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Spike Heatley (1933-2021) RIP

 
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denis rigg
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2021 10:00 pm    Post subject: Spike Heatley (1933-2021) RIP Reply with quote

Spike Heatley, jazz double bassist, who appeared in the four Venus Smith episodes The Decapod, The Removal Men, Box of Tricks and School for Traitors, died aged 88 in a Dinan hospital, France. Crying or Very sad

It is convenient to listen and watch music in The Avengers with Spike's participation through the website of Piers Johnson, who actually made these cuts and posted them on the Internet. There are notes for each track.

See "The Songs" paragraph

The Decapod https://www.dissolute.com.au/the-avengers-tv-series/series-2/203-the-decapod-other.html
The Removal Men https://www.dissolute.com.au/the-avengers-tv-series/series-2/206-the-removal-men-other.html
Box of Tricks https://www.dissolute.com.au/the-avengers-tv-series/series-2/217-box-of-tricks-other.html
School for Traitors https://www.dissolute.com.au/the-avengers-tv-series/series-2/220-school-for-traitors-other.html

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Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/merrill.heatley/posts/10158607180321485

Merrill Heatley (11 November):

On Wedensday 10th of November my darling Dad passed away peacefully in Dinan hospital.
To say I'm going to miss him is an understatement he was always so full of life and laughter.
Dad was old school London his manners impeccable and that hit me today as I left the hospital carrying his bag, I never had to carry a bag or open a door when I was with my Dad.
His sense of humour was tremendous and he had many wonderful stories to tell enjoying his captive audience.
My Dad the string puller, bass player extroidinare and complete legend, I couldn't be prouder.
I adored him.
Rest easy Dad, you are and always will be my skylark.




Obituary

https://www.jazzwise.com/news/article/spike-heatley-obituary

Spike Heatley 17/2/1933 – 10/11/2021

Always affable and hugely popular, bassist Brian John Heatley, forever known as Spike, was described by his daughter Merrill as ‘old school London’ and grew up in Muswell Hill, eventually settling for his final three decades in Brittany, France, where he died aged 88 in a Dinan hospital.

Spike – the nick-name came from his early adoption of a crewcut hairstyle – liking jazz on the radio, dabbled with the clarinet but all along, “I had a craving for the double bass. I went to Foote’s in Denmark Street and got a Czechoslovakian thing for about 45 quid. I was 20, just out of the Air Force,” he told me in a 2005 interview. After touring with a couple of dance bands, he took a job with multi-instrumentalist Alan Ross’s Quartet in 1957 and played a summer season at the Palace Hotel in Karachi, Pakistan. Here, he got down to some serious woodshedding. “I took books with me and I studied every day.”

To good effect, evidently, for he was soon working with Vic Ash’s quintet, including its US tour, recording in 1958 and rubbing shoulders on Archer Street with all the top names on the modern scene. Briefly in the Tubby Hayes-Ronnie Scott Jazz Couriers, he then worked with the Hayes quartet - they played for the opening of Ronnie Scott’s on October 30, 1959 - as well as with pianist Eddie Thompson’s trio, there the next day, before joining the Johnny Dankworth Orchestra in 1960, staying for two years, initially alongside pianist Dudley Moore, and recording regularly.

In effect, this was Spike’s entrée into the wider studio scene at a time when the possibilities seemed limitless. There’d be “ a pop session in the morning, a light orchestra in the afternoon, a Latin-American band in the evening, film music the next day, or the BBC. Jimmy Page and John McLaughlin used to be in the same rhythm section with me, playing all this crappy music, “ he told me. Then again, there was his long-standing gig with the on-screen house band for the afternoon children’s TV show Play School [1964-1988].

Along the way, Spike played for US jazz visitors like pianist Mary Lou Williams, who rated him, or tenorist Ben Webster and trumpeter Charlie Shavers, and singers like Anita O’Day, Helen Merrill, and Dinah Washington. There were extended stays with the Tony Coe Quintet, tours with Kenny Baker and regular engagements with Danny Moss and Ronnie Ross, plus appearances with Stephane Grappelli, time with Alexis Korner and regular tours from 1984 with the Great Guitars Package and Canadian pianist Oliver Jones, as well as six months in Holland with the show ‘Bubbling Brown Sugar’.

Widely praised for his strong, swinging playing – Ray Brown was his hero – Spike was voted top bassist in the Melody Maker’s Readers Poll for 1965 and was ideally qualified to be a founder member of the wonderful Bebop Preservation Society from 1972 -1981, along with its instigator, pianist Bill LeSage, trumpeter Hank Shaw and Peter King, who remembered the band for its ‘wonderful social atmosphere, great playing and popularity’. Its Bulls Head residencies were standouts, as were its albums, one featuring Parker trumpeter Red Rodney.

In 1991, Spike put the bass away, unpacked the gold clubs and retired to rural Brittany. It took a visit from guitarist Martin Taylor to prompt him to play again. Re-enthused, he organised several quartet tours back in the UK with guitarist Andy Williams, playing festivals and clubs, often with Alan Barnes or Art Themen guesting, and produced a splendid series of albums on his own Renella label. When the gigs ran out in 2014, he took life more quietly, his health less good recently. Our condolences to Spike’s wife Stevie, his daughter Merrill and son Danny. RIP, old friend.

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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2021 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's sad news. Thank you for the writeup. I was just watching School For Traitors last night and noticed the band was very good.
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denis rigg
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2021 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is pleasing that there are live numbers in the Venus Smith episodes where we can just hear music without vocals in order to appreciate more fully band's potential. However, Spike almost always sounds in the background.
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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2021 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

denis rigg wrote:
It is pleasing that there are live numbers in the Venus Smith episodes where we can just hear music without vocals in order to appreciate more fully band's potential. However, Spike almost always sounds in the background.


exactly....some great numbers..myself, I was a fan of the Venus era in the show..
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denis rigg
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2021 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mousemeat wrote:
exactly....some great numbers..myself, I was a fan of the Venus era in the show..


Yes, when you start listening and watching these musical numbers, you get the feeling that six Venus Smith episodes are not enough. It was a nice highlight for The Avengers with these musical inserts, who knows what other songs we would have heard from Julie Stevens and music from a band.
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dissolute
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2021 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's sad, I chatted to Spike several times about the show, he had a great time on it with Dave Lee but didn't remember being in "School for Traitors" with Kenny Powell at all.
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Every episode from 1961 to 1977 plus more trivia than you can shake a brolly at.
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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2021 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dissolute wrote:
That's sad, I chatted to Spike several times about the show, he had a great time on it with Dave Lee but didn't remember being in "School for Traitors" with Kenny Powell at all.


how cool is that ? getting the chance to talk to Spike, etc...wow.
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