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Warrington Music Legend


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On the news pages today I have reported on the death of Warrington Music Legend Eric Pep. I only knew him distantly - only ever spoke to him on the phone I think - and only heard him play once for a few minutes. But those few minutes convinced me that I was listening to a great pianist who could have gone far if he had wished to. There won't be too many people around who remember him (he was 84 when he died) but two people phoneed WWW yesterday to let us know about his death and the news has spread among the oldsters of the local music community.

Arising from my research I have discovered a website that might interest local music lovers - www.warringtonsixtiesmusic.co.uk

It is worth a visit.

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OK, perhaps it should be local legend. But there are plenty of people around in the music scene of more recent vintage (particularly in the charts) who have more inappropriately been described as legends.

I didn't arrive in Warrington until the sixties, when Eric was past his prime in terms of popular appeal. But being in the news business I soon learned of his reputation, particularly among fellow musicians.

He could fairly be described as a musician's musician.

During the 50s and 60s Warrington was a hotbed of popular music, largely due to the influence of the huge US Air Force presence at Burtonwood. If Eric could impress them - and he could - he was good.

Warrington's home grown musicians benefited from the influence of the Yanks. There were numerous local bands and small groups.

I once did a story on a road in Great Sankey where there were so many amateur or semi-pro musicians living they were able to form their own big band.

I think you had to live here at the time to understand. But the feedback we are getting in emails today suggests there are still plenty of people around who remember Eric Pep.

Apparently his records are still regularly played on Radio Merseyside on a Saturday night.

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