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BBC Wales's Jon Manel
"It was an appearance he would have preferred not to have made"
 real 28k

Thursday, 24 February, 2000, 14:02 GMT
Georgie Fame banned for drink-driving

Georgie Fame
Georgie Fame arrives for the court case

Sixties pop star Georgie Fame was banned from driving for a year after being breathalysed the morning after a concert.

Fame, 56, was stopped by police as he returned to his home in Wincanton, Somerset from a concert in Narberth, west Wales

Fame had been drinking in his hotel after the show - but was still over the limit the morning after when he climbed behind the wheel of a van carrying his musical equipment.

"I consider myself in the medium wage bracket.
Georgie Fame tells the court about his income
Prosecuting Suzanne Thomas, told Carmarthen magistrates: "He was stopped in a Ford Transit van.

"Officers smelt alcohol on his breath and asked him to take a breathalyser.

"The test was positive and he was taken into custody."


Fame, who was charged under his real name, Clive Powell represented himself in court and said he did not believe he was over the limit or smelled of alcohol.

He said: "I certainly would not have driven if I felt I was unfit to drive.

"I had several hours sleep and a hearty breakfast before setting off.

"I bought some mints at a petrol station because I had a chest infection and I think that is what the policeman smelt rather than alcohol."

He pleaded guilty to drink-driving. He had 45mg of alcohol in 100mg of breath - the legal limit is 35mg.

The Queen's Hall The Queen's Hall, Narberth where the singer played
He was behind the wheel of a van used to carry his musical equipment - including his distinctive Hammond organ - when he was stopped by a traffic patrol.

Fame had played a concert in the Queens Hall in Narberth, West Wales, with his two sons in their band Three Line Whip the night before.

He had drinks after the show before sleeping the night in a nearby hotel.

When magistrates asked him what sort of wage he was earning Fame replied: "I consider myself in the medium wage bracket.

"It is impossible to answer it because it varies from year to year."

Rehabilitation course

Fame, who previously had a clean licence, was banned for a year and fined 350 with 40 costs.

He turned down the chance of a place on a rehabilitation course for drink-drivers which would have cut his ban.

Born in Lancashire, the 16-year-old Clive Powell's talent was discovered while on holiday in Wales when he stood in for an absent keyboard-player.

He was later discovered by the singer Lionel Bart who introduced him to Larry Parnes - at the time Britain's top rock 'n' roll impresario. Parnes renamed his newest discovery Georgie Fame.

Fame and his band the Flames found their greatest success with the 1963 hit 'Yeh, Yeh'.

He spent much of the 70s and 80s in cabaret or as a guest on television shows, but in the 90s he joined Van Morrison both on tour and in the recording studio.

Last year he accompanied Bill Wyman on his solo return to the British stage as part of the Rolling Stone's 'Rhythm Kings' band.

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See also:
09 Dec 99 |  Wales
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