Colin H on Big Pete Deuchar & his Professors of Ragtime
A couple of years back I posted on the Afterword a short feature on Big Pete Deuchar, one of the great ‘footnote’ characters in British music of the 50s and 60s – and one of the great characters in the British cycling and cycling administration worlds of the 70s and 80s.
That piece, around 3,000 words, was all that I could muster in time for ‘Bathed In Lighting’ (Jawbone, 2014), the first of my (now) two books on John McLaughlin’s musical adventures pre-1975. It ended up being one of the extra chapters appended to the e-book edition, with Big Pete & his Professors of Ragtime – John McLaughlin’s first experience of being in a professional band – getting a couple of paragraphs in the print version.
In essence, in such a long and illustrious career, the key role of the Professors of Ragtime in John’s story was to give him stage experience and, crucially, allow him to move from being a 16-year-old school-leaver and precosious sitter-in with older jazzers in Newcastle-upon-Tyne to being a gifted man with a go-getting attitude to playing music for a living, come what » Continue Reading.