Stu Page, British guitarist and songwriter dies, aged 58
Stu Page 12 May 1954 – 28 April 2013
Stu Page, one of Britain’s finest guitarists and singer/songwriters on the country music circuit has sadly died. After slipping on ice in December 2012 it resulted in a fractured vertebrae. Complications following his accident led to surgery and it was discovered he had lung cancer and had to go through intensive chemotherapy.
Born: 12 May 1954, Leeds, West Yorkshire.
Married: to Janet Page (Anniversary 11 February 1976)
Stu Page Band Details (2011) Stu Page: Lead Vocals & Guitar; Roy Wike: Drums;
Tom Page: Acoustic Guitar & Backing Vocals; Ian Hawkins: Bass
About: 4 piece rock n roll / country band from Leeds, West Yorkshire
Country Influences : Merle Haggard, Gram Parsons & The Byrds, Alan Jackson,
Hal Ketchum, Albert Lee, Nanci Griffith, Elvis, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs
Stu Page Background/Bio
Childhood: Second son of Handley and Maisie Page a skilled toolroom fitter and a seamstress.
Moved to the then small town of Pudsey at age six. Sang in the local church choir and was given his first guitar at the age ten. Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis were some of his early influences and he listened to these on the Light Programme and Home Service (Forerunners to BBC Radio 1 and 2)
Teens: Page learned to play with lessons in the Kitchens Music Shop in Leeds and during the 1970s, was taught by veteran jazz player Len Lewis. At aged 16 he travelled round the UK playing many gigs in a three piece rock/blues Leeds outfit called The Gritt Band, it lasted a couple of years.
America: Stu received a phone call from a sound engineer on Radio Leeds and they needed an electric guitar putting on some of the tracks and he was asked if he could help. Stu quit his day job at a print factory and flew out to America to join their band.
In 1973, after helping the American bluegrass outfit, the Warren Wikeson Band, he was invited to join them in Boston for a year.
The band was a fusion of styles, bluegrass, country and rock and toured mainly on the college circuit across North America. One of the first shows they played was to support Earl Scruggs in Vermont. After the college circuit work dried up Stu diversified playing soul music in 20 different US States.
Band Connections: After about 2 years he returned to the UK, he took various day jobs, but played in several semi-pro bands.
He played with rock band fronted by a Liverpudlion singer songwriter called John Rigby and the band was called Whistler.
Later returning to country roots Stu played his first gig in the British country music scene with Leeds based band Midnight Flyer.
They were a six piece band, fronted by lead singer Bev Williams with Stu playing guitar. They played covers of Eagles, Waylon, Don Williams, country standards and some bluegrass material.
Stu was to form his own band Remuda, which was an early incarnation of The Stu Page.
The Stu Page Band: In 1984 he went to Switzerland to work in a hotel complex as part of a duo with the late Terry Clayton. They played there every night for seven weeks. Returning with the money they had saved they decided to put a country music band together which was to become the Stu Page Band. They recorded in Nashville and played both the Royal Albert Hall and The London Palladium (Don Williams Tour) in that band guise. They hooked up with American singer/songwriter/producer Gail Davis who would marry her British husband Rob Price (Photo - bass player with the Stu Page Band) in August 11, 1995 in Leeds, England after they first met at a festival in Bern, Switzerland.
Besides being a talented guitarist, Stu Page had a powerful voice that belied his small stature. They recorded several cassettes for sale at shows.
The Stu Page Band album was produced by Joe Butler of the Hillsiders for Barge Records. Page’s major influence was drawn from Merle Haggard and the band’s singles included “He Made The Whole World Sing”, “Are You Still In Love With Me?” and the double a-side, “Florida Feelin’’/‘Honeysuckle Dreamin’’.
The Stu Page Band appeared on television on CMTV (video rotation of "Can't Sing the Blues" and "Pickin' at the Speed of Light"); BBC's Children In Need and on regional TV shows including YTV's 'Calendar', Tyne Tees and Meridian. Band members performed and recorded music for ITV's 'Heartbeat'. They also appeared on TV shows in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Scandinavia and Ireland.
The B'Eagles: In 1995 with the aid of fellow guitar player and band member Andy Whelan (Link), Stu put together an Eagles tribute band (The B'Eagles) along with Bryan Thomson (lead vocals and guitar), Colin Gibb (bass; an integral member of the pop band Black Lace) and Ian Hawkins (drums).
In their stunning 2 hour shows they played the whole spectrum of Eagles music from classic country-style ballads "Take it Easy", "Desperado", "Best of My Love" to Joe Walsh's solo work like "Life's Been Good", the storming "Rocky Mountain Way" to Don Henley's hit song "Boys of Summer".
The B'Eagles developed a big show and they were to play as far away as Arabia -"Logistically it was a nightmare, with 8 tons of kit, 2 trucks on the road and massive lighting rigs" shared Stu. The B'Eagles Farewell Tour took place during 2006.
As a country picker Stu worked with artistes such as Kris Kristofferson, Ricky Skaggs, James House, Jim Glaser, Billie Jo Spears, Gail Davies and Carl Perkins to name a few. Stu also produced albums for renowned Yorkshire country music group The Haley Sisters.
He received multiple nominations from the British Country Music Association (4X winners of the Best Band Award)
New Album: In 2012, after a long album gap Stu was back working on the country music scene in the UK and teamed up with his son Tom on guitar and vocals. A new 10 track set was released, titled LIGHTNING BOY. The 2009 CMA International Country Broadcaster Award Brian Clough played the title track on June 23, 2012 saying: "Great to have you back Stu, another great album, what else could we expect from Stu Page"
Accident/ Illness: In December 2012 after a gig in Stockport, Cheshire Stu slipped on the ice, hurt his back managed to drive home, but the next morning could not move. He had fractured vertebrae, leaving him unable to sit down and only walk with difficulty or lie down. In March 2013 he underwent surgery at St James’s Hospital.
A tribute night to raise funds for the 59-year-old country rock star took place on March 28th at The Anglers Club, Burmantofts and raffles were organised to help him through his time out of employment. Stu & his wife Janet were touched by people’s generosity.
Complications that followed Stu's accident and operation discovered he had lung cancer and had to go through some intensive chemotherapy.
In late April he was very ill in a hospice and given a week to live.
Passing: On April 28, 2013 his wife Janet posted on Facebook:
It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform all of Stu's face book friends that my beloved, wonderfully talented husband passed away this morning Sunday 28th April.
Funeral arrangements - 13th May 2013, Rawdon Crematorium 2 20pm:
Rawdon Crematorium, Leeds Rd, Rawdon, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS19 6JP
No flowers, donations to Wheatfields Hospice Headingley. - www.sueryder.org/Wheatfields
James House, Californian singer-songwriter who has penned singles for Diamond Rio ("In a Week or Two"), Dwight Yoakam ("Ain't That Lonely Yet"), Sara Evans ("The Great Unknown") and Martina McBride ("A Broken Wing") and The Mavericks ("Born to Be Blue") shared his thoughts on Facebook:
I will always remember his brilliant dry humor, musicianship and kindness. The ten days I played with him and the band will stay with me forever..
Graham L. Hall (UKCountryRadio.com presenter) - A sad loss... a great guy.. in all ways... Thinking of you all... RIP
Allan Watkiss (CMA International Country Broadcaster 2010) - He was an excellent musician, an excellent songwriter and an excellent performer...his music sits really nicely alongside the best high produced material that’s around at the moment, he really will be missed...certainly musically he was up there with the BEST the UK has to offer.
Henry Smith (BCMAwards Entertainer Of The Year 2010-2012) - God bless stu, great musician
Alan Cameron (British country music musician /songwriter) We are so sorry to hear the sad news. Stu was a friend and one of the most talented people in British country music. He will live on in our hearts.
Brian Smith (The Haley Sisters Band) We all love our Stu & all the family, what a great talented man, God bless ya Stu, Bri & all.
The Haley Sisters via Facebook - One of Englands great musicians, songwriters & more importantly GENUINE all 'round good man who was sincere in all that he did. We're all absolutely choked & gutted! ... Thank you so much for publishing this lovely tribute to our friend Stu. God bless, Brian, Becky & Jo-Ann
Brian Clough (CMA International Country Broadcaster 2009) - Stu was a great guy that I had the pleasure of working with quite a few times.....shut your eyes and you would have thought you were listening to a Nashville artist, I often thought that his talent should have been more appreciated and recognized...he also had a wicked sense of dry humour...it was a pleasure to listen to and work with a true professional....he'll be a great miss to anyone who knew him.
Irene Tradewell (Country Routes Magazine) - A top chap, on and off stage. All at Country Routes mag thank Stu for the wonderful memories we have through his magnificent talents.
leedsmusicforum.co.uk - He was a well known and massively respected Leeds musician that seemed to gig endlessly both with the Stu Page Band and the B-eagles.To the younger generation he is probably best known for working in Music Ground . He used to scare the hell out of me with his dry sense of humour. Took me a few visits to actually pluck up the courage to actually buy my first guitar of him about 16 years ago.
Stetson Ravenshead (Nottingham concert venue) - I have fond memories of his connection with Stetson since the mid 80's. He was and always will be British Country Music.
Stacy Keys (Stage Management, Artiste Liason) - I'm so sorry to hear of Stu's passing. I'm sure you already know what a wonderful friend he was to so many people through his music and his huge heart. He will be truly missed and I'm sure has left a massive hole to fill.
UK Country radio presenters react to the news of the loss of Stu Page:
a) Ros Raye from Forest FM shares thoughts
b) Keith Greentree BBC Radio Norfolk/Eastern Counties pays tribute and
c) Allan Watkiss (CMA International Country Broadcaster 2010) on UKCountryRadio.com [29April2013] shares some special words and in tribute plays the great Stu Page Band track “Small Town Boy” LISTEN >> Audio Link
d) Lee Williams (CEO of Country Radio Station CMR Nashville) described Stu as:
"One of Britains Best" and played the 2012 album title cut "Lightning Boy"
>> Audio Link
e) Diane Richards, promoter for the Sunny Hunny Country Music Festival in Hunstanton Norfolk, wrote an obituary which was read out by Keith Greentree on BBC Radio Norfolk on Saturday May 4, 2013 and then the track "Stepping Stone" was played
>> Audio Link
UKCountryRadio.com Spotlight Artist interview with Allan Watkiss, circa April 2012 >> Audio Link
The Stu Page Band, a couple of original songs - soundcloud.com
Can't Sing The Blues (Milltown Label /1995);
Late August Skies (2006);
Lightning Boy (2012)
Appears on Tony Goodacre and Friends "Sylvantone Singers & Songwriters"
(Various Artists) - CD Baby
"Honeysuckle Dreaming" - Originally released on cassette tape only in 1986, and later as a 45rpm single, Stu Page (vocals, lead & rhythm guitar), is joined by members of his own band Terry Clayton (bass), Andy Whelan (lead guitar) both also adding harmony vocals, and Brian Nicholls (drums).
"Radio Nights" - Picked from over 1000 entries to be among the final 10 songs in the 1985 Isle of Wight International Song Contest, this version of Stu’s song was released that year on ‘The Sylvantone Showcase’ various artistes album. Adding to Stu’s band ‘Remuda’, Terry Clayton (bass) Steve Isherwood (guitar) and John White (drums) is guest steel guitarist Derek Thurlby.
Stu Page & Remuda: Filmed at the Claire Hall, Haywards Heath, Sussex in November 1989, Stu Page and his band perform a great version of the classic song “Georgia” NO BACKING TRACKS required !! >> YouTube
Stu Page with Becky Haley "Old Americana" >> YouTube
The Stu Page Band playing at a Help for Heroes weekend in August 2012
According to this website A Stu Page Tribute Night is planned to go ahead at
Gillys Country Music Club on Thursday 9th May 2013.
It will feature:
The Collier Dixon Line, John Aston Band (Featuring Ken Durrands plus Jon J Paul and Derek Thurlsby (ex Ces’t La Vie) and Mike Sagar and Richard Harding Duo
Where: The Westgate Common WMC; 5 Park Grove Rd, Wakefield, WF2 8TW (Tele: 01924 372989)
Condolences to Stu’s family and to his many country music fans from the UK and afar