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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!