ORGAN: R.I.P Larry Wallis, the proto-punk Pink Fairy who helped create Motorhead…


Really can’t be letting the passing of Larry Wallis earlier this week go by without a word or two on these fractured pages. I don’t know what Larry will be best remembered for, probably his part in the early days of Motorhead, his big part played in the forming of the band and the original 1975 line up with drummer Lucas Fox that Lemmy pulled together. Larry Wallis and his song writing and his sound was a big big part of that first Motorhead album On Parole, the album recorded right back at the start of things that didn’t actually see the light of day until ’79 when Motorhead (with the Phil Taylor/Eddie Clark as the classic line up built a big reputation). When On Parole did eventually come out it sent many of us off to discover the excellence of those Pink Fairies and those pre-Pistols days when there were the germs of punk bands around London, around the Roundhouse and the Ladbrook Grove scene and such. Larry wasn’t an original member of the Fairies but he was by the mid 70s and the excellent Kings of Oblivion album pretty much it could be argued the main man in the band. Kings of Oblivion really is a cult classic. Larry Wallis was also quite prominent in the early days of Stiff Records as an in-house producer, a solo artist and a general making things happen kind of way, he was a big big part of the London counter-culture proto punk scene that evolved around places like the Roundhouse – the whole Motorhead, Pink Fairies, Pinkwind, Deviants thing. One of our personal memories would be selling (lots of) copies of the Organ at an excellent Pink Fairies reunion gig at the Town and Country Club in Kentish Town in the late 80’s when the Pink ones headlined an all day show with people like Gaye Bykers on Acid, Doctor and The Medics and Crazyhead on the bill…. Ah hell, it is sad to see him fly off, one of the last from that time and place, that really spirit of rebellion, of musical anarchy and social consciousness that revolved around the squats of Ladbrooke Grove somewhere between the slightly darker slightly more realistic aspects of so called hippy culture and the early notions of punk rock that gave us the first moves of The Clash and such… Ah, I missed most of it but I did love going to those Fairies gatherings, I didn’t quite catch him in Motorhead but I did love what he brought to a band that formed a big big part of my musical life back there and indeed a big part of where Organ originally came from. I reckon Larry Wallis and his contributions touch the lives of a lot of people without them really knowing he did/ R.I.P Larry Wallis (sw)




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