Liver cancer finally claimed the life of John Walker (nee John Maus) founder member of seminal sixties pop outfit The Walker Brothers on Saturday, when the musician passed away at his home in LA having battled barvely with the cancer for six months.
During the Swingin’ Sixties The Walker Brothers helped define the sound of the era particularly with hits such as The Sun Aint Gonna Shine Anymore, Make it Easy on Yourself and Stay With Me Baby and added to their success with the release of No Regrets a decade later.
The Walker Brothers were actually unrelated and none of them originally had the surname ‘Walker’. A nom de plume that John embraced prior to forming the band. The trio achieved far more success in the UK than in the US, despite being a US band with popular tracks The Sun Aint Gonna Shine Anymore and Make it Easy on Yourself both reaching number 1 in the British hit parade. John was the guitarist, songwriter and also performed vocals during the early days of the trio, before the voice of legendary Scott Walker took over.
Gary Walker, the drummer with the band has paid tribute to the lost ‘brother’ on his website: “The three of us had the most incredible adventure together, all the time not realizing that we were part of pop history. His music will live on, and therefore so will John.”
John Walker’s official website runs the following statement:
“It is with our deepest sadness to report that Mr. John Walker passed away in his Los Angeles area home on May 7, 2011. He was a beloved husband, brother, father, grandfather, friend, and artiste.”
The idiosyncratic sound of The Walker Brothers will always conjure up a very special era in musical history and will long serve as a reminder of what greatness the music industry was capable of back then.
Rest in peace, John Walker.
Please leave a fitting tribute to John Walker in a comment.
images: thisisnottingham.co.uk; last.fm; twenty-flight-rock.blogspot.com