www.rockingscots.co.uk

Rockingscots is a website dedicated to Scottish beat groups of the '60s and  early '70s. Visit the Rockingscots homepage for more groups or to e-mail us.

Obituary: Brian McKee (1951-2010)

Affectionately knows as 'Blec' or 'Wee Blec', Brian died suddenly at his home in Ayr on Wednesday 14 July 2010 aged 58 years.   Brian contributed greatly to Rockingscots in its early years.  He was a mine of anecdotes about White Trash, Tear Gas, etc - picked up from his years as a roadie with Ayr band Pure Greed.  Brian also contributed artwork scans from his record collection such as Tear Gas's rare first lp 'Piggy Go Getter'.  Rockingscots is the richer for his involvement.

Brian's family moved to Armour Drive (Holmston) in Ayr from Newton-on-Ayr in the early 1950s.  He attended Ayr Grammar then Belmont Primary and Secondary schools.  On leaving school he became an apprentice electrician before service with the RAF including a spell stationed on Gan in the Indian Ocean. He later worked at SAL at Prestwick and had short spells in London and Barrow-in-Furness. But it was to Ayrshire that he always returned and there he maintained an association with rock music as stage electrician for local music promoter Tom Jones working with Frankie Miller among many other visiting musicians.  From the '90s to the mid 2000s Brian lived in Troon until progressive lower limb disability required a final move to a more accessible residence back in Ayr where his deteriorating physical health unfortunately enforced an increasingly reclusive lifestyle.  But despite his physical constraints Brian managed to keep up a regular
exchange of news and views with his friends by phone right up to his very last day. 
 
The younger of twin boys by 20 minutes, his family's strong Baptist faith meant that Brian had a possibly less outgoing childhood than some of the neighbouring children yet he nevertheless managed to make several lifelong friendships in those years.  Once into his teens however, Brian blossommed socially as one of Ayr's original mini-mods frequenting coffee bars such as the Moderne and the Carlton in Ayr and making scooter runs to Tog's Cafe in Troon before graduating to Craigie College dances, the Bobby Jones and becoming a roadie.   Around this time he acquired the 'Blec'
sobriquet of which he was immensely proud. He often said he had never heard of anyone else with that nickname, the origin of which was an un-PC comment about his ability to take good tan in the summer - see photo above.  

As 'Blec', Brian was known to almost everyone locally of his generation.  He made friends easily wherever he went.  A walk round Ayr with Brian would see an endless stream of ladies and men calling out a greeting - even from across the street.  It was the same further afield; at a gig in Hyde Park those under six feet tall were finding it impossible to see the band until Brian came back from a visit to the loos with a milk crate to became an instant hero to a queue of total strangers all wanting a go on it to take photos of the band - he had got it from one of the caterers who was from Ayrshire and had spotted him walking past.

The great loves of his life besides his family and the ladies - Brian was briefly married once and had several reasonably lengthy relationships - were reading, writing, rock music, playing golf, following Glasgow Celtic and QPR and probably most of all, frequenting hostelries in the company of friends and acquaintances. Brian was an avid reader of the Scotsman, poetry and quality fiction.  When he was not reading he was writing and from the '90s he attended creative writing classes as long as his health allowed - his high point was seeing one of his works published in a collection of Scottish contemporary poetry.  He loved Seafield, Belleisle and the Troon courses in the days when he was fit to play them.  He was daft on the Small Faces, the Kinks, Pink Floyd and most of all the Who.  Indeed, working alongside the Who at Auckinleck Community Centre in 1969 was one of his fondest memories.  One of the fondest of mine will be our 50 year friendship reinforced by many a pint and a blether about anything and everything from Rabbie Burns to Ray Davies.  
 RIP Brian. All or Nothing!
    
Tom McC.