US visitors fall in love with Ipswich

KIRK Best's love affair with the music of Dutch rock band Golden Earring has lasted 35 years.

Colin Adwent

KIRK Best's love affair with the music of Dutch rock band Golden Earring has lasted 35 years.

Now, the 55-year-old American has had to make room in his heart for another.

Before Mr Best, who lives in Webster City, Iowa, flew to England to see his idols perform at Ipswich's Regent theatre on Friday night, Suffolk's county town was just a dot on the map.

However, beguiled by its charm and the warmth of its welcome, Ipswich will always hold special memories for Mr Best and his 26-year-old son Chad.

Mr Best said: “I've been a fan of Golden Earring for 35 years and I've always wanted to visit England, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to do both.

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“Ipswich is just a fabulous place and we admired the cobble-stoned streets. Everyone we met was extremely friendly and really made it extra special for us.

“We went to the market and saw all the breads and unique items. We don't have anything like that where we live.”

Mr Best said he was also enchanted by the town's architecture.

He added: “It was neat to see - one church was from the 15th Century. It's so nice around here. It's just like living in a dream world.”

Mr Best's two-day stay got even better when he went to see his heroes at the Regent.

Promoter John Hessenthaler had arranged for him and his son to go backstage after the concert to meet the band.

“I like small venues like the Regent,” added. “It's more of an intimate setting. Everyone was exceptionally friendly and patient with us. They had to wait longer because we were there.”

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