LONDON (AP) — Jackie Lomax, a singer-songwriter who worked with The Beatles and enjoyed a long solo career, has died at age 69.
Lomax died Sunday in the Wirral, near Liverpool in northwest England, following a brief illness, according to his official website. Website manager Alistair Hepburn said Wednesday that Lomax's family told him of the death. The family also released a statement to The Beatles Shop in Liverpool, manager Stephen Bailey said.
Lomax was signed to the Beatles' Apple label in the 1960s. He had known the band members since their early days at Liverpool's Cavern Club, when he was a member of The Undertakers, one of the most popular bands on the thriving Liverpool music scene.
"He was a great rocker, a solid out-and-out rock and roller," said Tony Bramwell, the former publicist for the Beatles' Apple Records. "They were one of the great groups in Liverpool in the early '60s. They did a great version of 'Mashed Potatoes.'"
Bramwell said John Lennon persuaded Lomax to sign with Apple Records and that George Harrison and the other Beatles backed him on his first release for the label, the 1968 single "Sour Milk Sea." "Even with all that, it just got lost in that mass of sales," said Bramwell, pointing out that the Lomax single was released by Apple along with the Beatles' "Hey Jude" and Mary Hopkin's smash hit "Those Were the Days."
He said the Lomax tune received lots of radio play but did not become a breakthrough hit. After leaving Apple, Lomax moved to Los Angeles, where he made a number of excellent records, including a strong collaboration with Harrison, Bramwell said.
"He'd been ill for some time, and lost so much weight because of cancer," Bramwell said. Lomax lived for many years in Ojai, California, but recently had returned to England. His website says he recently finished an album that will be released within months.
Hepburn said a funeral will be followed by a remembrance ceremony — "more like a rock-and-roll gig" — in Liverpool at some later date. He said Lomax is survived by his first wife, Dionne Lomax, their daughters Vicki, Janine, and Louise, and five grandchildren.
Associated Press writer Raphael Satter contributed to this report.