The rock world is littered with musicians who can’t handle the influx of money and consume drugs and booze to relieve boredom. This in turn consumes them and their bodies are burnt or buried and their family are left to deal with the misery.
Here is one of them - Richard Grech who was talented British rock musician and multi-instrumentalist. Though he was born in Bordeaux, France he’s buried in a cemetery in Leicester. Music started not far away at Corpus Christi RC School where he played the violin in the school orchestra.
At just 19 he joined the progressive rock group Family and played bass guitar. In 1967 they released their first single Scene Through The Eye of a Lens which attracted a record deal from Reprise Records. The group's 1968 debut album Music in a Doll's House became an underground hit that put the main spotlight on the songwriting talents of Roger Chapman and John Whitney however Ricks’s proficiencies on the guitar, cello and violin gained respect.
Rick started to write and sing hits for their second album and he was soon noticed by Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood who were forming formed the supergroup Blind Faith. He recorded with the group for the self-titled album Blind Faith and they toured America. Eric Clapton was always prickly, hard to please and didn’t want to continue with that kind of music and left the band. However Rick remained when Steve Winwood when he reformed Traffic with original members.
Money was flooding in but so did the drugs and, after two albums, Traffic were forced to sack Rick. Music was his main calling and he gained much session work and he recorded or played concerts with big names: Rod Stewart, Ronnie Lane, Bee Gees and Muddy Waters. At 28 he was played in one of numerous versions of the late Buddy Holly backing band The Crickets.
He retired from music at 31 having tried and failed to start two groups and returned to Leicester to sell carpets. Royalties kept him comfortable - too comfortable as he died at Leicester General Hospital aged 43 from a brain haemorrhage which caused his kidneys to fail.
He’s buried here with his mum. The foreign words are in line with his Ukrainian parents. The epitaph “He who lives by excesses enters the palace of wisdom,” is from William Blake’s poem The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (not sure if refers to the excesses of alcohol.) What a waste of a life I’ve come across.
He’s around here somewhere….