The Chairman asked me to write this small piece — Correction... He told me to write it! — about the Fat Pack's early beginings. Apparently I am the only one who can remember anything of it. Years of booze and the start of early senility have left the guys' memories somewhat impaired.

Well, I am the sixth unofficial member of the pack, so you never get to see or hear of me. The only reason I am a pack member is because I get to pack all the guys' luggage etc. Also, when I am not sobering the guys up, I get them to the airport, order limo's, take all the photographs and am the general dogsbody.

It started out as "Horsfields Eleven" — named after the Rat Pack film "Ocean's Eleven" — but quickly dwindled to just the five boys and myself, mainly because they couldn't find anyone else to go away with them; and those that foolishly did, never went again! Although, to be fair, they simply could not afford it. The cost of a divorce or the treatment for their newly gained alcohol problem made for certain bankrupcy.... So if they ever ask you to join them on a trip, I would suggest you strongly consider your marriage and the state of your health before accepting!!!

Now the only reason I go on these venture's is because I get to go cheap, and although I am expected to stay sober I am not expected to miss buying my round. I have to take all the photographs and pay for the films and the developing and enlarging. The boys assure me I am getting a good deal (I must look into this!) and I really should be more grateful... Thank's boys... I think???

By the mid eighties the guys had been all over the UK and pretty much most of Europe. With every trip becoming more and more shambolic (Usually causing the end of someone's marriage or the start of someone's love affair with the bottle) something had to be done. So it was decided that all future trips would have a theme — "The Rat Pack". The guys would now visit every place associated with these fine bunch of gentlemen and emulate their heros... My idea to copy the "Partridge family" was swiftly dismissed!

So it was decided that Gary would become the chairman... "Everything always has to be My Way". Jack was the automatic choice for Dino, due his laid back charm and fondness for booze. In fact, he is so laid back he is virtually horizontal, although I think that's really down to the booze... John, being the only one out the bunch with anything like rhythm, would become Sammy Davis. He also claims to have once won a dance competition. (Going by his age, he must have been doing the Charleston.) Now Paul, being an an ex boy soprano and amatuer actor, saw himself has Peter Lawford. (For years I thought he was supposed to be Peter Lorre.) Well he has the voice for it. And, finally, Neil would become the youngest member of the pack as comedian, Joey Bishop. Neil is also the youngest member of the group and likes to tell the odd joke (And believe me, they are odd! Check out his profile page if you don't believe me.) That just leaves me... So I became the official photographer and archivist — and anything else the guys want me to be.

So far my travels with the pack has taken me to:

NEW YORK — Where I got to visit "Toots Shors", the bar where Frank and the guys drank, also mentioned in the song "Me and my Shadow" as performed by Frank and Sammy. We also visited the Cotton Club in Harlem, the place where Sammy once appeared on stage — as did the boys. They may not have any talent but they sure got balls...

LAS VEGAS — Where I stayed in the hotels frequented by the Rat Pack, namely Caesar's Palace and The Sands; although I am not sure that Frank, Dean and Sammy ever went skydiving!! But myself and the boys did in true Rat Pack style (i.e. drunk!). Not me, I hasten to add. I was taking the photographs.

CHICAGO — The boys kinda town. "The jumping pump room Chicago is" sang Frankie. He also sang about "Jilly's" and "State Street, that great Street". All great places to visit at least more than once.

CUBA — Where you can step back in time as you visit the Hotel Nacional in Havana. The hotel where old blue eyes allegedly delivered a suitcase full of money to the mob.

LOS ANGELES — "LA is my lady" the gentleman sang; and in January 2002 LA played host to the boys as part of the Route 66 trip (Check out the route 66 page). Starting in LA and finishing in Chicago it was one hell of a trip!

Finally, I would like just to say that it has been a pleasure going away with the boys. Well I would like to... But guys... Just for once — give me a break!

Signed,

The unofficial one.

P.S. If you want to know more about our heros and mentors, The Rat Pack, I suggest you look here.