Sottish rocker Billy Mackenzie was infamous for his distinctive high tenor voice that could drop the knickers of a nun.
Member of ‘The Associates’ a Scottish post punk, new wave band massive in the early 80s his killer voice and rock and role antics was responsible for putting them on the map.
Over ten years together the guys recorded six successful studio albums including their first, ‘The Affectionate Punk,’ UK chart topper ‘Sulk,’ and ‘The Glamour Chase,’ recorded in 1988 but unreleased until 2003.
A man of many talents, ‘The Associates’ was only one of the pies Billy had his fingers in. During his music career he also collaborated with many other artists, including working on ‘Swiss duo Yello’s,’ ‘One Second’ album in 1987 and Shirley Bassey’s ‘The Rhythm Divine.’
Sadly much like many of the coolest musicians throughout history Mackenzie’s life was not a long and happy one. Severe depression and the death of his mother sadly led to his rapid demise. Aged just 39 on the 22 January 1997 Mackenzie sank a lethal combination of prescription pills in the garden shed of his father’s house and immediately (in true you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone style) became a cult icon.
His legacy remains and has been honoured through music by the likes of Siouxsie Sioux and The Cure and in 1998 the story of his life became the subject of Tom Doyle’s book ‘The Glamour Chase,’ for all to see.
It’s always the best ones right? The sad story of a true punk legend. Long may your legacy reign Bill.