In Summer 1968, New Musical Express reported that a big merchandising campaign was going to be launched on the British and foreign markets. Fans of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich would be presented with cardboard cut-outs, Dave Dee soap and Dave Dee bedside lamps. Here then is the last of these items: the Tich cut-out book.
Real name: Ian Amey.
Born: Salisbury, May 15, 1944.
Hair: Blond. Eyes: Brown.
Height: 5 ft. 8 in.
Weight: 10 st.
With a name like Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich, you’d expect the group to be a little way-out! Well, they are! On stage, they present a professional act mingled with zany humour and lots of ad-libbing. But the overall sound is unique and each member of the group works extremely hard to produce this one unit!
Off-stage, too, the lads are carefree, and full of zest, just as you’d imagine them to be! But on-stage they develop into the single cell of the group; off-stage they are individual people with normal lives to lead.
It’s a pity that Mick, the group’s drummer, is six feet tall. If he were five foot ten, the group would be names in order of descending height. However, at six feet, Dave is equal tallest, and there’s no doubt that Tich, at five-foot eight, is the shortest. He has a rosy, oval-shaped face and long, straight, blond hair.
Athletes seem to make good pop stars. All the group liked sport at school, and Tich not only liked it, but he was also very good at it! He represented his county in the National Boys’ Championships one hundred yards event. He has the correct shape of a sprinter. And he still trains with weights to keep fit, which must give him the stamina required for the group’s gruelling hours.
Tich, like all the other members of the group, was born in the Salisbury area. In fact, in Salisbury itself. When he left school, he became a builder and decorator. He was actually working at this job when the call came to leave and go professional with the rest of the group.
None of the boys were particularly fond of their jobs at the time and it was no great wrench for any of them to ‘down tools’ and take to the road.
But, being a professional musician, and not very-well known, was hard, hard work. Perhaps Tich’s compact size allowed him a little more comfort than the others during those long, agonising trips in the group’s van. But he certainly suffered the strain of long hours and hard work along with the others.
Tich plays lead guitar with the group. This means that he has to play tunes as well as the chords and he has to improvise upon the various themes that the group play.
Like Beaky, Tich knew little about guitar-playing when he joined the group. In fact, the only three chords that he knew how to play, he taught to Beaky, who was already in the group! Now, with the group attempting more difficult songs, Tich is well able to cope with the demanding job of lead guitarist. He practises almost incessantly, day and night, trying to perfect his own style of guitar playing. “I know I’m not the greatest lead guitarist in the world, but I do believe in the saying that, ‘practise makes perfect’. I’m sure nobody would dispute that fact!”
Among Tich’s favourite pop groups are ‘The Hollies’ and the, now disbanded, ‘Cream’. As far as solo vocalists are concerned, he likes Gene Pitney. Tich also enjoys classical music.
What does Tich think of girls?
By the grin on his face it was obvious that he didn’t dislike them – but he stressed that for him, personality is the most important thing. A beautiful girl is always nice to look at, but if she hasn’t got a brain in her head, she can be boring. Tich is, of course, the latest member of the group to get married.
The girl he chose has all the qualities Tich described. “And much, much more…’ as he puts it.
Tich believes in ghosts and spirits. He remembers one super-natural incident when the group was staying in a guest house. Dave was sharing a room with Dozy. And in the middle of the night, Dave heard Dozy get out of bed and walk around. He yelled at him to kep quiet, switched on the light – and there was Dozy, still tucked up in bed!
Another time Tich had just bought a guitar. He left it standing in the hall when he went to bed. Suddenly, he woke up and saw what appeared to be someone at the edge of his bed holding a guitar. He rushed out into the hall – and there was his guitar – just where he had left it! But there was nobody around.
“How do you explain that?” Tich demanded. “It just makes me feel sure that there is a life, or some sort of world, after death.”
In fact, talking of ghosts, there are six members of the Dave Dee group. The extra one is Cyril. He’s a ghost who travels with them everywhere they go. And being well-mannered boys, they always provide a place for him at the table when they have their meals!
Tich is very much like the rest of the group. He is a very nice boy, quite unspoilt by fame, and would be only too pleased to talk to you and discuss what being a pop star is all about. He enjoys the pop scene immensely but thinks that a top group must maintain a perfect stage act.
“The really professional groups on the scene have all come up the hard way,” Tich explained. “Playing all over the country for small fees and little success for a long, long time. It’s a built-in survival kit. They just keep on trying.”
And if anyone ever says that pop stars are big-headed people who are only in the business for the money to be made, I suggest that they have a chat with a group of boys who’ll prove them wrong – Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick . . . and Tich.
All the scans of this Tich Cut-out Book have been kindly donated by Helmut.