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Witch Cross • BC Sweet • Gonads • Christie

Jim Percy 1952-2010

Jim Percy

It is with a heavy heart that I make this post, but I wanted to pay tribute to the man who gave me my first job as a professional musician.  Sadly, Jim Percy died suddenly after collapsing at his home in Doncaster on Sunday, and is survived by wife Cheryl and sons James and Adam.  I spent a wonderful two years touring Scandinavia with Jim and Cheryl, as part of the band APOLLO.  During that time, we lived virtually in each others pockets, so even when I left the band to form Tubeless Hearts in 1981, I always kept in touch with them both.  Jim was cocky, self-assured, and the only muso I know who could outplay the agents at their own game.  He also had a wicked sense of humour.  He had honed his skills as a top class percussionist with the Coldstream guards, and along with his abilities, he also inherited from them a host of army stories that were beyond hilarious. Many, many evenings we would be crying with laughter into the wee small hours as he told tales of horses headbutting clarinets into players’ mouths, thunderous avalanches of Oranges on timpani at the Guards’ Harvest festival performance at the Royal Albert Hall, or the settling of inter-barrack grudges by the painful “plastic mugs at dawn” duels.

I remember him negotiating for a month residency, quoting our fee, perhaps 40,000 krone – and the hotel manager saying; “30,000” to which Jim would reply: 50,000!  The guy would look confused, saying “but I thought you said your fee was 40,000” To which Jim said, “exactly, so stop offering me less!”

Jim’s influence on my career cannot underestimated. He gave me confidence as a performer, and two years worth of solid, well-paid work that certainly had the effect that I have continued to be a pro musician for a further 30 years.

He had a great aversion to the cheap Eastern bloc bands undercutting us and taking our work, and once , we arrived at a residency a day early and caught some Czech band performing a painfully bad version of ‘Physical’ by Olivia Newton John. It really set Jim off, seeing them murder what was already a bad song, and getting a gig because they were so cheap. So the following night, when we began our stint there, before we had even played a note, he announced;

“Good evening, we’re Apollo from England, and if anybody wants to get ‘physical’, come over here and I’ll knee them in the nuts!”

Rest in peace, Jim –  You were one of a kind, and they’ll never make another one.

Kev Moore

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April 8, 2010 - Posted by | Music, Recording, Touring, Writing | , , , , , , ,

12 Comments »

  1. Hi Kev. We never met I worked with Apollo as bass player from 82 to when they finished in 85. Every single word you wrote is true for me as well. I was pro until 2004 and there was never a day when I didn,t think, “What would Jim do in this situation?” (mind you, often he would just want a sports report!)He helped me keep my sanity when the crazy things happened. My favourite story of him?
    We were working in Voss one March when the British army were on winter exercise and we got friendly with the guy in charge of the officers mess (Tent!) On the last day the army was there Jim came to us and said we would have to wait for our wages that week. He took the van up to the army camp along with all the money the band could muster including maxing out his credit card & promptly did a dodgy deal with the officer for every drop of alcohol and cigarettes they had left before shipping out. Imagine a luton hi top transit full to the brim!
    A tot of whisky or a pack of ciggies in Norway in 1983? about £5. Christ! did we make a profit or what.
    He even sold a case of whiskey to the local police chief!
    Wherever he is now, I guess he will be organising someone.
    “Right God, get me a coffee, get me a cigarette, and then tell me all about that young lady with the wings you picked up last night,… and I want every little detail!!
    Paul Nelmes

    Comment by paul nelmes | November 17, 2010

  2. HAHAHA! Paul, pleased to meet you and many, many thanks for your “Army story”. God knows, Jim had plenty of them, didn’t he?

    If you look up “entrepreneur’ in the dictionary, there’s probably a photo of Jim next to it!

    Take care mate, and thanks for stopping by.

    Comment by kevmoore | November 17, 2010

  3. Hi Kev. Yet another Kev, Kev Taylor bass player and lead vocalist. I played with Apollo in Denmark and did a serious tour within the Norway circuit. Had a great times with some superb musicians. Jim, Blue, Bob, Cheryl and guitarist Neil Fullerton. I am currently playing with TraXion give me a shout and we can maybe resurrect some funnies re Jim and co. Kind regards KJT.

    Comment by Kevin Taylor | May 28, 2016

  4. Hi Kev! Thanks for dropping in – Good to see you’re still out there doing it! I never knew they played Denmark again after I left, thought it was all Norway – where did you play?

    Comment by kevmoore | June 30, 2016

  5. Hi Kev, Just googled Apollo to see what would come up. We played together for a couple of years 1979-’81, great memories. I often think of Jim, even last night I was talking to my wife while listening to a very bad bar band and said of the singer ‘she’s about three feet flat, as Jim would say’. It’s 34 years since I last saw him but he lives on in the memories of all of us. I saw Cheryl, Bob and Blue at his funeral, I believe you were away touring. I have live tapes of us playing somewhere, perhaps we should start a Facebook page.
    All the best,

    Mike

    Comment by Mike Withers | August 26, 2016

  6. Good to hear from you Mike! I managed to see Cheryl the week of his passing but couldnt stay for the funeral sadly. Would LOVE to hear those tapes! I think of Jim all the time, and often recall one of his classic turns of phrase! He does indeed live on in every one of us. A FB page is a great idea. Al the best to you mate, keep in touch. Have you still got that Guild? 🙂 Kev

    Comment by kevmoore | August 26, 2016

  7. I’ll dig out the tapes and photos when I get home (I have a house in Spain where I am at the moment). There is a story behind the loss of the Guild but probably not for this forum.

    Cheers,

    Comment by Mike Withers | August 26, 2016

  8. I live in Spain, where are you mate?

    Comment by kevmoore | August 26, 2016

  9. A village called La Herradura in Andalucia, 10 mins from Nerja, 45 from Malaga. Whereabouts are you?

    Comment by Mike Withers | August 26, 2016

  10. Unbelievable. I was near Nerja a week ago, I was gigging in Mijas with BC Sweet. I live near Mojacar in Almeria, Andalucia!

    Comment by kevmoore | August 26, 2016

  11. Wow, that is unbelievable! Let me know when you are nearby again, I would love to meet up. I am not here very often though, this is the third time this year. We have had this house for 14 years but don’t spend enough time in it, one day…………

    Comment by Mike Withers | August 26, 2016

  12. Definitely Mike!

    Comment by kevmoore | August 26, 2016


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