'Cliff Richard is a bloody hypocrite': Singer slammed for not helping band member in hour of needBy Ben Todd and Peter Robertson
Last updated at 8:08 AM on 21st March 2011
Appeal: A friend of jet Harris asked Sir Cliff for help
Peter Stockton launched his vitriolic attack after Harris, an original member of Sir Cliff’s backing band The Shadows, died from throat cancer aged 71.
He claimed Sir Cliff had failed to offer Harris financial help for medical treatment – despite a close friend of Harris’s writing to the singer.
Mr Stockton, 63, who managed Harris for the last two years of his life and announced his death on Friday, said: ‘This man is meant to be a born-again Christian and humanitarian, but he’s just a bloody hypocrite.
‘Cliff was contacted 18 months ago, by a friend of Jet named Audrey, about Jet’s cancer.
‘She explained that Jet didn’t have the necessary funds to get specialist treatment and wondered if Cliff might be able to be of assistance in some way or other.
‘It wasn’t a direct request for cash although I suppose the intimation was there. Anyone with any common sense would have said, “Okay, he needs some money for specialist treatment”.
‘Audrey just got a letter back saying something like, “I’m sorry to hear about Jet, I suggest that he contact the Macmillan cancer people for help”.’
‘It wasn’t even signed by Cliff, but instead by someone in his office, which is absolutely disgusting.’
'Bloody hypocrite': Sir Cliff, pictured here at a London photocall as he announced a new album this month, was accused of failing to offer financial help for medical treatment
‘Why didn’t Cliff offer Jet something? It’d be the equivalent of me dropping 5p out of my pocket. It was like kicking a man when he’s down. I feel very, very angry about the sequence of events. How Cliff can sleep at night is beyond my comprehension. Sir Cliff Richard? Oh dear!’
Bass guitarist Harris was an original member of The Shadows, spending three years with the band until alcoholism got the better of him.
Affair: Sir Cliff with Carol Costa, who was Harris's first wife
Carol Costa – the first of Harris’s four wives – had an affair with Sir Cliff, now 70, and remains the only woman known definitively to have slept with the Peter Pan of Pop. Bizarrely, Sir Cliff and Harris never discussed the matter.
Mr Stockton also said that Harris was upset not to be asked to take part in The Shadows’ 50th anniversary tour in 2009 and blamed Sir Cliff, not the other members of the band.
‘Jet was very upset and disappointed not to be invited on the 50th anniversary tour,’ he recalled. ‘He said to me many times: “Why can’t they just offer me a cameo spot?”
‘There’s been lots of debate as to who made the final decision and I don’t think Hank Marvin is a vindictive person. It certainly wouldn’t be Bruce Welch or Brian Bennett, so it’s got to be Cliff.
‘That tour went round the world and sales of the DVD alone must be absolutely enormous.
‘Jet said that, even if he only got 1 per cent of the DVD royalties that would have been a nice little pension for him.
‘I’d like to meet Cliff again and I’d be quite firm and tell him exactly how I feel about his attitude and what he’s done. I won’t pull any punches with him.’
Following Harris’s death, on Friday Sir Cliff issued a statement lauding his former bandmate.
Cliff Richard and backing singer Jet Harris from the Shadows when the two were both young men. Harris spent three years with the band until alcoholism got the better of him
‘Jet, the bass player, will always be an integral part of British rock ’n’ roll history. Losing him is sad – but the great memories will stay with me. Rock on, Jet.’
But Mr Stockton was unimpressed by Sir Cliff’s tribute. ‘That quote from Cliff was so saccharine – it gave me nausea just looking at it,’ he said. ‘It’s very off-the-cuff and casual. Rock on, Jet – I mean, for God’s sake.”
Mr Stockton and Harris were writing the musician’s autobiography when he died – and he is still planning to finish the book despite Harris’s death.
Harris was awarded the MBE for ‘services to music’ in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List.
The last contact he was believed to have had with Sir Cliff was a ‘lovely letter’ on his 60th birthday in 1999.
Sir Cliff was last night unavailable for comment on Mr Stockton’s claims.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1368276/Cliff-Richard-slammed-helping-band-member-Jet-Harris-hour-need.html#ixzz1HDl3AdGH
Richards still in the closet !