As if the drizzle-mizzle, bug-ridden start to the usual post-festive New Year blues wasn't bad enough, the Rock Gods of Mt Olympus decided to claim a few more for their own.

Afore year's end we had already lost Scott Welland, John Bradbury, Lemmy and Natalie Cole and they were rapidly followed in January by Glenn Frey, Dale Griffin, Jimmy Bain and of course David Bowie.

Our esteemed Sub Editor wants to add another name to this blackest of lists and one that in life as in death went largely unnoticed. Brett Smiley might not mean much to many but back in '74 he was ex-Stones' manager Andrew Loog- Oldham's latest protege. One superb single (Va Va Va Voom), one TV appearance (Russell Harty) and one shelved album (Breathlessly Brett) later, it all fell apart and Brett struggled with life and substance abuse until his untimely recent death at age 60. Undoubtedly indebted to Bowie, as nearly everyone else, Brett nevertheless had his own style, taking androgyny to the extreme and indeed making our Starman look like Lemmy at his grungiest! Witness 'that' TV appearance on the Harty show and you'll see what I mean.

So the Celestial Band gets ever stronger and perhaps our form of tribute to the joy they brought can be our continued support and strengthening of our own musical community. It is on this positive note that I will finish by also welcoming the opening of new music venues to the region such as Worley's The Swan in Stourport, The Live Room @ The Cock Inn, Droitwich and the good news of a reprieve for The Boar's Head in Kidderminster. You can read more about these happy events elsewhere in this month's mag, which I have to say myself and my cohorts are inordinately proud of as we enter our 6th year. We hope you agree and thanks you as always for reading.

Give Me Your Ed

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