Search

Bass legend and former Islington Gazette sub-editor dies

08:33 15 May 2013

Ken Whaley

Ken Whaley

Archant

A legendary globe-trotting bass player and former Gazette sub-editor has died after a brief battle with cancer.

Ken Whaley, who lived in Islington for more than 35 years, was 67 when he passed away on May 8.

He was brought up in east London and started his journalistic career there, working on local newspapers, following in the footsteps of his father who was a newspaper photographer.

He worked for the Gazette as a sub-editor in the early 1970s during the difficult change from hot metal to digital and during industrial unrest.

At the same time as he was forging his career as a bass guitarist in various rock bands. He combined the two for some time, but eventually quit to concentrate on being a musician – soon touring and playing massive gigs in the United States with the band Man.

Described as a “legendary” bassist by his former manager, he was a founder member of the band Ducks Duluxe and made four albums with Man and another outfit Help Yourself – including the eponymously titled The Return of Ken Whaley.

In recent years he played with his brother Simon in a band called The Green Ray, often with American 60s guitar legend Barry Melton.

He later returned to journalism, and in 1982 returned to the Gazette where he worked as a sub editor for a further 10 years.

Tony Allcock, former editor of the Gazette, said: “Ken Whaley was a very talented and creative man who was respected by all who knew him. He was a world-class bass player and an excellent sub-editor – one of the best I ever worked with.

“He was also a lovely person – kind, generous, unassuming and a loyal friend. He made a great contribution to the Islington Gazette over the years and will always be remembered fondly by all his former colleagues.”

Mr Whaley played many gigs in the famous Hope and Anchor pub, in Upper Street, Islington, in the 1970’s as it became a trailblazing rock pub and breeding ground for fresh talent.

John Eichler who ran the pub and also managed Help Yourself, said: “Ken has been a large part of my family’s lives for the past 40 odd years. He was a great friend and an entertaining companion.

“We were chalk to cheese and could argue our views on modern culture for hours. Ken turned me on to so much music and literature I’m so grateful.

“Ken was elegant in looks, in thought and in his rich and subtle bass playing.

“I always felt he was a man out of time; his sensibilities were from a earlier age. He was a truly gentle man.

“We worked, lived and laughed together for many wonderful years and he leaves a bloody great hole in my heart.”

Mr Whaley is survived by three brothers and two sisters.

His funeral takes place at the Islington Crematorium, in Finchley, on Friday at 3.30pm.

0 comments

Latest Islington News Stories

Fri, 17:47
Michael Otshudi was sentenced to 18 months

Two men have been jailed over the shooting of a good Samaritan who was trying to break up a brawl at a wake – but police believe the gunman is still at large nine months on.

Fri, 13:31
Mehmet Ozer celebrates his £303,465.20 EuroMillions win at his workshop in Caledonian Road, Islington. Picture: Ady Kerry/Camelot

A lucky upholsterer has a foot on the housing ladder after decades of renting – thanks to a £300,000 EuroMillions win.

Fri, 10:43
Cllr Claudia Webbe with the solar panel array at Islington's Reuse and Recycling Centre. Picture: Islington Council

Islington Council expects electricity savings of £1.5 million over the next 30 years, after installing more than 1,800 solar panels on three of its buildings.

Fri, 09:41
Flowers at the scene of the crash where Lewis Johnson, 18, died on Tuesday (Picture: Ken Mears)

Tributes have continued to pour in for 18-year-old Lewis “lighty Lew” Johnson, who died on Tuesday after his motor scooter collided with a van following a police chase.

Thu, 18:16
Dangerous: The junction of Pentonville Road and Islington High Street (Picture: Google StreetView)

Campaigners say “urgent” action must be taken over a deadly Islington junction after figures ranked it in the top 10 most dangerous for London’s pedestrians.

Thu, 14:00
Feeding pigeons in the Palmer Estate could lead to eviction, the letter said. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA WIRE

Heavy-handed town hall officials made a bizarre threat to evict council tenants because they had been feeding pigeons.

Thu, 12:53
This Girl Can Islington launched in Sobell Leisure Centre last week

A “genuinely affordable” campaign has been launched to break down barriers women and girls face in getting exercise.

Thu, 12:23
Pentonville Prison (Picture: PA Wire)

One of Britain’s longest-serving murderers is the only man to have escaped from Pentonville prison in the last five years, a Gazette investigation has revealed.

Most read news

Competitions

Champagne experience

This Valentine’s Day, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the perfect destination for lovebirds, offering a range of romantic experiences from Friday 12th February - Sunday 14th February 2016.

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe