Wednesday, May 2, 2012

40 Year Itch: The Sunset Cowboy Dies On Stage

It was May 2nd, 1972 at The Top Rank Ballroom in Swansea .1200 fans were lined up outside the club waiting to get in. Stone The Crows guitarist Les Harvey ( far left in above photo) was playing during a sound check when, with wet, sweaty hands apparently, he touched a microphone that wasn't grounded. Harvey was electrocuted--thrown into the air by the shock --and killed instantly. He died at that most infamous of rock star ages: 27. ( The same age Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison. Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse passed away).

   At the time, Stone the Crows was a band on the rise, in the midst of recording what would be their top selling album Ontinuous Performance. Harvey and the band backed "Britain's answer to Janis Joplin" and Harvey's girlfriend, Maggie Bell, who would win the 1972 NME Pop Poll for Best Female Singer. (That's Maggie who goes toe to toe with Rod Stewart on "Every Picture Tells A Story").

 After some time off the band finished recording Ontinuous Performance adding a new song , "Sunset Cowboy" written for Les. Ex Thunderclap Newman guitarist Jimmy McCullouch took Harvey's place until the band broke up the following year and he joined Wings.


No comments:

Post a Comment