Let us tell you about our friend Dale Bellis

Dale was a passionate Genesis and Liverpool Football Club supporter who sadly passed away on the 2nd May 2017 after months bravely battling a brain tumor. He leaves behind a family which includes his wife Gill. Our thoughts are with her at this sad time.

From Face Value…

John W first met Dale at a Face Value gig not long after the 2001 Genesis fan convention. His first words to John W were, “you were sh1t at Guildford, so you better be worth it now!” and then he gave John that grin. That infectious Dale grin that made you instantly know he was taking the pi$$. He became a regular at FV shows, always singing his heart out and always encouraging the band to new heights with his enthusiastic shouts of “Stagnation” or “In The Bloody Cage” – two songs he knew we didn’t play. But that was Dale for you. Always joking, always trying to bring out the best in folk.

He soon became a friend and was a supporter of not only Mama, but also ReGenesis, G2 and Stillmarillion. He had a zero tolerance of the petty stuff that went on sometimes but always concentrated on the music first and foremost. As he used to say, “None of you own this music so don’t get all defensive about it!” When Face Value played their last show at The Box in Crewe, John W and John C played an impromptu version of Fading Lights for him as he had just lost his mother at that time. We remember him bursting into the dressing room after that final show and hugging us all.

…To Mama

When Mama started he was delighted that John W wasn’t ready to hang up his microphone and John C his keyboards and of course became a regular at Mama shows. We knew when we had done well when he told us (frequently I may add), “That was the best performance of any tribute band I have ever seen… At this venue… Tonight!”

He was present at the Mama Christmas party in 2015 and had us all in stitches with his “2015 Mama Band Awards.” Yes he printed out actual awards in envelopes just like the Oscars. Categories ranged from,”best vocal by a tribute band singer in St Helens on Friday 2nd October 2015,” to, “smelliest fart in the band van,” and “best late night take away after the show.” As I wrote, we laughed a LOT that night. He even coined that phrase, “Cooperman,” for our drummer James and that stuck.

He was more than just a guy that came to shows and said we were amazing. He became a great friend to the whole band and we will miss him more than we can say.

When he was diagnosed with his tumor we were all shocked. Dale naturally attacked it with humor, even giving it a name – Brian Chewmore. The first show he came to after this was at Shaw and of course was his usual positive, taking the pi$$ self, except when I had to sing Afterglow and we both broke down. We also learned Your Own Special Way just for him and he loved it.

We were honored to be asked to play at his wedding to Gill and we even got him up to sing Follow You Follow Me. I think he was terrified but he got through it, with a bit of prompting. He will be missed by everyone who knew him and we are certain that from now on at every show Mama play, he will be watching over us from the best seat in the house, telling us, “that was the best performance of any tribute band I have ever seen, at this venue, tonight!”

Sleep well matey.

Did you know Dale? Feel free to post your tribute below.

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