Obituaries, Aug. 18, 2022
This week we acknowledge the passing of musicians Darryl Hunt, Ray Majors and Bill Pitman and entertainment lawyer John Eastman.
By Kerry Doole
John Eastman, an American entertainment lawyer and brother-in-law of Paul McCartney, died on Aug. 9, age 83, of pancreatic cancer.
“John was a great man. One of the nicest and smartest people I have had the good luck to have known in my life. Not only did he help me massively in my business dealings as my lawyer but as a friend he was hard to beat,” McCartney wrote in tribute.
The Wrap reports that "Eastman, along with his father Lee Eastman, was also McCartney’s attorney, and had been with him through the breakup of The Beatles and his solo career. In 1984, McCartney told Playboy how grateful he was to the Eastmans. “The music publishing I own is fabulous. Beautiful. I owe it all to Linda’s dad Lee Eastman and her brother John.”
According to a 2004 NYU School of Law profile, Eastman also represented the estate of painter Francis Bacon and the family of artist Willem de Kooning. Source: The Wrap
Darryl Gatwick Hunt, an English musician and singer-songwriter best known for playing bass guitar in The Pogues, died on Aug. 8, age 72.
At university, he made his first musical foray with The Brothel Creepers, a band formed for a student movie in 1973. This group became five-piece pub rock band Plummet Airlines in 1974, releasing two singles and an album before breaking up in 1977.
By the early 1980s, Hunt was DJing and playing with various groups in London at The Pindar Of Wakefield. He produced a one-off music fanzine, "Haywire", relating to the club nights at The Pindar Of Wakefield. He was in the punk rock band The Favourites, and a pop group The Lemons, who released a single on Race Records in 1981. He performed in a band, Crazeology, who were at least once supported by Pogue Mahone. Another band, Baby Lotion, morphed into lounge act Pride Of The Cross with the addition of Pogue Cait O'Riordan on vocals.
Already familiar with the band and having helped them out with rides to gigs in his van, Hunt joined The Pogues as driver, front-of-house sound engineer and road manager for an Autumn 1984 UK/Ireland tour supporting Elvis Costello. This would quickly become a full time job, making an end to his other projects.
Hunt began playing bass in The Pogues in September 1986, after the departure of Cait O'Riordan, and remained their bass player and occasional songwriter for the rest of the band's career. His song Love You Till The End appears on the album Pogue Mahone and was used in the credits of the Jay Roach film Mystery, Alaska and used throughout the Richard LaGravenese film P.S.I Love You.
Hunt later released several albums of original material under the group name Bish, and participated in a Plummet Airlines reunion. He joined The Pogues reunion in 2001, and continued to play with them through to their 2014 dissolution in the wake of Philip Chevron's death. Source: Wikipedia,
Ray Majors, a British rock guitarist, singer and songwriter, died on Aug. 4. Age and cause of death has not been reported.
Majors first came to the fore as vocalist and guitarist of the late ’60s psychedelic outfit Opal Butterfly, then joined Hackensack, alongside Nicky Moore. His main claim to fame was joining Mott, which, together with Overend Watts, Buffin Griffin and Morgan Fisher, Majors reinvented as British Lions.
Majors also contributed, as both player and writer, to Box Of Frogs' self-titled debut and he recorded later for Jim McCarty‘s projects. There were also guest spots with Downliners Sect and Quiet Melon, plus two solo albums, First Poison in 2000, and The 7% Solution from 2014. He also collaborated on projects with his wife, Sandy Dillon. She was an American singer and performance artist who released two albums on Elektra in the '70s. She died on the same day as Majors, and her cause of death is also unknown. Sources: DMME, Mott Archive, SNBC13
Bill (William Keith) Pitman, guitarist with famed US session players The Wrecking Crew, died on Aug. 11, age 102.
During his life, Pitman was an accomplished and sought-after guitar player in the ’50s through the ’70s, who played on records for the likes of The Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, The Byrds, Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand, and many others. As a recording musician, Pitman became known as a member of the loosely defined, but elite group, called The Wrecking Crew. This crew was a group of talented, freelance musicians that were constantly being recruited by producers in Los Angeles.
Further, some of Pitman’s most notable contributions include credits on The Beach Boys’ Good Vibrations and Wouldn’t It Be Nice, Bob Dylan’s Mr. Tambourine Man, and Barbra Streisand’s The Way We Were. The late musician also played ukulele on B.J. Thomas’ Oscar-winning single Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head (1969).
On top of that, Pitman helped create several movie and TV soundtracks. His contributions can be heard in Elvis Presley’s film Blue Hawaii (1961), MASH (1970), Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982), Dirty Dancing (1987), and Goodfellas (1990).
In a 2009 book titled Conversations With Great Jazz and Studio Guitarists, author Jim Carlton touched on the breadth of Pitman’s career: “Perhaps no one personifies the unsung studio player like Bill Pitman does. Few guitarists have logged more recording sessions, and fewer still have enjoyed being such a legitimate part of America’s soundtrack.” Sources: AP, American Songwriter