Former BUDGIE Guitarist JOHN THOMAS Dies

John Thomas, former guitarist for the Welsh hard rock band BUDGIE, passed away last night. He was 63 years old. No further details are currently available.

In a 2007 interview, BUDGIE frontman Burke Shelley stated about John Thomas: “He was a great guitarist with great style and technique and he had a big sound at the time, and it was great, plus he was a good laugh. I think you probably know this, but maybe you don’t, but he got ill and had a stroke, and that’s why he had to leave. It became impossible for him to play the way he used to. But John is a great guitarist.”

He added: “When John was in the band, we were touring with Ozzy [Osbourne], and John was big friends with [Ozzy‘s then-guitarist] Randy Rhoads. And Randy used to stay up at his place in Birmingham and all that, and they were mates. It’s all about guitars, isn’t it? [Laughs] They were guitar mad, weren’t they? And they were good friends, and they even messed around and taped a few things together.

“It was great having John in the band. It was very sad the way it finished with John. But as a guitarist, he was spot on.”

BUDGIE‘s music is often described as a cross between the progressive textures of RUSH and the heaviness of BLACK SABBATH.

Although BUDGIE remained quite obscure during its early career, many future stars of hard rock/metal have cited them as an important influence and covered their songs, including VAN HALEN, METALLICA and IRON MAIDEN.

Despite the fact that BUDGIE was never more than a cult attraction in the U.S., they always seemed to have a stronghold in Texas, which served as the site for a 2002 live album, “Life In San Antonio”. John Thomas later said: “It’s really quite strange that Texas really ‘got’ BUDGIE before anyone else, really. It’s about the most un-English place you could ever be in, but for some reason the BUDGIE fans down there are totally into the band and ridiculously devoted. We play shows there and enormous numbers of people turn up just to see BUDGIE. They want to hear all the old classics and they keep asking when we’re going back in the studio to do a new record. We could just keep playing in Texas forever.”

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My friend and fellow Budgie band member John Thomas sadly passed away last night. My thoughts are with the loved ones he left behind.

Posted by Steve Williams on Friday, March 4, 2016

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I was shocked by the news of the passing of our friend John Thomas (Budgie).He was a good friend. He followed my radio…

Posted by Templo do Rock on Friday, March 4, 2016

Source: Blabbermouth

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