Photo - John Riley
Frankie and the Four Seasons kicked off in Birmingham on 20 April 2017 at the Genting Area. The energy Frankie and the guys had was a big factor, as well as the stage management, which made this such a great show. Carlos Etzberger and Claudia Fontoura arrived from Brazil who had tickets for all the shows as had Jim Davis from New York, Mike and Linda Taylor and Dawn Gates. Peter Petit from Holland was also attending this show.
We all laughed when Frankie sang the rap and asked “Do people really make love to that music” to answers of "Go on then" and “I’ll give it a go!”
The song list was the same at all shows as follows:
Who Loves You/Working My Way Back To You/Save It For Me/Dawn/Under My Skin/Beggin’/My Eyes Adored You/Tell It To The Rain/Opus 17/Fallen Angel/Grease/Spanish Harlem/My Girl/Groovin/Swearin’ To God/Silence Is Golden/The Night/Stay/December ‘63/Can’t Take My Eyes Off You/Sherry/Walk Like A Man/Big Girls Don’t Cry/Bye Bye Baby/Rag Doll and Let’s Hang On.
Interesting that after Swearin’ To God “Our Day Will Come” was listed but had been crossed out. We remember Frankie doing that song in the early 1980’s with Toby Tyler. Robby told us that Toby still sings at the event he organises every December where John Schroeder also plays. Other “extras” that were listed at the bottom of the sheet but not sung were “Native New Yorker” and “Streetfighter”.
We were lucky to meet up with the guys after the show at their hotel and to tell them how great the show was.
Photo at hotel - Bill , Jason and Rick
The next show was at Bournemouth International Centre which I think was even better than the show the night before. Mariette Chellew and Sue Mitchell arrived from South Africa for the show armed with the panties to throw at Frankie which resulted in lots of laughter when Jason picked up a pair and put them in his top pocket! It was also Craig Pilo’s birthday and everyone sang Happy Birthday to him.
Happy Birthday Craig - Photography by John Riley
Just when you think it could not get any better we were all treated to an amazing show at the O2 Arena in London with an audience of 12,849 people. My favourite show of the tour – why? Well have a listen to this and especially Frankie’s lovely words at the end of “Oh What A Night”:
"I wish you could feel what I feel inside every time I come to the UK. I love you guys out there" Frankie Valli
Frankie joked that he had got his sparkly jacket from Bruno Mars (who was in London the night before) and that Suzie Quatro was in the audience, sitting right behind Ken Charmer who had arrived from Spain for the show with his son Mark. Ken said he was “gob-smacked” at Frankie’s performance for a man of his age and that there were so many highlights but one of his favourites was the Spanish Harlem/Groovin/My Girl medley. Feibe and Hennie from Holland where there too. Frankie said that he aimed to get back to the UK at least once a year which he has done and hopes to be back again next year.
Mark Garvey met up with Frankie at his hotel in London where he signed Mark’s tattoo!
The next show was at Edinburgh and I am sure the lads enjoyed tasting the famous Scotch whisky and enjoying the beautiful sights there.
Leeds Arena was the next show on 26 April. Another fantastic show:-
We met up with Robby after the show at his hotel and discussed Frankie’s 83rd birthday on the 3 May. Robby said we should all sing Happy Birthday to Frankie at the final show at Manchester and said he would arrange for a birthday cake to be brought on stage.
Sure enough at the Manchester Arena the following night, after the group introductions, Robby announced Frankie’s up and coming birthday and everyone sang Happy Birthday to him. His sons, Francesco, Emilio and Brando wheeled the birthday cake onto the stage and Frankie blew out the candles. This was my second favourite show for that reason and again for the lovely words Frankie said about UK audiences.
Happy Birthday Frankie
“Of all the places we play in the world there are no audiences, since I have been doing this, quite like the audiences in the UK” Frankie Valli
Many thanks to John Riley for the great photos. John, as many of you will know, is a former Chairman of the UK Fan Club and one of the founder members along with myself, Ray Nichol, Bryan Lomas, and Paul Tavernor who were also at the shows. We started the UK Fan Club back in 1976 - 24 April 1976 - 41 years ago and, like Frankie Valli, we are still going strong!
Robby asked me to video the whole show for him which I did and I just hope that the recording came out OK! We were invited by Robby back to the hotel after the show for drinks with everyone and it was great to see Sir Greg and Lady Knight there and especially Ray and Avril Nichol – Ray had to miss the London show following a recent operation and it was great to see him looking so good and keeping up with everyone at the after show party!
Special thanks to Frankie, the Seasons, the band and everyone who made this UK Tour simply the best ever. Thanks also to Dean Egnator for arranging special fan club tickets again meaning that the true fans got the best seats in the house. Thanks to Mike Taylor from Exeter who provided very special gifts for Frankie, the Seasons, the band and the fans – thank you Mike from everyone – you are very kind and generous.
The best UK Tour ever - we wouldn't have missed it for the world!
"Just wanted to thank you again for the fan club link for the Sunday show. We had such a great evening – can’t believe we had front row seats. I have never been to the O2 before and found it enormous" Kay Ailes
"I had more fun than I ever expected on this epic journey. The shows and the get togethers I'll never forget along with the new friends I met and all I knew before. Manchester was awesome. It was an experience I'll never forget. Thank you for all your hard work in putting it all together. It couldn't have been done without you. You're the best".
Jim Davis, New York
"How great to see you and the rest of the bunch, and what a fantastic show, I enjoyed every second" Peter Petit
Can't tell you how much we enjoyed the concert, we thought he was superb - Alan Page
Dean tells us that Frankie and the Seasons are to play at this years Live At The Marquee in Cork, Ireland on Thursday 6 July. Tickets go on sale via Ticketmaster on the 4 May.
By Lynn Boleyn MBE