Legendary British saxophonist DICK HECKSTALL-SMITH died on Friday (17DEC04) after a battle with cancer. He was 70.

Heckstall-Smith, born RICHARD MALDEN, played with the likes of JOHN MAYALL, ALEXIS KORNER, Jack Bruce, Mick Jagger and Ginger Baker as well as fronting bands including COLOSSEUM.

When Colosseum folded in 1971 Heckstall-Smith went solo and formed his own band MANCHILD which toured the United States supporting Fleetwood Mac and DEEP PURPLE.

A severe spinal problem forced him to stop playing and touring for several years, but in 1981 he returned to the stage with a new band MAINSQUEEZE which toured supporting Bo Diddley.

Heckstall-Smith's health took a setback again in 1992 after he suffered two severe strokes while on the operating table for a heart bypass operation. In intensive care for six days and unable to even talk when he came round, he rehabilitated himself with children's poetry.

A year later he was back in the studio with Bruce and in 1994 the original line-up of Colosseum reformed for a full-scale European tour the following year, releasing its first studio album for 27 years in 1997.

In his later years Heckstall-Smith divided his time between Colosseum and the HAMBURG BLUES BAND.

Musician and longtime pal ROGER BUNN says, "He was a giant of the music industry."

20/12/2004 03:32