Hello and welcome to Alex's Blog,
J&S Accessories Ltd HQ is based in Oakmere in Northwich, Cheshire. Northwich isn't a big town and is close to Chester, Liverpool and Manchester so you can imagine our surprise when Steve Parrish announced he was coming to our local Memorial Court with a show about his new book "Parrish Times" with the M.A.D Tour. Nothing ever happens in Northwich (aside from our Bike Nights coming up soon) so I had to go!
I decided, on the off-chance, to contact Steve (we're first name terms now - thats how we roll now) to see if I could do a quick interview before his show. If you don't ask you don't get and much to my delight, he (and his lovely wife Michelle) could not have been more accomodating!
We met up before his show and I recorded an interview that you can watch on our YouTube channel here - or scroll to the bottom of this blog!
After our interview I headed to the bar of the venue which was abuzz with Steve Parrish attendees. Like I said before, Northwich doesn't get a lot of high-profile visitors, so this was quite the occasion.
I decided to go in early to get some shots of the stage but also to check out the memorabilia on stage.
He had a selection of his trophies from his racing career (on bikes and trucks) as well as an original Barry Sheene helmet and he even had one of his race bikes on stage as well.
I grew up in a biking household with Steve Parrish's voice being a common sound while commentating over the years. I even met him one year at the Bike show at the NEC around 25 years ago, so I knew a bit about his reputation and a few of the stories about him and Barry Sheene (a particular favourite of my dad when I was growing up) I had also just interviewed him before the show so kind of knew what I was in for that evening. I wouldn't say I was a "fan" before hand per se, but after meeting him (and what a lovely bloke he is) and after the show, I definitely am now.
I sat in my seat, which by pure coincidence (as I bought the tickets online) happened to be right next to racing legend Charlie Williams, who Steve Parrish informed me in our interview beforehand he was actually staying with that night! More on THAT in a later blog.
Steve came out after an introduction by his wife Michelle, who acted as question master for the evening. I don't want to spoil it too much for you, nor the book, but what followed was an extremely interesting look at his life.
There were plenty of laugh-out-loud moments with some brilliant photos, videos and stories. His story-telling ability is second to none, no doubt honed from years of talking for a living. The guest videos were also very funny and the stories he told were only short versions - the longer versions, plus many more not mentioned in the show are in his new book the "Parrish Times" cut price copies of which were available to buy at half-time and at the end of the show with a bonus of meeting Steve and getting his autograph in your copy.
It wasn't just stories to make you laugh or tales of his japes with his fellow riders, there were really touching moments too, along with really interesting stories about how the industry worked back then. As you may know, J&S Accessories Ltd support some racers and the difference between the way things work now compared to back then is mindblowing!
Nothing was out of bounds. He wasn't precious or controlling as you may expect from someone opening themselves up to questionning. He even opened up to Q&As from the audience - no messing around with writing questions down, just a direct shouting out from the audience. No questions were missed and he was very open and frank.
Afterwards, you could get a photo with him, get a book signed, anything else signed (I didn't see any body parts being signed but there could have been some!) and he was friendly, approachable and a thoroughly nice guy.
If you do get a chance to see this tour I would definitely recommend it. I found out some things that I previously didn't know - and as you will see from my interview with him I had done my research! (helped by our fantastic J&S Accessories customers with their questions) and I had not only a really interesting and informative time, but a very entertaining night. Thanks Stavros!
Until next time, stay safe,