Thursday 2 April 2015

Review: The House That Jack Built

John Edward Vale & Tracey Jane Vale
Valex Publishing
ISBN 9 780993 159046

When I received this book in the BBFC mail, I wondered what this was all about.

Well I found it a fascinating read, with some exclusive photographs, not just of The Beatles, (of which there are many on and off stage), but other 1960’s stars such as Cliff Richard, Eden Kane, Joe Brown, Gene Vincent and the Rolling Stones to name a few.

So what’s it all about?

It is the story of Jack Vale, written by his son John and John’s wife Tracey.

So who is Jack Vale?

Jack was a friend to the stars when they appeared in Blackpool, being Cliff Richard’s bodyguard for a while and was Brian Epstein’s main contact for arrangements when the Beatles played Blackpool. A copy of a letter to Jack from Brian Epstein in August 1963 is included in the book, confirming an agreement between himself and Brian.

You have to ask, why did Jack Vale not come forward, before his passing a couple of years ago?

His son and daughter-in-law have put this good book together, but see the Goldman book as one of the best written about John! I think a number of us would disagree on this point.

On the whole it is a good book and there are some excellent personal photographs here. It’s a fascinating story. It’s just a pity that Jack didn’t tell it himself, as I’m sure there is more that is untold, and a fitting tribute from his family.

For anyone interested in the music of the early 60’s and Blackpool as a centre of entertainment, this is a good read.

~ Reviewed by Ernie Sutton

Special discount for BBFC members: To get the book for the discount price of £5.95 plus £1.20 postage, order directly from the publisher and mention your BBFC membership.

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