4th Dec, 2021

Tribute paid to The Beat drummer Everett Morton who has passed away

TRIBUTES have been paid to the drummer of The Beat Everett Morton who has passed away.

The Curator of Coventry Music Museum, Pete Chambers BEM, described him as the not only the ‘engine room of the Ska band’ but so much more.

He said: “He was a true gentleman, gently spoken, charming, always supportive and always there for people.

“His drumming was incredible gracing top ten charts hits such as ‘Tears of A Clown’, ‘Mirror in The Bathroom’ and ‘Can’t Get used to losing You’ and top ten albums: ‘I Just Can’t Stop It’ and ‘Wha’ppen’.”

Pete added his reggae/Ska drumming style was unique and always recognisable, frequently turning a great song into a stand-alone classic.

“A more frantic style is evident on songs like ‘Ranking Full Stop’, while his drumming on the likes of ‘Whine and Grine’ is superbly inventive, unlike many drummers Everett played the whole kit creating a tapestry of rhythm always evident on every Beat track.”

Morton was born in St Kitts, eventually settling in Birmingham in the mid-1960s where he joined a drum school and began playing drums in his cousin’s band in the evenings.

After hours and days and months of practice he became an in-demand percussionist in Birmingham, eventually joined Dave Wakeling, David Steel and Andy Cox and Ranking Roger who would become The Beat in 1978.

The band had their first break with the Coventry based 2-Tone Records that would give Everett his first chart success – number 6 in 1979 with the single ‘Tears of A Clown/ Ranking Full Stop’.

They would create their own record label Go-Feet and this would be the platform for more successful singles and albums from the Beat (or the English Beat as they were known in North America).

In 1983, The Beat split and Everett formed The International Beat with former Beat bandmate Saxa and vocalist Tony Beet.

He later rejoined Ranking Roger in The Beat (while Dave Wakeling fronted the English Beat mainly playing in North America).

Eventually forming his own post-Beat band The Beat Goes Bang later rebranded to The Beat GB.

Pete said Everett came to the museum on many occasions and even had a drum cymbal specially engraved for the venue when it first opened.

“I think back of my delight on having the chance to interview him at a rather full Sounding Off session at the Museum and his insightful anecdotes, making a very enjoyable and most memorable session.

He now joins band members Ranking Roger and Saxa in that great Beat gig in the sky, to say he will be missed is an under-statement.

Pete said Everett came to the museum on many occasions and even had a drum cymbal specially engraved for the venue when it first opened.

“I think back of my delight on having the chance to interview him at a rather full Sounding Off session at the Museum and his insightful anecdotes, making a very enjoyable and most memorable session.

He now joins band members Ranking Roger and Saxa in that great Beat gig in the sky, to say he will be missed is an under-statement.

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