I was fortunate enough to know Jimmy. The first time I met him was in the Barrhead Hotel. A local band were playing and I knew the drummer. We sitting having a beer before they were due to start their Sunday afternoon gig and who walked in but the man himself (who came up to the table said hello as he also knew my pal the drummer). I was introduced and stammered a bit in fact I became starstruck and couldn't speak. He burst out laughing and said "Well! D'ye want a pint or no?" A real down to earth man. He got up and did 3 songs with the band. To say they improved would be an understatement. Sheer class..
Mattie, his Mrs was a wee gem. Big George Watt and myself went over to Jimmys and Mattie's first words to me were "Are you staying for your dinner? We're having mince & tatties." Real nice down to earth peple.
At a party one night Jimmy did his party piece, a cover of Scarlet Ribbons. There wasn't a dry eye in the house after he had finished such was the emotion he put into it.
In later years he gave me a cassette tape of his solo album as it had been discontinued. I was well chuffed. I wasn't too chuffed however to find it missing after a night out on the tiles with one George Ross Watt who may have "borrowed" it.
I remember playing with Alan Wheeler in a band called Loose Cut in a pub in Glasgow and Jimmy came up and did a couple of numbers, a real treat that was. One great mystery to me is why Chryslis have never released "Hosanna" as a Christmas single. Everyone I have let hear it is just astounded by how good it is. A sure fire number one hit. Maybe you should start a petition to have it released?
All the best.
In the 1980s, after returning to Scotland, Jimmy was looking for the brightest talents for his newest musical endeavors. This precisely what Jimmy found in the guitar playing talents of Alan Wheeler. Alan played with Jimmy from approximately 1987-1989. Alan's band "Dealer" is the current focus of his musical energies and if you find yourself in the greater Glasgow are they are highly recommended.
Alan speaks fondly of his time with Jimmy and he has kindly offered his recollections and his photos. Thanks, Alan! CK
Hi there Carl. My name is Alan 'Dealer' Wheeler. I worked with Jimmy Dewar for 2 years approximately. I was his guitarist and I would be happy to give you any information that would be of interest to you. Jimmy was a fantastic singer/songwriter and it was a privilege to play a small part in Jimmy's life. Meantime I will collect all my memories and write them down for you, then email them to you. Yours, Alan 'Dealer' Wheeler.
Alex Ligertwood is another example of Glasgow's amazing legacy of vocal talent. Best known for his work as lead singer for the Carlos Santana Band, Alex is also an LA session veteran. His passion and warmth extend well beyond his vocal talents as he is truly a nice person. Alex has kindly agreed to contribute the following comments on Jimmy and his music. CK
Alex wrote this for the debut of the site:
Jimmy Dewar, undoubtedly one of the greatest singers ever to come out of Glasgow, Scotland and a first rate bass player as well.
I first ran into Jimmy in the early sixties during a talent competition at the Locarno Ballroom in Glasgow. Three bands emerged from that, a band from Edinburgh (whose name I do not recall), my band The Kwintones and Lulu and The Lovers (with Jimmy). We all had to go to London for a record test and Lulu and The Lovers were chosen and went on to have some success. Lulu became a big star with that great voice of hers and years later I knew Jimmy was with Robin Trower.
Man, what a soulful voice...
I won't forget him....
Bill Lordan is a brilliant drummer in any musical setting. It just so happens that his talent applied to the music of Dewar and Trower fit like a glove. In September of 1974 Bill was given the nod to replace original RTB drummer Reg Isadore. Bill’s signature syncopations and cymbal mastery changed the sound of the RTB immediately. Songs had more fire, more dynamics and suddenly everything just clicked. His trademark long blond hair and his one of a kind Rodgers drums covered with shimmering gold material (courtesy of design giant Halston) became a visual cue that the Robin Trower Band was complete. Dewar’s high expectations for drummers had been met and Robin beamed like a proud new father.
I am happy to say that Bill has generously agreed to contribute to this site and we can look to see new contributions as he recalls them. Many thanks Bill, for your role in this great musical experience and for your generous contributions to this site. CK
Dave Mattacks' [“ DM” ] professional career started in the UK with big bands before joining the influential folk-rock group “Fairport Convention”, freelancing extensively throughout his tenure with the band. Among Dave's sessions during the eighties was Jimmy's "Stumbledown Romancer" album.
The title track "Stumbledown Romancer, Bright Lights" and "Sands of Time" are the tracks where Dave's drumming can be found. He had never heard the finished product since the sessions, so Richard Devlin sent him a copy of the CD. Following that Dave shared a couple of thoughts with Ritchie, here's what he said:
"I'd honestly forgotten contributing to his album - but not forgotten him. I'd known JD since "Stone the Crows" days in Glasgow when I was in a dance band there. I remember the session being enjoyable and Jimmy being on good form.
'Tis a sad loss. God Bless Jimmy!"
*In 2000, Dave left the UK & moved to Boston, MA where he continues to enjoy a full career in Music spanning live & studio work, both as a Musician & Producer.
Ernie Johnson is one of those ultra-rare finds for this website. He has not only met Jimmy but, he has generously offered several videos of the RTB exclusively to JimmyDewar.com. As we wait for those videos to arrive, raise a glass and toast Ernie! You rock buddy! CK
GEORGE ROSS WATT
Glasgow legend George Ross Watt aka "Big George" became one of Jimmy's closest friends both on and off stage. George is a fiery guitarist and has a voice that can keep up with the best crooners around. He played in Jimmy's band called "Adults Only" for approximately four years before Jimmy's health began to fail. Their friendship had grown quite strong over those several years and George was the person chosen to deliver a touching eulogy at Jimmy's funeral. No one is likely to miss Jimmy more than George.
In 1987, following his time playing with Jimmy, George formed his own band called "Big George and The Business" with Greg Orron Drums and Tam (Slainte, Shifty) McLucas on Bass. After years of extensive touring and several album releases, George has suffered some health difficulties of his own. We all wish him a speedy and complete recovery. With the assistance of Tam and our good buddy Richard Devlin, we will receive tidbits from George beginning with the last song that Jimmy ever recorded "My Father's Eyes".
This is a page I am proud to present.
Thanks and get well soon George! CK
Jim Summaria began his career as a professional photographer at a level that many would consider to be the top of the profession. From 1973 to 1978 he was staff photographer for the Chicago concert promoter Flip Side Productions. Among the many concerts Jim captured through his lens were stars such as Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney and Led Zeppelin. More significantly for our purposes, I was thrilled to learn that Jim had photographed the Robin Trower Band on two separate concert dates in 1973 and 1975 and took photos both onstage and backstage. Among these photos are several of Jimmy alone and smiling for the camera.
We cannot thank Jim enough for his generosity as we await the delivery of these scans.
In the meantime he has sent us a lower resolution teaser shown here on this page. If you would like to savor the full library of Jim's work I urge you to visit his website at http://jimsummariaphoto.com/
JOE LYNN TURNER
Joe Lynn Turner shook the world of rock when he burst on the national scene in 1982 as the voice of "Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow". Singing hits like "I Surrender" "Street Of Dreams" and Jealous Lover" his vocal power, range and absolute passion for music made everyone sit up and take notice. Long known for his no-BS nature, Joe is a breath of fresh air. He makes no bones about developing his style and technique through mastering songs he covered on his way up the music ladder of his youth. His respect and admiration for those songs and artists live with him to this very day as he maintains a powerful career of his own playing around the globe to sold out audiences still. His respect and love for the work of Jimmy Dewar is something that Joe has spoken to me about and I am thrilled that he has agreed to be one of the contributors here. Thanks Joe, glad to have you aboard! CK
During the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s one of the hardest working artists in music was Jon Butcher. A flamboyant front-man, gifted singer/songwriter and guitar virtuoso, his band the Jon Butcher Axis ruled the Northeastern United States. Jon virtually owned his home base of Boston Massachusetts filling any venue on any evening with rabid fans and great rock music. Despite this dominance of the Northeast, Jon could not be contained, relocating to the music mecca of Los Angeles, he took his powerful brand of electric blues-rock global. It was inevitable that all this talent and hard work would yield numerous hits such as "Saving Grace", "Holy War", "Life Takes A Life" and "Wishes" as well as prominent video rotation on MTV and even a Grammy nomination.
Considering the respective successes of Jon Butcher and the Robin Trower Band throughout this period, it is not surprising that Jon met up with Jimmy one evening in 1978. Jon has been kind enough to share the story below. Thanks Jon! CK
Quick story; Robin was playing in Boston at one of the hot concert clubs of the time [ Landsdown Street, Fall of 1978 I think] . I went to see the show and ended up talking to and hanging out with Jim Dewar for the night. We talked endlessly about gear, the state of music in general and the trials and tribulations of keeping your voice in shape while singing above several stacks of Marshall 100wt Super Lead amplifiers !
The Trower show was amazing of course[ Day of The Eagle- please... ], and Robin's guitar sound was stellar. But what stays with me all these many years is my hang with Jimmy- warm, familiar and thoroughly enjoyable. He was every bit the gentleman that others have noted and someone whom I admire- and have admired for many years. Though possessing one of rock's most recognizable voices I admired James Dewar mostly for his humanity. A really good guy.
Carl, thanks so much for thinking of me, and for jogging my memory. I'm currently on tour w/ BB King but would really be interested in following up with you when I get home for a short break, I hope to hear from you again then.
*Jon continues to be vital and prolific in music through touring and CD releases as well as scoring for television and film. I urge you to all to check out Jon on the Internet and stay current with his career by visiting his Official Website, MySpace page and Barefoot Servants. Thanks, Carl