On May 1st, John Tout, the symphony driver of RENAISSANCE, passed away. It was John who, having graduated from RUPERT’S PEOPLE, enhanced the classical element in the Annie Haslam-fronted ensemble with his piano and other ivory-laden instruments that went along so well with orchestras. For the less art-rock inclined listeners, Tout’s playing can be heard on WISHBONE ASH’s “Throw Down The Sword” off “Argus” that was elevated thanks to John’s spiritual organ, and on John Lennon’s “Crippled Inside” off “Imagine” – the RENAISSANCE man, erroneously credited as acoustic guitarist, was one of the piano players on it.
The veteran didn’t play much in the recent years, yet he guested on the reformed RENAISSANCE’s Reviews17 in 2001, and three years later former colleague Terry Sullivan lured Tout out of retirement to take part in his RENAISSANT project. A pity, there’s not much more music to hear John on, but his magic remains even after his passing.