Freddie was born 24 November 1937, and died 13 January 2014 (76 years). His real name was Frederick John Cheesman and his repertoire ranged from rock and roll, rockabilly boogie woogie and country music.
In the 80's the ONE-EYED BOOGIE BOY traveled through Europe, and als came frequently to Eindhoven where he became acquainted with the Rebels. He became known for his wild antics on stage, that sometimes included destroying a piano with an axe or chainsaw. He had a glass eye which he every now and then took out in Eindhoven. He suffered two strokes in 2002 and 2006 which ended his stage career.
Born in Consett, Durham in 1937, Lee lost his right eye following an accident with a dart thrown by his father. He would later sometimes cover this eye with a pirate patch. Working as a scaffolder in London in the mid-1950s he taught himself to play his landlady's piano.
In 1978 Lee joined Jack Good's revival of his successful 1950s show Oh Boy!. It was during this show that Lee took to wearing an eye patch. Lee was notable performer on the show and made a star of Shakin' Stevens. Lee also released two albums, Freddie Fingers Lee (1978) and Ol’ One-Eye’s Back (1979). Lee appeared in the 1980 film Blue Suede Shoes which detailed the revival of 1950s rock 'n' roll music scene at the time. He destroys a piano at the end of his song with an axe.
The rock and roll world lost an icon when you past away. Like the boys from Matchbox we had a special friendship
that started round 1978. Memory’s slip true my mind of the great times we had,
from shooting a gun in a closet in Eindhoven to towing your crappy bus to the ferry. Never forget the time your wife drank me under the table. Me and Red Elvis muscled your royalty’s from a Belgian manager at the Leysdream in Roosendaal, the list goes on and on
The last time I saw you perform was somewhere near Utrecht with The Tin Stars as backing, we all stayed at Red Elvis's house then. We talked a lot after the gig at home about your life. Your eyes still twinkled when we spoke about the passing years and your career but you also told that your body could not take it anymore at your age.
And that it hurts to say goodbye to the love of your life playing Rock and Roll music on stage and performing.
We all had tears in our eyes and hugged him. This was the last time I saw him.
The memory of that conversation is burned in my mind. A man saying goodbye to a thing he loved so well
A thing he did all his adult life entertaining the fans of his music
Frederick John Cheesman you will always be on that stage for me
playing the hell out of that woodenstringbox called a piano..
Singles at the time of fame:
- "One-Eyed Boogie Boy" 1978
- "I'm Down"
- "Come Back Baby"
- "I'm A Nutt"
- ''Dib Dab Boogie''
Vocals, Piano – Freddie "Fingers" Lee
Bass – Roscoe Birchmore
Drums – Bob Burgos
Guitar, Fiddle – Nick Malone*
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