5/12/14 – Ian McLagan – 12th May 1945 – 3rd December 2014/Bobby Keys – 18th December 1943 – 2nd December 2014/Raphael Ravenscroft 4th June 1954 – 19th October 2014/Manitas de Plata (Ricardo Baliardo) – 7th August 1921 – 5th November – 2014/Acker Bilk 28th January 1929 – 2nd November 2014/Clive Palmer 14th May 1943 – 23rd November 2014/Nick Talbot – 1977- 2014

Life & Death

Ian Mclagan B:W Peace Sign picThe departure lounge has been rather full in recent weeks, it’s hard to keep up and losing all these musicians after following them your whole life (although inevitable) it’s rather depressing to have them leave us. The loss today of Small Faces/Faces keyboardist, Ian McLagan is just too sad for words and the Small Faces clips below showcase his immense talents – he had the same Hammond organ since 1969 (called Betsy). He tragically lost his wife Kim in a car accident in Texas where they lived in 2006. Kim was Keith Moon’s ex-wife but was together with McLagan for 28 years till her death. This from Wikipedia, “McLagan also played with The Stones, Chuck Berry, Jackson Browne, Joe Cocker, Bob Dylan, Melissa Etheridge, Bonnie Raitt, Paul Westerberg, Izzy Stradlin, Frank Black, Nikki Sudden, John Mayer, Bruce Springsteen, Tony Scalzo, Carla Olson and Mick Taylor. McLagan was a member of Billy Bragg’s band “The Blokes” for several years in the late 1990s and early 2000s, co-writing and performing on the 2002 England, Half English album and tour”. McLagan was famously the nicest guy you could ever meet.

It’s not just the ones you really liked or met or knew from seeing them on TV when you were growing up but those who just infiltrated your very being simply because you were alive. Jimmy Ruffin and John Holt passed away and I found myself writing about their legacy but we have also lost two sax players, firstly Bobby Keys long time Stones sideman. I saw him perform here in Stockholm in June with The Stones on their 14 On Fire Tour – he retired from the tour due to ill health. Keys’ played the sax solo on Brown Sugar (first release on The Stones own label) and Can’t You Hear Me Knocking from Sticky Fingers and worked with the Stones for forty years.

Raphael Ravenscroft was the man that played the famous sax solo on Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street, you couldn’t put the radio on in England for years without hearing that song. When I was in Penzance, Ravenscroft ran the beach front Jubilee Pool cafe. Whilst on the subject of instruments you have to blow into – Acker Bilk and his famous song Stranger On The Shore is forever ingrained in my memories when I was growing up. It was on the TV and on the radio all the time and is a beautiful moody piece, exquisitely played. Another musician you could see around Cornwall was Clive Palmer, an original member of The Incredible String Band, leaving them after the first album. He sadly passed away in November.

Also the great virtuoso, Gypsy Flamenco guitarist of The Camargue in the South of France, Manitas de Plata (real name Ricardo Baliardo) has died at the age of 93. He was inspiration to the the hip set of the fifties and sixties counting Cocteau, Picasso, Bardot, Dalí as fans. Check out the bizarre clip with Dalí below at the United Nations in the mid sixties. Legendary Flamenco singer José Reyes performs with him. Reyes and Baliardo were cousins – their sons formed Gipsy Kings.

Perhaps most shocking of all is the news that Nick Talbot aka Gravenhurst has passed away at the age of 37. There is little information about what happened at this time. Talbot was from Bristol and if you are not familiar with this band you will wonder how you missed them.

It is simply impossible to write about all these great artists all at once, so this is a tribute to all of them. I hope it serves as a sincere piece dedicated to them all. May they all Rest In Peace and condolences to their families. We miss you and thank you for all your wonderful music – you live on forever.



Bobby Keys B:W








Acker Bilk B:W


Clive Palmer




Nick Talbot


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5 Responses to “5/12/14 – Ian McLagan – 12th May 1945 – 3rd December 2014/Bobby Keys – 18th December 1943 – 2nd December 2014/Raphael Ravenscroft 4th June 1954 – 19th October 2014/Manitas de Plata (Ricardo Baliardo) – 7th August 1921 – 5th November – 2014/Acker Bilk 28th January 1929 – 2nd November 2014/Clive Palmer 14th May 1943 – 23rd November 2014/Nick Talbot – 1977- 2014”

  1. Woody December 5, 2014 at 12:40 am #

    I was born in 1961. As you describe Marty this is hitting you as you grow older. Both privatly and when it comes to people you have admired. When it comes to this sad list I must mention Ian McLagan. What a great man ! Tin soldiers is just one example of many that proves him. Baker street is one fantastic song and the saxophone knocks you down whenever you hear it. Rest in piece all of you.

  2. simone December 5, 2014 at 6:14 am #

    Beautifully said Marty. Too many gone at once.
    I love how Ian called his organ Betsy. He always said she was his road dog and she was a lovely shade of purple too. His contribution to one of my favourite Billy Bragg albums is outstanding and his work with Small Faces will never be forgotten.
    The Rolling Stones were here in Australia in October and sadly without Keys due to the illness that has taken him. Keith Richards has written some lovely words about him.
    I grew up listening to Gerry Rafferty’s album. Every time I heard Baker Street I’d get goosebumps as a child. It was one of my uncles favourite records and Ravenscroft’s playing is the reason for his love of the sax, while Acker Bilk was for me one of the many influences in taking up woodwind instruments as a child as I seemed to hear his work everywhere I went.
    Manitas de Plata has been a great loss in France. Images of this giant of the gypsys with Bardot is ingrained in my memory. Those Silver Hands now forever at peace.
    Palmer another great loss of course and as for Talbot …my god 37 is just far too young to die.

  3. Boydie December 30, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    Still mourning Nick Talbot Marty – thanks for mentioning him. Possibly his last interview here:


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