Saturday, 15 October 2011
Britain is no longer a country for and says "Goodbye" to an old folk musician and 'Pentangle' player called Bert Jansch
Bert Jansch, influential guitarist and founder member of the groundbreaking folk band 'Pentangle', has died at the age of 67.
What you possible didn't know about Bert, that he :
* was born in Glasgow, the descendant of a German family from Hamburg who settled in Britain in Victorian times, was brought up in Edinburgh, where as a teenager, he acquired a guitar and started to visit a local folk club and was introduced to the music of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie.
* left school and took a job as a nurseryman, gave it up in 1960, with the intention of being a full-time musician and spent the next two years playing one-night stands in British folk clubs.
* from 1963-65, hitch-hiked around Europe, living on earnings from busking and playing in bars and cafes, accompanied by his first wife who was 16 years old and too young to have her own passport and split up from her after he was repatriated to Britain after catching dysentery in Tangiers.
* moved to London where there was a burgeoning interest in folk music, met the engineer and producer, Bill Leader, at whose home they made a recording of Jansch's music on a reel-to-reel tape recorder and who sold the tape for £100 to Transatlantic Records, who produced an album directly from it.
* saw his first album sell 150,000 copies and had his protest song " Do You Hear Me Now ?", brought to the attention of mainstream pop later when Donovan covered it on his 'Universal Soldier'
and also included his 'Needle of Death' :
* followed his first album with two more and the second, 'Jack Orion' contained 'Blackwaterside', later to be taken up by Jimmy Page and recorded by Led Zeppelin as 'Black Mountain Side' and could not afford to pursue a 'breach of copyright case' against them.
* in London, met up with another innovative acoustic guitar player, John Renbourn
and developed an intricate interplay between their guitars, referred to as 'Folk baroque'.
Hole in the Coal :
* started to play with John, singer Jacqui McShee, Danny Thompson on bass and Terry Cox on drums, as 'Pentangle',reached their highest point of commercial success with their 'Basket Of Light' album in 1969.
* reached his peak of popularity with Pentangle in 1970 with the soundtrack for the film 'Tam Lin', made tv appearances, toured Britain and USA and witnessed their album 'Cruel Sister' become a commercial disaster and the group split up in 1973.
* had an influence on Mike Oldfield, Paul Simon, Neil Young, Nick Drake and Donovan.