Jackie Lomax, Singer-Songwriter and Beatles Collaborator, Dead at 69
British musician succumbed to cancer while visiting the U.K.
Jackie Lomax, a British singer-songwriter who recorded with the Beatles and maintained a lengthy solo career, has died. The 69-year-old tunesmith passed away on September 15 while visiting the Wirral, a peninsula located on the Irish Sea near Liverpool, England, the New York Times reports. The cause was cancer, according to Peter Purnell, the head of Angel Air Records. The label plans to release Lomax’s most recent album, Against All Odds, in January.
Lomax was originally part of the same Liverpool scene that fostered the Beatles, and he was a longtime friend to the Fab Four. As a teenager, Lomax played bass and sang in a band called the Undertakers, which performed at Liverpool’s Cavern Club, a venue where the Beatles frequently took the stage. In the late ’60s, Lomax joined the Beatles’ Apple Records after John Lennon persuaded him to sign with the company.
Tony Bramwell, the former publicist for Apple, told the AP, “[Lomax] was a great rocker, a solid out-and-out rock and roller.” Lomax’s debut single for the label, 1968’s “Sour Milk Sea,” was written by George Harrison and featured Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and Eric Clapton playing back-up. Despite that all-star lineup, the song was overshadowed by two other releases issued that same week: the Beatles’ “Hey Jude” and Mary Hopkin’s “Those Were the Days.”
Lomax’s first full-length, 1969’s Is This What You Want?, was produced by Harrison, but failed to achieve commercial success. After leaving Apple Records, Lomax relocated to Woodstock, New York, before eventually settling in California. He recorded several more albums throughout his life, working with Levon Helm of the Band at one point.
According to Alistair Hepburn, manager for Lomax’s official website, a funeral will be followed by a remembrance ceremony (“more like a rock’n’roll gig”) in Liverpool at a later date. Lomax’s second wife died last year. He is survived by his first wife, Dionne Armitage; their daughters, Vicki, Louise, and Janine; five grandchildren; and his stepson, famous photographer Terry Richardson.