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Remembering Alan Ramshaw (1947-2018) Print E-mail
Tuesday, 25 December 2018

44023660_1112106785612191_5996888257869119488_n.jpgAlan Ramshaw, who shared an important history with Pink Floyd, passed away this year. He was born January 16th, 1947 and passed away on August 21st.

When Ramshaw was 20 he lived in Shepherds Hill, around the corner from a dwelling in Highgate where the band Pink Floyd lived during its formative stages. The band’s landlord was Mike Leonard, who also became their lighting technician. Ramshaw also spent a lot of time around the historic UFO club, where Pink Floyd played some of its earliest gigs and knew Pink Floyd band members from the Regent Street Poly (now the University of Westminster).

With all these forces converging, Ramshaw ended up working with Leonard on the band’s lights and production. The two also worked with Peter Wynne-Willson, the band’s original lighting designer.

This is a critical detail in Pink Floyd history because it’s where the band’s stage presence was truly cultivated. As the band’s Wikipedia page states: “Pink Floyd were pioneers in the live music experience, renowned for their lavish stage shows that combine intense visual experiences with music to create a show in which the performers themselves are almost secondary. Pink Floyd's combination of music and visuals set the standard for rock musicians. As well as visuals, Pink Floyd set standards in sound quality with innovative use of sound effects and panning quadrophonic speaker systems.”

While many Pink Floyd fans tend to segregate based on their favourite of three fundamental band periods (each led by a different band member as a result of line-up changes, etc.), Ramshaw was among those that remained passionate about all the band’s epochs. His social media posts were reflective of this passion.

In 2011, Ramshaw’s battle to see his town council approve a Pink Floyd-themed Christmas display at his home drew attention from the media... and Pink Floyd fans from all over the world who signed the petition to honour Alan’s effort and creativity but also his place in Pink Floyd history.

Those that knew Ramshaw remember his work at the UFO, his stories about a two-day party in the Royal Crescent with Roxy Music, a dinner with David Bowie, his support for efforts to save London’s Roundhouse from demolition, and even a story about Jimi Hendrix stealing his washing.

Friends described him as a “funny, cantankerous, Pink Floyd loving sarcastic old curmudgeon when he wanted to be.” They remember people going to him for advice on architecture and building regulation.

All those who do their bit to serve as custodians of the band’s history and those who are fans in even the simplest ways will remember Ramshaw’s contribution to rock history.

Claudia Fontaine passes away Print E-mail
Thursday, 15 March 2018
Claudia Fontaine

On Tuesday, singer Claudia Fontaine sadly died, aged 57. Hailing from London, she began her career at an early age working with various reggae artists, before her solo career took off. She sung with many artists including The Jam, Elvis Costello, Dusty Springfield, Annie Lennox, and Pink Floyd.

For the Floyd, she performing backing vocals on the 1994 tour of The Division Bell, her wonderful singing captured on the PULSE releases, and can also be seen on the David Gilmour In Concert DVD, representing her contribution to his Meltdown concerts in 2001 and 2002. The picture to the right is from the 1994 tour programme, showing her in action.

Her vocal performances won much praise, but more than that, she was also much-loved by the artists she worked with - as noted by Pink Floyd on their Facebook page, adding that she will always be in their memories.

Our condolences to her family and friends.


Doug Sax passes away Print E-mail
Friday, 03 April 2015
Doug Sax (photo: Mastering Lab)

We are very sad to bring you the news that yesterday, April 2nd, Doug Sax passed away. Doug was CEO and Chief Mastering Engineer at The Mastering Lab, and a key part of Pink Floyd's audio experience.

Born in Los Angeles in 1936, Doug became a true expert in his field. He opened The Mastering Lab – the world's first independent mastering facility - in 1967. It was soon turning out many of the top hits of the 1970s, including The Wall, Who's Next, Nilsson Schmilsson, the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers and the Eagles' eponymous debut. His list of credits is truly impressive. His hand can be heard on pretty much every Pink Floyd release, as well as solo albums by David Gilmour, Roger Waters and Richard Wright.

Our condolences to his family and friends.

Roger Waters The Wall Live audio engineer passes away Print E-mail
Monday, 22 December 2014

Ian NewtonIt is with great sadness that we report the death of Ian Newton, who served as audio monitor engineer on Roger Waters' The Wall Live arena and stadium tours.

Ian reportedly died of a heart attack. He was in his mid-50s and known throughout the live production world as a modest but warm-spirited gentleman. Ian's other touring credits included The Police, Sting, Barbra Streisand, Oasis, Take That and Madonna. RIP.

The picture here shows Ian "in the office" at the desk for Roger's tour; photo by Mark Cunningham. After this sad news was posted here, we were made aware that he was an intricate part of Kate Bush's recent return to the live stage in London. Her tribute to Ian can be read here.

Raphael Ravenscroft passes away Print E-mail
Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Raphael RavenscroftIt is with sadness that we bring you the news that highly-regarded saxophonist Raphael Ravenscroft passed away, suddenly, yesterday (October 20th), aged 60.

Raphael was most noted for his sax solo on the late Gerry Rafferty's 1978 hit, Baker Street, from the album City To City - a solo which propelled him to stardom. He was paid just £27.50 for the original recording, but the popularity of the track resulted in him earning many thousands in subsequent royalties.

The quality of Raphael's saxophony lead to work on various Pink Floyd related projects. Live, he was part of David Gilmour's 1984 About Face tour, and he played sax on Roger Waters' release of the same year, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking. The previous year, his tenor sax appeared on Pink Floyd's album, The Final Cut.

Our condolences to his friends and family.

Mark Fisher passes away Print E-mail
Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Some very sad news reached us this evening - Mark Fisher OBE, founder and managing director of Stufish, the Mark Fisher Studio, has passed away. Born in 1947, as a stage designer he worked in the worlds of music and entertainment, revolutionising them and bringing incredible new concepts at every turn.

He specialized in the design of entertainment projects for the whole of his professional career, and his resume reads like a dream "who's who" of projects. These ranged from major tours for pretty much every big artist (Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, U2, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, and Metallica) through to Cirque du Soleil, and worldwide events such as the design of the water stadium and scenic effects for the Opening Ceremony of the Asian Games in Guangzhou in November 2010. He was also Executive Producer for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies, having been behind the same Ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Mark's Floyd related show design credits include 'The Wall' (for Pink Floyd in 1980, for Roger Waters solo in Berlin in 1990, and as a world tour in 2010-13) which included The Teacher which was modelled after him, and the Floyd's 1994 tour. Our interview with Mark from 2005 has him in reflective mood, and you can read the interview here.

Mark's passing is a huge loss to the world of music - an unsung genius responsible for so much more than people tend to realise... RIP Mr Fisher. The following video shows Mark presenting the 2012 Royal Designers for Industry Address, explaining the development of the industry and the technology that supports large-scale touring live entertainment:

Storm Thorgerson - more tributes Print E-mail
Monday, 22 April 2013

Storm Thorgerson memorialThis weekend, had an update from the colleagues of Storm, who very sadly passed away on Thursday. "In accordance with Storm's wishes, the studio will continue to work through this sad time and into the foreseeable future. The team remains in place, steered by Peter Curzon, Rupert Truman and Dan Abbott, and will continue the work of creating 'normal but not' images while having a cup of tea and thinking about 'it'." Accompanying their update is the image to the right.

Elsewhere this weekend, news media across the world paid tribute to Storm Thorgerson, who very sadly passed away on Thursday. This was in the form of articles, tributes and even political/topical cartoonists using Storm's images as the basis of their regular submissions.

In amongst the obituaries, was a tribute from Aubrey 'Po' Powell, who worked with Storm for many years, that was published in the UK's The Guardian. Within his reflections, Po notes that "Storm's ideas were extraordinary, but the execution even more so. He insisted on creating real sculptures for each of his projects. Everything had to be built and photographed in situ to a size determined by the idea. No fakery, no Photoshop, or no deal.

"Things were never made easy for Storm's clients. He was a lateral and fearless thinker for whom the presentation of ideas was like a game of intellectual charades, with a few clues as to the meaning of the work thrown in every now and again. More often than not, the images he produced were unrelated to the original brief, and so it became a marathon task to interpret what came out of Storm's head.

"Always late, nearly always forgiven; full of quips, some not always appreciated; far too clever for his own good, but with a crazily gifted mind; rarely compromising, always fighting to the end, and wearing obstruction down in the belief of his own work, Storm rarely lost his way. The boy done good." For the full article, click here.

Finally, following on from David Gilmour's comments, Nick Mason's tribute to his old friend was posted on Nick said: "Scourge of management, record companies and album sleeve printers; champion of bands, music, great ideas and high, sometimes infuriatingly high, standards. Defender of art over commerce at all times, and tireless worker right up to the end. Two days before he passed away, and by then completely exhausted he was still demanding approval for art work and haranguing his loyal assistants.

"Dear friend to all of us, our children, our wives (and the exes). Endlessly intellectual and questioning. Breathtakingly late for appointments and meetings, but once there invaluable for his ideas, humour, and friendship. Irreplaceable and unforgettable, but leaving a wonderful legacy of ideas, film, writings and art work, Hipgnosis and Storm have contributed to so many musicians to engineer sums immeasurably greater than their parts."

Storm Thorgerson passes away Print E-mail
Thursday, 18 April 2013

Storm ThorgersonIt is with a very heavy heart that we bring you the sad news that Storm Thorgerson, a key part of Pink Floyd for most of their career, passed away this afternoon (Thursday, April 18th). His family said that "his ending was peaceful and he was surrounded by family and friends. He had been ill for some time with cancer though he had made a remarkable recovery from his stroke in 2003. He was in his 70th year."

He is survived by his mother Vanji, his son Bill, his wife Barbie Antonis and her two children Adam and Georgia. Our thoughts and condolences are with them and with his many friends across the world. From a personal perspective, in more recent years we had moved from being mere acquaintances, to friends, and I will really miss his wit, his kindness, his insight and his searching mind.

David Gilmour has made the following statement:

"We first met in our early teens. We would gather at Sheep's Green, a spot by the river in Cambridge and Storm would always be there holding forth, making the most noise, bursting with ideas and enthusiasm. Nothing has ever really changed.

"He has been a constant force in my life, both at work and in private, a shoulder to cry on and a great friend.

"The artworks that he created for Pink Floyd from 1968 to the present day have been an inseparable part of our work.

"I will miss him."

Jokers Wild drummer Clive Welham passes away Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 May 2012

The Ramblers, including Clive WelhamWe are very sad to report that Clive Welham passed away this afternoon. He had been ill for some time, and we understand his passing was peaceful.

In the 1960s Clive drummed for several Cambridge bands but is best known for his association with Albie Prior in the Ramblers [right], and David Gilmour in Jokers Wild, where David and Clive played alongside Tony Sainty on bass, and Dave Altham and Johnny Gordon on guitar. One of Clive's last public appearances was at the 2008 Roots of Cambridge Rock get-together.

Our sincere condolences to his family and friends.

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