JOHN WILLIAM BALDRY TRIBUTES - January 12, 1941 - July 21, 2005 - | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | home

'I'm sad to hear of the death of Long John. Like so many others he was an inspiration to me, although only a couple of years older than me, when I used to creep down to the sessions at the 'Gyre and Gimble' (the G's) in Villiers Street, in the mid-1950s, clutching my guitar, and with a head full of skiffle songs. His big voice, big 12 string Zamaitis guitar, and his elongated frame made him an impressive character, even though he was still only a teenager. His belting out of 'Sinner man' and set one's ears ringing in the G's. He was one of the great characters of 50s Soho, and his death will be felt by musicians, and audiences around the world. -Dave Arthur

'I wish to express my deepest sorrow for John's passing to his family and friends. I'm from Greenville Mississippi the heart of the Delta and his music and vocals were truly the Mississippi Delta Blues. He will truly be missed. - Allen O'Bryant

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'Your bed in the hallway of 6 Lymington Mansions, the albums from Sheppard's Bush Market, our late nights in Soho, the "As You Like It" with Barry, Countess Eileen and Ernest the Astrologer...all those wonderful Soho people. A loaf of bread from the bakers off Wardour Street as we walked home. Clem, Duncan, Gus Dugeon and now you. Those times were priceless and shaped the person I am today. I miss you and one day we'll all meet again.' -Roger Pettet

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'I was saddened to hear of John's passing the other day. As a longtime fan, his music made my life just a little bit better as it will continue to do. I got the opportunity to work with John a few years ago when I hired him to do some voiceover work for a tour of 'Les Miserables'. John was so gracious, easy to work with and professional. He always had a story and that voice...slayed me. I think of you often LJB, and will miss you always.. peace'. -Jim Valentine

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'I first glimpsed sight of John on Charing Cross Station in 1957. He was carrying a guitar with "Long John" painted in white across the case. I subsequently got to know him and busk with him a few times under the arches at Charing Cross (across from the 'Gyre and Gimble') He was truly a profound influence on the budding young Blues guitar crowd at that time. I shall cherish those memories of happy times listening to John in the Soho coffee houses.' -Wizz Jones

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'I remember Long John from Eel Pie Island. He was synonymous with the 60s for me, he was perhaps the first musician that was "real" and in touch. God Bless and thanks for making my youth something special.' -Dee Quintas

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