We arrived at the Bar Monaco in Shaftsbury Avenue. This is where Ian and I took the pictures which have now been uploaded to the Hill's Angels group on Yahoo! As Sue and I sat next to each other for a picture or two, I thought that she'd simply sit down next to me, but I was very pleasantly surprised when she snuggled up close to me, put her arm around me, and even leaned her head slightly on my shoulder! There are a few moments in my life that I wish could have lasted forever: that's very definitely one of them. As I said to Ian, who had borrowed my camera to take the pictures and was taking a moment to adjust the zoom, "Take all the time you want...I'm in no hurry, I'm not going anywhere!"
At the bar, we also chatted a bit about a few of the other Angels. A member of the Hill's Angels discussion group had asked me to ask Sue about Erica Lynley, his favorite Angel; Sue thinks that Erica's now married, and teaches keep-fit lessons (that is, exercise classes) to older children and teens. Zoe Bryant has gone into teaching, and Lorraine Doyle now owns a jewelry shop and teaches keep-fit on the side. I can think of no better way to make exercise less boring, than to do it with a Hill's Angel!
Sue keeps in touch with Louise, but none of the others. At the moment, Louise is appearing on stage in Birmingham, in Me and My Girl. As far as Sue knows, Louise and Jane Leeves (who were, coincidentally, her best friends on the show) are the only two Angels still actively performing. 2
By this time, it was a little past one in the afternoon. Our reservations for Café Fish were for one o'clock, so we left the bar and went around the corner to the restaurant. Ian ordered swordfish, Sue ordered fried cod and chips, and on Ian's recommendation, I did the same. All three of us split a large bowl of salad and a bottle of white wine.
While we waited for our food to arrive, I explained, briefly, how it was that I came to be sitting across from her: that she'd always been my favorite Angel, but two years ago, in response to Benny's show being rerun on British TV, I posted a message on the Internet appealing for someone to tape it for me. At the end of the message, I added the postscript, "Does anyone know what happened to Sue Upton?" Ian responded, and the rest was history.
It's amazing how youthful Sue still looks. I remarked that both she and Louise could still lead the Angels, even today. In response, she grimaced in mock pain, put her hand on her back as if she'd pulled a muscle, and said, "We'd have to see the chiropractor afterward!" at which Ian and I both laughed.
I told Sue, at this point, about the Hills Angels discussion group on the Internet, which at that time had just over 500 members. Sue seemed very surprised, but also very flattered, to hear that there were so many people still interested in the Angels. I also gave her printouts of the two nicest messages I'd been asked to give to her, from fellow fans Bill Dohanich and Tony Frederick. Sue seemed genuinely flattered and touched to read them, and kept the printouts of their messages.
I took the opportunity to present Sue with the little thank-you gift I'd bought for her: a box of chocolates from Prestat's, suppliers to Her Majesty, the Queen. "Chocolates?" Sue asked. "Do you think I need fattening up?" (Of course not - I think Sue's perfect just as she is!) I explained that I was looking for a small thank-you gift for her, something easy to carry around, that everyone likes, so chocolates seemed to be a good choice. While I was out walking around Piccadilly, I encountered Prestat's chocolate shop, and spotted the royal warrant. Of course, I thought that only something good enough for the Queen would also be good enough for an Angel, and so I went in. And naturally, I bought a piece or two for myself...just to make sure it was indeed worthy of being given to Sue...which it was, indeed. "I'll eat every piece with pleasure!" she said, with her big, beautiful smile.
2 Jenny Lee-Wright is also still in show-business - but on the production side, having become a foley artist (a type of sound-effects technician). According to her entry in the Internet Movie Database, one of her recent credits was Shakespeare in Love.