THE RAINY DAY
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-82) in his poem ‘The Rainy Day’ wrote the immortal words: ‘Into each life some rain must fall’. I am sure we can all relate to that, as one door closes and another one just slams us right in the snotter. Sometimes, it seems, our days are dark and dreary, but behind the clouds the sun is always shining. The idea is to keep on keeping on till you make a breakthrough from stormy weather to walking on the sunny side of the street. The trick is, so it seems to me, never ever give up trying, as one fine day you will find yourself dancing along sunnyside lane. That is my theory and as I travel down Route 66, following my recent birthday, I am as hopeful as ever of achieving what I personally perceive of as success. You see, in my opinion, gaining the love, affection and respect of the people that matter in ones life is success. Let me give you some examples from this wide, wild and sometimes wonderful world that we call Planet Earth.
As a professional psychic consultant I have met and spoken with many people that would perhaps, at first glance, appear to be affluent and successful. One young lady I helped was immensely wealthy, her credit card had no upper limit if she needed more she just contacted the bank. Outside her residence in the city of Oxford UK was a shining new chauffer driven Bentley, by her doorway stood a huge personal bodyguard. In material terms this lady was rich, in spiritual terms she was impoverished. It was not that she did not want to follow the pathway to enlightenment, her position prevented her from so doing. This young woman was the daughter of a Middle Eastern Royal family and as such was a virtual prisoner, locked away behind golden bars. Over the years that we spoke I did all that I could to bring hope to her life, all she really wanted was to be free, to be in the arms of man that loved her for herself. I wish I could tell you that she found her Romeo, but she did not, she eventually accepted the husband her father arranged and moved into a remote palace in a distant land where she would forever be a beautiful princess in a gilded cage. You may see her, or others like her, seated in the back of a glittering Rolls Royce, being driven through the streets of London. Next time you do, think not that there goes a fabulously wealthy woman, understand that there goes a prisoner in emerald handcuffs.
In the year 1990 I sent a song I had written to the trouser ripping Texan pop-singer P J Proby with a view to recording him singing this. The song was titled ‘Stage of Fools’ and Jim Proby liked it, said he would sing it but needed to see me. I was pleased to connect with PJP as he had been my favourite singer back in the sixties when he had top ten hits with songs such as ‘Hold Me’ and ‘Somewhere’. What I found when I arrived at his broken down terraced house in the back streets of Bolton, Lancashire was an alcoholic old man on the edge of despair. Jim Proby had been a big star once upon a time, he featured alongside The Beatles on their very first TV Special ‘Around The Beatles’ in 1964. John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote a song for him ‘That Means A Lot’ and Proby was voted the best male vocalist that year in the New Musical Express poll. By 1990 all that fame and what had been his fortune was gone, the fairy tale was behind him, what remained was exceedingly grim. However Jim Proby could still sing, his voice was as brilliant as ever and so I agreed to help him rebuild his career, though how I could do it I did not know at the time. What I then did was get him into the recording studio and put his amazing voice onto tape. Within three months I had sufficient songs to release an album we called ‘THANKS’ featuring the incredible voice of P J Proby. I even managed to get Jim on TV, BMG in Europe agreed to distribute the album, in the UK The John Menzies group got the CD Album into all the record shops. Suddenly Jim Proby was back, with a summer season at Blackpool I had signed him to and Granada ITV were filming a documentary about him. Success! You dear reader may well think so but the truth was that P J Proby had another issue far bigger than mere alcoholism, he was hell bent on self destruction. What had taken me a year and a lot of money to create he wrecked completely by refusing to promote or sing any of the songs. Then he almost killed himself by drinking a full bottle of Jack Daniels, collapsing with a heart attack, that ended his Blackpool season. And that dear reader was the end of that, Jim Proby well and truly rained on the parade.
To say that the episode with Proby earned me nothing but distress is perhaps something of an understatement. My wife Mary went ballistic. But she loves her crazy husband so on with the motley. Never a man to give in and be what one might term a ‘normal’ person I decided next to promote theatrical presentations of psychic powers featuring the very gifted medium James Byrne. Again I managed to succeed quickly getting James onto Lancashire’s biggest commercial radio station at Red Rose Radio in Preston. I arranged with the amazing John Myers who was then the station controller for James to do a series of Psychic Phone in late night shows. This was the first time a commercial station had done this and we were featured in the national press. James Whale picked up on this and we were invited on to his Network UK TV show. I sent an outline for a book about James to HarperCollins the publishing house and got us a contract for me to write ‘The Psychic World Of James Byrne’. The book was published in 1993 shortly after James Byrne was in my co-production ‘A Psychic Experience’ at The London Palladium. We were on a roll, BBC Radio One had James on a one hour special, he was selling out theatres across the UK. We even flew to Ireland and he appeared live on The Gaye Byrne Show the top light entertainment show in the Republic of Ireland. This was what one might call success and, though I say so myself, I believed I had been instrumental in creating it. What happened next was something else. I began to get psychic mediums from all over the UK pleading with me to manage their careers, one such was the Liverpool performer Billy Roberts, another was a man called Derek Johnson also known as Derek Acorah. As for James Byrne, well Jim was at heart a Bolton lad who wanted to live a quiet family life and father children with a woman that loved him. James Byrne got married, moved to another town and settled down. He sometimes writes for Psychic World and is now mainly working as a healing force helping people with health problems. But let me tell you this, when James told me he was throwing his hand in and leaving my management it was a rainy day indeed, I was seriously upset. Over two years of hard work building his name and he was gone. I had to start all over again from scratch with a new idea, a new client and I had not the first clue how I could repeat the success I had created for James Byrne.
In next month’s column I will continue this somewhat turgid tale of what might have been, what was and what yet may be in this my latest incarnation on Planet Earth. Meanwhile it never rains but what it pours. I am sure you have all experienced that feeling, I know I have. But, as a man said, into each life some rain must fall.
I am John G. Sutton you can read the first part of my autobiography published on Amazon it is titled ‘Psychic Screw’ in paperback and also as an E Book on Kindle