Wednesday, March 02, 2005

60SOBIT: The drummer of 60s Merseybeat act the Searchers, Chris Curtis, has died at the age of 63.

Although the band were part of the Scouse scene, Curtis himself came from Oldham and joined the others - Mike Pender, Tony Jackson and John McNally - in the band, taking their name from a John Ford western. They went on to have hits with Needles and Pins, Sugar and Spice and Sweets for my Sweet.

Curtis left the band in 1966, with his stool being picked up by John Blunt. He went on to record Let's go To San Francisco, as The Flowerpot Men, a number 4 hit on the edge of novelty; he then formed a band, Roundabout, with his brother Dave. They both quit, but the Roundabout carried on, turning into Deep Purple. Curtis kept a foot in the music industry for a while, producing other acts, before making a career change and joining the civil service. He returned to music after retitement, and recently was taking a role in the tireless charity combo The Merseycats.

Curtis - real name Christopher Crummey - had been ill for some time; he was found dead at his Liverpool home on Monday.