Mel Galley: Another Hero Gone...

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Mel Galley: Another Hero Gone...

Postby Geof » Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:01 am

It was sad to learn that Mel Galley died yesterday (July 1st, 2008) of cancer. He was diagnosed earlier this year and given the tragic news that it was inoperable and that he only had months left to live. Rather than grow reclusive and bitter and keeping this news private, he took the unusual step of announcing this publicly and saying that he wanted to see as many friends as he could before he was gone.

If the name Mel Galley doesn't ring a bell, he was guitarist in the great British band, Trapeze. He later got more attention as a member of Whitesnake, but it is the Trapeze albums that to me are the masterpieces. Their classic albums as a trio, Medusa and You Are the Music...We're Just the Band (with Glenn Hughes on bass and vocals, and Dave Holland on drums) were huge influences on myself personally, both as a drummer and songwriter. I've readily admitted Pentagram's "Much Too Young To Know" was directly influenced by Trapeze's "Way Back To the Bone," and I would often copy certain Dave Holland drum fills in my playing.

After Hughes left for Deep Purple, Galley continued on, releasing three further Trapeze studio albums (Hot Wire, Trapeze and Running aka Hold On) along with some live releases, all of which had some excellent material in the hard rock/funk style.

While never a shredder or guitar god in the league of Schenker or Moore, etc., Galley had this killer sassy-yet-melodic style that fit beautifully. Whether it was the aggressive style displayed on "Keepin' Time," "Way Back To the Bone" or "Back Street Love," or the achingly-beautiful melodic solos on "Coast To Coast" or "Seafull," Galley made up in class, soul and composition what he may have 'lacked' in shredding speed or fret-tap tricks.

Another legend gone...and definitely missed. I think I'll go listed to some Trapeze and shed a tear with a smile...

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Postby perryfalcon » Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:01 pm

Well said, Geof!! :wink:

I've been absent from this here board for a long time. Sad news about Mel Galley. He is a major influence on me! Paul Kossof and Mel Galley really taught me about quality over quantity. I don't care what fools can't play a gazillion notes a second. It's far more difficult to slow down and play something meaningful the way Mel Galley did. Mel had class even when he was pretty young. Trapeze goes way back to the bone in my heavy rawkin' book!!

Saw Glenn Hughes live in L.A. and Sydney in April, and he whipped out "Coast to Coast" in honor of Mel at both gigs. Glenn played guitar on the tune beautifully, following Mel's solo pretty closely, but injecting his own feel.

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