Saturday, May 13, 2006

Farewell to Johnny Paris

The sad death of Johnny Paris, the tenor sax player who was the eponymous leader of Johnny and the Hurricanes, of leukemia at the age of 65, brings back fond memories of a time when instrumentals made up a high proportion of the top 30. Some preferred the deep bass guitar of Duane Eddy, others the rhythmic sound of The Ventures, while others (poor deluded fools) preferred The Shadows. But for me, whilst I enjoyed the sound of Eddy and The Ventures, the most exciting instrumental sound of the early 60s was that of Johnny Paris together with organist Paul Tesluck, Dave Yorko on guitar, Lional Butch Mattice on bass and drummer Bill Savich. They made some tremendous records - my favourites included Red River Rock, Reveille Rock, Beatnik Fly, Rocking Goose and Salvation - and the Stormsville LP (an original copy of which I picked up for £1 in a charity shop recently) stills sounds great today. As the popularity of instrumentals waned so did that of Johnny and the boys. But they were a major force in pop music at the time and Johnny was a key part of that exciting Hurricanes sound. The best obit I've seen so far was in The Guardian: http://arts.guardian.co.uk/news/obituary/0,,1770620,00.html

8 Comments:

At 12:01 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, once and for all: My husband Johnny Paris did not die of any kind of cancer, even his autopsy results as of to this day did not reveal leukaemis or any other kind of cancer. He died of pneumonia and septic blood after a splenectomy. No cancer cells were found when he was alive and no cancer cells were found during the autopsy, but the full report will come out in about 3 weeks from now. I just wonder how some former musicians seems to know more about my husband than his own doctors, pathologists and his immediate family. This is very upsetting for his kids and me.

Sonja Reuter (widow of Johnny Paris)

 
At 12:02 pm , Blogger Sonja said...

Okay, once and for all: My husband Johnny Paris did not die of any kind of cancer, even his autopsy results as of to this day did not reveal leukaemis or any other kind of cancer. He died of pneumonia and septic blood after a splenectomy. No cancer cells were found when he was alive and no cancer cells were found during the autopsy, but the full report will come out in about 3 weeks from now. I just wonder how some former musicians seems to know more about my husband than his own doctors, pathologists and his immediate family. This is very upsetting for his kids and me.

Sonja Reuter (widow of Johnny Paris)

 
At 12:07 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

A tribute to Johnny Paris:
http://www.planetjive.freeuk.com/news1.html

 
At 10:56 pm , Anonymous Nick said...

Sonja
Thanks for your comments and the link. Sorry for repeating false information. Me and my friends in England were very sorry to hear about your husband's death.

 
At 4:47 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just received the full autopsy report on John two days ago. It confirmed his death due to splenectomy, pneumonia and sepsis. It also mentioned inflammation in the panceas area. Again no remarks about cancer or leukaemia, it is now definitely ruled out.
We are relieved, as cancer would always be something you need to worry in family lines, which would be devastating for his children. But it also leaves us desperate, because this man really did not need to die if the doctors would have caught the severity of his conditions in time, he was too young and in November 2005 still too strong to end up the way he did. It is a crying shame.

Sonja Reuter (widow of Johnny Paris)

 
At 2:30 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just heard that Lionel "Butch" Mattice (on bass) has passed away, the orginal bassist of Johnny and the Hurricanes.

 
At 5:01 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes he did, he was a friend of my fathers,,, im was wondering if anyone knows, did Butch play on any of their albums??

 
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