Her Name Was Rita.....

Writer: Brian King

Date: 17 Nov 2011


During the 70s, long before MTV, the internet and Q magazine the only way that Gilbert fans could keep informed about his music, his tour dates and his TV appearances was by joining the Offical Gilbert O'Sullivan Fan Club. The fan club started in August 1973 and the yearly membership fee was 25 pence. For that you got your membership card and a 6-weekly newsletter which apart from containing news of Gilbert also had competitions, pen pal contact details, questions and answers and the opportunity to buy photographs and posters of Gilbert and even the 'G' jewellery that Gilbert wore.  The photographs were 15 pence each, the posters were 25 pence and the jewellery was 2.  In March of the following year the the official fan club badge was made available for 20 pence.  I still have mine along with each and every letter I received plus the Christmas cards which contained a personal message from Gilbert

The Secretary of the fan Club and the lady responsible for the gathering and distribution of all the information was Rita Lee.  I can still remember the excitement of arriving home and finding a letter waiting for me and the pleasure I got from reading and re-reading the letter. Last Sunday in the Victoria Hall in Stoke-on-Trent it was my absolute pleasure to finally meet Rita Lee and thank her for all the hard work she put in and all the pleasure she brought to thousands of Gilbert fans through the years.

During the subsequent show Gilbert spoke about Rita and jokingly explained how she had protected him from all the screaming girls.  After asking Rita to stand up and take a bow, he dedicated his next song to her which was Ooh Wakka Doo Wakka Day which includes the line "Her name was Rita......"