REG WEBB | 17 May 1947 – 28 January 2018
It was the summer of 1983. We were recording my first album in a basement studio in Aldgate, east London. We were struggling to get to grips with the title track “Human Racing”. Pretty much every session keyboard player in town had been wheeled in but not one had got even close to emulating the keys on an earlier version of the song. “So who played on that version?”, asked Peter Collins (producer), head in hands. “That would be my mate Reg Webb”, I replied. “Give him a call”
A few days later, we were humping that bloody Yamaha CS80 (weighed as much as a Vauxhall Viva) down the steps to Sarm East and into the rather cramped control room. No more than an hour later, the offending keyboard parts had been officially nailed and Reg was stood there wondering what all the fuss was about.
I’ve had the privilege of working with some fabulous keyboard players over the years but none have ever managed to match Reg’s performance. It was one of those special studio moments.
I was in a band called Hogg in the late 70s. We and about every other muso in Ipswich used to convene at the Kingfisher one Sunday in every month to watch Fusion. We’d look on in awe as Alan Clarke, Kenn Elson, Reg and Ian Pearce did their stuff. We’d nurse a pint of Fosters and nod knowingly after each solo or other feat of Jazz fusion gymnastics. These were the heights we all aspired to.
Later, I was blessed and honoured to be a part of this band for the best part of 4 years. It was like being at muso university. Reg was the professor and he taught me so much. He taught me SO much. How to flatten a fifth, augment a third, diminish a 7th and demolish a bottle of claret. He taught me how to listen to and appreciate music. Most of all, Reg believed in me and taught me to believe in myself. Without him, I don’t think I would have found myself in Sarm studios in the summer of 1983, recording my first album.
Thank you so much my friend. Thank you so much.