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Morrissey and Vince Eager

March 2015

MORRISSEY would like to be cremated to a song by a Notts rock’n’roller.

The master of the morose, who is at the Capital FM Arena tonight, chose Vince Eager’s 1960 single The World’s Loneliest Man as his No. 1 in a list of Songs To Be Cremated With.

And his fascination with the song has led to him checking into hotels as Vince Eager and even releasing the song as a B-side on his own single.

“I find it all quite bizarre,” says Vince, 74, who lives in Radcliffe-on-Trent.

“The World’s Loneliest Man was written especially for me by Jerry Lordan, who had written Apache and other hits for The Shadows.

“When I did my TV series in 1959, on one occasion I sang Paul Anka’s Lonely Boy. Apparently a lot people went into shops to buy it but I hadn’t recorded it. Because there was so much interest we decided to go for one in a similar vein.”

The single, produced by George Martin before he went on to work with The Beatles, failed to make the Top 40.

“I wasn’t happy with the recording, to be honest, but it sold quite well, around 30,000 copies, which today would get it to No. 1. It got to something like No. 45.”

Fast forward to the late 90s when Vince, one of the original British rock’n’rollers alongside Cliff Richard, Billy Fury and Marty Wilde, was in the US and working as a cruise director.

“I started researching for a book I was writing. I’d got my first computer and I searched for Vince Eager to see what I could find... and there was this story about Morrissey’s list of songs he wanted to be cremated with. And I was at No. 1.”

The list, called Singles To Be Cremated With, was in an article in the NME called Headful Of Heroes, published in 1989.

Vince says: “Now I didn’t know much about him. I knew who The Smiths were but it wasn’t my sort of music. So I asked a friend who said ‘oh he probably chose that because he’s a miserable sod like you’.”

The song includes the lines:

I don’t want to live in the past

Oh no, that’s where you belong

I’ve got nothing to live for tomorrow

And today everything went wrong

I am the world’s loneliest man... yes... yes I am...

Vince continues: “About 18 months ago he released a single with my song as its B-side. It wasn’t his version of The World’s Loneliest Man but my actual version – the single I’d released in 1960. That blew me away. He never got in touch and asked his permission. But it was out of copyright anyway so he was OK to do that.”

The A-side was Glamorous Glue and the seven-inch vinyl record was only released as a limited edition, with some fans paying £150 for it.

“When I was recording my album in Bristol, the guy who ran the studio told me that Morrissey had been checking into hotels overseas as Vince Eager.

“I didn’t believe it but he said there was a bass player who Morrissey worked with that he knew and he’d told him that.

“He’d also told him that Morrissey does really like the record but he thinks everything else I’ve done is rubbish,” he laughs.

“Which is fair enough I suppose – I don’t like his stuff either.”


1. The World’s Loneliest Man – Vince Eager

2. Don’t Take The Lovers From The World – Shirley Bassey

3. What A Nice Way To Turn 17 – The Crystals

4. There, I’ve Said It Again – Sam Cooke

5. Loneliness Remembers What Happiness Forgets – Dionne Warwick

6. Strange, I Know – The Marvelettes

7. Third Finger, Left Hand – Martha Reeves And The Vandellas

8. I Take It Back – Sandy Posey

9. Heart – Rita Pavone

10. Shoes – Reparata

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