22nd Oct, 2021

MUSIC MATTERS - RIP 'musician's musician' Ollie Warner, Abbey Road and 2-Tone exhibit

Coventry Editorial 26th Aug, 2021

COVENTRY Music Museum curator Pete Chambers BEM writes for the Observer.

RIP Ollie

It’s with great sadness to announce the passing of another superb local musician Ollie Warner.

Ollie was a musician’s musician – so many visitors who visited the museum had nothing but respect for him and his skill as a bass player, musician and his kindness as a human being.

Born in 1943, Ollie made his fame as a member of the Johnny B Great and The Goodmen, who were the resident band at The General Wolfe and The Freeman, signed for Decca Records and released the very first single by a Coventry group in 1963 entitled ‘School Is In’.

However, it was their single ‘Acapulco 1922’ that gave the band huge press attention. The band were big news in the area and far beyond.

Eventually Ollie joined the Autocrats, then in the 70s, he played bass with The Easy Beats who were resident at the Housing Club.

Ollie also played the keyboards and sang – a real all round musician.

In the 80s to the 2000, he played every local club as an organist with synthesiser accompaniment.

His family said of him: “He was a fine musician and the funniest man we have ever known – once met never forgotten. He will be sorely missed.

90 years of Abbey Road Studio Tour

It’s probably the only time I will get to see the inside of the world’s most iconic recording studio at Abbey Road, so when the chance came I took it.

This place is beyond iconic, every step revealed another piece of history – like the corner where the Beatles recorded ‘All You Need is Love’, or the piano they used to flesh out Paperback

Writer, still showing the burn marks of Paul McCartney’s cigarette.

It was so much to take in, the vastness of studio 1, all set up as it would have been to record the Star Wars soundtrack.

Though it was studio 2 that was the one that shone the most, a million thoughts at once – the famous stairs from the control room to the studio floor.

How many musical icons have touched that handrail?

The sound of Pink Floyd’s epic Dark Side of The Moon echoed around the acoustically treated walls, in the words of one Beatles song (not actually recorded here) it was All Too Much.

This was the first time all three studios were opened to the public at once and who knows when it will happen again. It cost £125 per person, was it worth it, yes, every penny.

Last chance to see…….

2-Tone – Lives and Legacies, the first exhibition in the UK dedicated solely to 2-Tone music which was born in Coventry, closes on September 12.

So get there soon to avoid missing out on seeing objects from The Specials, The Selecter and other ska-influenced bands such as Madness, The Beat and The Bodysnatchers. Several ‘never seen before’ items have been loaned to the exhibition by the founder of the 2 Tone label and The

Specials, Jerry Dammers, including the original hand-written lyrics to the iconic song Ghost Town.

It’s also a chance to see the iconic 2 Tone suit, pork pie hats worn by Roddy Radiation, Pauline Black and Neville Staple, as well as the Fred Perry t-shirt and Harrington jacket.

The Herbert opening times are 10am until 4pm from Monday to Saturday and 12pm to 4pm on Sunday.

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