The first time I saw Jimmy Savile he was driving a red open top E type Jag the wrong way along a one way street in Whitby. He was dressed in shorts and shades. His physique was tanned and muscular; testimony to his wrestling ability and the needs of a nightclub manager demanding full control of his business.
And the crowd adored him.
Those cheering and waving personified respect and gratitude to a working class hero; a man who had not only made a name for himself, but had also given pleasure to a whole generation via his music and showmanship
He was larger than life. He was zany. He was the ultimate showman. He was also the medium though which the popular music was presented that generation. Originally in the dancehalls, then Radio Luxemburg, Top of the Pops, Saviles Travels, and a host of other shows.
His career at Mecca Ltd took him to Ilford, Manchester, Glasgow, where he quickly realised that to be successful, he needed to balance management and showmanship skills with physical skills.
Altruism abounded in the man. He worked as a hospital porter, whilst fulfilling young people`s dreams for 19 years in his ‘Jim’ll Fix It’ prime time TV show. Add this to his raising approximately 40 million pounds for charities and you begin to visualise the size of his legacy.
Some of Sir Jimmy’s door staff from the Spinning Disc worked with me at The Cats Whiskers Leeds. At the mention of his name they would smile, look up to the heavens and say “Ah! Jim”.
If they had stories to tell they were staying silent.
His autobiography “Love is an Uphill Thing” is a candid and intelligent book. There are chapters where he could perhaps have told us more, but not Sir Jimmy.
As a true member of MENSA – it was only proper that he left us some puzzles.
Sincere condolences to Sir Jimmy’s family and friends from all the team and contributors at Locarno Boy, and from those who worked with him in his dancehall days.