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Jackie Lomax, Beatles Collaborator, Dead at 69

Singer and songwriter signed to Apple Records in Sixities

September 19, 2013 2:25 PM ET
Jackie Lomax
Jackie Lomax
Gems/Redferns

Jackie Lomax, a longtime friend and collaborator of the Beatles', died Sunday near Liverpool of cancer, The Associated Press reports. He was 69.

Lomax was part of the thriving Liverpool music scene that launched the Beatles in the 1960s, playing with the Merseybeat band the Undertakers in the U.K. and the U.S., and later signing to the Beatles' Apple Records for the release of his 1969 album, Is This What You Want? Tony Bramwell, a former publicist for Apple, said John Lennon persuaded Lomax to sign with the label, and three Beatles (and Eric Clapton) backed Lomax on his 1968 single "Sour Milk Sea," which George Harrison wrote.

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"He was a great rocker, a solid out-and-out rock & roller," Bramwell said.

Despite the high-profile backing band, the single was lost amid a flurry of music being released by the label at the same time, including the Beatles' "Hey Jude" and "Those Were the Days" by Mary Hopkins. After leaving Apple and playing in other bands in England, he moved to Woodstock, New York, where he reconvened members of the Undertakers and their offshoot, the Lomax Alliance, to record two new albums, neither of which sold well.

After returning to the U.K. to play in Badger with former Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye, Lomax moved back to the U.S. once more in 1975, settling in Los Angeles, where he played in touring lineups of bands including the Drifters and the Coasters.

Bramwl said Lomax had lost a significant amount of weight from cancer. The rocker was reportedly in England to attend the wedding of one of his children when he died. He had lived for years in Ojai, California. According to his website, a recently completed album is due out within a few months. 

Website manager Alistair Hepburn said that a funeral will be held, followed by a memorial ceremony, "more like a rock & roll gig," in Liverpool.

Lomax is survived by first wife, Dionne Lomax; their daughters Vicki, Janine and Louise; and five grandchildren.

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