10.03.06 A tribute to Ronnie Pearson, October 3...


Some of you may have heard that Ronnie Pearson, drummer with Last Exit, sadly passed away a few weeks ago. John Hedley and Dave Wood have been in touch to say that Andy Hudson is organising a 'Celebration' of Ronnie's life in Newcastle on the evening of October 3. It will be held at "The Venue" in Market Street, Newcastle. The old Last Exit crew (apart from Sting who is performing in London) will be there and anyone is welcome to go along.

The following article is from the Newcastle Evening Chronicle...

Sting sings tribute to old pal

He's a world-famous rock star with mansions in several countries and a huge fortune.

But Sting has never forgotten his Geordie roots.

So when he heard his former bandmate Ronnie Pearson had died, the star wanted to pay his own tribute.

Ronnie, who drummed with Sting during his pre-Police days in Tyneside band Last Exit, died on July 29, aged 65.

In his honour, family and friends from the local music scene will gather for a celebration of his life and career at a memorial gig.

And Sting, real name Gordon Sumner, will lead the tributes himself with a specially adapted version of his hit 'Fields of Gold' in memory of Ronnie.

Although unable to perform at the gig in person, Sting, who will turn 55 on Monday, has recorded a video of himself playing the track. The remaining former members of Last Exit will then join him in a giant jam session to remember Ronnie.

The gig, Jammin' For Ronnie, has been organised by promoter Andy Hudson, a close friend of Ronnie, at the request of his daughter Jane.

Jane, who lives in Capheaton, Northumberland, said: "They were in Last Exit together for about 10 years. They went down to London and Sting decided he wanted to pursue things down there, but the rest of them were rooted up here, so Sting went out on his own. The rest, for him, is history.

"Sting's been really nice over the years, writing to my dad and inviting him to things when he was in Newcastle. He's a lovely bloke and he's kept in touch with all his friends.

"My dad was very well-known by everybody in the music world and I thought this would be a nice send-off for him. Even near the end he was still very passionate about music. He still had his drums and used to go to the recording studio.

"There was never a dull moment with him. He was great fun and not at all your average dad. It's such a sad shame he's gone, but I think it's nice his music friends are doing this for him."

During his colourful career, Ronnie, who originally came from Merseyside, almost became the drummer in the Beatles, and ran a shop on Dean Street selling percussion. His son Roy now owns The Drum Shop on Akenside Hill in Newcastle.

Organiser Andy Hudson said: "Ronnie was a significant drummer and this gig is a tribute to what he used to do. We have about 20 local musicians involved and Ronnie's drum kit will be set up."

Jammin' For Ronnie will be held at The Venue, Market Street, Newcastle, on October 3, from 8pm.

© The Evening Chronicle by Amy Hunt
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