Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tuesday, May 08, 2012
The Flying Sporran gets down and dirty in the beer bars of Pattaya to hunt down an ageing rock star who has reportedly faked his own death to avoid massive tax debts and now opened his own bars in the resort. In the process he meets an 'Ex SAS' man, and a former 'armed robber' .

It wasn’t like the good old days.  It used to be girls screaming so loud that he could not even hear all the notes he was playing, said Dell. Panties dropping on the stage by the dozen.  Now the noise was a cacophony of different sounds competing against each other in a Pattaya beer bar complex...and the panties here might contain a few surprises and at a cost.

“I’m never going back to England. My funeral has been held. People have mourned – and my tax problems are solved,” said Dell, in the VIP bar beer centre in north Pattaya, which contains mainly 'kateoy' or lady-boy bars.

Now bald, tattooed and 63, Dell, as he likes to be called, sighed as we pulled up a YouTube video of Denis D’ell lead singer of the Honeycombs whose hit song hit the top of the charts in Britain and Australia and number 4 in the United States back in the Sixties.

A little tear seemed to well up in the corner of his eye as he called over his Thai ‘wife’ called Earn to have a look at it.  Earn, from Buri Ram, who runs ‘Little Earn’ bar, a reference also to the British Eric Morecombe and Ernie Wise comedy duo, rolled her eyes.

‘That’s me,” he said pointing to the wavy haired leader singer, aged 21,  born Denis Dalziel, crooning away their hit song ‘Have I The Right’ produced by legendary 60’s producer Joe Meek – the subject of the recent film ‘Telstar’.

“We got nothing,” said Dell, ‘Nothing!”. My £2.5 million house in Ilford (Essex) I bought from other projects.

Dell dragged out his photo albums. There was his open topped Mercedes. Then his mansion. Then him with his Fender guitar. “I’ve still got it!”

 Could this really be the same guy whose death certificate I had in my pocket, signed off by his wife and a doctor?

Denis D’ell, 69, has a few years on Dell boy in Pattaya. But Dell boy did have sort of similar features to the D’ell in the last public pictures taken before he died. Both have earing in their left ears and ornate finger rings.

A couple of drinks and I was singing along. 'Have I the right.... to ask you?'

But then the game was up for Dell boy. He rolled up his right sleeve. There in its full glory  was the wings and dagger badge of the SAS (Special Air Service) - Who Dares Wins.

He said he had joined the SAS from the ‘Royal Corps of Signals’. Probably the roughest period was ‘Uganda’, he said.

By this time I was thinking: 'Of all of the gin joints in all of the world why did I have to walk into his'.

Did I know Catterick? he asked. That was where the Royal Signals were based. Nope I replied. I was with the Queens Own Cameron and Seaforth Highlanders. Our bases, when I was with them, I said, were at Fort George, Inverness, and Waverley Barracks, Berlin. I couldn't help joining in. The last bit was technically true but I continued:

"I was assigned to the  Scots Guards during the Falklands War got a few of them argie b*gg*rs!" somewhat exaggerating my real role stuck in the Ministry of Defence in London now on a newspaper.

This I thought could be fun, but instead  Dell was off  in a racist rant against all foreigners, oblivious to the fact that here he was one, and that he had married a woman of Ghanian descent.

Dell boy failed on the questions of how many brothers and sisters he had, the name of his producer, how his producer died (took his own life).

And as the evening progressed he took me on the rounds of the VIP Bar Beer centre in North Pattaya.

Most of the girls, well weren’t. One a Thai man with a stubbled chin seemed to have merely donned a dress, over his masculine physique, and hairy legs, because he probably thought this was what the ‘farangs’ wanted. And who could not forgive him?

Dell meanwhile seemed to be confessing that he took part in three armed robberies, for which he was the armourer, had spent time in Elmley Prison, Isle of Sheppey, for beating up the guy who slept with his wife, and was acquitted of one armed robbery charge, after sending a pal to Thailand with his passport to provide an alibi.

Now he was doing brisk business in cigarettes to the U.K. and sexual stimulants from Cambodia to Thailand.

What about the D'ell, Denis Dalziel, who died in 2005?

"He was a copycat," said my Dell. "He probably changed his name by deed poll".

There's an element of truth in all this of course.  Then of course readers of this site will know a little invention by the subjects here has taken them a long way. Then of course I also understand the Pattaya bar girl chorus of 'farang kohok!' and here that element takes on its own dimension.

 I think I have met the definitive Pattaya Brit.


  1. Generally speaking, and as rule of thumb, any Brit resident in Pattaya should be treated as if he is lying through his teeth until such times one is satisfied otherwise.
    I apply this rule wherever I am in Thailand which as a place of refuge is unique among the fantasists, fugitives from justice and the merely addled. The FCCT bar never fails in this regard.

  2. How does the FCCT fit in - addled, fugitives, fantasists or all three. I have to renew my membersship fee

  3. This site will be up and down over the next 24 hours. A few things to fix. Like what happened to the thumbnail, viewer count etc. Apologies.

  4. There certainly is some truth in all this. Catterick was at one time training raw recruits for the Royal Signals. Indeed I did the first six weeks there of my national service prior to trade training elsewhere. I was back there in 1962 for demob. Believe the Royal Signals are now based at Blanford.

  5. Yes I believe he spent time in the army. And RS are definitely at Catterick.

  6. The Frying ScotsmanMay 8, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    First of, it is not the ''winged dagger'' badge of the SAS, It's a flying bloody guitar.Secondly, no ex member of the SAS EVER brags about it so when you encounter one, he's lying.AND finally no ex member of the SAS EVER refers to himself as ''Ex SAS'' Always ex Regiment. Enough said

  7. Well could it also be insurance fraud, i do suppose his wife had life insurance?

  8. I don’t believe the guy was really SAS, I would have known him, I don’t recall him from the regiment (I was the one who abseiled down the front of the Libyan Embassy and threw the flashbang). But I do hear that the 24th SAS (Reserves) regiment based in Pattaya is about 1000 strong these days.

  9. to westerby, you hit the nail right on the head.

  10. The Frying ScotsmanMay 9, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    Here is a biography link for Dennis D'Ell. Absolutely no sign of a Military career. In fact he hardly had time to join the Boy Scouts.
    Andrew this is hardly fair
    ''I think I have met the definitive Pattaya Brit''.
    You've never met me lol

  11. I'm confused...is he or isn't he ??

  12. The Frying ScotsmanMay 9, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    No names, no pack drill
    PML. I think you have slightly underestimated the numbers. There's at least that number drink in Tropical Berts. Have you shaved of that ridiculous 'tache you were wearing on the insert back then, and how's Dundee these days?

  13. I know this is Thailand and these fantasy merchants are hiding under every bar stool but I still find it amusing, sometimes even a little sad.
    The best I heard was a Northern Irish guy who claimed that Kylie Minogue pulled him out of the crowd at her concert in Sydney. That night he was snorting cocaine off her breasts in her private jet.......
    He wasn't called "polygraph Peter" for nothing!

  14. Special Hair SquadronMay 9, 2012 at 6:00 AM

    Listen! I lived in Hereford, and almost certainly lived next door to at least one. Some of the ones who died were buried/burned locally. The neighbor never actually said his regiment, although he did once chomp on my hand for getting in his way at the local pub counter. They just never do. Well, yeah, I met the commandant too. But he was a public figure, who went on to become Lord Lieutenant of the county, and I worked for his bro. Since those days, I have lost track of the wannabes who have told me they were SAS, or even more dodgily, Territorial Army SAS. There were also the ones who left because they weren't really quite the full shilling, who went on to do such dreadfully over-dramatic stuff as become gay Hell's Angels chapter leaders.
    Perhaps worth noting what an incredibly poseurish song that is. Certainly one that most people of that era remember, though!

  15. I know Kylie's sound man. I suspect he had the same desires

  16. You write like a complete idiot.....very hard to follow your stories, your train of thought and your mindset. Maybe writing is not your forte?

    ....just read your story on the Dane criminal.....man, it is a good story but read a book on journalism....please!!

  17. Give me a few years Rui. Perhaps you could show me where I can find this book.

  18. So good old Dell boy is pulling pints these days, and perhaps even pulling the leg of a well respected journalist. 'Fools and Horses' plus more than 'One Foot in the Grave'. Dell's life is a regular sit-com alright. This wannabe comedy 'actor' appears to be a real 'drama queen' perhaps like some of his Bar Staff. In this instance maybe it is not just Rodney who is a bit of a 'plonker' but Dell Boy as well. Ally you are right these fantasists can be amusing, but personally I find 'Dennis the Menace' not very comical. To claim to be one of the 'Hereford Heroes' if you are not, is insulting and foolhardy. Hopefully we can all 'standby standby', and watch when Dell gets a well deserved 'slap'. Not sure even a Ex-member of The HoneyCombs will find that one 'sweet'. Perhaps he is really singer Del Shannon, whose hit 'Runaway' would maybe be more apt. Dell featured here seeming to have 'fled' from any contact with reality. Dell apparently claims to have seen 'Active Service in the Bush', he is certainly not alone on that one, as many hardened Ex-pats in Pattaya can testify. A 'Tour of Duty' in Soi 6, is definitely not for the faint hearted. 'Out of Africa' more like off your head Dennis. Blagger or Bragger, that's a difficult one. Anyway Dell I look forward to the Lads from the Regiment having a reunion in your bar. I imagine they will be more than happy to get the 'first round in'. For this 'Entertainer' turned 'Bar Steward' a 'double tap' will certainly be 'last orders'.

  19. @Rui Silva, dont forget to press the "PayPal button" on the way out!

  20. The Same Old SongMay 9, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Andrew, Brave reporting from The Front Line well maybe just the Beach Front. Took your life in your hands on this one. Much like Dell alleges he has done in the past on a regular basis. Though these days he seems to have lost a grip on reality. Surprised Dennis or Dell hasn't been asked do an interview on The Pattaya People 96FM Morning Show. They are alleged to be experienced in the music biz as well. Perhaps the free caffine loaded beverage, they give all their guests, will be just the right brew for Dell. If anyone needs to wake up and smell the coffee surely its him.

  21. You Do Beau GesteMay 10, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    Andrew, All this discussion of Military Careers brought back memories of my time as a Cook in The Foreign Legion. I can tell you catering for such an elite team was no picnic. Talk about March or Fry. My first year of service I was on Starters. The second year on Mains. But the third year was the best as I finally got to Dessert. C'est la vie mon amis.

  22. Very funny story. I have heard of the ex SAS types who love to tell you their war stories but I have not met one yet Perhaps i need to drink more regularly

  23. I'm an undercover agent.

  24. Special Agent Sam {SAS} Whose covers are you under? Are you a Sleeper or just Embedded?

  25. I once met an American guy in Janes Bar, New Plaza, Pattaya the last refuge of the cheap charlie who told me he had more money than he could spend in his lifetime, and he was a retired pro boxer who used to train by dodging cars at busy intersections.
    The SAS were not mentioned but he had spend considerable time in ''Afghan'' ''taking care of business''