66-year-old singer and guitarist Herbie Armstrong toured with Van Morrison!

Herbie Armstrong

It seems as though guitarist not only likes performing Van Morrison songs but also toured with the man himself! The 66-year-old, who impressed with a cover of Have I Told You Lately on last night's show, told News Of The World about his attempts to try and break into the music industry.


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"They were fantastic times. It was great rock 'n' roll and great laughs," Herbie told the newspaper about his time growing up in Belfast. "Me and Van Morrison would hang out in the same shops and he was always singing. He talked me into joining a show band in the early 1960s as he played saxophone.

"Then I heard a dance hall band was looking for a singer and I suggested him. He wanted to be a singer and had a streak of genius in him. He was an amazing talent and we are still very close friends. Van always said I encouraged him."

The pair later toured across the states and Europe together, however Herbie failed to step out of the shadows and into the limelight. None the less, the old rocker loved this time on the road. "Of course there was lots of drinking and women," he explained. "It was virgin land for us - it was new, something we dreamed of when we were teenagers."

"It also gave me the chance to rub shoulders with some of the world's biggest stars. I met George Best and Alex Higgins who were at the height of their fame.

"I played poker with Eric Clapton after a gig - Van sat out as he wasn't much of a gambler. After one concert, I had a chat about music with Robert De Niro - he was a great bloke."

You can read the full story and more BGT gossip on News Of The World Online here

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