Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Star Still over the Moon; for Some People One Memoir Isn't Enough. HANNAH STEPHENSON Talks to David Essex about the Second Part of His Life Story

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Star Still over the Moon; for Some People One Memoir Isn't Enough. HANNAH STEPHENSON Talks to David Essex about the Second Part of His Life Story

Article excerpt

Byline: HANNAH STEPHENSON

FOR a guy who only ever wanted to be a jazz drummer, David Essex has done pretty well.

The one-time pop pin-up has also proved a versatile actor, starring in Godspell and Evita (stage), EastEnders (TV) and That'll Be The Day and Stardust (cinema).

He's currently in All The Fun Of The Fair, a musical with songs from his back catalogue, and completing Gajengi Boy, a film starring his son Billy in which he has a cameo role.

He has currently promoting his second memoir, Over The Moon, and has a rock tour planned for November. Now 64 and a grandfather of four, Essex says: "Moving from one medium to another is very fulfilling and keeps you fresh.

"Maybe as I move around so much I'm not such an easy target to shoot down."

He says his mentor and early manager Derek Bowman, a theatre critic and showbusiness writer, opened his eyes to the possibilities of theatre.

"As a 14-year-old, I'd had a very blinkered attitude towards music. It had to be black and obscure otherwise I wouldn't listen to it.

"I was reluctant to acknowledge The Beatles and everything else that was going on at that time. But I got over that."

His five-month stint as Eddie Moon on EastEnders contrasted with anything else he'd done. "It's fast and furious and I had a lot of big storylines and line-learning, thinking on my feet.

"If you can do that, you can do anything in acting terms."

His character wasn't killed off so he may make a return at some point.

"I never shut the door on things," he says. "It's more to do with time because it does take over your life."

Over the years he may have acquired a laid-back image but Essex is nobody's fool.

He turns down a lot of offers and has always been drawn to projects that allow artistic freedom. In fact, 'freedom' is a word he uses a lot, which perhaps is a legacy from his mum's Gypsy lineage.

The son of an East End docker, Essex dreamed of playing for West Ham until he discovered music and formed his first band, the Everons.

He hit the big time in Godspell and then as a solo artist, adorning many a teenage girl's bedroom wall.

While some of his pop star contemporaries were getting high or hammered, Essex kept his distance. …

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