The leader of the iconic Merseybeat band, Gerry & the Pacemakers, Gerry Marsden has sadly died at the age of 78. The singer was a huge influence on British music and has rightly been regarded as a foundational stone in rock ‘n’ roll.
Marsden’s friend Pete Price broke the news to his many fans and led the tributes to the inspirational figure. Price confirmed that Marsden had died on January 3 following a short illness after a heart infection. The news has sent ripples across the music industry with countless iconic figures paying their respects.
Forming the Pacemakers in the 19650s, Marsden became not only their lead guitarist and singer but also, as was a little strange for the times, their chief lyricist too, writing many of their most cherished hits, including ‘I’m The One’ and ‘Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying’.
Marsden and the band were the second band to be signed by Beatles manager Brian Epstein and were quickly compared to the Fab Four, a comparison they never truly shook off. The Merseybeat band eventually broke up in 1966 only to be reformed by Marsden in the seventies.
Paul McCartney, long time friend of Marsden shared a tribute to the singer on his social media channels saying: “Gerry was a mate from our early days in Liverpool. He and his group were our biggest rivals on the local scene. His unforgettable performances of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and ‘Ferry Cross the Mersey’ remain in many people’s hearts as reminders of a joyful time in British music.” Marsden’s version of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ is still a headlining moment for any visitor to Anfield, the home of Liverpool Football Club.
“My sympathies go to his wife Pauline and family. See ya, Gerry. I’ll always remember you with a smile,” concluded the Beatle.
Marsden’s life, or parts of it, were later adapted into a musical Ferry Across The Mersey and his work with the Pacemakers as influential trendsetters will never be forgotten.