Trevor Lucas, Wilsons Promontory, 1985
|Birth name||Trevor George Lucas|
|Also known as||Ferrari McLintock, Bluey|
25 December 1943|
Bungaree, Victoria, Australia
|Origin||Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|
|Died||4 February 1989
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|Genres||Folk, electric folk|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, harmonica, bass guitar|
|Labels||EAST, Reality, Elektra, Island|
|Associated acts||Eclection, Fotheringay, Sandy Denny, Fairport Convention, Bluey and Curly|
Trevor George Lucas (25 December 1943 – 4 February 1989) was an Australian-born and United Kingdom-based folk artist, a member of Fairport Convention and one of the founders of Fotheringay. He mainly worked as a singer-songwriter and guitarist but also produced many albums and composed for the film industry toward the end of his career. He married three times, his first wife was Cheryl (1964–ca. 1969), his second wife was fellow folk musician Sandy Denny (1973–1978), and his third wife was Elizabeth Hurtt (ca. 1979–1989). Lucas died on 4 February 1989 of a heart attack in his sleep, in Sydney, aged 45. He was survived by Hurtt-Lucas, his daughter, Georgia Rose Lucas (by Denny), and his son, Clancy Hurtt-Lucas. According to Australia rock music historian, Ian McFarlane, Lucas "was one of the most acclaimed singer/songwriters Australia ever produced and although he was held in high regard in UK folk-rock circles, he remained virtually unknown in his homeland".
Early years to Eclection
Trevor George Lucas was born on 25 December 1943 in Bungaree, Victoria. He learned to play guitar in order to help with his dyslexia. In his youth, Lucas studied to become a carpenter and performed nights at local clubs in Melbourne from 1961 or 1962. In 1963 he performed at the Emerald Hill concerts. Fellow folk musician, Garry Kinnane described Lucas as
always a compelling performer to watch, with his flaming red hair and beard, and his tall, lean, angular frame towering over most other performers. He had a deep, rich pleasant voice, which he adapted well to blues, work-songs, shanties and bush ballads, shifting his accent around from 'black' American to 'Outback Oz', without ever sounding like anybody but himself. His guitar playing was ... a knowledgeable left-hand for blues, and some good right-hand picking which he eventually did using metal finger-picks ... [he] had a fierce, driving flat-picking style when playing 12-string guitar ... after the manner of Leadbelly. He also played a harmonica in a harness, a la Bob Dylan—Garry Kinnane, "Trevor Lucas", Traynors Folk and Jazz Club, July 2009.
He released his first solo work in Australia, two tracks, "Old Time Religion" and "Dem Bones Gwine to Rise Again", on the Various Artists' extended play The Folk Attick Presents (1963). In mid-1964 he married his first wife, Cheryl. In late 1964 Lucas released a solo album, See That My Grave Is Kept Clean on EAST Records, which was recorded in August that year with other folk musicians, Tina Lawton, Paul Marks, Brian Mooney, Lenore Somerset and Martyn Wyndham-Read.
On New Year's Eve 1964 Lucas boarded the Greek vessel, Ellinis, and relocated to United Kingdom with Cheryl. In London he worked as a solo artist and accompanist at various folk clubs including The Troubadour. He performed at the International Folk Fest at Royal Albert Hall. Lucas released his second solo album, Overlander (1966), on Reality Records. In August 1967 Lucas, playing bass guitar, formed the folk band Eclection with fellow Australian Kerrilee Male on lead vocals, Georg Kajanus (as George Hultgreen) on guitar and lead vocals, Michael Rosen on guitar and lead vocals, and Gerry Conway on drums. In August 1968 they issued a self-titled album and continued until their breakup in October 1969. Lucas recalled the group, "a very underground, flower power group, based on a cross between the Jefferson Airplane and the Mamas and the Papas [it was] a good apprenticeship in electric music. I don't think it created anything devastatingly good ... We were all very naive ... We got ripped off terribly".
Fotheringay and Fairport Convention
By May 1969 Lucas was dating Sandy Denny, lead singer of Fairport Convention, when he played triangle in Si Tu Dois Partir on their album Unhalfbricking (July 1969). In late 1969 Lucas, Denny and Conway formed Fotheringay after Denny left Fairport Convention — other members included Pat Donaldson on bass guitar and Jerry Donahue on guitar and vocals. In June 1970 Fotheringay released a self-titled album where Lucas provided acoustic guitar and vocals. The album included the Lucas-penned track, "The Ballad of Ned Kelly" (aka "Poor Ned") and "Peace in the End" co-written with Denny. Allmusic's Dave Thompson was not impressed by Lucas' vocals, "great guitarist though he was, his voice offers nothing that you could not hear in any amateur folk club, any night of the week, rendering Dylan's 'Too Much of Nothing', Gordon Lightfoot's 'The Way I Feel', and his own 'Ballad of Ned Kelly' little more than makeweights". Whereas Nick Talevski in Knocking on Heaven's Door: Rock Obituaries (2006), found "The Ballad of Ned Kelly" to be a highlight of the album.
The band broke up in 1971 with Denny undertaking a solo career with backing from Lucas. A follow up album had been recorded in November to December 1970 but it was abandoned until 2007, when it was finally completed by Donahue and released in September 2008 as Fotheringay 2. Lucas felt his time with Fotheringay was the most enjoyable of his music career, the band members were "being more creative with, more expressive". From 1969 to 1972 Lucas also worked with various groups including with former members of Fotheringay. In 1972, Lucas organized and produced a one-off album "The Bunch" which featured 12 classic oldies favorites performed by past and (then) present members of Fairport Convention, as well other friends. He became a session musician and record producer for Bronco, Julie Covington, Al Stewart, The Strawbs and Richard & Linda Thompson.
In July to August 1972 Lucas was helping Fairport Convention record their album Rosie (February 1973) when he joined the group with Donahue. On 20 September 1973 Lucas and Denny married and shortly thereafter Denny rejoined Fairport Convention. In late 1975 Fairport started a long promotional tour and shortly afterwards Lucas, Denny and Donahue left the band. Lucas and Denny left because "[w]e'd spent eight months on the road touring, and we'd been thinking of having a family and all that sort of thing". Lucas assisted on Denny's further solo work. In the mid-1970s the couple relocated to the village of Byfield in Northamptonshire, in July 1977 Denny gave birth to their only child, a daughter, Georgia Rose Lucas.
Sandy Denny had apparently suffered from substance abuse problems for some time, and by 1977 her addictions were obvious to others. Linda Thompson told The Guardian that shortly after the birth of their daughter Georgia in July, 1977, Denny "was crashing the car and leaving the baby in the pub and all sorts of stuff." Thompson also noted that the child was born prematurely, yet Denny seemed to have little concern for her new baby.
In late March 1978, while on holiday with her parents and baby Georgia in Cornwall, Denny was injured when she fell down a staircase and hit her head on concrete. Following the incident, Denny suffered from intense headaches; a doctor prescribed her the painkiller Distalgesic, a drug known to have fatal side effects when mixed with alcohol. On 13 April, concerned with his wife's erratic behaviour and fearing for his daughter's safety, Trevor Lucas left the UK and returned to his native Australia with their child. Four days later, Denny collapsed and fell into a coma while at a friend's home. On April 21, she died at Atkinson Morley Hospital in Wimbledon. Her death was ruled to be the result of a traumatic mid-brain haemorrhage and blunt force trauma to her head.
Lucas returned to England for her funeral, then in August, he was back in Melbourne, "I came here because it seemed like a good refuge ... I've got a lot of family here, and I thought it was important for Georgia, my 13-month-old daughter, to have that sort of security".
Lucas settled permanently in Australia after 1978. From 1979 and into the 1980s, Lucas was producing albums for Australian artists and later started working on scores for the film industry. He also married Elizabeth Hurtt, his third wife, and they had a son, Clancy.
Lucas Australian production credits include the number-two hit single, "Solid Rock", by Goanna and its related number-two album, Spirit of Place (November 1982); and number-one hit, "I Was Only Nineteen", by Redgum and their albums, Caught in the Act (June 1983) and Frontline (August 1984). His film score work began with forming Andromeda Productions which provided documentaries and children's dramas. In 1985 he briefly returned to England to work on a compilation album as a tribute to Denny, Who Knows Where the Time Goes?. In August that year, he performed with an extended Fairport Convention line-up at the Cropredy Festival.
Back in Australia, Lucas co-composed soundtracks with Ian Mason including for Jenny Kissed Me (1986) and Slate Wyn and Me (1987). For the 1986 horror-thriller feature film, Cassandra, Lucas and Mason composed the score and the song, "Land of the Free" and performed it as Bluey and Curly – Lucas also produced the film. By 1987 Lucas and his family were living in Epping, New South Wales. With John Penhallow, one of Fairport Convention's former managers, he assembled a series of cassette tapes, Attic Tracks Volume I to Attic Tracks Volume IV for private sale. On 4 February 1989, Trevor Lucas died of a heart attack in his sleep, in Sydney, aged 45 years old. His children were left in the care of Elizabeth Hurtt-Lucas – who administered the estates of both Denny and Lucas. According to Australia rock music historian Ian McFarlane, Lucas "was one of the most acclaimed singer/songwriters Australia ever produced and although he was held in high regard in UK folk-rock circles, he remained virtually unknown in his homeland".
Produced by Trevor Lucas: ~
Produced and performed by Trevor Lucas: ~~
- Various Artists The Folk Attick Presents (1963)
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- "Folkloric Recording, A. L. Lloyd, Alf Edwards, Dave Swarbrick, Martin Carthy, Martyn Wyndham-Read and Trevor Lucas in Concert [sound recording]". Trove. National Library of Australia (NLA). Retrieved 14 July 2012. "Music: A. L. Lloyd sings, Alf Edwards plays concertina, Dave Swarbrick plays fiddle, Martin Carthy plays mandolin, Martyn Wyndham-Read & Trevor Lucas sing".
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