Ady Edelston - a tribute

Brian Higham has added many pictures to this page.

So sad to hear of Ady's passing I go back a long time with Ady. I first met him in1962 and we formed several bands together over the years most memorably the Stormbeats, the Chapters and Seduction.
We played all the major American bases in Germany during the late 60s and remained friends up untill his death.
I did not hear the sad news untill after the funeral along with many of his other friends we would certainly been in attendance.
I am organising a night of live music in memory and in celebration of the man and already have quite a line up of musicians who have worked with him over the years ready to perform including members of some of the following groups. THE CHAPTERS, THE CYMERONS, THE STORMBEATS, SEDUCTION, MONEY, THE CASUALS, MIDNIGHT BLUES PROJECT, JIMMY POWELLS FIVE DIMENSIONS, and more.
The venue and date has not yet been finalised and I would love to hear from anyone else wishing to participate.
Please contact me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Lets rock the joint for Ady.I worked with Ady for several years during my time at Barratts, where he first started to repair and build guitars, at the time he was playing with the Country Gentlemen, he was always a stunning guitar player.
I’ll miss him, he always referred to me as “Bessie” after the Liverpool MP Bessie Braddock.
I’ve attached a shottaken in Barratts 8A Oxford Road shop about 1981.
Paul Braddock
Shocked to see the news. Shared a lot of laughs (and a lot of beer) when I was at Barrat’s, 72-74 Oxford Rd – happy days!
Hope to be at Agecroft.
Peter Greenhalgh
Ady Edlestone - he was one of the best at fettling guitars & not only that but he was a great guitar player & did a couple of dep gigs with the Harbour Lights in the early 70tys at Bredbury Hall near Stockport. 

We met up a couple years ago in Manchester where he was working one Saturday. There was me, Eric Haydock (ex- Hollies) & Ady all went out to lunch & had a great time. It was a good day out and later that week I spoke to Ady who now lived on his own in Salford and asked him what his plans were for Christmas (2006) & he said that he didn't have any plans so I invited him to join us (just me & the missus) at my house on Christmas day for Christmas dinner which he did & the wine flowed like a river. 
He never did remember me taking him home.
He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. To me he was a good friend & work mate. Ady spent nearly all of his working life on Oxford Street ... A true Manchester Musician.
Brian Higham (pictured with Ady) - Barratts of Manchester. 
I first met Ady in the Barratts days when, charged with organising promotional events for BOAC in Manchester, I needed to rent some sound equipment. Later I was able to hire his then current band (including an Irish accordionist who worked at the Town Hall, Keith the drummer and a singer) for various promotional events. 

In the late 70's shortly before I left the airline to start my own video production company and still had cheap travel facilities with the airline, Ady persuaded me to buy a 335PRO at Sam Ash's in New York and sell it on commission through Barratts - and in so doing make a bit for both of us. The purchase coincided with a downturn in sales of Gibson 335PROs and the guitar sat idle in the window for some weeks until Richard Stilgoe saw it and wanted to rent it for a broadcast from the BBC in Oxford Road - even though it hadn't even been set up. He was put in touch with me and we agreed a price and his promise not to remove the plastic film on the pick guard. Come the broadcast he forgot to remove the plectrum stuck in the strings at the neck of the guitar. After the broadcast I arranged to collect it from the BBC and, because it was after closing I took it home. It never went back to Barratts and is still in my possession today.

Later, when a client broke the neck of a Vega guitar I'd bought from Barratts (made in Holland under Martin supervision when that company bought Levin and its wood stocks), he said that whilst he could make a new neck he couldn't match the figured maple of the Vega and offered me his second Accujazz for the broken bits and a couple of hundred notes. The solid ash body was routed out and fitted with a spruce sound board, the neck was American black walnut and the fingerboard managed ebony. He used to call it his green or eco-guitar. Though perhaps not perfectly balanced the guitar was a great strumming and picking instrument with an incredibly fast action. I sold it to a collector a couple of years back who told me it was probably the smoothest action of any guitar he'd played.
Ady, I and my second wife, Niki shared a love of travel and photography and we spent many hours chatting about the places he'd been to both on holiday and when he was touring the US bases and looking at his photos. He was a good cook and an equally excellent guest, always arriving with a bottle or two and ready to accept a lift home with one or another of our guests - a ride which as others have noted, he could never remember.

As Colin, his cousin, remarked at his funeral, to all his friends he was a solitary man, yet there were clearly many of us, enjoying compartmentalised friendships with him. Whilst we respected his wish for that lifestyle, Niki and I weren't happy that it extended to his spending Christmas alone and we persuaded Ady to join our various family gatherings round the Christmas table. 
Always the convivial guest Ady was as good a raconteur as he was a listener.

We always sensed that he would have liked to have been married but that the right conjunction of time, place and girl never happened for him.
When we heard the sad news of his death, we knew we'd lost a dear friend, a talented musician, a closet bon viveur, a skilled craftsman and a man whose light was always partly hidden under the proverbial bushel. We shall not forget him.
Philip and Niki Howells
Great to see such a good turnout for Ady’s sendoff – a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of Manchester musos from the 60s on. Shame it takes a sad event to get us all together, but enjoyed seeing all the old (and I do mean old) faces again.
Peter Greenhalgh
Ady was an inspiration to me when I played with The Chapters. So much so, we went on a summer holiday together with Ady’s mum to Brighton. I fondly remember how we used to go and jam in all the bars on the sea front and have a great time exploring new ideas. He will be sadly missed.
Alex Kirby - sax with The Chapters
Very sad to hear of Ady's passing. He and "The Chapters" gave a lot of pleasure to so many when they used to play at Kearsley West Youth Club.
On behalf of all those and the club leader Thelma (who by the way is 80 this year) may he rock in Heaven.
Graham Wray
I was so sad to hear of Ady's passing. I got an email from Mike Lynch yesterday. I was in a band with Ady when we were all young teenagers along with Mike, John Brennan and Dave Webb( this was pre Chapters ). He was always great fun to be with and I spent a couple of holidays with him and his parents down in Brighton in 1960.
As ever in these circumstances you always regret not having seen someone for so many years, always thinking that there will be time to catch up.
I will always remember the gigs we did in the pubs of Salford and the youth clubs around the Swinton area where all the instruments went through one old watkins dominator amp.
If anybody is organising a rememberance gig I would love to be involved.
Rock On Ady!!
David Foulkes  - keyboard player
I attach a photo taken on Ady's camera when he joined my wife and I for Christmas Day 2004. More interesting I hope for other readers here is the guitar he's holding. It's the second of his Accujazz creations of which I was the proud owner for several years. 
According to Ady, who regarded it as a very "green" instrument, the body consisted of a piece of Sussex ash, about 30 years old when he got it. The bouts were routed out leaving a solid look outside and a solid central section inside. 

The soundboard was German spruce, the neck American black walnut and the fingerboard Indonesian ebony from a managed forest. The machine heads were enclosed Grovers.
The Jackson pickups gave the instrument (which Ady intended mainly as a strumming guitar) quite a raunchy sound.
If there was any negative about the guitar it was that it was (physically) slightly bottom heavy which made playing standing up rather tiring. Against that in my opinion and that of players much more proficient than me, it had the fastest action of any guitar I've owned or played.
Needing to invest in a new camera and not having the opportunity or the talent to get the best out of the instrument, I sold the instrument a couple of years ago to a collector in the south of England who shared my opinion of the instrument.
Philip Howells - 5/3/11

When Noel Coward lost several friends close together, he commented that the grim reaper was behaving like a combine harvester!
With five of my friends gone in short succession I feel the same way. But it is a fact that as we get older we start to lose friends but as Ian Starr said to me recently, at least we are here to go to the funerals..but hey! lets think of the positive.That celestial band up there has got some personelle now to die for (I know!)
At the back would be Big Wal, whom I started with at school in a GROUP! That is what they were then! He progressed to making brilliant basses, played by discerning bass players the world over. Of the group in the sky, he was the first to arrive. He passed in 1989 and I can imagine him know, sitting waiting for us practising his steady "plonk" on his bass to give some gravitas to the set. Not for him these modern players who play "tutti" all on their own. Selling a bass to Jaquo Pastorious was one thing, but Wal had no wish to play like him "they need a bass player" he would say when he heard Weather Report, Pastorias's band"

And Peter Cowap. He played at my leaving do after I had had enough of being a policeman. He had just succeeded Peter Noone in Hermans Hermits, but this sensitive talented guy could not bear not to succeed with them and his demons overcame him. But I will always remember him captivating the whole room with his country songs and ready wit but "this world was never meant for some as beautiful as you (Vincent...Don Maclean. But Wal would make him feel at home.

And Lek would arrive in the bandroom in the sky. Another group mate of mine. What power he played with, his country playing sprinkled with jazz phrases to blow your mind. No wonder Peter Noone grabbed him for the band.

And with Lek would be Peter Bocking, another school friend of mine. Burnage has a lot to answer for, Ray Teret. And Peter and Lek were in some ways so alike, strong and polemic on the surface yet capable of great gentleness underneath.Yet both were ready to argue their corner when ready. With those two giants you got what you saw.
Years ago when Lek was ill with that foul disease that took him from us Peter and myself took Lek out for the day and it was amazing how Lek listened to Peter as Peter was one of the few people Lek respected.

And a few times I was awakened deep in the night by Peter on the phone railing about some jazzer but I was flattered by him ringing, although he did end the call usually by saying "anyway, how the bleedin` `ell would you know ... Good Night!"

So God, if you want to ask Lek or Peter anything, get your facts right or woe betide!!!

And Ady became a friend in the last few years and came sailing with me on my boat. Another man of strong opinions but great company and a superb player.
They will have to take turns on lead those three with Peter Cowap singing and contributing and Wal at the back. No drummer! I hear you say. But Buddy Rich is up there and, be careful with these guys, handle with care if you wanna stay celestially healthy!
And if any words,sounds, broadcasts or pictures or anything going through the ether strays onto your heavenly mat, listen fellas.D on`t worry about us down here. We have got everything, pictures, records words, printed and otherwise, anecdotes, stories, your children, in fact everything;;everything down here is OK.
Come to think of it, who am I kidding. Everything down here is not OK. We have all those things and more but what we haven't got is you. And we miss very very much.
Lawrence Jordan - 15/2/11
I was deeply shocked and saddened today when I received a text from my son informing me of Ady's death.
As all too often happens, the information came too late for me to attend his funeral, a great regret. But here are some memories.
I worked with Ady (and Paul Braddock) at Barratt's in the mid-to-late 70s - Ady was a terrific fettler, and was good enough to put together a Jazz-style fretless bass for me, to my spec - what a cracking instrument that was.
I'd like to share two memories of times when Ady was particularly helpful to me.
On one occasion he did me a huge favour. I'd gone off to Yarmouth on a summer season at a Pontin's camp. At the time my views on C & W coincided with those of Buddy Rich (who reportedly listed it in his allergies on going into hospital), so you can imagine how delighted I was to find that the compère at the Pontin's site was a C & W singer who had his own show on Sunday nights. He seemed to want a lot of "geetar" solos, and my jazz/rock style clearly wasn't going to cut it. Back to Manchester on my first day off, and down to Barratt's for a chat with Ady.
"There's 3 things you need," he said, "the hammer-on, the scale run, and the bend". So after a quick lesson from the maestro I set off back to Yarmouth, armed with my new C & W technique.
Did it work? Too well, unfortunately. I strung them all together in a solo, and the singer was so delighted he told me to keep going. Of course, I'd used up all Ady's tips in the first chorus...
On the other occasion, when I finally left Barratt's to go and play guitar on "the boats", Ady was the one who (eventually) escorted me to Piccadilly station and made sure I got on my train. This was after my "short farewell drink" with the lads had unaccountably turned into a rather longer and more adventurous affair. I'm not sure whether there may have been a certain amount of guilt on his part, because some rather strange and potent combinations of alcoholic beverage somehow found their way into my beer, but I can't be certain, so mustn't cast aspersions. But I do remember being grateful for the company and assistance, both at the time and also the next morning when I remembered some of the events of the previous night.
So cheers Ady, it was a pleasure to know you.
Pat Huston
I only found out in December 2011 that he had died in February 2011. He was my main guitar man for 10 years - did all the work on my vintage Hofner, Tele, Martin, Dobro and Strat - always a perfect job and always on time.
Barratts is a little before my time and I first got to Ady at Academy Of Sound (A1 Music before)... my Hofner is still working beautifully 17 years after Ady sorted it - RIP Ady.
Mal Green - 23/3/12
At the moment I'm having Net problems and can't get FY & Everglades on M/c beat so I would be grateful if you could post this a comment on the sad death of Ady Adleston who was one of my first lead guitarists back in '66 I list him as one of the best pickers I knew and an entertaining and enthusiast traveller... 
I particularly recall in March 1967 on a nightmare drive from Frankfurt to the US Early Warning base at Dyardikir in Turkish Kurdistan that he wanted us to detour in the Balkans so he could see Dracula's castle in Transylvania !!
And Dave Marks will well remember the incidents with him in Venice on the Lefty Frizzel tour! 
He was also well informed gourmet chef. Very sad to see another old friend gone!
Frank Yonco - 9/4/12
  • 12
  • album
  • 7
  • 14
  • Paul  Ady at 8A
  • 8
  • 4
  • brian_ady
  • accujazz
  • 10
  • 3
  • 9
  • 11
  • BarrattsAdyWal
  • Ady in workshop
  • 5
  • 2
  • 13
  • 1
  • 6
  • Ady playing GS in Barratts


Comments powered by CComment