Tributes have been paid to a legendary rock ‘n’ roller who was renowned for his musical ability as well as for pranks involving a glass eye.
Freddie ‘Fingers’ Lee, a well-known musician who lived in Abington, in Northampton, for much of his life, died on Monday morning, aged 76.
Mr Lee’s career started in the 1950s as a guitarist in a skiffle group. He then started to play piano for Screaming Lord Sutch, while the young Ritchie Blackmore later joined the band.
Mr Lee later joined Eden Kane’s band, touring with Cliff Richard and Marty Wilde until, in the 1960s, he made his way to Hamburg, later joining the house band at the legendary Top Ten Club and The Star Club and rubbing shoulders with the likes of The Beatles.
Speaking of his time in Germany, he once said: “I played with Jerry Lee Lewis for a week, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Fats Domino, The Crickets and Gene Vincent, I also met Sam Cooke there, who was a real gentleman.”
His prolific writing career saw him pen 19 singles, eight albums, 12 compilations and had stars, such as Tom Jones, covering his songs.
He carved a television career in the late 1970s with the revival of the Jack Good TV show, Oh Boy, which provided him with a massive following in countries such as Italy, Spain, France and Germany.
He also starred alongside Bill Haley and Ray Campi, in the 1980 rockabilly documentary, Blue Suede Shoes.
Mr Lee, originally from from County Durham, died after a short illness and leaves behind five children, six grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Aside from his fame among fans for keeping the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll alive, Freddie Lee was a renowned prankster.
He lost an eye at the age of three after an accident involving one of his father’s stray darts.
According to his daughter, Debbie Lee, from Delapre, he used it to his advantage, dropping his glass eye in people’s pints while they weren’t looking.
She said: “He was the most unconventional dad ever, but I wouldn’t of had it any other way.“