Madeline Bell and her boyfriend Tony had been asked by Chas to keep an eye on the flat in Upper Berkeley Street because he had heard rumours that I had been having noisy parties while they were away touring. My friend Barbara was staying there while Chas and Jimi were away and I must admit we did stay up late and invite people round.
Madeline was already an established singer but when she came to the apartment we became friends very quickly and she just joined in and partied as well.
This is an excerpt from my book.
Over the following hectic weeks, Madeline became one of my best friends. She was a great cook and we were able to eat better than ever before and the flat turned into a regular hang-out for a lot of musicians like members of Procol Harum and the Move as well as people from the old crowd like Brian Jones and Keith Moon….
When it came time for Tony and Madeline to go there were a lot of tears and sad farewells. We didn’t know exactly when Chas and Jimi were due back, so they returned to their own place and Tony waited to be told the arrangements.
At six o’clock one morning the phone rang. Barbara and I were fast asleep. Struggling to come to the surface, having gone to bed only a hour or two before, I picked it up. It was Madeline.
‘I’ve just heard.’ She said, ‘they’re on a plane now, they’ll be home in about four hours.’ Mad asked was the place spick and span. I said no, there were empty bottles, full ashtrays and a bag of rotting chips we’d nicked from outside the Wimpy.
Half an hour later she, Barbara and I were dashing through the flat at a hundred miles an hour hoovering, polishing, dusting, binning the mountain of booze bottles and even cleaning the walls and windows. With just minutes to spare Madeline dashed home, Barbara left and I climbed back into bed so that I could give the impression of having just woken up when they walked in. I heard the door open and voices outside the bedroom.
Chas sounded surprised: ‘This place looks better than it did when we left. It’s a good job Tony and Madeline were here to look after it.’
Madeline visited Jimi and me at Brook Street quite frequently and she was there when Jimi thought he’s seen Handel’s ghost in the mirror.
Madeline and I are still friends and we meet up whenever we can. She still tours a lot around Europe and the world.
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