PETER JOHN \'OLLIE\' HALSALL (14 March 1949 – 29 May 1992) was an
English guitarist and vibraphone player, and is best known for his
The Rutles , the bands Timebox ,
Patto and Boxer , and for his
contribution to the music of
Kevin Ayers . He is also notable as one
of the few players of the vibraphone in rock music . He was known as
Ollie because of his distinctive way of pronouncing his surname with a
dropped 'h'. The OLLIE HALSALL
* 1 Career * 2 Legacy * 3 Discography * 4 References * 5 External links
Ollie may not have been the best guitarist in the world, but he was certainly among the top two. John Halsey, 1997
Halsall (ex Pete and the Pawnees, The Gunslingers, The Music Students, all 1964, The Rhythm and Blues Incorporated, 1965), came to London in October 1966 to play vibraphone with the pop rock outfit Timebox (which included bassist Clive Griffiths and keyboardist 'Professor' Chris Holmes. Halsall took up guitar, they enlisted Mike Patto on vocals and drummer 'Admiral' John Halsey .
In 1970, following the departure of Holmes, Timebox evolved into the band Patto. They played a blend of progressive Jazz rock featuring Halsall's guitar work.
In 1973, Halsall left to join
Jon Hiseman 's Tempest . After less
than a year, he quit and did numerous sessions, including a track for
Kevin Ayers which led to a permanent position in Ayers' band The
Soporifics. He was briefly considered as a possible replacement for
In 1975, Patto staged a brief reunion comprising just three benefit gigs. The reuniting of Halsall and Patto sparked the formation of Boxer during 1975. Boxer never reached its true potential, as Mike Patto died in 1979 during the mid term of their contractual obligations to the Virgin record label and are best remembered for their debut album Below The Belt and its controversial sleeve design.
Somewhat ironically - since he was never fully credited - Halsall's
most commercially successful recording is his work on the album The
Rutles (1978), which reached the top 20 in the UK, on which he plays
many of the instruments and provides lead and backing vocals - most
notably on the tracks "Doubleback Alley", "With a Girl Like You" and
"Get Up and Go".