He was a humble man but always knew his real value, Gypie Mayo, who passed away on October 23rd, aged 62. One can say it took some guts to step into the DR. FEELGOOD ranks, when Wilco Johnson left the group, and co-wrote, with Nick Lowe, their only Top 10 single, “Milk And Alcohol.” No meaner feat was being a guitarist for THE YARDBIRDS where Gypie joined the line of Clapton, Beck and Page. We were in touch occasionally, so it was very sad to hear that Mayo went for that great gig in the sky.
That’s why it was better to ask his fellow YARDBIRDS to share their memories on this underrated master.
Says Top Topham: “I knew him in Bath, although he and I always had politeness and interest, not closeness. We played at various times, and I sat in as a guest [with the band he was in]. We did a charity recording for the Mayor of Richmond that is out, it was “Smokestack Lighting,” the classic YARDBIRDS tune. The Eel Pie Club arranged that one. But I always felt he was a man with depressive problems and was not clear in himself. He is a respected part of rock history. Rest in peacefulness, Gypie.”
As John Idan adds, “Everyone who knew Gypie will tell you what a sweet guy he was. And he really was! His playing, particularly on stage, was so much fun to watch, listen to and be a part of. Great stage craft and presence. More than this, Gypie also pocessed an amazing wealth of musical knowledge. There were no boundaries [for him]. He loved all types of music and happily turned you on to things that he’d think you would enjoy. He certainly helped to broaden my musical knowledge as well as my own guitar playing. Gonna miss him a lot!”
Rest in peace, Gypie.