Beatles’ protégé Jackie Lomax dead at 69

Story highlights

"Jackie Lomax is a singer of energy and passion," his 1969 album notes said

Lomax played in early 1960s rock groups, crossing the path of the Beatles in pubs

The Beatles' Apple Records signed Lomax as a songwriter and artist

He never produced hits despite having three Beatles recording with him

CNN —  

British rocker Jackie Lomax, who recorded with legendary stars but whose own career always seemed a degree removed from fame, died at the age of 69 this week.

The singer-songwriter-guitarist enjoyed a 50-year career playing with many of music’s biggest stars – notably the Beatles – but personal commercial success eluded Lomax.

“It was always about the music,” a statement on his website announcing his death Sunday “after a short illness” in Merseyside, England, said.

Lomax played in several British rock groups, including The Undertakers, in the early 1960s, following and crossing the path of the Beatles performing in Liverpool and in Hamburg pubs.

He was eventually signed to the Beatles’ Apple Records as a songwriter and artist, with George Harrison producing and writing songs for Lomax.

“Jackie Lomax is a singer of energy and passion,” the note on his 1969 Apple album “Is This What You Want?” said. “His roots are in R&B and in the best tradition of blue-eyed soul (even if his eyes are green). There’s a toughness to his vocal style and a sensitive side too; his songs speak of loss and longing, love and life. Is this what you want? What more can there be?”

British rocker Jackie Lomax enjoyed a 50-year career playing with many of music's biggest stars, notably the Beatles.

His studio sessions never produced hits despite having three Beatles – Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr – recording with him.

“Jackie deeply appreciated the fans who followed him throughout his 50-year career and his family and friends would like to thank each and every one of you for your support and loyalty,” his website said.

“Three generations of the Lomax family were there to mourn the passing not just of a wonderful singer, songwriter and musician but of a father, a grandfather, a friend and partner.”

Lomax never gave up on music. “He had only recently put the finishing touches to his next album, ‘Against All Odds,’ which will be released by Angel Air Records towards the end of this year or early next year,” his website statement said.

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CNN’s Paul Caron contributed to this report.