LONDON, England / The Guardian / Culture, Music / May 9, 2011
Tributes paid to songwriter, vocalist, guitarist 'and gentleman with lots of style' who played pivotal role in band
By Ben Quinn
John Walker, who has died aged 67, was 'a compassionate songwriter and a
gentleman with lots of style', according to his Walker Brothers bandmate Gary.
Photograph: Tony Clayman Promotions/PA
John Walker, one of the founders of the Walker Brothers, has died at the age of 67.
The songwriter, vocalist and guitarist, who played a pivotal role in the band, which scored huge commercial success in the 1960s and 1970s with songs such as Make It Easy On Yourself and The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Any More), passed away at his Los Angeles home. He had liver cancer.
Born John Maus, he and the other two unrelated members of the group, Scott Engel and Gary Leeds, adopted the Walker Brothers name after their formation in 1964.
His spokeswoman said: "Sadly John passed away yesterday morning Californian time, after a six-month battle with liver cancer."
In a mirror image of sorts to the British pop invasion of the US in 1960s, the band's fame flourished after travelling to the UK during the same decade.
The official John Walker website said it was with "deepest sadness" that it had to report the musician passed away.
"He was a beloved husband, brother, father, grandfather, friend, and artiste," it added.
On his own website, Gary Walker said in a statement that it was "a very sad day" for himself, John's family and all of their many fans.
"John was the founder member of the group and lead singer in the early days," he added.
"He was also a fantastic guitarist which a lot of people didn't realise. He was a compassionate songwriter and a gentleman with lots of style."
"The three of us had the most incredible adventure together, all the time not realising that we were part of pop history in the making. His music will live on, and therefore so will John."
The statement ended saying "T-birds and Bentleys".
© Guardian News and Media Limited