Wednesday, March 08, 2006

(51) Famous mistaken identities

At 0:15 a.m. on January 1st 1990 I was chatting with a crowd of people at the bar of the Queens Hotel in Hastings.
I mentioned to Gerry Walsh that Don Revie had died and so now he must be out of work as an impersonator. Walsh bore a striking resemblance to the late ex-Leeds United and England soccer manager, Don Revie, and I had joked with him before about it.

I then said that others must have mentioned this, with him also being from the North of England, especially at the height of Revie’s fame in the mid-70s.

Gerry said that some kids had once asked him for his autograph.

That brought back the memory of a very funny incident that I had been told of six years earlier.

A British chessplayer, Joe Gallagher, had been in Jersey when some people had approached him and asked for his autograph.
He had silently scrawled "Joe" on their piece of paper.

"Come off it!", they said. "You’re Andrew Lloyd Webber, aren’t you?"

So I butted in hastily, to tell this story. "Joe Gallagher!", I shouted out, "... Joe Gallagher!..." but before I had time to continue a hand grabbed my shoulder from behind.

"Joe Gallagher what?"

I turned round.
It was the man himself. He had just walked into the hotel, accompanied by his girlfriend, Corinn. He had not even been in the building when I had made my initial remarks to Gerry.

I explained to everyone that I was just about to recount the above anecdote, originally recounted to me by Byron Jacobs, who was also present this time.

"It happened to me again tonight!", said Joe.

He went on to explain that he and Corinn had been dining in Flaçon restaurant when the waitress had said that she thought that she recognised Joe from his previous visits to Hastings.
She added that she remembered that he looked like somebody famous and then she recalled whom; "Julian Lloyd Webber!"

Joe added that this was only the second, or at most the third time in his life that this comparison had been suggested to him.

He corrected my version of the Jersey story: there too it had been not the composer, Andrew, but his cellist brother Julian Lloyd Webber.
See above photos for the similarity,

Gerry Walsh then added that the previous day one of his fellow chess organisers, Mark Bryant, had pointed out to him a picture on p.67 of that day’s Mail on Sunday of a trade unionist called John Dyer.

Bryant suggested he bore a similarity to Walsh.

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