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R.I.P.

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Hi Mike

Can I echo Paul’s sentiments.

Likewise I don’t know much about venues in teh North East.

However it sounds like Ralph died whilst keeping music alive.

Cheers to him for that.

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I’ll pass on the Forum’s condolences tomorrow night; I’m sure Kath will be appreciative.

Mike

     

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Influential guitarist Bert Weedon, best known for creating the popular tutorial manual Play In A Day, has died aged 91. Even though he didn’t have a classic guitar named after him, in terms of his impact in the UK, he should be up there with the likes of Les Paul. Born in east London, in May 1920, he had been ill for some time and died at his home in Beaconsfield.

Bert Weedon is credited with helping some of the best-known guitar stars learn the instrument Speaking to BBC News, radio presenter Mike Read said: “He was the guy who showed you how to play a guitar. Everybody bought his Play In A Day book, it was a big deal. He became the daddy of British guitarists and he inspired generations of schoolboys to play. His book enabled them to do just that, which was fantastic.”Hank Marvin, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney and Brian May are just a few of the many stars who learned to play guitar from his books.Singer and guitarist Joe Brown described Weedon as “a lovely man and a great inspiration to many British guitar players, including myself, in the early days”.  He was awarded an OBE in the 2001 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to music

Aged 12, Weedon picked up his first guitar after convincing his father to buy him a second-hand one from a London market. As a child, he studied classical guitar - a grounding which later enabled him to play any genre of guitar music at sight. He began his career in showbusiness working with Ted Heath, Mantovani and The Squadronnaires, before becoming a featured soloist with the BBC Show Band.

As a solo guitarist, he had many hits, including Guitar Boogie Shuffle, Apache and Nashville Boogie. In 1976 he became the first solo guitar player to top the Official Top 40 album charts with 22 Golden Guitar Greats. He was later in great demand with stars such as Sir Cliff Richard and Tommy Steele. Weedon also accompanied artists such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Nat King Cole and Judy Garland.

Bond composer David Arnold paid tribute to Weedon on the micro-blogging site Twitter saying his passing was “sad news”. He added: “Learned my first chords from Play in a Day.”

Stars have previously paid tribute to the musician, thanking him for helping them to learn the guitar. “Thank you for all those tips on guitar playing that I got from your book, when I was young,” Clapton said. Queen guitarist Brian May called him a “legend” and thanked him for “spreading the guitar and your enthusiasm to all of us”.Sir Paul revealed that both he and George Harrison used Weedon’s manuals to learn the chords D and A, and John Lennon admitted he began playing the guitar using Play in a Day. The Cure, meanwhile, wrote a short instrumental called The Weedy Burtons, which featured as a hidden track on their debut album Three Imaginary Boys in 1979. “I’d taught myself to play a bit by reading Bert Weedon’s Play In A Day books using my older brother’s guitar,” said Robert Smith. “It’s a sort of tongue in cheek tribute to Bert.”

In later years, he may have been classed as background music or a stalwart on the cruise ships, but he was there in the 50s and early 60s, when it mattered and made an indelible impact on the playing of the elecric guitar in the UK Pop and Rock scenes. A gentleman, a virtuoso, a pioneer and a legend in every sense.
R.I.P.

Mike

     

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Heard the sad news that Jon Lord of Deep Purple has died.

He was truly one of the greats, I last saw Purple about 3 years ago at Wembley and they were still good value.

Sadly that will probably be the end, a master keyboard player who will be greatly missed.

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Just fired up the interweb and this was the first news I saw - crushed my day. I saw Jon with Whitesnake several times through the early part of the 80s and a couple of times back with Deep Purple and his contribution to the sound of those bands, indeed to rock music in general was immense.

Jon’s skill staddled many genre - Deep Purple could easily have become a prog band in the mould of ELP, depending how the sales of Concerto for Group & Orchestra and In Rock performed. In Rock won, and the rest was history but John kept on with his classical composing which became his major concern and precipitated his “retiring” from Deep Purple in 2002 and handing the keyboard reins on to Don Airey.

Jon’s workload continued to be immense and diverse, injuring a hand while on a classical tour in Autralia meant he could’nt do the piano recitals as scheduled but he ended up jamming on the Hammond with an Australian “Blues” group, Hoochie Coochie Men. In another twist, he collaberated on a number with Sam Brown that was performed vocally by Frida of ABBA fame.

Over the last year, Jon had been fighting pancreatic cancer, but still working, latterly with Je Bonamassa amongst others, but sadly, last night, as reported by the family “Jon passes from Darkness to Light.”

We’ve lost a great musician, composer, raconteur and human being. You’ll be greatly missed - RIP

Mike

     

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I heard about it late last night. Sad loss to music. Thoughts with his family and friends.

     
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Singer and cancer fundraiser Maggie Ross loses fight for life
Sad news that North-East blues singer Maggie Ross lost her fight with cancer at the week-end. The 63-year-old Charlie Bear Appeal singer performed her last concert just over a week ago, a charity gig in support of the Charlie Bear Appeal, something close to her heart for many years.
Maggie recorded a single, Come On In, which was written by local composer Mike Bersin, for the Charlie Bear Appeal in 1981 and its sale helped raise money for a state-of-the-art scanner.
In June, the 63-year-old was diagnosed with terminal lung and brain cancer and was treated in the unit she fundraised for at the Freeman Hospital. Ms Ross, of Washington, passed away at Sunderland Royal Hospital on Sunday. She performed her last concert just over a week ago and recently raised £4,000 during a charity night. The singer received palliative radiotherapy treatment at the Newcastle unit.
“When I found out I had terminal cancer, I wanted to host a party for all my friends and family, just to have a good time and reminisce.”
What a great attitude and a great lady – sadly missed.

     

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Heard yeasterday that Alvin Lee of Ten Years After fame passed earlier this week; complications arising from routine surgery given as the cause of death.

The guy had pin-up good looks and explosive guitar talent as showcased at Woodstock on the epic 11 minute take on Going Home.

Even though Ten Years After folded in the mid 70s, Alvin’s solo work continued, his most recent album came only last August. He was also due to appear on stage with another legend, Johnny Winter in Paris next month.

     

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Nasty one, out of the blue.

Help Me, Woodchopper’s Ball ...... & my long lost youth!

     
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My wife was telling everyone Alvin Stardust had died!

     
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tilerman - 13 March 2013 09:16 AM

My wife was telling everyone Alvin Stardust had died!

Nope; that particular wrinkly rocker (now 70) is still going strong on the 70s glam rock revival (Butlins) circuits. Think there’s a Whitby date if you want to get in touch with you inner “Coo-ca-choo”

     

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Didn’t he have a big ring….On his finger ..on his finger

     
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tilerman - 13 March 2013 10:22 AM

Didn’t he have a big ring….On his finger ..on his finger

Yep! - and for a time, Lisa Goddard’s hand. (2nd wife)

     

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The number of times I heard “You’ve got to see Big George!”

I never did and now it’s too late.

http://www.biggeorgeandthebusiness.com

     
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Not a good week on the Rock side of things. News broke a couple of days ago that we lost Ray Manzarek, keyboard legend, raconteur, renaissance man and founder member of The Doors; he succumbed to cancer at the age of 74.

Then, just learned that cancer has also just taken Trevor Bolder at the age of 62, one of the original Spiders From Mars, and the stoic bassist for many years since with Uriah Heep with a short spell in Wishbone Ash in between. he was also a record producer, and, little known fact, an expert on Whippets. Trevor stepped down from Uriah Heep’s most recent tour due to ill health.

     

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