Robin George Passed Away

“My most enjoyable job – and I’ve done a lot of different jobs to make a living – is making music. That’s what I do best”: Robin George‘s voice was barely heard over the din of a Wolverhampton pub which the British guitarist had chosen as an unfortunate locale for our conversation. Actually, we were to meet near the city’s bus station, yet Robin though it would be the railroad one, the result being a frantic attempt to connect at a time when mobile phones didn’t work so well, and a serious delay in our schedules. That mix-up seemed so typical for him, the artist who used to arrive at a potentially successful situation a little bit too late, and miss his chance for stardom time and again. Still, George didn’t miss his chance to leave this world as a force many had to reckon with, and passed away after long illness on April 26th, aged 68.

Robin first came to prominence on THE BYRON BAND’s "On The Rocks" album as David Byron’s lieutenant and cowriter, but the former URIAH HEEP singer’s alcoholism prevented this ensemble from taking off, the issue repeating itself once George joined Phil Lynott to cut “Nineteen” with a prospect of becoming a THIN LIZZY axeman only to see his new commander die. He had already been in the lurch, with the demise of Gerry Bron‘s Bronze Records led to the promise of the guitarist’s top-notch "Dangerous Music" remaining unfulfilled, with Robin – who had all the makings, looks included, of a teenage heartthrob – left to pursue collaborations with his peers rather than focusing on a solo career. But even that didn’t break his streak of bad luck: the song “Red For Danger” which George co-penned with Robert Plant and the entire album he laid down with Glenn Hughes waited for decades to be released.

He soldiered on, producing and playing: in the company of his ex-charges DIAMOND HEAD’s singers Sean Harris and Nick Tart, Robin created, respectively, NOTORIOUS and LIFE whose "Radio Silence" and "Cocoon" explored experimental edges of hard rock spectrum; together with Pete Way and Chris Slade, George came up with DAMAGE CONTROL whose "Raw" was little short of brilliant; he performed with CLIMAX BLUES BAND and Roy Wood – and delivered a series of platters under his own name, such as "Rogue Angels" that finally established the veteran’s position as a prime mover behind many a project. We remained in touch, Robin contributing to this scribe’s sleeve notes for THE BYRON BAND’s “Lost And Found” and the proper version of DAMAGE CONTROL’s sophomore gem and always informing yours truly of another of his offerings which, more often than not, contained old pieces in a fresh form, and of which George was always proud of.

Sleep well, old friend.

April 30, 2024

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