You have never heard of of me but unless you live on the dark side of the moon you will know who my older brother is.
He is still around you know, my brother. He will be eighty years old next birthday and as been retired for half of is life. Yes, decades of spending money and living the high life while I still have to work, with no pension I have to put some money into my pocket. I guess I am lucky in that I enjoy what I do.
1959, Birmingham England. Having failed the eleven plus examination then never having excelled in secondary modern school my parents refused to let me stay on at school to sit GCE examinations.
"You can get a job," Dad said. "A proper job, not like your brother."
The number one record in the current charts would earn that older brother of mine more money than my father could possibly make as a wages clerk in a factory. It would take him two, perhaps three or more, years to match it.
Parents in those days were never close to their children. At the end of the decade with austerity still controlling lives and teenagers starting to discover lives of their own the gap widened between the generations. My brother and I were friends, not bosom buddies but we got along well enough. Neither of us understood our parents.
Brother ? As I write this story I can not keep calling him brother but I do not want to give his identity away. My brother the rock and roll star. I had better invent a name for him. I am Max, that is my name, let me call my brother Jim, or Jimmy.
My friends would boast that they had a mate whose brother was a rock and roll star. The teachers at school, I am sure, held it against me. I enjoyed the adulation and smiled at the scorn of our school and its small minded teachers. I envied my brother and his success but Jimmy and Max were never destined to become Don and Phil Everley. I could not sing. I still can not sing.
Dad glared at us both. It was one of those rare times when Jimmy was at home and not playing his guitar somewhere or other in the country. The whole family was together.
"I have employment for you my lad," my father said.
"And what would that be Dad ? Sweeping the factory floor ?"
"To start with but there are prospects. He may be able to get an apprenticeship."
I just kept quiet but when Jimmy and I were alone later I started to explore my options.
"So what would I have to do if I worked for you ?"
"Strictly speaking it would be the management company you worked for."
"So what would I do ?"
"Fetching and carrying, working with the road team to set up and break down all of the stage and equipment."
"Sweeping the floors ?" I smiled.
"It's hard work being a pop singer you know, nobody realises that, but it is a life of fun. You would be a part of that fun."
Be it a factory floor or be it a pop singer's stage, I was not sure if sweeping either had any fun in them ?
But FUN my life was.
I left school on Friday 24th July 1959. That week end Bother Jimmy was part of a two night concert in Birmingham Town Hall. We all then moved the show to Liverpool, Stoke on Trent, Manchester, Newcastle, Blackpool, London and finally Brighton. Seven locations, twelve shows in two weeks.
"How old are you son ?"
"Sixteen in November."
"Just a kid. You are a good kid, I've watched you at work. Do you have a passport ?"
"Better get one, you are going to need it."