Showband icon Dickie Rock reveals hearing difficulties forced him to hang up mic after more than 50 years

SHOWBAND icon Dickie Rock shared how hearing difficulties forced him to hang up his mic after more than half a century.

The 84-year-old told The Irish Sun: “I’m done. I did my last gig. The curtain fell, and like all the best artists, I hope I left them in. ask again.

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Legendary crooner Dickie Rock hung up his micCredit: Getty Images
Dickie Rock playing with the Miami Showband

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Dickie Rock playing with the Miami Showband
After lengthy discussions with his wife Judy, Dickie decided it was time to retire.

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After lengthy discussions with his wife Judy, Dickie decided it was time to retire.

His retirement will be a huge disappointment for his legions of “spit on me Dickie” fans.

But the crooner insists it’s time to stop because his ear problems have left him singing out of tune.

Dubliner Rock decided to call it a day after being forced to drop a Showband Memories concert, starring Red Hurley and Paddy Cole, which was being recorded at the Tommy Leddy Theater in Drogheda.

He told The Irish Sun: “When I went to rehearse with the music director, we realized that I was singing in a different key than the band.

“I literally couldn’t hear the key to getting it right. My hearing is so bad that there is really nothing I can do at this point.

Upon hearing the news, Dickie immediately told his manager George Hunter to cancel all of his remaining reservations, including a concert at the Red Cow in Dublin this Christmas.

He said: “I said to George, ‘Get in the air. I could have done the concerts but I have too much respect for my fans for them to hear me sing out of tune.

After canceling all of his remaining shows, Dickie and his wife Judy flew to their vacation home in Spain. And after long discussions with Judy and her family in Ireland, he decided it was time to retire.

He said, “Judy told me I should quit now. I love him so much. She has always given me the best advice and I will follow it.

The Candy Store singer revealed that he sought help from Ireland’s top hearing specialists for his problem, which has worsened over the years.

“THE PROBLEM OF AUDITION COMES WITH THE TERRITORY”

Dickie told us, “I had eyelets put in my ear last year, but they didn’t work. My hearing had deteriorated for years.

“It’s just because I’ve been on the road for so long, so many concerts, so many sound tests. The hearing problem comes with the territory. In the army, constant gunfire makes some soldiers deaf.

And Rock realized he was making the right decision by listening to his favorite Frank Sinatra records these days.

He said: “My hearing is such that Frank Sinatra now seems to be singing out of tune. I can tell you that Frank has never, ever sung out of tune.

“It was almost like Frank was texting me, ‘Dickie, it’s time to quit’.”

However, the singer remains optimistic. Speaking from Spain, he told The Irish Sun: “I am not completely deaf. . . it’s just that if someone was screaming “Spit on me Dickie” from across the street, I probably wouldn’t hear them.

“DICKEY HAS A DICKEY AUDITION”

Laughing that “Dickie has dickey hearing” he continues, “But life is good, I was having breakfast this morning with Judy, watching the sunrise and thinking how lucky that I have reached that age when so many of my wonderful friends like Joe Dolan and Brendan Grace are gone.

Ireland’s best-known retiree decided to make the announcement this month on the 58th anniversary of his arrival at the Miami Showband where he made a name for himself.

Dickie said: “Looking back, there were so many wonderful times. Representing Ireland at Eurovision Song Contest in 1966, playing at the London Palladium in 1964.

“Walking on those big stages, but even better, and closer to my heart was The Gaiety, The Olympia, every little gig in every little town in Ireland, hearing the roar of the crowd, the band starting behind, the good times. I want to thank all my fans and friends in the media for their support. “

After leaving the Miami Showband to go solo in 1972, Dickie said he was also thinking of his former bandmates Fran O’Toole, Tony Geraghty and Brian McCoy, who were shot dead by UVF terrorists in July 1975 as they returned home from a concert in Banbridge, County Down.

The father of six, Dickie, recalled, “Oh my god, those cute guys.”

LAST CONCERT

His last real show was at The Red Cow on December 28, 2019. He said, “I had no idea then, this was my last gig. I sang There’s Always Me, I’m Yours, From the Candy Store, Every Step of the Way … all the time.

“And I sang them well and just. It was a hell of a show and I sent them home in a sweat.

Reflecting on his decision to stop performing, Dickie told us, “I’m going to miss the shows. Oh my god I’m going to miss this a lot.

“Especially by meeting other musicians. I had great musicians who supported me and I met a lot of other artists like Cliff Richard, when I supported him at National Stadium in 1961, it was a year before the Beatles debut, and later guys like Engelbert Humperdinck, Tom Jones – all the stars. “

But the veteran singer said the one thing he won’t miss on the road is trying to get paid at the end of the night. Dickie laughed, “The priests were the worst for not paying you. I’m serious. They always had the best excuses.

VINYL DREAMS

Although Dickie has planned to return to Ireland in early December, he believes he and Judy may now have to wait for the wave of Covid to subside.

He added, “I would love to re-release all of my old vinyl albums. I have all of them. I can’t do gigs but it’s a dream to bring them back to the stores now that vinyl is the thing. As for my hearing, we went to see everyone in Ireland and no one can help me.

“My manager, George, thinks we should go to Harley Street, but I really don’t think anyone can help us. It’s time to quit. It has been wonderful.

Dickie said he still plans to watch the Showband Memories concert. Funded with the help of the Tourism Directorate, it is broadcast from December 5.

See gr8events.ie/showbandmemories.

Dickie Rock at the opening of a shopping center in Ballymun, Dublin, circa February 1971

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Dickie Rock at the opening of a shopping center in Ballymun, Dublin, circa February 1971Credit: Getty Images – Getty
Cover of Dickie Rock and Miami Showband's 'Every Step of the Way'

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Cover of Dickie Rock and Miami Showband’s ‘Every Step of the Way’
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