So sad to hear that Harry Doherty (writer for Melody Maker, Metal Hammer and many other music magazines, plus official Queen and Thin Lizzy biographer) has died.
Harry was an enthusiastic champion of The Bedlam Six, giving us a vital boost and sense of affirmation when we most needed it. We first met him back in the days of playing for beer in the corners of pubs – gigs in which stoic punters were required to duck and weave through the band (fingers in ears usually) just to reach the toilets. He came up to me after a show to say how much he’d enjoyed it. We kept in touch and later he joined us for the recording of our Memoir Noir EP, listening back to the days’ performances and generously donating to our teetering collection of empty wine bottles. He also contributed hand-claps to the record. Definitely a man with a unique sense of rhythm.
Harry was that rare breed: a passionate critic with an open mind. He was an early supporter of Queen and Kate Bush while other journalists were either ignoring or sneering at them (needless to say we chose to interpret this as a favourable omen). Even after quitting full-time rock journalism he was always open to the discovery of fresh talent, seeing no difference between the new songs he liked and the old songs he liked. Later when he came to write Queen’s official biography he got me invited to the book launch at Soho’s Groucho Club (where I briefly met Brian May and even touched his Red Special!), a place that didn’t seem to be a natural environment for either of us. It’s rare for someone in a largely unknown band to rub shoulders with rock royalty and not be made to feel inferior, but music is supposed to be a great leveller and Harry made sure those around him didn’t forget it.
Musicians and music critics alike could all learn a lot from him.
Honoured to have known you Harry,
with love from
Louis and the Bedlams.
To read some of Harry’s articles click here.