.

Gypie Mayo, Dr. Feelgood Guitarist, Dead at 62

Musician later joined a recent incarnation of the Yardbirds

John B. Sparks, John Martin, Lee Brilleaux and Gypie Mayo of Dr. Feelgood.
Estate Of Keith Morris/Redferns
October 23, 2013 2:10 PM ET

Gypie Mayo, the former guitarist for British pub rockers Dr. Feelgood and a member of a latter-day Yardbirds lineup, died this morning. He was 62. No cause of death has been announced.

Born John Phillip Cawthra, Mayo came to prominence in the late Seventies, when he replaced Wilko Johnson in Dr. Feelgood. Later, he served a stint with the Yardbirds from 1996 to 2004. Johnson, who was planning a farewell tour earlier this year, announced Mayo's death today on his Facebook page.

Where Do the Yardbirds Rank on Our Greatest Artists List?

Mayo was first inspired to pick up his instrument after hearing "Apache" by the Shadows, according to The Bath Chronicle, a newspaper local to where he lived. He eventually joined the blues group White Mule in 1969. Eight years later, he joined Dr. Feelgood, with whom he played for the next four years. It was in that group that he got his nickname. After contracting several minor ailments, according to The Telegraph, the group's frontman Lee Brilleaux told him – in way that reflects a far less politically correct time – "You've always got the gyp." Mayo played on six of the band's album, and his tenure in the group included a Top 10 single in the U.K. in 1979 with the glammy garage-rocker "Milk and Alcohol."

"He had been ill for some time but when I last spoke to him retained his great sense of humor," Dr. Feelgood drummer Kevin Morris told The Bath Chronicle. "Truly a sad day for us all."

He joined the Yardbirds in the mid Nineties, taking the position once occupied variously by Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. Mayo played on the group's most recent album, Birdland, which came out in 2003. About the Birdland song "Crying Out for Love," classic-era Yardbirds rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja commented, "When I heard the mixdown with Gypie in my studio, we said to each other, 'It's giving me chills, making my spine tingle.' It's the guitar playing. This man is original – he doesn't go the obvious route."

Upon leaving the Yardbirds, Mayo taught guitar in Bath. According to The Telegraph, he is survived by a son he had with his ex-wife Lesley.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Fantasy”

Mariah Carey | 1995

Serendipity stuck when Mariah Carey rediscovered the glitchy Tom Tom Club hook, a sample of which is the heart of this upbeat slice of dance pop. "I had the melody idea for 'Fantasy' and I was listening to the radio and heard 'Genius of Love,' and I hadn't heard it in a long time," Carey said. "It reminded me of growing up and listening to the radio and that feeling the song gave me seemed to go with the melody and basic idea I had for 'Fantasy.' I initially told [co-writer] Dave Hall about the idea, and we did it. We called up the Tom Tom Club and they were really into it."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com