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R.I.P. Lol Mason

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:15 pm
by Bolanic
It seems that Lol Mason passed away this morning. After waiting three years he finally got his kidney transplant, only to have a heart attack.
Very sad news, indeed. :(

Re: R.I.P. Lol Mason

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:26 am
by PerG
Very sad news... :cry:

Re: R.I.P. Lol Mason

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:54 am
by Robin_Shadowes
Oh no. One of my favourite vocalists and lyricists. RIP. :(

Re: R.I.P. Lol Mason

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:01 pm
by Andy H
Really sad news. RIP.

Re: R.I.P. Lol Mason

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:55 am
by 1after2
:(
Great singer and fabulous lyricist.
I always wondered if he knew how much his work is appreciated still today by a bunch of loyal fans, as he never appeared online here on the forum, or on facebook.

Re: R.I.P. Lol Mason

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 5:26 am
by CatInAFlat
1after2 wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:55 am
:(
Great singer and fabulous lyricist.
I always wondered if he knew how much his work is appreciated still today by a bunch of loyal fans, as he never appeared online here on the forum, or on facebook.
Yes. He did.

Re: R.I.P. Lol Mason

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:13 am
by Robin_Shadowes
I have always hoped that those 40 year old wounds would one day heal. With or without reunion is not that important. Knowing that they were pals from school and now it is too late. It's a bit depressing but I can't help but wonder if he would written a song about it with a bit of sarcasm in it. Goodbye blue thursday.

Re: R.I.P. Lol Mason

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:12 pm
by Laurelei
An interrupted melody, for sure. 😢

Jo

Re: R.I.P. Lol Mason

Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:53 am
With all the musicians from our era dying off in recent years (still strange Bowie is no longer with us), I have feared when one of the CB members would go.

You was always missed at the board and forever you will be.

RIP and dance the eternal rumba.

Re: R.I.P. Lol Mason

Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:05 pm
by Robin_Shadowes
I have thought about the same as Mikael. So many has died in just a few short years. I'll try to recount some at least. Lemmy, Keith Emerson and Greg Lake the same year. George Duke, Jon Lord, Maurice White, Richie Havens, Chris Squire, John Wetton, Prince, George Michael, Amy Winehouse. Some of the young, others older. I can't even remember all. But there has certainly been great die-off just the last few years.

Re: R.I.P. Lol Mason

Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:57 am
by cockatootoo
Really sad news. easily my favorite lyricist and a great singer too!

Any chance someone could upload text of an obit from the Birmingham newspaper site? every time I try I get a computer crash with "long running script"...

thanks

Re: R.I.P. Lol Mason

Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:40 am
by rito
https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/whats- ... s-16683103

Birmingham singer Lol Mason dies at home in Harborne
Lol Mason, one of the select group of Birmingham singers to savour chart success with not just one, but two bands, has died at his Harborne home.

ByMike Lockley
12:24, 4 AUG 2019

Lol Mason, one of the select group of Birmingham singers to savour chart success with not just one, but two bands, has died at his Harborne home.

The man who had Top Ten hits with both City Boy and The Maisonettes suffered a fatal heart attack on Tuesday, July 31 only weeks after undergoing a kidney transplant.

He was 69 years old.

Lol will be remembered by casual fans for singles 5.7.0.5, which climbed to No 8 for City Boy in 1978, and Heartache Avenue, the Maisonettes’ 1983 track that peaked at No 7.

But there was so much more on Lol’s glittering CV.


He wrote tracks for two Sam Fox albums that gained gold and platinum discs. He penned music for a host of other stars, including Sarah Brightman. He collaborated on the soundtrack for Oliver Stone movie Every Given Sunday. He went on to become a successful comedy scriptwriter.

At the funeral, which has yet to be arranged, Kathryn Moore, Lol’s wife of 20 years, wants Ruby Turner to sing the track he wrote for her, Still Waters Run Deep.

Lol’s demise was unexpected, she says.

“We’d had the most fabulous two days,” says Kathryn, “looking forward to life without dialysis. On Monday night, we had a wonderful meal together. On Saturday night, we were listening to his iPod and Still Waters Run Deep was playing. He said ‘You must think that’s terribly old-fashioned’.”

Lol was something of a musical chameleon
Lol was, to an extent, the industry’s forgotten genius. He was also something of a musical chameleon, capable of embracing a host of styles and genres.

Even in the final days of his life, Lol was working on new material and a “poppy” single he’d crafted was set to be recorded by local singer Madeline Farmer.

“He was the most intelligent, brilliant men I’ve ever met,” says Kathryn, a professor of landscape architecture at Birmingham’s City University. “His humour, wit and command of the English language... he was such a remarkable person. Everyone has rung up and said he was such a clever man.

“I was also struck by how many friends he had, and everyone adored him. He was just one of the most brilliant men I’ve known. I think he got two O Levels and an A Level which made me realise sense and intelligence has nothing to do with intellect. He was absolutely my rock.”



Lol came from a creative, highly artistic Harborne family . The youngest of four children, his father, Edward J Mason, was the man behind the legendary Dick Barton radio series and he also co-created The Archers. Older brother Jeremy was Birmingham Rep’s youngest director .


Educated at Birmingham’s West House preparatory school and then Bromsgrove School , Lol began performing music in the late 1960s. With childhood friend Steve Broughton and Max and Chris Dunn, he hit Birmingham’s acoustic scene with their group, Back In The Band, and the quartet landed a contract with Phonogram’s Vertigo label in 1975.

The changed their name to City Boy that same year, added keyboards, morphed into a six-piece band and, under producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange, released two albums in 1976, City Boy and Dinner at The Ritz.

Fourth album Book Early spawned hit 5.7.0.5 and, following the release of LP It’s Personal in 1981, the band broke up in a somewhat acrimonious split.

In all, City Boy released seven albums incorporating a host of sounds – Personal even dabbled in two-tone.


Next, The Maisonettes, formed by Lol with Mark Tibenham and Nick Parry, embraced the commercial style of the 1980s.

Heartache Avenue proved a global hit in 1983 and has endured. It was used as the soundtrack for a 1996 Ford Galaxy TV commercial and, in 2005, hip-hop group Roll Deep sampled the track for their hit, The Avenue.

Follow-up single Where I Stand peaked at No 23 in the UK independent chart – but The Maisonettes broke up after their 1984 album, Maisonettes for Sale.

Kathryn admitted her husband gained most enjoyment from his time with the band. The wounds that opened during the death throes of City Boy, although later healed, tainted that taste of inaugural fame.


Lol was the consummate one-take professional, whether in the studio or in front of the Top of the Pops cameras.


“He was known as The Headmaster in The Maisonettes,” recalls Kathryn. “He was a total professional, it was extraordinary the way he managed it. It was a serious job and he said he was a ‘benign dictatorship’.

“The Maisonettes were in the South of France on a promotional tour and were with one of the reps from the record company. Lol could tell this guy hadn’t done his homework, and didn’t know anything about them. Lol just looked at Nick and ordered the most expensive things on the menu, the most expensive champagne...

“The guy’s whole budget was blown in one sitting. He should’ve done his homework.

“In Birmingham, the Maisonettes were given the Freedom of the City and were taken for a meal at the Town Hall. Nick said to the Mayoress: ‘Sit here, Bab!’”


Ties remained strong with band members
Ties with previous band members remained strong. Over the years, Lol and Steve Broughton, now living in New York, re-ignited their deep friendship.

“Steve came here to stay for five days,” reveals Kathryn, “The first day was a bit awkward, but by the end they didn’t even have to talk to each other. “They had this secret code from schooldays. They’d start a sentence, look at each other and dissolve into laughter. It was like they were still a couple of schoolkids.”


Away from the TV cameras, Lol concentrated on scriptwriting – and gained plenty of accolades for his work. In 1991, Lol won the Radio Times comedy award for Total Accident. His six-part Radio 4 series Richard Barton, General Practitioner – homage to his father’s work – proved a huge success. So much so, that it gained a second run.


2019 Plan
Lol also contributed to Radio 4’s Weekending and spoof documentary The Spoken Page. He was commissioned to write for a planned Carlton TV series titled The Newmans. And he used his literary skill to edit Kathryn’s own book on design theory, Overlooking The Visual.

“He never wanted the limelight back,” says Kathryn. “It can really mess you up, and you’re left wondering ‘Why can’t I have it back?’ “Lol overczme that extraordinarily well. He was so strong and fascinated by so many things. His work ethic was extraordinary, he’d write every day.”

Lol, a staunch Birmingham City football fan, has a son, Ben, and four-year-old grandaughter from his previous marriage to Sheila. Ben, who manages a veterinary practice in Geraldton, Perth, Australia, is flying over for the funeral.

Re: R.I.P. Lol Mason

Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:25 pm
by Robin_Shadowes
Thank you very much for sharing that with us, Thomas. It truly warmed my heart.

Re: R.I.P. Lol Mason

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:35 am
by cockatootoo
Thanks so much Rito, for posting the obit. great to get a little more background on the man. Through his music and words, he is in my life daily.

Re: R.I.P. Lol Mason

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:03 am
by JOH
Robin_Shadowes wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:05 pm
I have thought about the same as Mikael. So many has died in just a few short years. I'll try to recount some at least. Lemmy, Keith Emerson and Greg Lake the same year. George Duke, Jon Lord, Maurice White, Richie Havens, Chris Squire, John Wetton, Prince, George Michael, Amy Winehouse. Some of the young, others older. I can't even remember all. But there has certainly been great die-off just the last few years.
So very sad news.... - but the fantastic lyrics and albums will live forever.

....and the list of dead heros in resent years also includes: Tom Petty, Rick Parfitt, Glen Frey, Gary Moore, Ronnie James Dio - and many more i'm sure.

I guess it all comes down to my/our own age. I am born in 1964 so most of my musical heroes are born i late 1940's or early 1950's - so sadly enough it's kind af natural....