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Ollie Halsall - JPop.com
Artist info
Ollie Halsall

Ollie Halsall

Ollie Halsall


Guitarist Peter "Ollie" Halsall (14 March 1949 - 29 May 1992) was born in Southport, England. He came to London in 1967 to play vibraphone with pop-rock outfit Timebox (which included bassist Clive Griffiths and keyboard wizard 'Professor' Chris Holmes. Ollie took up guitar and they acquired the legendary Mike Patto on vocals and finally drummer 'Admiral' John Halsey. In 1970, following the departure of Holmes, Timebox evolved into Patto. They played Read more on Last.fm
Guitarist Peter "Ollie" Halsall (14 March 1949 - 29 May 1992) was born in Southport, England. He came to London in 1967 to play vibraphone with pop-rock outfit Timebox (which included bassist Clive Griffiths and keyboard wizard 'Professor' Chris Holmes. Ollie took up guitar and they acquired the legendary Mike Patto on vocals and finally drummer 'Admiral' John Halsey. In 1970, following the departure of Holmes, Timebox evolved into Patto.

They played a unique blend of 'progressive' jazz-rock (for want of a better term) featuring Ollie's guitar work which began to develop legendary status. In 1973 he left to join Jon Hiseman's Tempest. After less than a year Ollie quit and did numerous sessions including a short-lived stint in the Glitter Band with only a star-shaped guitar for his trouble. He also did one track for Kevin Ayers. This led to a permanent position in Kevin's band The Soporifics. In 1975 the Pattos staged a brief reunion comprising just 3 benefit gigs.

The reuniting of Ollie and Mike sparked the formation of Boxer - a band which unfortunately promised more than it delivered. In 1976 he rejoined Ayers with whom he stayed, on and off, for the next 16 years until his untimely death in 1992. In the late '70's Ollie was a well respected session player and made contributions to many British albums. (such as The Rutles, John Otway and David Kubinec) Ollie truly found himself at a low ebb when he recorded the multi-instrumental demos in 1979, that would result in his solo album Caves in 1980. Cancer had claimed old collaborator Mike Patto. Halsall was reportedly subsisting without amenities like electricity and phone service when he knocked out these songs on borrowed (!) equipment. In another universe, Halsall would have hit the jackpot with this album.

In some ways, serendipity might have been a curse for Halsall, because the tapes weren't meant for an album -- yet the only reason they exist is because his fellow wildman John Otway still had them. The result is a fascinating glimpse behind the unassuming sideman persona commonly associated with Halsall. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..

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