Dragon Life and Times
The Green Dragon, Flaunden, Hertfordshire, HP3 0PP. Tel: 01442 832269.  Website creation: Mike Barnes.  Text & original photography: David Sowter. 
Nashville  comes  to  Flaunden
Today, finding a quiet lunchtime at the Dragon, or quiet corner at the bar, is
sheer bliss to Arthur.  It means a welcome chance to savour and absorb –
hopefully, uninterrupted! – the news of the day along with a pint or two of his
beloved Abbot Ale.
Not that he’s unfriendly.  Quite the contrary, in fact.  Effortlessly urbane, and an
engaging conversationalist when he chooses to be or circumstance demands,
it is just that he often actually prefers his own company.
But that is the cultural beauty of a traditional English pub like the Green
Dragon.  Regulars or visitors alike can readily choose the company to keep
whilst sinking a relaxing pint – even when, like Arthur, that preference can
occasionally be for their own.
What a complete contrast to the pulse and style of Arthur’s lifestyle 40 years
ago.  For back in the 1960s, a quiet pint of premium bitter over the morning
newspaper in a village pub would have been light years away from his
immediate agenda.
Back then, Arthur Sharp was co-lead singer of the hugely successful and
internationally famous rock group the Nashville Teens.  And life was one long, 
nonstop, exhilarating, testosterone-fuelled succession of gigs, recording sessions, travel schedules, parties,
interviews, and more parties.
The Nashville Teens rock group pictured in the mid-19602 Arthur Sharp pictured at the Green Dragon in 2009
Arthur Sharp pictured at the Green
Dragon in 2009.
Like the Beatles, the Searchers and other leading groups, Nashville Teens cut their professional
teeth in the clubs and bars of Hamburg and other German cities in the early 1960s.
Their big breakthrough came in 1964 with Tobacco Road – which rocketed to 6th place in the
British pop charts and 14th in the USA.  Google Eye, another UK top-10 entry, followed, and the
sextet had further hits with This Little Bird and Find My Way Back Home.
After the group disbanded in 1973, Arthur changed direction but stayed within show business. 
Until retiring, he worked for many years with colourful and controversial rock mogul Don Arden –
late father of Sharon Osborne, and father-in-law of Ozzy! – who steered the careers of artists
from Gene Vincent, to the Small Faces, ELO, and Black Sabbath.
Having travelled the world and lived on both sides of the Atlantic, Arthur is adamant that for him
these islands are the place to be.  Why?  Glancing around the bar, he says simply yet
emphatically:  “Pubs like the Dragon.  They’re unique.  I recently e-mailed a photo of this bar to
ex-pat friends of mine in the States with the words ‘Look what you’re missing, eat your hearts
out’.  Americans have tried so hard to re-create English-style pubs in the US, but they just can’t
hack it..”