RIP – BRIDIE GALLAGHER


EXPIRED: 01/09/12 – Bridie Gallagher, 87,  was Ireland’s 1st international pop star.

In Belfast she shot to fame in 1956 with a recording of “A Mother’s Love’s A Blessing” and found global adulation with her rendition of “The Boys From County Armagh” and “The Homes of Donegal.”

While her career lasted over 60 years, there were some low moments. In 1976 her 21-year old son was killed in a motorcycle accident. That same year she released her last single, “Just Like Your Daddy.” Still, she kept on performing.

Known as “The Girl from Donegal,” Gallagher holds the record for the largest number of people in attendance in London’s Royal Albert Hall, a record that can never be topped now that it’s an all-seating venue.

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RIP – TOM ARDOLINO


EXPIRED: 01/06/12  – Tom Ardolino, 57, was an amateur drummer and fan of the band NRBQ, who after trading tapes with co-founder Terry Adams and establishing a rapport with the singer, found himself called up onstage at a sow when drummer Tom Staley skipped out on an encore. When Staley quit NRBQ in 1974, Ardolino took over.

He stayed in the band until it disbanded in 2004 so Adams could get treatment for throat cancer.

The freedom left Ardolino room to do some solo work and he released “Unknown Brain.” The album consisted mostly of 30 year old basement recordings made before he was in NRBQ. The cover states “WARNING: If out-of-tuneness bothers you, do not listen.”

Earlier this year Adams decided to put NRBQ back together with a new album and tour. Although Ardolino wasnt part of the line-up, he was very supportive of the reunion. He was always a fan after all, even before he was a member.

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RIP – BOB WESTON


EXPIRED: 01/03/12  – Bob Weston, 64, got his big break when drummer Mick Fleetwood called him up and asked if he was available to replace Fleetwood Mac’s alcoholic and despised lead  guitarist Danny Kirwan. Weston knew just how big the job was going to be when Kirwan phoned him shortly thereafter and sarcastically said “Good Luck. You’re gonna need it.”

With Weston at the helm, Fleetwood Mac recorded the Penguin album in January 1973, followed by  Mystery to Me released the same year. Things were going great, but then while on tour Mick Fleetwood discovered that Weston had been having an affair with Mick Fleetwood’s wife, Jenny Boyd. Weston was fired and the tour was secretly cancelled. The rest of the band all went their separate ways to get away.

The band’s manager, afraid of losing profits, hastily put together a fake Fleetwood Mac to fulfill the booked tour dates.

Guitarist and lead singer Bob Welch was so disenchanted that he too left the band – making way for  Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks to join – creating the line-up so beloved today.

Weston carried on as a solo artist and session musician in London, having played with Long John Baldry and Murray Head. In fact he was due to record with ex-Rolling Stone guitarist Mick Taylor this week. When he didn’t show up to the recording sessions, family went round to his flat and found he had died in his sleep.

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