You can't have a storied career like Bobby Rydell's without accumulating a few great stories, and boy, does Bobby Rydell have stories.
In fact, Rydell has so many stories that he finally decided to write them all down in his new autobiography "Teen Idol on the Rocks," in which he shares many of his most honest, poignant, and often funny anecdotes.
"I've traveled on the road lo these many years, and of course, after a show, you sit and you talk with people … invariably, a lot of stories come up," Rydell tells FNM in an exclusive interview. "They say, 'Bobby, you have so many great stories, why don't you write a book?' But [I thought] nah, who wants to read a book about me? Are you kidding?"
Luckily for readers, Rydell's wife finally convinced him to sit down with music historian Allan Slutsky to start writing the book — and it's a good thing she did. Otherwise, we might not know about his midnight run-in with the Beatles in the early '60s.
"I was touring on a bus with a young lady by the name of Helen Shapiro, who was a real fine singer in the U.K.," remembers Rydell. "We were on a bus, and there was a car in front of us. She says, 'There are the Beatles!' And I started looking around the bus for, you know, roaches, cockroaches," he laughs. "I didn't know!"
Long story short, Rydell stopped to greet these "Beatles" that Shapiro was so crazy about, and then they both disappeared to go about their respective ways. But it wasn't until 1964 that Rydell realized who he had actually met that night on the road.
"I'm in my house, and I'm watching Ed Sullivan. And all of a sudden here come the Beatles. And I looked and I said, 'I met those guys! In the middle of the U.K., at night, somewhere between Liverpool, Blackpool … and I could kick myself in the rear for not taking a picture!"
Check out the rest of Rydell's interview above for more of his funny stories — including the time he misquoted his friend Frank Sinatra Jr. — and be sure to pick up "Teen Idol on the Rocks," in stores now.