What do you call a man who has been a rock star, a teacher, an artist and a film extra and had a trial for Tottenham? He s called Derek Massey and ANGELA SINGER went to interview him in Ramsey. THEY were the Gallaghers of their day, brothers with an all

LATEST ARTWORK: That’ll Be The Day part of a series by Derek Massey.

What do you call a man who has been a rock star, a teacher, an artist and a film extra and had a trial for Tottenham?

He's called Derek Massey and ANGELA SINGER went to interview him in Ramsey.

THEY were the Gallaghers of their day, brothers with an all-too-public love-hate relationship. OK - names like Derek and Eric may not immediately say rock and roll to you but the identical twins Derek and Eric Massey were massive in 1962. The television talent show they were on, Opportunity Knocks, was bigger than The X Factor - it had an audience of 16 million.

ARTIST AT WORK: Derek and Jean in his studio at their home in Ramsey St Mary’s. Picture: DOUG McLEOD.

Derek, now living in Ramsey St Mary's and an established artist, could open his own careers advice service. He has had so many of his own. He has been a rock star. His band was on the events list for London's Marquee Club with David Bowie, Jimmy Cliff and Stevie Wonder. He has shared a bill with everyone from the Rolling Stones to Vera Lynn. However, he has also been a film extra, a landscape gardener and has worked as a navvy on motorways. He was a draftsman, worked in menswear and in a mortuary.

He even had a trial for Tottenham Hotspur.

At one point he made false eyelashes. Art students were hired, he says, because they could be relied on to have a steady hand when cutting the lashes from seal fur.

"We were up there selling eyelashes in New York next to Rimmel, then the eyelashes went out of fashion. The bottom dropped out of the market. Finished. Everyone was out of a job."

SIXTIES HITS: The Clearways. Derek is far right and Eric is standing next to him.

And overnight failure was a bit of a pattern in Derek's early life. The brothers' band, The Clearways were a huge success on Opportunity Knocks until the producer told them they would be in the final but they were not going to win.

"We had toured, we had played every club in Yorkshire. We had played the same clubs as Frank Sinatra, but as soon as you are off the telly people walk by you in the street and they don't know who you are - you are the band that didn't win."

But that was not the main reason The Clearways broke up. A hostile relationship with his brother was behind the split and Derek said he and Eric have not spoken for over 20 years.

Tensions developed when the band was on the road. Eric was the manager and handled the money, Derek was the creative one. After opportunity failed to knock, Eric decided they would split from the band and work as a duo. Brothers were big in 60s show business and they were going to be known as The Twins.

"I wanted us to record Tom Paxton's song The Last Thing on My Mind. We had booked the studio, but Eric didn't want to record folk, no one had heard of Tom Paxton then. He wanted us to stay with rock. Without telling me, he made other arrangements. I turned up at Abbey Road and found we were recording a different song."

Ironically, the song they did record was called We're Not Friends Anymore.

"The record went in and out of the charts before you could say Jack Robinson. It cost us £5,000 to record it. We had to pay for the studio. We had no band so we had to pay musicians. "John Barry (who later went on to write the James Bond theme) wrote the music and we spent £500 on a photo session.

"People said it was all right because we would get the money back. A year on, when the royalties were sorted out, I received a cheque for £95."

The duo did not break up straight away. Between The Clearways and The Twins the boys worked as film extras.

"We got paid £50 a day. An extra's job is really to keep out of the way. Everyone wants to get their face seen and become famous - but if your face is seen more than once, continuity will find you and you are off the set."

The films starred Warren Beatty, Lesley Caron, David Niven and John Le Mesurier.

"Le Mesurier was exactly the same as you saw him on the telly. I watched him once for a whole day trying to get one line right."

The twins had different priorities. Being away from home for weeks and sleeping on a tour bus overnight between one gig and the next may be more than alright for single young men loving the attention of groupies, but Derek had married aged 19. By the mid 60s he had a wife and three daughters.

He says everything you have heard about show business is true... some of it even worse.

"I toured with the Tornadoes. Telstar was one of the biggest hits of the 60s - it was massive. It made six million quid, but the boys got nothing. They had signed a contract giving them £30 a week and a Ford Cortina and that's all they got."

But Derek also says that stage personas should not be confused with the real thing.

"I worked with Screamin' Lord Sutch - It was a real performance, one of the first of the horror shows, axes and blood and gore everywhere and a coffin on stage. He was always getting banned from places but people wanted to see it.

"One day I went into the venue and there was this bloke sitting there in a suit and tie, no long hair, a quietly spoken chap - I said it's you Dave! He was nothing like the character he was on stage."

Neither was Mick Jagger, he says. "I met him when we were both doing Keith Fordyce's Pop In radio show. I walked in and there was Jagger and Richards. He was a well spoken, obviously intelligent person and he wished us good luck and said he hoped we made it."

In some ways, Derek's career has gone full circle. He had told his father when he was aged five that he wanted to paint.

"I can remember I was helping him to mend a roof and I told him as I was tapping in the nails. He was furious. He said never, not while there's a breath in my body.

"I left school at 14 and he got me an apprenticeship in a garage so I could learn a trade. It was an anathema to me. I met a mate of mine who was working on building the A1M at Stevenage - so I walked out of the garage and went to work with him on the motorway. I worked seven days a week and I went home and told my father I had the money for art school."

After art college in Luton, he joined a company as a draftsman.

"I sang in my brother's band at night. I was so tired I used to fall asleep on my drawing board and one day they found me and I got the sack. The irony was that the band was playing that night at the company's dinner dance. The directors got a shock when the curtains went back and they saw me on stage."

After The Twins broke up, Derek worked at Newcastle University with sculptor Pip Warwick, organising art and music festivals.

Though Derek says he always wanted to be a visual artist, it was years - and another marriage - before he dared turn professional. Curiously, it was when he turned his back on art altogether that he was unwitting walking towards it. He trained as a primary school teacher and worked in the profession for 17 years, teaching for 10 years in Huntingdon at St John's and Thongsley. He also worked at a special unit for emotionally disturbed youngsters in Letchworth. It was there - now 33 years ago - that he met his current wife, Jean.

They were both married to other people but left together in a van with all they could take with them, plus Jean's two children from her first marriage.

Since they had both left their jobs, times were difficult and money was short. Ever resourceful, Derek went to work as a landscape gardener.

About 30 years ago, the couple bought their current home in Ramsey St Mary's.

When they found they were having their own child, Carolyn, 20 years ago. Jean told Derek. "This is your chance to become an artist."

He said: "She went out and bought me a set of watercolour pots and said get out there and learn how to paint a tree. I'll give you five years. I will go on teaching while you look after the baby and you can see if you can establish yourself as an artist."

Derek's first exhibition was in 1989 at the L'bidi Gallery in St Ives. He now has regular shows there and at the Norman Cross Gallery in Yaxley. He also gives art demonstrations in schools.

Jean, who taught at Ramsey Junior School for 18 years, is 62 and Derek is 64. Between them they have six children and 10 grandchildren. His oldest daughter Johanna is the director of the National Sculpture Centre in New York.

He seems to have lived several lives, but according to Derek there will be several more if he "lives long enough".

"I wanted us to record Tom Paxton's song The Last Thing on My Mind. We had booked the studio, but Eric didn't want to record folk, no one had heard of Tom Paxton then. He wanted us to stay with rock. Without telling me, he made other arrangements. I turned up at Abbey Road and found we were recording a different song."

Ironically, the song they did record was called We're Not Friends Anymore.

"The record went in and out of the charts before you could say Jack Robinson. It cost us £5,000 to record it. We had to pay for the studio. We had no band so we had to pay musicians. "John Barry (who later went on to write the James Bond theme) wrote the music and we spent £500 on a photo session.

"People said it was all right because we would get the money back. A year on, when the royalties were sorted out, I received a cheque for £95."

The duo did not break up straight away. Between The Clearways and The Twins the boys worked as film extras.

"We got paid £50 a day. An extra's job is really to keep out of the way. Everyone wants to get their face seen and become famous - but if your face is seen more than once, continuity will find you and you are off the set."

The films starred Warren Beatty, Lesley Caron, David Niven and John Le Mesurier.

"Le Mesurier was exactly the same as you saw him on the telly. I watched him once for a whole day trying to get one line right."

The twins had different priorities. Being away from home for weeks and sleeping on a tour bus overnight between one gig and the next may be more than all right for single young men loving the attention of groupies, but Derek had married aged 19. By the mid-60s he had a wife and three daughters.

He says everything you have heard about show business is true... "and worse."

"I toured with the Tornadoes. Telstar was one of the biggest hits of the 60s - it was massive. It made six million quid, but the boys got nothing. They had signed a contract giving them £30 a week and a Ford Cortina and that's all they got."

But Derek also says that stage persona should not be confused with the real thing.

"I worked with Screamin' Lord Sutch - It was a real performance, one of the first of the horror shows, axes and blood and gore everywhere and a coffin on stage. He was always getting banned from places but people wanted to see it.

"One day I went into the venue and there was this bloke sitting there in a suit and tie, no long hair, a quietly spoken chap - I said it's you Dave! He was nothing like the character he was on stage."

Neither was Mick Jagger, he says. "I met him when we were both doing Keith Fordyce's Pop In radio show. I walked in and there was Jagger and Richards. He was a well spoken, obviously intelligent person and he wished us good luck and said he hoped we made it."

In some ways, Derek's career has gone full circle. He told his father when he was aged five that he wanted to paint.

"I can remember I was helping him to mend a roof and I told him as I was tapping in the nails. He was furious. He said never, not while there's a breath in my body.

"I left school at 14 and he got me an apprenticeship in a garage so I could learn a trade. It was anathema to me. I met a mate of mine who was working on building the A1(M) at Stevenage - so I walked out of the garage and went to work with him on the motorway. I worked seven days a week and I went home and told my father I had the money for art school."

After art college in Luton he joined a company as a draftsman.

"I sang in my brother's band at night. I was so tired I used to fall asleep on my drawing board and one day they found me and I got the sack. The irony was that the band was playing that night at the company's dinner dance. The directors got a shock when the curtains went back and they saw me on stage."

After The Twins broke up, Derek worked at Newcastle University with sculptor Pip Warwick, organising art and music festivals.

Though Derek says he always wanted to be a visual artist, it was years - and another marriage - before he dared turn professional. Curiously, it was when he turned his back on art altogether that he was unwitting walking towards it. He trained as a primary school teacher and worked in the profession for 17 years, teaching for 10 years in Huntingdon at St John's and Thongsley. He also worked at a special unit for emotionally disturbed youngsters in Letchworth. It was there - now 33 years ago - that he met his current wife, Jean.

They were both married to other people but left together in a van with all they could take with them, plus Jean's two children from her first marriage.

Since they had both left their jobs, times were difficult and money was short. Ever resourceful, Derek went to work as a landscape gardener.

About 30 years ago, the couple bought their current home in Ramsey St Mary's.

When they found they were having their own child, Carolyn, 20 years ago. Jean told Derek: "This is your chance to become an artist."

He said: "She went out and bought me a set of watercolour pots and said get out there and learn how to paint a tree. I'll give you five years. I will go on teaching while you look after the baby and you can see if you can establish yourself as an artist."

Derek's first exhibition was in 1989 at the L'bidi gallery in St Ives. He now has regular shows there and at the Norman Cross Gallery. He also gives art demonstrations in schools.

Jean, who taught at Ramsey Junior School for 18 years, is 62 and Derek is 64. Between them they have six children and 10 grandchildren. His oldest daughter, Johanna, is the director of the National Sculpture Centre in New York.

He seems to have lived several lives, but according to Derek there will be several more if he "lives long enough".