- Ollie Halsall
Ollie Halsall playing at Hyde Park, 1974
Background information Birth name Peter John Halsall Also known as Ollie Born 14 March 1949Southport, England, Died 29 May 1992Madrid, Spain(aged 43), Genres Pop, Rock music Instruments Guitar, Vibraphone Years active 1966–1992 Labels Virgin, Epic Associated acts Timebox, Patto, The Rutles, Boxer, Kevin Ayers Website olliehalsall.co.uk Notable instruments Guitar, Vibraphone
Peter John 'Ollie' Halsall (14 March 1949 - 29 May 1992) was a left-handed guitarist and is best known for his role in The Rutles, the bands Patto, Timebox and Boxer, and for his contribution to the music of Kevin Ayers. He is also notable as one of the few players of the vibraphone in rock music. He was known as Ollie because of his distinctive way of pronouncing his surname with a dropped 'h'. The Ollie Halsall Archive was established in 1985, with the aim of documenting and promoting the work of a unique musician.
Ollie may not have been the best guitarist in the world, but he was certainly among the top two. John Halsey, 1997
Halsall (ex Pete and the Pawnees, The Gunslingers, The Music Students, all 1964, The Rhythm and Blues Incorporated, 1965), came to London in October 1966 to play vibraphone with the pop rock outfit Timebox (which included bassist Clive Griffiths and keyboardist 'Professor' Chris Holmes. Halsall took up guitar, they enlisted Mike Patto on vocals and drummer 'Admiral' John Halsey.
In 1973, Halsall left to join Jon Hiseman's Tempest. After less than a year, he quit and did numerous sessions including a track for Kevin Ayers which this led to a permanent position in Ayers' band The Soporifics.
In 1975, Patto staged a brief reunion comprising just three benefit gigs. The reuniting of Halsall and Patto sparked the formation of Boxer during 1975. Boxer never reached its true potential, as Mike Patto died in 1979 during the mid term of their contractual obligations to the Virgin record label and are best remembered for their debut album Below The Belt and its controversial sleeve design.
Probably the best known recording of Halsall is his work on the album The Rutles (1978), on which he plays many of the instruments and provides backing and lead vocals, most notably on the tracks "Doubleback Alley", "With a Girl Like You" and "Get Up and Go". Eric Idle was cast in his place in the accompanying film and Halsall only featured as a very minor cameo role as Leppo, the fifth Rutle who became lost in Hamburg.
A finished solo album remains unreleased - produced by Robert Fripp.
- with Mike Patto
- 1967-69 The Deram Anthology (as Timebox)
- 1970 Patto (as Patto)
- 1971 Hold Your Fire (as Patto)
- 1972 Roll Em, Smoke Em, Put Another Line Out (as Patto)
- 1975 Below the Belt (as Boxer)
- 1979 Bloodletting (as Boxer)
- with Kevin Ayers
- 1974 The Confessions of Dr. Dream and Other Stories
- 1974 June 1, 1974 (with Nico, John Cale and Brian Eno)
- 1975 Sweet Deceiver
- 1976 Yes We Have No Mañanas (So Get Your Mañanas Today)
- 1978 Rainbow Takeaway
- 1980 That's What You Get Babe
- 1983 Diamond Jack and the Queen of Pain
- 1984 Deià...Vu
- 1986 As Close As You Think
- 1988 Falling Up
- 1992 Still Life with Guitar
- Other Albums
- 1972 Tempest (as Tempest)
- 1973 Living in Fear (as Tempest)
- 1996 The Rutles Archaeology (as The Rutles)
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