Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Punkobit: Paul Fox

Ruts guitarist Paul Fox has died after a fight against cancer.

As with many of the leading lights of the UK punk scene, Paul had originally been a pub rocker. His band - Hit and Run - transformed into The Ruts in 1977 (although they had toyed with the name Malcolm and The Skulking Loafers). Slots with Rock Against Racism and support from John Peel helped the band into the top ten and onto Top of the Pops with Babylon's Burning, but the band ran into the sand after the heroin OD death of singer Malcolm Owen in 1980. The band continued for a while as The Ruts DC.

In Fox's own words, he then disappeared a little off the scene:

There was Ruts DC, and then a couple of bands, but not serious. For a while I was really a bit of a recluse - just the boat and the dog.

He re-emerged in 2002, playing with Savage Circle, before relaunching the Ruts under the name Foxy's Ruts. This latest iteration of the band was a family affair, with Lawrence, Paul's son, playing on drums.

The original Ruts - with Henry Rollins taking on Owen's role - reformed earlier this year for a benefit gig following Fox's cancer diagnosis. The lung cancer, though, proved to be inoperable and Fox died at home on Monday morning.

[Thanks to Ian for the tip]


Peafish said...

Official Ruts statement on the death of their friend and guitarist Paul Fox


Legendary guitarist, Paul Fox, died at home in Uxbridge at 3AM on Sunday 21st October.

Over the years Paul has performed and recorded with many of the worlds greatest musicians but he will mainly be remembered for his revolutionary punk/dub reggae fusion guitar playing with influential punk band The Ruts.

Paul had been in semi retirement for several years but went back out on the road again in 2006 playing the Ruts music with Foxys Ruts which featured his son Lawrence Fox on drums. The band were well received, both in the UK and Europe.

Following his diagnosis with cancer at the end of May 2007 a benefit gig was organised featuring many of the musicians that Paul had worked with or alongside over the years. There was no doubt about the high esteem in which Paul was held by his fellow musicians as the line up read like a who’s who of the UK punk scene with performances by The Damned, Misty in Roots, the UK Subs, Tom Robinson, John Otway, Splodge, TV Smith and many more.

For the first time in 27 years the surviving members of the Ruts took to the stage together with Henry Rollins standing in for the late Malcolm Owen who died of a drugs overdose in 1980.

The night was a fitting tribute to one of our much under rated and unsung guitar heros.

Paul leaves behind his sons Lawrence and William and his wife, Sharon.

He will be dearly missed


Sarah Pink

erik hogstrom said...

Paul Fox will be missed. He was an influential guitarist, but people around here have barely heard of him. They *HEARD* him, though, because I played "Babylon's Burning" quite loudly on my car stereo today.
Thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

The best guitarist of the punk era,
irreplaceable and largely unappreciated for the giant that he was. Shit.

angel lipa said...

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