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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RIP – CATFISH COLLINS


photo by dizzy atmosphere

EXPIRED: 08/06/10 – Phelps “Catfish” Collins, 66, was the older brother of Bootsy Collins, who frequently stole the spotlight. But there was hardly a better funk guitarist than Catfish.

Known mostly for his work in P-Funk, Collins laid down memorable riffs on many influential records by Parliament, Funkadelic, and records by his brother’s troupe, Bootsy’s Rubber Band.

In 1968, the Bootsy and Catfish, Collins brothers, formed a group called The Pacemakers, along with Kash Waddy and Philippe Wynne. The band was hired by James Brown to back him up when the singer lost his regular band during salary disputes. Collins was with Brown during the recordings of “Super Bad,” “Get Up,” “Soul Power” and “Give It Up.” By 1971, the brothers quit to join joined Funkadelic, touring with the band and working on the album “America Eats Its Young.”

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RIP – CHARLIE GILLETT


EXPIRED: 03/17/10 – Charlie Gillett, 68, was a Brit who got his degree in economics, got married and then took off for Columbia University in NYC to get a Master’s degree, writing a thesis on the history of rock and roll.

Not too odd really – except that rock and roll hadn’t had much of a history back then – it was only 1965!

Back in London he taught school for a while, and then turned his thesis into a book, The Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock and Roll, which got great reviews from Time magazine and The New York Times. It was touted as “the first serious and comprehensive history of rock & roll.”

From then on, Gillett was known as a musicologist.

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RIP – ALEX CHILTON


EXPIRED: 03/17/10 – Alex Chilton, 59, was making preparations to play the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas when he had a heart attack and died in his home of New Orleans.

Maybe you don’t know his name. You might not even know his recent music. He sort of became a cult status performer over the last few decades. But you’ll certainly know his voice from the hits he had in the 60’s with pop-soul act the Box Tops, and you’re definitely aware of the hundreds of acts who cite Chilton as a major influence.

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RIP – DAVID LEVINE


EXPIRED: 12/29/09 – David Levine, 83, could critique you with a few, quick lines on a sketch pad better than any author could over many paragraphs.  Jules Feiffer said it best when he called him “the greatest caricaturist of the last half of the 20th Century”.

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