Tom Rapp, was one of those oddball singers that was once part of the ESP Disk roster of motley crew bands too weird to be on any other labels. I later found one of his albums for Reprise which I still have but don't play too often. He passed on Valentine's Day from cancer. He was 70 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/14/obituaries/tom-rapp-the-voice-of-pearls-before-swine-is-dead-at-70.html
Peter "Mars" Cowling, best known for Pat Travers' bass player, died from leukemia on Wednesday. He was 72. I got to see Peter play at Big Dogs in Cedar Rapids in the early 1990s when Pat was promoting a new album and he was part of the band that also featured Jerry Riggs (Riggs) on rhythm guitar. While people say that Go For What You Know was the definitive Pat Travers live album, I like the Castle 1993 live album of Boom Boom which sounded much more heavier than Go For What You Know. Anyway I got to shake Pat's and Peter's hand while they were coming off stage (Pat had such a death grip handshake, great guy to discuss music with), I think Jerry as well (the drummer was too full of himself) but it was a fun show. Pat Travers gives his eulogy here.
Ok, so Mars passed away last week. It was sudden and very sad. He had been diagnosed with leukemia less than a month earlier. Went into the hospital on Thursday and he was gone by Tuesday morning.
Man oh man, this is a tough one. I met Mars in the early Fall of 1975 in London England. I was a very young 21 year old only recently arrived in the country from Canada. I had been lucky enough to get a record deal and a manager in the short space of a couple months. Now I needed a band. My Manager at the time, David Hemmings (David deserves a lot more mention and credit than he ever gets for helping my career get started), David knew Mars personally and arranged a social meeting for us at a wine bar in Richmond, Surrey (awesome area of London then as now). So Mars shows up and right off I knew he was a different kind of dog. He was handsome and very sincere in the way he spoke. I liked that about him immediately. Mars's accent took some getting used to, he had Lincolnshire, Liverpool, and Birmingham all mixed up in it. He also had a great sense of humor and so we instantly got along. David Hemmings arranged an audition session at Manny's rehearsal studios on the Old King's Road and I was under the impression that there would be a number of bass players there to try out. So Mars is there first and we start jamming. I had Nicky "Topper" Headon playing drums for me at the time. I was having such a blast playing and jamming with Mars that I didn't notice that, like an hour had gone by. I suddenly wondered if we should try another bass player. So we took a break and I went out to see if there was another bass player waiting to try out. David Hemmings told me that he was so sure that Mars was the bass player for me that he hadn't bothered to ask anyone else to audition for the gig. I was very excited to have someone of Mars' abilities as a player but a lot more than that. He was like an older brother in a lot of ways and he helped me navigate my way round for the first couple of years. Mars also conceived and performed some of the most unique and cool bass parts for my songs. Still to this day, when I listen back to stuff we recorded, I still surprised that I hear bass parts that Mars played that I didn't notice when we recorded them.
Peter "Mars" Cowling was an artist, a sea captain, a dive master and one of the most special persons I ever had the privilege to know. Mars was a private guy and he didn't like people making a fuss over him. He told his wife, Victoria, before he passed that he did not want a huge deal made out of it, That was very typical of Mars and so I have tried to respect his wishes. However, the fact is that a lot of folks really loved and appreciated Mars and his passing has saddened us all. I've attached "Dedication" from the Putting It Straight album. That was a big album for us and I thought that Mars, Nicko, and myself played some timeless music on it and the production by Dennis MacKay is exquisite and high in fidelity. You can really hear Mars at his finest on this track. Thank you Mars! PT