Today we remember a couple of people who deserve to be remembered first up is the one and only Wayne from Auf Weidersein Pet but we know him from being the lead vocalist from Heavy Metal Kids who brought us the classics ‘Shes No Angel’ and ‘Delirious’. Gary left us on this day in 1985 after an overdose of Morphine and Alcohol.
Gary was an accomplished actor plying his trade at the old vic as well as working with the Royal Shakespeare Company and he got minor roles in Quadrophenia and Breaking Glass but it was as Wayne and performing with the Heavy Metal Kids and his recordings with Casino Steel from the Boys that really brought Gary to prominence. In a strange twist of fate he was considered for the role of Nasty Nick in Eastenders a role that went to John Altman who later went on to front The Heavy Metal Kids after Gary.
Holton also turned down the chance to front AC/DC after the passing of Bon Scott but turned it down. Instead, he went on to front Holton / Steel who managed three albums together. Holton left behind a string of failed relationships but he did have a son in the mid-80s.
He lived his short life to the full and experienced all the Rock and Roll cliches of the time wine, women and drugs. Holton managed to quit Heroin and come out the other side making some memorable records and his music has been covered by some of our favourite artists His ashes are laid to rest in the small Welsh town of Welshpool.
It’s easy to see why people like Angus and Malcolm were attracted to him to replace Bon because Gary oozed Rock and Roll and had the looks to match his distinctive vocal style. He was a very underrated frontman and his singing was maybe overshadowed by his acting but we won’t forget Gary Holton. Rest In Peace sir.
Another who deserves to be mentioned today is none other than broadcaster John Peel OBE. His story is well known and his record collection was as big as the national library. His knowledge of alternative and underground music was vast and he was also the go-to guy for championing new bands coming through many of whom became his friends and went on to big things in the industry.
Born just outside Liverpool Peel is forever linked with BBC late-night Radio and punk and notably The Undertones and ‘Teenage Kicks’ Up until his sudden death Peel was the longest-serving DJ on the BBC and was something of an institution doing things his own way and given pretty much carte blanche on his show. He was a massive fan of The Fall and in the 80s you hadn’t made it until you were on a Peel Sessions record released on Strange Fruit records. The list of bands who queued up to lay down a session for John Peel is endless.
He has a train named after him, a stage at Glastonbury, part of the BBC is now the Peel Wing. He also sat on set with The Faces and mimed the Mandolin whilst the band played ‘Maggie May’. John is very much missed on the radio. Why not blast out ‘Teenage Kicks’ in his honour. After his heart attack whilst working abroad, John was only 65 and it’s now been fifteen years since his passing. rest in peace John and yup “Teenage Dreams So Hard To Beat”. but every time we hear that one we’re reminded of you.