Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Skids: BBC Concert

R.I.P. Stuart Adamson

11 April 1958 – 16 December 2001
A guitar player of singular beauty

The Skids Scared to Dance LP showed up in the used bins of Winnipeg a lot back in the early eighties. I laid down the $5.00 and when those opening guitar chords of "Into the Valley" flew from that diamond needle, through the coal-black amplifier and out those beating speakers into my waiting ears, I was fucking spellbound.

While I'm not sure John Peel didn't go overboard when he called The Skids' Stuart Adamson “Britain’s answer to Jimi Hendrix”, Adamson is one of those rare cases where more of my goodwill for the band is directed towards the guitarist then the lead singer. While Richard Jobson's lyrical and vocal contribution to the band were immense, it was Adamson who went on to both fame and lasting influence as the leader of Big Country. But more on that later, perhaps...

Here's a sad,sad article of Adamson's final days.

I post this video not as a fan of Green Day or U2, though I surely am, but because it's a genuine tribute to the lost genius of Stuart Adamson, to the wretched loss of New Orleans and to the massive, oft-unacknowledged, influence of The Skids as a whole on U2 and, to a lesser degree, on Green Day.

BBC Concert link is in the comments

Speaking of comments, tell us about your first encounter with Stuart Adamson's work.

Support the band!










  1. .


    If you'd like to hear more of of Adamson's out-of-print work, leave a comment behind.

  2. I had not read that entire article before. Very moving. I had the pleasure of meeting Stuart twice, bot times he was very gracious and took time to talk to me, and was interested in me. I even cheekily asked him to sign a VHS video label for a bootleg copy of the Town and Country 10th Birthday gig, I had be desperate to get hold of (the sweatiest and by far the best gig I have ever been to) I still have it, he signed it "All good things, come to he who waits". If only he was still around, perhaps that statement would of come true for Stuart. RIP.

  3. Was never much of a Big Country fan (MTV overexposure?), but everything I've heard from the Skids has been pretty great. Really enjoying the guitar playing on this set. Thanks.


  4. Nice post Jeffen. I have this split too. I LOVE The Skids!!!!!!! Nice to see a cool post on a fantastic band!

  5. Hey Jeffen

    I like both The Skids and Big Country.Big Country put on a monumental show at The Commodore Ballroom back in the day.

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year


  6. From the home town of both bands - just a wee bit too young to have seen The skids in their hey day - saw them twice this year in reformed mode - brilliant stuff - was always into Big Country from the original Staurt Adamson's Big Country at Dunfermline Glen Pavilion - -lost touch with their music a bit later on Stuart moved on I guess i never - a brilliant guitarist and a great songwriter - sadly no more - buit his musical legacy will live on.

    Thank you again

  7. Kevin
    Man BC's live shows rocked, their crowds were nuts!

    Thanks for the good words

    Love both bands to, would've loved to see either live.
    Merry (wet) Christmas to you and yours in Van. as well.

    yeah that legacy will live on.

  8. Always heard this was a great band, and I did really like the first BC album back at the time, so thanks for this listen-in. BTW, re: Big Country: I recall hearing a remarkable, touching mini-documentary on CBC radio a couple of years ago (series of 15-minute works made by listeners that ran just before the 12:00 news, can't recall the name of the program this second)--a documentary about this man's love of Big Country and how listening to their albums (cassettes) on his Walkman helped him get through his parents divorce. Well worth the effort to find for anyone out there with aficion for this band.


  9. I first met Stuart in 1988 backstage at BC gig. He was an genuinly nice man and had a LOT of time for his fans (as did the rest of the band). A few years later a friend of mine and i went to a BC gig (it was his first ever live gig!!) we decided to go early and try and catch the band before they soundchecked. Stuart must've seen us standing outside because all of a sudden he puts down his guitar (they were already soundchecking) comes to the back door of the venue and says "just come in guys I don't think anybody's too bothered". We were both dumbfounded and over-awed.

    Right up until we lost him Stuart remained a kind and gentle man who always made time no matter how busy they were.

    A sad loss and a much under-rated musician. A man who could blow the ears of today''s so-called musicians with one flick of his talented fingers!

  10. jbull
    I'm gonna keep my eye out for that CBC feature - sounds interesting.

    What a great tribute to a great man, thanks for adding it.

  11. Hi! Thanks for all the wonderful things yo have posted. Including this. I heard Scared To Dance when it came out in 79, and have always loved it even though it's a tough listen. I think that's why it's enduring. I was never much of a fan of Big Country, aside from the great and distinctive guitar work, but I always felt that Adamson was a special guy. It's good that he is remembered fondly by so many.

    1. BC have some drawbacks (80's production, Adamson's adequate vocals) but they really were very impressive.

  12. Thanks for this. In all of the "Remembering Punk" stuff broadcast The Skids are often forgotten. A real shame.



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