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Bebop Spoken There

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Friday, February 09, 2018

RIP George Laing

More sad news hit me whilst I was incarcerated - the passing of pianist George Laing on February 7. 
Back in the day, South Shields abounded with piano-led trios and there were none finer than the one fronted by George. I first heard him in the Cyprus pub where he knocked me out with a version of Woody Herman's Applehoney that, to my ears, has yet to bettered apart from by George himself (it became a staple part of his repertoire). 
When the CIU clubs began to expand he added the obligatory Hammond and Leslie technique to his armoury and became resident organist in various such establishments.

There was also a spell in an Oompah band at Newcastle's Hofbrauhaus.
I lost touch with him for some years until he turned up at The Porthole on North Shields ferry landing playing intermission piano on the Wednesday lunchtime sessions.
The magic was still there.
Apart from his jazz piano skills, he was a lovely guy who didn't suffer fools gladly.
I feel privileged to have known him and, for a time back in the 1960s, to have gigged with him.
His musical heritage runs through the veins of his sons Tony (drums) and Robert (bass guitar) and daughter Vivienne.
George Laing was 91, may he Rest In Peace. Sadly missed.
Lance.
Funeral details when known.

3 comments :

laurie brown said...

Thank for this Lance. Can I just echo everything you have said. There was nothing I liked better than accompanying George at the Porthole. One of my favorites was always his rendition of Stella by Starlight which he graciously allowed me to join in with him playing vibes !

Laurie Brown (on F/b) said...

I was thinking of George recently ! He was a regular at the Porthole in North Shields and a great entertainer on the piano in our break, although I was more than happy to give up my break to accompany him on drums RIP George.đŸ˜„

Robert Laing said...

Thank you Lance. I will advise of funeral arrangements as soon as they are made. I hope you are recovering from your own hospital visit and wish you well.

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