94, I tried to follow them”, Angel explains. He was the one who got his girlfriend to admire the singer too.

That poster stated that concert would be held in a small Dublin venue called "Mean Fiddler" and, of course, the couple did not miss the appointment. They arrived early enough to drink some beers before the show when they realized that Ricky Ross was there in the same bar. They went to him asking for an autograph but the signature was placed in the part of the ticket to be removed in the entrance. “Bad luck, we thought. We went later to the gig that, accustomed to big crowds when he travelled with his band, this one was very quiet. But we enjoyed it.”. Angel says. The moment they first met was getting near. After the show, the artist went out to talk with the audience and they approached to him asking “please, would you mind to sign again as we had such a problem with the tickets. We stayed there chatting for a while, because he found our names very funny, as in England Angel is a boy with wings and Mercedes is a name of a car; but they're not common names in the English language” she says. And that was all for that night.

Next year, at Eastertime, Angel travelled to London, this time with his brother. The singer of Deacon Blue with songs such as Real Gone Kid, Dignity and Queen of the New Year, played two more gigs in London. However they only had enough money for one of the shows. After the concert, Angel went to the toilet but told his brother that they should wait to see if the same thing would happen as it did in Dublin, where the artist would go out and talk to the fans. And it happened.coming back from the toilet , I saw my brother talking to him. The most surprising thing was that as I approached, Ricky said to me: Hello Angel, how's Mercedes? I remember you from Dublin.”. says the young man with almost the same surprised face that he should have seeing that his idol remembered him and his name. It was then that he told us that he had written a song for us. Something that I could not believe.”


That year, in September 1998, they travelled again. This time, Scotland was the destination, because near Glasgow, the band met again. “From time to time Deacon Blue play together again. He invited us to backstage and there where I asked him if it was true that he had a song for us and what the reason was for doing it. Ricky only told me that the Dublin night was very special for him”, Angel remembers. Few weeks later, in November, Ricky Ross travelled to Spain, “we knew that because since that we shared some emails with him”. Of course, they went to the couple of shows in Spain, in Valencia and Madrid. “Spain is not like England, as there is much more security. They almost didn't let us enter the backstage area, even though the artist had invited us. Finally we shared some beers with him and he took out a folder full of song lyrics and papers, and gave us the lyrics to our song.”.

To the surprise of the young couple, the lyrics were not the only surprise because although the song was written, it hadn't yet been recorded. However, Ricky Ross recently released a new album in Britain, which isn't out yet in Spain, and on that CD, after the first three songs, you'll hear one entitled 'Angel and Mercedes'. This is the one that's related to this story: “Cause Angel and Mercedes took me where heaven is”, the song says. “That first concert, the one of the first autographs in Dublin, was the 3rd of his first ever solo tour. The previous night he played in Manchester and he told us it was horrible. There were only a few people there and that most were drunk… He was not accustomed to something like that, so he phoned his wife –Lorraine McIntosh, also singer in Deacon Blue- to say that he was giving it all up., But she encouraged him to finish the tour”, they explained. So he did. He was up on the Mean Fiddler stage and knew the couple, he found the gig to be one of his best and that he rediscovered this thanks to help of his Madrilenian and Alcalainean talismen.


In the upper image, Angel and Mercedes show proudly the CD in which Ricky Ross included the song he dedicated to them and appears in the fourth track of the album.

Up this lines, the couple is with the artist and his wife Lorraine McIntosh. On the left, the lyrics of the song “Angel and Mercedes”, that he gave them in a concert in Valencia. Ricky Ross wrote with Deacon Blue songs like Dignity or Real Gone Kid.  Cristina Martinez