Heather Reid’s funeral took place on a cold and rainy Friday afternoon at Preston Cemetery.’
All the neighbours in the street were in attendance along with her friends from work.
Sally and Irene were sobbing as her coffin was lowered into the ground and the priest read out the twenty third psalms. There would be no wake as this was a cheap funeral as Brian had not taken out life insurance for his daughter and they had to be given money from the welfare in order to bury her. There was no sign of Jim Gales at the funeral either even though Irene and Sally had told him that she had died and that he had a daughter called Dawn who had been adopted.’
Jim Gales sat in the flat guilt ridden as the time on the clock on the wall read two thirty. He knew that the funeral of Heather Reid was taking place today but chose to stay away. He didn’t want people poking the finger at him saying that it was his fault that Heather had died. One thing was certain he thought as he drank a stiff glass of whiskey looking at the small photo of her that she’d given him; he would do everything in his power to get his daughter once he was old enough.
The Dune Tunes had secured a recording contract with Columbia Records after he had written “My Teenage Lover” which had got to number two in the British pop charts and was number one in America.
They had an invitation to appear on the Johnny Carson Show next week and they were going to fly first class all courtesy of Mr Wayne Travers’ a multimillionaire who had made his money investing in oilfields.
Not one to miss an opportunity; Wayne muscled in on the music business and set up the Capital Record Label. The big Texan with a white Stetson who loved a steak and eggs for breakfast had signed many groups and country singers including Jessie Jane and Merle Jennings. He saw the Dune Tunes reach number one and immediately got his agent to offer them a recording contract with Capital Records. He bought out their contract with Columbia Records for fifty thousand dollars and now he owned them exclusively. He had a host of song writers come up with songs. But it was two songs that Jim Gales had written himself that gave them their biggest hits in America. “The Girl I never knew” and “Before the Dawn had broken” which had both gone platinum.
For sixteen year olds to be earning thousands of dollars it was like a dream come true for the rest of the group.
They toured all over the states; bought expensive cars and partied every night. Barry Smith tried to control Jim who was now drinking a bottle of Scotch Whiskey a day.’
Jim just told him where to go and told the rest it was because of him that they were now rich.
Paul King and Michael Garrity began smoking grass and were stoned most of the day.
They were just content to ride on the back of Jim’s fame.
Jim started taking advice from other singers from other groups. He was doing jamming sessions and duets with everyone who wanted in on his popularity.’
“He got invited over to Graceland and did a full day with Elvis singing rock and Gospel songs.
Barry Smith was not happy that Jim was more or less going it alone and packed his cases and flew back to Heathrow. They were still under contract with Wayne Travers’ and had to find a replacement to fill in for Barry.
The writing was on the wall when Paul King collapsed on stage in Las Vegas and it was discovered that he’d been snorting cocaine.
Within eighteen months “The Dune Tunes” had split up and Jim Gales found himself on his own.