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The day I met my idol.

Byline: LINDSEY MUSSETT

SINGER Andy Smith lived the dream of performing on the same stage as his idol when a soul legend came to town.

Stockton man Andy, 41, admires Booker T Jones so much he even named his landscaping business after the multi-instrumentalist's most famous hit, Green Onions.

Former singer with his own band, Jarvis Humby, Andy wasn't about to let the opportunity pass him by when offered the chance to warm up for Booker T when he came to town last Friday to perform at Stockton's ARC.

Andy, of Fairfield in Stockton, who has a partner, Catherine Houston and a step-daughter Milly, 14, said: "I probably got familiar with Booker T and the MGs when I was about 12 and have loved them since.

"I used to be in Jarvis Humby and when Booker T asked for a band we were suggested to Ten Feet Tall, the organisers. Unfortunately the band split up last year but it was too good an opportunity and I thought 'I can't pass this up'.

"Some friends have got a northern soul band, The Roundells, and although they're more souly than we had been I asked if they would do it. Their own female singer did five songs then I did five - it was fantastic.

"The idea was a bit daunting at first but it went really well. I met Booker T when I first got there and we had a good chat - I told him about my business and took some business cards.

"He was really impressed, and I think pretty chuffed to be honest. He was a really cool bloke, quite laid back and chilled out.

"It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity...

I'm so pleased I was asked."

CAPTION(S):

SOUL MAN: Andy Smith, far left with his van, and left, meeting his hero Booker T Jones, centre, and members of his band after Andy supported Booker T's recent show at Stockton's ARC. Andy said it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and he was so pleased to be asked to warm up for his music idol
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Aug 18, 2011
Words:343
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