Brian Bethell obituary

brian bethell obituary

Brian Bethell, far right, with, from left, Mark Feltham, Dennis Greaves, and Mickey Burkey in a publicity shot for Nine Below Zero at Sheffield Park Bluebell Railway station, Sussex, in 1982 Photograph: none

My friend Brian Bethell, who has died of heart failure aged 74, was a musician and journalist in the UK and Australia. He worked with the Blow Monkeys, Nine Below Zero, Paul Weller, the 69ers and the Richard Clapton Band, and toured with musicians ranging from Chuck Berry to the Who.

In 1981 Brian joined the R&B band Nine Below Zero as bassist. He performed on their early albums including Third Degree, with its front cover image by David Bailey, appeared on TV shows such as The Old Grey Whistle Test, Top of the Pops, OTT and the South Bank Show, and toured Britain and Europe. In 1982 he appeared with the band on the BBC TV comedy series The Young Ones.

Later that year he left Nine Below Zero and joined the Truth. He also toured and recorded with his friend Robert Howard (AKA Dr Robert) in the Blow Monkeys, until taking early retirement in 1997.

The elder son of William, a wages clerk, and Mavis, who worked in a bakery, Brian was born in Epsom, Surrey, grew up nearby in Worcester Park, and was educated at Kingston grammar school. His musical career began when his father bought him a bass guitar for his 13th birthday.

In 1968, soon after he left school, Brian and his family emigrated to Australia on the Ten Pound Pom Scheme. Their journey on the TSS Fairstar was a huge adventure. His parents and younger brother, Martin, returned to the UK, but Brian remained in Sydney and joined the Sun newspaper as a trainee journalist. He played in local bands including the 69ers, and was on bass for Richard Clapton’s 1975 hit song Girls on the Avenue.

Brian and I first met in 1978 as journalists at TV Times magazine in Sydney. I had just arrived back from the UK with dozens of new wave rock band cassettes, which reignited his dream of a career in London. He had real stage presence and youthful good looks. In 1980 we moved to London, marrying in 1981 and working together at Visnews and Reuters.

Our separation in 1995 was hard, but when I remarried, my new husband gracefully accepted our desire to remain friends, which made it easier for the whole family. In 1997 we both went with Brian to see the singer Geno Washington perform in Richmond, Surrey. That night Brian met and fell in love with Susan Skene, and they remained together until his death.

Brian was a Labour supporter and Fulham football fan, a kind and intelligent person, and a superb musician who delved deep for emotional truth. He was never dull or fake.

He is survived by Susan, me and our children, David and Lucille, and four grandchildren, Poppy, Florence, Daisy and Marley, and his brother, Martin.

OTHER NEWS

5 minutes ago

How one of Mary Barra’s most promising investments went from GM’s ‘crown jewel’ to a liability

9 minutes ago

Kevin Costner tears up at Cannes as western epic 'Horizon' earns 7-minute standing ovation

11 minutes ago

World-renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli returns to SA in 2025

11 minutes ago

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange wins High Court bid to appeal US extradition order

11 minutes ago

A fee rise ahead? Bhutan's Prime Minister on the amount people 'willing to pay' to visit

11 minutes ago

Shani Louk's dad: I'm relieved, she'll have her own place next to us

11 minutes ago

Eddie Hutch Junior, nephew of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch, dies at home

11 minutes ago

How to Get Rid of Squirrels in Your Yard With 9 Simple Methods

11 minutes ago

Mary-Kate, Ashley Olsen appear in rare ‘Full House’ reunion pic

11 minutes ago

Letters from Tomorrow — a tree to measure our hopes and deferred dreams

12 minutes ago

Gold prices in Qatar Today Monday, May 20, 2024

12 minutes ago

SA Rugby boss responds after report criticises Springboks over ‘transformation’ failure

12 minutes ago

International Criminal Court seeks arrest warrant for Netanyahu

12 minutes ago

Joey Logano dominates All-Star Race, Stenhouse and Busch fight in pits

12 minutes ago

Behind Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's flawless Cannes hairstyle

12 minutes ago

BT delays controversial landline axe over vulnerable customer fears

12 minutes ago

BBC London Weather experts predict when we'll next get 5 hot days in a row after thunder warning

12 minutes ago

'Dangerous' Iran faces 'brutal civil war' after President Ebrahim Raisi's death in helicopter crash

12 minutes ago

US embassy racks up £14.6m in unpaid congestion charge fees

12 minutes ago

PFF picks Indianapolis Colts' 2024 breakout player

12 minutes ago

Two 2022 Kraken Draftees Join Coachella Valley, A Third Headed To Memorial Cup

12 minutes ago

20 big restaurant chains that are gone but not forgotten, from Ashton Kutcher’s eatery to Jamie Oliver's fallen empire

13 minutes ago

Pilot surprises mom on 1st flight home since late dad's death

13 minutes ago

We can't have nice things! Japan imposes new rules to climb Mt. Fuji to fight overtourism, littering

13 minutes ago

'I was in talks with Arsenal and Chelsea – but my career path led me to Man Utd'

13 minutes ago

Premier League Golden Boot winner says Arsene Wenger admitted he should’ve signed him instead

13 minutes ago

Your old iPhone is now worth more on Apple Trade In, but not for long – here are the new prices

13 minutes ago

Interest rates likely to remain above levels seen in past decade - Fed's Bostic

13 minutes ago

Fed's Barr: Inflation data 'disappointing,' tight policy needs more time

13 minutes ago

Here’s why the F and J keys on keyboards have bumps on them

13 minutes ago

IPL 2024 Playoffs Full Schedule: Know All about Teams, Date, Time, Venues, and More

14 minutes ago

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his wife cast their vote in Lucknow, urge citizens to participate

15 minutes ago

What we know about the crashed helicopter carrying Iran's president

15 minutes ago

Paul Wolfe touts tire test at North Wilkesboro for No. 22 team’s $1 million victory

15 minutes ago

The journey is far from over - more still needs to be done to lift people, says Mantashe

15 minutes ago

Eli Manning Wants His Own Team as Private Equity Targets the NFL

15 minutes ago

As a war reporter, I trusted my fixer with my life. Two weeks later, he was kidnapped

15 minutes ago

A 19th Century Case That Holds a Lesson for the Trump Trials

15 minutes ago

Fashion Bets the ‘90s Jelly Sandal Is Summer’s Hottest Shoe Trend

15 minutes ago

Marina Khan says child-free life with husband Jalil Akhtar allows them 'to go wherever they want'