Keith Gemmell, British musician, Died at 68


Keith Gemmell was born on February 15, 1948, in Hackney, London and died on July 24, 2016.

He was a British musician.

Keith played saxophone, clarinet, and flute, and was best known for being a member of an art rock band Audience from 1969 to 1972 and from 2004 to 2016.

Gemmell was also a musical arranger and composer, published digital sheet music, wrote articles for the UK publication Music Tech Magazine, and was the author of several books including the best-seller Cubase Tips & Tricks.

Gemmell started playing the recorder at the age of 13 and was later attracted to the clarinet on hearing Acker Bilk’s “Stranger on the Shore”.

Keith has cited his early influences as the British trad jazz bands of the day, Acker Bilk, Kenny Ball and Chris Barber being the best known names.

After he heard such bands as Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, Sounds Incorporated and The Mar-Keys he decided to take up the saxophone and started playing in local bands.

At just Age 17, Keith turned fully professional, joining Bognor Regis based band The Noblemen and between August 1965 and May 1966, toured Europe playing in clubs, US bases and the Piper Club in Rome.

Upon his return to the UK, he joined Hackney band, The Lloyd Alexander Blues Band, who later metamorphosed into Audience.

The group was formed in 1969, Audience had an unusual line up of tenor sax doubling clarinet and flute, electric acoustic guitar, drums and bass. They had no lead guitarist as such and with the aid of echo loops and wah-wah pedal Gemmell’s reeds replaced this traditional rock band role.

Then after Audience, in 1972, Gemmell joined forces with Mick Underwood, Geoff Sharkey, Paul Simmons and Mick Hodgkinson to form Sammy.

Their only album was produced by Ian Gillan (Deep Purple).

After the group broke up of Sammy, Gemmell joined the Roy Young Band.

He joined the Pasadena Roof Orchestra taking the 2nd. alto sax and clarinet chair. They toured extensively and he remained with them for 14 years.

When he left the PRO, Gemmell built a second freelance career, this time as a writer of both words (music technology) and music (composing and arranging).

Keith Gemmell first book, Get Creative with Cubase, was about recording with Cubase, firstly from a musician’s perspective, secondly, from an engineer’s perspective.

His other music technology books followed and in 2003 he started contributing articles to Music Tech magazine.

Keith Gemmell passed away at 68 years old, due to tongue cancer.