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Greg Ridley

Greg Ridley

Alfred Gregory 'Greg' Ridley (23 October 1947 in Aspatria, Cumberland, England 19 November 2003 in Alicante, Spain) was one of the more visible rock bassists in England, and a founding member of the successful rock band HUMBLE PIE. As a teenager he became part of British rock & roll's third wave.

Early in his career Greg Ridley played under the name of Dino as guitarist for "Dino & the Danubes" before joining bands such as the "Ramrods". Ridley and Mike Harrison formed The VIPs in 1964, playing blues based music. The band added guitarist Luther Grosvenor and American keyboard player Gary Wright, before changing their name to Spooky Tooth in 1968. Spooky Tooth signed to Island and recorded two albums It's All About Spooky Tooth (1968) and Spooky Two (1969).

In January 1969 Ridley was approached by Steve Marriott from the Small Faces who was forming a new band, called Humble Pie. The line up also included guitarist Peter Frampton from the The Herd and drummer Jerry Shirley. Humble Pie's first album As Safe As Yesterday Is was released and a second album Town and Country wqas also released in the same year. A contract with A&M Records and a re-working of their sound into a harder brand of music, coupled with extensive touring of US followed. A double album Performance Rockin' the Fillmore, featuring a now historic recording of a raw performance of rare quality, catapulted Humble Pie into Rock history. Ridley's powerful bass playing anchored the band's performance and was at the centre of their sound. In addition Ridley and drummer Jerry Shirley comprised one of the most respected rhythm sections in Rock music during this period. This incarnation of Humble Pie continued until 1975 and Ridley left the music business, after finishing an unreleased album with Marriott and abortive attempts with bands such as Mike Patto and Ollie Halsall's band Boxer.

On 14 April 2001 he appeared with Jerry Shirley, Peter Frampton and Clem Clempson, billed as a one off Humble Pie re-union, at a Steve Marriott Tribute Concert. Earlier that yearhe had also become involved with a Humble Pie project initiated by Jerry Shirley's reactivation of the group and the enlisting of another former Humble Pie guitarist and vocalist Bobby Tench. This resulted in the album Back on Track, released by Sanctuary in 2002 and a short tour of Germany with Company of Snakes during the early part of 2003. The project was cut short when Ridley became ill.

Ridley died on 19 November 2003 in Alicante, Spain of pneumonia and resulting complications aged 56.

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