Jackie Lomax Dies at 69; British Rock Singer Recorded With Members of Beatles
By DANIEL E. SLOTNIK
Published: September 19, 2013
Jackie Lomax, a British rock singer and guitarist who recorded with his Liverpool neighbors George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr but never achieved the stardom that many had predicted, died on Sunday while visiting the Wirral, a peninsula on the Irish Sea near Liverpool. He was 69 and lived in Ojai, Calif.
Michael Putland/Getty Images
The cause was cancer, said Peter Purnell, the chief executive of Angel Air Records, which plans to release Mr. Lomax’s most recent album, “Against All Odds,” in January.
Mr. Lomax, a soulful singer with cheekbones like cliffs, was well regarded on the Liverpool rock ’n’ roll scene of the early 1960s. As a teenager he sang and played bass guitar for the Undertakers, a group that performed at the Cavern Club, in Liverpool, and in Hamburg, Germany, as did the Beatles.
Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ manager, began managing Mr. Lomax in 1966, when he played with a band called the Lomax Alliance. In 1968, Harrison sponsored Mr. Lomax as a solo artist for Apple Records, the Beatles’ newly formed label, suggesting that he record as his debut single “Sour Milk Sea,” a song Harrison had written during a spiritual pilgrimage to India that year. The recording featured Harrison, Mr. McCartney, Mr. Starr and Eric Clapton.
“There I am in the studio and there are three Beatles watching me,” Mr. Lomax was quoted as saying on theApple Records Web site. “That choked up my throat a bit.”
But “Sour Milk Sea” was overshadowed by two hits released by Apple at the same time, “Those Were the Days,” by Mary Hopkin, and the Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” Mr. Lomax’s debut album, “Is This What You Want?,” was produced by Harrison and was released in 1969, but received little attention.
John Richard Lomax was born on May 10, 1944, in the town of Wallasey on the Wirral. After leaving Apple he moved to Woodstock, N.Y., and made two solo albums for Warner Brothers, enlisting musicians like Rick Danko and Levon Helm of the Band. He made two more solo albums for Capitol after settling in California and worked in catering and at hotels to help support himself. In 2001 he released “The Ballad of Liverpool Slim” on Angel Air.
Mr. Lomax’s second wife, the former Annie Richardson, died last year. His survivors include his daughters, Vicki, Louise and Janine, all from his first marriage, to Dionne Armitage; five grandchildren; and a stepson, the photographer Terry Richardson.