Helped by The Beatles

You To Me Are Everything gave The Real Thing a massive number one hit back in 1976.

But for band member Eddie Amoo, it was hardly a case of overnight success.

He was more than ready for it after 13 years with The Chants, a Liverpool vocal group discovered by The Beatles, no less.

“The Beatles discovered The Chants and launched us,” recalls Eddie who brings The Real Thing to Chequer Mead, East Grinstead, on Saturday, September 10.

“The Beatles gave us like an apprenticeship. I was with them for 13 years before I got together with my brother Chris (for The Real Thing).

“We were a vocal group in the tradition of American doo-wop and we met Paul (McCartney) at one of The Beatles’ gigs. Paul invited us to come to the Cavern to audition for The Beatles, basically out of curiosity. We just sang; we didn’t play instruments.

“By the time we got to the audition, The Beatles had become huge. We were pretty nervous by the time we appeared there, but we just jumped in at the Cavern. They made us rehearse with them right there and then. They brought us on stage with them half way through the show. They said that we had got something that was very, very special. There was no going back from there!

“(Beatles manager) Brian Epstein invited us to appear at several of the gigs. We would travel to the gigs with The Beatles. It was chaos and mayhem and incredible. But we got a bit impatient. We wanted to be stars as well. Brian Epstein never fully managed us, and when somebody came along and made us an offer, we took that.

“It didn’t really happen for 13 years, but I became a musician and a song-writer, and when my younger brother Chris said he wanted to form a group, I was able to encourage him and work with him. I said ‘Bring along all your mates and I will coach them.’ I then discovered that Chris had a magic voice. The Chants had been going 13 years and Chris said ‘I don’t think it is going to happen. Why don’t you join us?’”

Now The Real Thing are celebrating 37 years together.