The sad news has just broken that Ronnie Scott’s club co-founder – and business manager for most of the 50 years of its existence – Pete King died yesterday. His last few years were sadly dominated by a battle with Alzheimer’s. But his contribution to the development of jazz in this country is probably without equal. RIP.
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Here’s the Evening Standard ‘s piece
How sad. The UK jazz landscape would not be what it is without his efforts. His contribution will never be forgotten.
Very sad to hear this news, I hope that his family will find comfort in the fact that he was responsible for creating the best Jazz Club in the world. He never gave me a gig in his lifetime, but at least there was somewhere great to go and hear the most wonderful music.
RIP Pete King.
I'm not old enough to remember Ronnie Scott's in its pomp, but as a member there now – enjoying the modern fruits of Pete King and Ronnie Scott's joint efforts – I can appreciate the what he achieved, keeping it going through the tough times yet still attracting the biggest names.
I am very sad.
He was the person who penetrated faith.
I'd just been reading about the life of late George Russell and somehow landed on this page to learn this news feeling sadder. Thankfully music is ageless, timeless, always around. Never leaves us.
Both Ronnie and Pete were incredibly kind to me, on one occasion Pete paying me twice for a night at the club because “you need the bread son”. The great British drummer Tony Levin told me that this wasn't uncommon and that behind the formidable exterior was a privately kind heart who quietly and not infrequently helped musicians in their difficult times.
End of an era.
Thank you Simon. Simon's comment appeared originally on his own blog
He has also linked to an affectionate obituary from the Daily Telegraph
and the Press Association news story from the Guardian
What a great man gone, my heartfelt condolences to his family. Along with Ronnie Scott, Pete did great things, among these were allowing Ronnie Scotts to showcase not only the best in american jazz, but to present the best in British bands both as headliners and the support slot. Unfortunately this is not happening any more and this is one of the big shames of the new management– that they have decided on easy administration and using the same house trio night after night, instead of fostering what was once a very prestigious set of gigs for up and coming british bands to showcase their original music.
I for one vote to reinstate this old club policy of showcasing up and coming (and established) British bands for the support slot, on a regular basis. I simply cannot bear going to hear the current cabaret trio they have their now playing the same repetoire night after night, whilst trying to get as many giggles as possible from the crowd. It's a really shame, and it does no good for Britian's jazz reputation to have such a house trio at our best club.
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Guardian. Dec 24. John Fordham's obituary of Pete King
Lance Liddle's sharp eyes have picked up the Daily Express obituary, complete with a bound-to-happen confusion with the very-much-alive saxophonist Peter King
It really is the end of an era but for those who didn't make it his funeral was a fantastic celebration of all his achievements. There were beautiful and funny tributes from John Critch, Jimmy Parsons, Wally Houser and son Chris who had us all recite the words on the front of the programme. Those words or rather that word was 'Bollocks!' so we all dutifully complied. A fitting tribute to the gruff man with the heart of gold and titan of British Jazz. Cheers Pete!