The Groundhogs’ Tony McPhee Passed Away At 79
via Deizulh / Youtube
Tony McPhee, the vocalist, and guitarist of The Groundhogs, passed away at 79.
The band confirmed that McPhee peacefully passed away at his residence on Tuesday as a result of complications arising from a severe fall he experienced last year. In addition to enduring a stroke in 2009, McPhee faced various bouts of poor health throughout the subsequent decade.
Farewells Pouring In for Tony McPhee
A message was shared on the band’s official Facebook page stating:
“We are deeply saddened to announce that 79-year-old guitar and blues legend Tony (TS) McPhee died peacefully at home today, 6th June, from complications following a fall last year.”
The statement also mentioned that McPhee is survived by his loving wife Joanna, their two beloved sons Conan and Vincent, grandchildren Scarlett and Victor, and his caring sister Olive. Fans expressed their condolences and paid tribute to the musician in the comments section. One individual discussed:
“No one played like Tony, such an influence on me, and that stayed with me. Such a loss.”
Another person shared a personal connection, reminiscing about how McPhee was their hero during their teenage years and how seeing The Groundhogs perform live was a pivotal moment for them. Yet another fan mourned the loss, highlighting the significant role McPhee played in their musical upbringing. A commenter fondly recalled:
“So very sorry to hear this, such a lovely bloke. Had a few drinks with him and the band, will never forget that night.”
A Six-Decade Musical Journey
In 1962, McPhee became a member of a south London band called the Dollar Bills, and he subsequently changed their name to the Groundhogs. Throughout a remarkable span of six decades, from 1962 to 2015, McPhee led the British blues and rock group. Their achievements included three albums that reached the top 10 in the UK charts. Furthermore, the band had the opportunity to support the Rolling Stones during a tour in 1971.
The band briefly broke up, but later McPhee and bassist Pete Cruickshank brought it back together, and their first album was released in 1968. In 2003, The Groundhogs marked their 40th anniversary by reuniting with McPhee, Cruickshank, and drummer Ken Pustelnik, who were instrumental in creating their successful albums in the 70s.
In terms of his music, he previously expressed:
“I always try to write and play stuff that is timeless, not pandering to fashion just like blues; being honest and able to incorporate new ideas and techniques.”
McPhee became a member of the underground band Current 93 in his later years, immersing himself in their unique musical style. Additionally, he formed a fruitful collaboration with vocalist Joanna Deacon, engaging in frequent creative partnerships. Together, they explored new artistic avenues and crafted captivating musical compositions.