Singer blames loss of ballroom romance for rise in marital failures
SHOWBAND legend Dickie Rock believes many Irish marriages are failing because there is no romance at the beginning of relationships.
The singer believes the demise of the ballroom heralded the end of romance in the lives of young dating couples.
The father of five said on BBC Ulster radio yesterday that he believes a lot more marriages break down in the 21st century because there are no courtships in the beginning.
"One of the major problems why I think there is so many break-ups of relationship and marriages with people in their 30s is that I don't think at the beginning there is any romance," he said.
In the showband days in the 1960s "girls didn't go to pubs then and they went straight to the dance and paid in and had a cup of tea. All the fellows were in the pub and would come about 10 or 10.30.
"It was a wonderful time. I wouldn't say it was an innocent time. The excitement in the ballrooms and when you are on stage looking down at 10 deep in front of you it is an amazing experience.''
The singer recalled that "when we began with the Miami (Showband) in 1962 there was no jitterbugging and no jiving allowed. Worst of all were the priests. They would cut in between a couple and tell them they were dancing too close."
But he said he can still bring out the romance in Irish couples when he gets on stage.
"A live band is an amazing thing. I do weddings and I go on stage and sing 'Love is in the Air' and they are all on the dance floor all night."
And the singer said he has no intention of hanging up his microphone in the near future.
"It is my whole life.''
The Miami star said there were hundreds of bands travelling the length and breadth of the island at the height of the showband era.
But despite the huge revival of ballroom dancing in reality shows, Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars, he could not see it returning to Ireland.
"It's a thing of the past.''
He said that ''people slagged the showbands for copying but the whole world is made up of copying''.