Hartlepool radio presenter pays tribute to 'humble' rock star John Miles

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A Hartlepool radio presenter has recalled memories of working with and interviewing late North-East rock musician John Miles.

Miles, born in Jarrow 72 years ago, had a remarkable rise to fame after playing the workingmen’s clubs across the area with his band The John Miles Set alongside friends Bob Marshall and Dave Symonds.

BBC Radio Tees presenter Paul “Goffy” Gough said that Miles never forgot how important that period was for him and the band.

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Speaking after Miles’s death was announced on Monday, Goffy said: “In one of the chats that I had with him, he was super proud of his roots here.

John Miles, left, with Paul Gough.John Miles, left, with Paul Gough.
John Miles, left, with Paul Gough.

"He even remembered particular clubs such as the old Rovers Quoits Club, Hartlepool, then based along Raby Road, and recalled how that in the period the clubs were full at six o clock with people queuing outside when his lads turned up in their van to perform.’’

Miles’s solo success reached a pinnacle in 1976 with worldwide hit Music although he later worked with stars such as Tina Turner and Led Zeppelin founder Jimmy Page.

Goffy added: “John has certainly left his mark in such a huge way and I remember that he particularly loved the live gig he did with Tina Turner at the Gateshead International Stadium in the summer of 1996.

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"It was Tina’s Wildest Dreams world tour taking in some 250 dates across the globe.

"But he said that playing back ‘home’ a few miles from where he was born in South Tyneside was truly unforgettable.

" It was remarkable that John from his humble beginnings would go on to be Tina’s trusted musical director for a lengthy period as she dominated the world of music following her 80s comeback.

"He worked closely alongside legends such as Jimmy Page, Andrea Bocelli and was multi-talented and gifted – and super nice with it.

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“I hosted a gig for him during my Century Radio days over at Seaton Carew Golf Club in the early part of 2000 when Chris Turner was Hartlepool United’s manager.

"The club were raising funds via a celebrity golf day. John walked up to the stage and literally took the roof off the place.

“Any of the people who were there that night will never ever forget it.

"Chris Turner tweeted about it this week. It was just óne of those nights.

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"John did it for free as part of the clubhouse get together that night and it raised a ton of money for Hartlepool United Football Club.

"I recall auctioning his signed guitar that night which raised a fair few quid for the club too.”

Goffy continued: "Despite the heights he achieved, John never ever forgot his roots here in the region and I think that is why there has been such a huge outpouring of love for him by those caught up in the shock of his very sad loss.

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“He was very humble and forever grateful for the support he had received from his fans and that is a magical ethic.”

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