Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Buddy Greco: A Nasty, Nasty Man Towards Peggy Lee

Buddy Greco, who has curled his toes at the age of 90, was aside from Sacha Distel the vilest man I have ever had the misfortune to meet...and one who was rightly put in his place by Mrs. B, on account of his horrendous treatment of Peggy Lee, who I had the great privilege of knowing. Here's what I wrote about this creep in my autobiography:

The show was being filmed for television, and Peggy’s support act was Buddy Greco, an arrogant performer so full of himself, you wouldn’t believe it, and who just would not get off the stage! Not content with putting the audience in pain once and receiving little more than a lukewarm response when he messed up in a couple of songs, he insisted on returning to the platform to perform his entire set again—causing some irate spectators to vacate the building.

   It was late when Peggy came on, and she was amazing, making us cry with "Mr. Wonderful" and "Is That All There Is?" and closing the show with “I'll Be Seeing You”. When we went around to meet her afterwards, there was a flight of stairs going down to the stage door and from where we were standing we could just see the hem of her silver dress. Two men swaggered us—Buddy Greco's musicians.

   "She can't walk up the steps," one remarked.

   “Comes to us all, I guess,” the other said.

   And then a voice shot out from elsewhere—I assumed it could only have been Buddy Greco.

   “Tough shit! Let her fucking crawl up them, then!"

   As a singer, Buddy Greco may just about have got away with being deemed passable. As a man, in my opinion he left much to be desired, and each time I hear his name, I cringe. Jeanne let rip—and how! I think they were too stunned to respond, or maybe they didn’t quite catch her Yorkshire dialect! We went down to Peggy and later half-escorted, half-carried her to her car where she reached for the oxygen mask which was never far away from her in those days. We saw her again in Chicago, just before she left us.

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