R.I.P. Alan Rickman

I don’t know if you were a fan of his but for me Alan Rickman was one of the great actors who made overindulgence of a film part almost an art form. His portrayal of the villain Hans Gruber in the first Die Hard made the film, as did his Sheriff of Nottingham in Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood stealing most of the scenes he was in. And yet these parts were just the tip of an iceberg throughout his career and although I couldn’t tell you much about his other work his stage appearances alone were remarkable.

I’m sad he has passed along with David Bowie who was a huge influence in the music world with the likes of ‘Major Tom’ and more importantly his Ziggy Stardust creation.

Then there was Lemmy And Glen Frey, two more great talents lost  to the world, that would have been so much less without them in it at all.                 But at least they all left us an immense legacy along some great memories.

Even though I am repeating myself but wouldn’t life be crap without music and films and theatre.?

Since my last entry on this subject, more sad news of the deaths of Viola Beach band members and their manager while on their first tour abroad. They were just on the verge of a breakthrough with their music and my thoughts and sympathies go out to their families and friends. Having been a touring musician myself back in the 60-70’s, it’s a hard slog sometimes and the risk of a traffic accident was never far away, so the news of what happened to them is particulary poignant.

Heard recently of the passing of Merseyside comedian, Actor and all round nice guy, Joe Flannery, better known as Mickey Finn, after a long illness. I had the privilege and pleasure of working with Mickey in the Furlong & Power play, The Ale House during a successful run at Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre a few years ago. A true professional who never lost his sense of fun and enthusiasm, he will be sadly missed by his family and friends and I would like to extend my sympathies to those who were closest to him.

The news broke yesterday (8/3/16) of Sir George Martin’s passing, a leading light in the world of recording and arranging who was the mastermind behind virtually all of The Beatles great recordings and if fact the only producer that had the foresight and intuition to sign the band to E.M.I. when everyone else didn’t want to know. Although my band 4JM recorded at Abbey Road, I never met the man but his reputation was already legendary with a lot of Merseybeat artistes and our A&R man Ron Richards shared the same studio that produced so many iconic recordings that he produced.

VIDEO Extract: Live in Paris 1970

The opening Track only from our concert in Paris for French TV – less to download if you are having difficulty with the full concert download elsewhere on this site.