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 News Stories

16:30
Two new train strikes are planned for June 4 and June 9  (Photo by Cate Gillon/Getty Images)

Network Rail workers are to stage two strikes next month after a new pay offer was rejected.

15:51
Alan Cartwright was knifed to death in February

18-year-old set for court appearance today following Alan’s brutal stabbing in February

Councillor Paul Convery said the young offenders service and probation must improve

Most crimes committed by “small group of persistent offenders”

Friends paid tribute Joe Walker at the spot where he was killed

A teenage boy has been given a 12-month-detention order for his part in the death of Joe Walker, a 17-year-old from Stroud Green who was killed in a road crash last October.

Most read news

Competitions

The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder