Well-known as the “sixth Kink” and “fifth Monkee” Marion Rainford led a glamorous life of star-studded showbiz parties, she tells reporter Leanne Fender.

These days the 71-year-old former popstars’ press and publicity officer from Cheam lives a somewhat quieter life. But Miss Rainford has by no means forgotten her colourful past.

This week – for the first time in 34-years – Miss Rainford talked about working with a long list of bands and artists like the Kinks, the Beatles, the Monkees, Deep Purple, the Bee Gees, Stevie Wonder, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Eric Clapton and Henry Mancini.

In an exclusive interview with the Sutton Guardian Miss Rainford revealed how she was once kissed by Bee Gee Barry Gibb, how Ray Davies from the Kinks hated doing interviews and how David Bowie was difficult to work with.

Miss Rainford’s career started in 1963 when Harold Macmillan was Prime Minister, Oliver! opened at the theatre and the Beatles were the biggest band around.

She said: “I worked for the Kinks for five-years – they were my favourites.

“They called me auntie Marion because I pretty much helped with anything and everything.

“Ray Davies rang me one morning and said the band was going to make a promotional film in his back garden and needed flying helmets, fleece flying jackets and angel wings. I had an hour to find their costumes so I just had to get up and find them.

“Ray was a temperamental young man but we always got on very well. He hated doing interviews.

“I used to get calls from him saying ‘I don’t feel like it today, I’ve been up all night working on songs’. I just said ‘OK Ray’ and cancelled his interviews for him.

“He still keeps in touch – he called me a few months ago to see how I was. It is always nice chatting with him.”

Miss Rainford said she became so well-known for being with bands people often called her the “sixth Kink” and “fifth Monkee”, fans used to ask for her autograph and she often appeared in newspaper and magazine articles about the bands – many of which she still has today.

She said: “I did quite a lot of work with the Monkees. Davy Jones was lovely – I was 3ft taller than him but it didn’t matter.

“I first met him at the airport when he got off a flight at 4.30am – he must have been so tired but he was still lovely.”

However, not everyone in the music industry was friendly. Miss Rainford confessed: “I met most of the biggest stars of the day. I wasn’t impressed with David Bowie – I met him because I was going to work with him, but I didn’t know what to do for him. He was hard to work with.”

But despite working and partying with the stars Miss Rainford said she never got romantically involved with any famous faces.

She said: “Barry Gibb from the Bee Gees once kissed me in the middle of the street but that was it. I was pleased, I thought he was a very good looking boy back then.

“A guy from the Daily Mirror once said to me, ‘I’ve looked all over Fleet Street to find some dirt on you but I can’t find any – how can you be as green as grass when you work with all the big guys?’.

“I just did my job and went home to my mum and dad.”

Miss Rainford said being a press and publicity officer was 24/7 job and when she left her parents’ home in the morning she never knew what time she would return in the evening.

She said: “There were always lots of parties to go to –the whole business was hard work but fun.

"The best party I ever went to was the afterparty for the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour film. I wore a short silver evening dress and decorated it like a Christmas tree.”

In 1975 – after 12-years of working with popstars – Miss Rainford decided to leave the music industry to teach ballroom dancing in Sutton.

She said: “I got out of the business in 1975 because I was approaching 40 and I didn’t like the punk music that was becoming popular.

“It has been 34-years since I left the business and I have never spoken to anyone about it. Not even my neighbours know what I did.”

Miss Rainford said she kept a diary of what happened every day and a couple of years ago considered writing a book about her experiences.

She decided against it because she thought it would be too much work.

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