"It's My Job Gary..."
HMK's longest serving Roadie, David Morris, remembers Gary Holton
I can remember the last series of gigs before Gary left the band, he had got rather withdrawn from things and really didn't seem happy. We were playing in, I think, Plymouth and we'd done the sound check so I went with one of the other crew members to a fish and chip shop for some food. When we got back Gary came up to me and asked if there was somewhere to eat. I told him about the fish and chip place and he asked if I would walk down there with him. He had a purple streak in his otherwise black hair and it attracted a lot of attention outside of London, often hostile attention. We once walked into a pub up north and were immediately thrown out for no reason before we could even order a drink. Well, I was a fair size back then so I went with him. He brightened up a bit as we walked and was soon chatting away as he usually did. Anyway, he got some food without incident, I had my "Do not mess with us" face on. I could never really see it but my wife once told me the first time she saw me she thought I looked scary. Not a bad quality to have while working in rock and roll really.
So we walked back and he ate chips and chatted to me. When we got back to the hall he went off to the dressing room and I took care of some stuff on stage. I was kneeling down taping some cables in place when he walked up and said "You shouldn't have to do that. “I looked up and said "It's my job Gary." He patted me on the shoulder and smiled and said "Yeah, I suppose." Then he went back to looking sad and walked off. I was worried about him.
But it wasn't the same, on top of that I got poisoned by what I thought was speed and was in bad shape by the end of the night. I left right after the gig and got a cab home, I was pretty sick for a couple of weeks. When I recovered I went to Canada to visit a friend and ended up staying for a year, naturally I lost track of everyone then though I still heard from Pierre the tour manager. Unfortunately he died some years later. I might still be in Canada but I met my wife and she didn't want to live in Canada so we got married and moved down to Wisconsin, where she's from. I'm still here and still married.
Many thanks to David for taking the time to speak to me.
After that weekend of gigs I got a call from Rikki Farr telling me to bring the equipment truck down to Electrosound Productions warehouse to unload everything and then to return the truck to Hertz. When I got there he told me he wanted me to work for his brother Gary’s band. I'd been helping them out here and there for a while as they were rehearsing and auditioning players. I said "What about the Kids?" and he said "Gary left." And that was that, a rather abrupt end.
So I started working for Lion, that was his brother’s bands name, and eventually John Sinclair joined. After a while they went off to LA and I didn't. I got a call to work with HMK, with Gary again, he seemed a little happier at that time. They replaced John with an American guitar player called Jay Williams and we did a short UK series of dates, finishing up at the Rainbow.