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CHRIS PROF HOLMES@ 11:53pm 02-15-2012
worked with Ollie, in the Music Students, SOUTHPORT, any pics anyone? then the full duration of much to recall....but more documentation to come.....he was A ONE OFF, ex Tommy Hunt, Babe Ruth Band, John Walker...albeit a few Babe Ruth...and various other combos. PS Ollie should be a major post on Criminally overlooked Giutarists site..definitely no justice there
Chas Rigby@ 6:43pm 02-15-2012
I lived back to back with Ollie for many years in Southport where we were both raised. I was a drummer in the early days and Ollie would lend me his kit passing it over the hedge. His mum and mine were friends and his sisters with my sisters.
Always the brilliant Musician/ not just Guitar but capable of commanding other instruments as well.
I last met up with him at the Kevin Ayers 'Falling UP' tour at Band On The Wall in Manchester/ we arranged to meet at The Festival Hall gig days later but i couldn't make it/ I never saw him again. God bless you mate.
Stephen Barr@ 9:35pm 02-14-2012
Hats off to Barry Monks et al for this Ollieforum!
As an amateur (in the best sense of the word) guitarist for the past...(yikes!) # of years I have found most rock based soloing to be pretty easy to pick up after the fact, until that is the day I got turned on to Patto (5 years ago) by a pal at the record/disc shop I helped run in downtown Toronto.
Long story short, I am interested in sharing hints as to what the !@#$%^%^&&** Ollie Halsell is doing in for eg.- the 3rd bar of the intro solo to the mighty "Hold your Fire"!!!
An awesome brilliant motif that shows up time and again in the Patto canon (I believe Ollies' best/freeest playing) and one which totally/wonderfully eludes me still.
Any takers?
graham oliver@ 3:50pm 02-14-2012
great job love all things OLLIE ,see my bit O H A
Replied on: 4:56pm 02-14-2012


Glyn Jones@ 9:41am 02-14-2012
Patto were a great band live. I used to see them a lot in the early 70's, mostly at the Greyhound Fulham Palace Road.
A Fish@ 9:30pm 02-13-2012
There are very few occasions when I am lost for words but this is one of them. Patto were one of the finest live bands I have ever seen, and I have seen a good few. Ollie was just about THE most dynamic, passionate and talented musician I have ever seen. He pushed the riffs, the music, right to the boundaries where frustration is the edge.
I go back to the early days, Timebox even. The were fairly regular at The Black Swan in Sheffield. They turned out stunning, stunning sets that left me buzzing for days. I can't believe it was more than forty years ago, I can almost feel the music still, almost feel the raw mysterious power that came off the stage.
Jonathan Loonin@ 12:14pm 02-13-2012
I didn't know about Patto and Ollie Halsall until the past couple of years, but it's never too late to discover great music! Thanks to Baz for manning the helm, and for being incredibly generous with his time and the dispensing of music in his archive.
Regis COISNE@ 2:38pm 02-12-2012
What a work you do !!! Ollie was an amazing guitarist not enough known . I became a musician because of him , and some others . And he is always in my mind !
John Scales@ 2:32pm 02-12-2012
Great work. Patto were the best. Ollie was way ahead of his contemporaries in both style and composition with the exeption of Zappa, and what greater tribute can there be than that?
Jorge Souto@ 12:48pm 02-12-2012
The first Halsall I heard was his solo on Ayers' May I? in the June 1 1974 LP, and fell in love with what he was playing. That was back in 1985. The bad part is it took many years to get my hands on any other recordings of his (none available here), apart from stuff with a couple of Spanish groups. But then, when I finally got to listen to Hold Your Fire and the Timebox compilations, I realised how much I had missed.
Thanks for your fantastic work, Barry!
Kevin Spiers@ 12:25am 02-12-2012
Thanks for keeping the flame alive, alive o. Whatever you do. Don't make it sound like Sergio Mendes.
Peter Muir@ 11:22pm 02-11-2012
Ollie first crossed my radar with Kevin Ayers' Sweet Deceiver and I fell for his skills thereafter. He was a fabulous foil for Kevin as well as a sound soul brother and I know his loss was felt keenly. Ollie's work crops up on our reissue of Still Life With Guitar plus of course the two solo works we out out with Barry's help: Caves and Abbots Langley. I never tire of listening to Ollie's playing and like so many others here, only wish he was still amongst us, playing the odd gig, popping in and out of studios, a chat over a beer.
Rhett Bolton@ 9:46pm 02-11-2012
I first heard Ollie in '74 on the 'Dr. Dream' album and - up until that time - had no idea an electric guitar could be played like that. A couple of years later, finding the deleted Patto records buried in a forgotten pile in a dusty old secondhand hand record shop in Sydney was like discovering sunken treasure. Like Coltrane on 'A Love Supreme' and Miles on 'Jack Johnson', Ollie has that ultra-rare gift of channelling something transcendent through his playing, going way beyond a mere bunch of hot licks and flash technique. His solo on Kevin Ayers' 'Blue' is simply the best thing I've ever heard. Ollie, you mad genius, you left us way too soon!
Lawrie@ 8:09pm 02-11-2012
I saw Patto many times and Boxer once. We used to follow them around the pubs in London, we saw them in the Cooks Ferry inn in Walthamstow and the Torrington in Finchley to name but two.
Ollie is so underated by the industry but good things often are.
Mike de Albuquerque@ 8:06pm 02-11-2012
I first saw Timebox in the Marquee in the late 60s. Ollie was plainly an outstanding musician,but the vibes did not capture the audience's imagination..however he produced a Telecaster and did " So you Wanna be a Rock n Roll Star" ( the 12 string hit by the Byrds) effortlessly by playing octaves over the drone open A string. I next saw him in the basement of a West End Club, a few months later..and he had pretty much ditched the vibes and evolved the fluid high speed style on the same Telecaster,played flat out through a Fender Amp.No "position" playing of cliches,like fans of Eric C....he darted all over the fretboard with loads of rhythmic variation..also humour and melody. He was totally unique...and still is!

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