Funny Bones: My Life in Comedy Paperback – 31 Jul 2014
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'An invaluable record from a comedy superstar.'
Ken Dodd OBE
'I can’t get over how good Funny Bones is. Freddie Davies’ autobiography, co-written with Anthony Teague, is unquestionably one of the most honest and illuminating books I have read about the practice of comedy, never losing sight of the pressures and insecurities of a job that is prone to more ups and downs than a roller coaster. Along the way it provides fresh insights into other comedy greats, not least Sid Field, Sir Norman Wisdom, Frankie Howerd, Jerry Lewis, George Carl, Charlie Drake and Davies’ ostensible grandfather, the underrated revue comic Jack Herbert, who was a major influence on Field. It also vividly evokes the hollow shabbiness of so much of the late twentieth century British show business scene in that period betwixt the Beatles and Blur. In every way, a cornerstone of its genre.'
John Fisher, writer and producer
In 1964, a single appearance on TV talent show Opportunity Knocks made ‘Parrotface’ comedian Freddie Davies famous overnight. Spectacular success followed; stars such as Judy Garland, Cliff Richard, even Cary Grant, were fans...
But when it all began to slip in the 1980s, Freddie became a producer and then forged yet another career as a serious actor. He appeared to great acclaim in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Secret Garden and cult film Funny Bones - alongside Lee Evans and Jerry Lewis - based on tales of Freddie’s music hall comic grandfather Jack Herbert. Now he has come full circle, delighting audiences again as Samuel Tweet in theatres up and down the land.
Fifty years on from his television debut, Freddie finally tells his own story, revealing for the first time the tragedy behind his early days in Salford and a family secret that rocked his world. He paints a vivid and hilarious picture of a gruelling apprenticeship in the Northern clubs - and the night ‘Parrotface’ first spluttered into life.
With a foreword by legendary comedian Ken Dodd OBE, this unique autobiography is a poignant and hilarious evocation of a vanished world, offering insights into the art of stand-up and a richly nostalgic treat for comedy connoisseurs.
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Top Customer Reviews
Freddie Davies has done it all........tough Working Men's Clubs , Butlins Holiday Camp, the Royal Shakespeare Company , T.V. shows including his own show, variety ,and series like Harbour Lights and Last Of The Summer Wine , and films like the classic "Funny Bones" (much of which was based on Freddie's own experiences and in which he demonstrates some fine and touching acting) and Harry Potter.
He writes of it all in an entertaining manner , is not afraid to chronicle his failures as well as his successes , and is still performing in his own live show at the age of 77.
This is a vastly entertaining and well written book , and the author ain't finished yet !
Freddie's career is here, warts an all, and in the glossy an apparently privileged world of show-business you really get the vulnerable and precarious side of maintaining an act and career too - and how hard it really is. He had his fair share of dealing with sharks over the years - strange venues, strange audiences, amazing audiences - extreme highs and money trouble lows. His dealings as a manager and promoter of many name acts is very interesting (having to work with strange divas like pianist Russ Conway is very revealing for one). And I would suggest this would be a good book for anyone looking to make a career on the stage - whether it be straight acting or comedic work. Davies's lifetime experiences of different stage crafts comes through well, and how using that knowledge can not only aid your own performance but equally enable you to adjust to that of others - particularly when say a comedian (non-actor background but differently schooled) rehearses and performs with trained actors (non-comedic and differently schooled). I found that fascinating and I'm neither a stand-up or actor.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this was bought for a gift and as ive had no complaints im assuming my brother loved it.Published 5 months ago by val
With the exception of the really big stars (Tony Hancock, Spike Milligan, Peter Cook), British comedians of the pre-alternative era haven't been very well served by the publishing... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Alwyn Turner
Honest, engaging and utterly absorbing. If you are fascinated by showbiz stories, the history of Variety or the craft (and hard graft!) of comedy as I am, then this is for you. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Boogie Lightnin'
Brilliant, received as a Christmas gift and found it a fascinating record of British comedy. I wanted the book because Mr Davies starred in Funny Bones, my favourite film, but... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Ashby Haddon
What a delightful surprise to read Freddie Davies' back-story. Full of anecdotes and with some commentary about show business colleagues, this is both a tribute to Freddie's... Read morePublished 20 months ago by James H.
First Class book, Most interesting, good to know it has been published,It takes you back to the days of VarietyPublished 21 months ago by Dave Nicholas
Bought it for my husband who is not a great reader of books...he loved it! Trying to get him onto others now.Published 22 months ago by madboots