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Popular ‘Fairport Convention’ Drummer Dead At 76



Fairport Convention - Woodworm Swing [Cropredy 1998] on Music on TV1 Youtube channel

Popular drummer Gerry Conway, best known for his work with Fairport Convention, passed away this week at the age of 76 after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease two years ago.

Simon Nicol, a friend, released a statement following Gerry’s passing.

“Wonderfully patient and wise, infuriatingly tardy (!) but always ready and eager to play, and blessed with his own inner calm and solidity, I’m going to miss him more than I can say.”


Conway was born in Norfolk and raised in London. Gerry played drums in various school bands while attending secondary school in London. In his twenties in 1968, he created the band “Eclection” and worked alongside his close friend Sandy Denny for the band Fotheringay, who would later become a member of Fairport Convention.

In the 1970s, Conway continued his roles as the drummer for Fotheringay and Eclection, while also contributing to the British folk rock band Steeleye Span. He even played on their now-classic song “Dark Eyed Sailor” and several other songs on the band’s first album.

Throughout his career, Gerry became a sought-after studio musician as well as a member of several bands. While continuing to perform with the groups he knew, he never shied away from new opportunities, always maintaining the responsibilities he already had.

Conway was a part of the band “Jethro Tull” and their Grammy-winning album “Crest of a Knave.”

Although he did not appear on Richard Thompson’s studio albums, Gerry also worked as a member of Thompson’s live band for several years during the 1980s.

Conway played drums for Fairport Convention from 1998 to 2022, where he took over for Dave Mattacks andoccasionally played for Pentangle.

Fairport Convention released a statement on their website following the tragic passing of Conway.

 “our dear friend and former drummer”

“He brought to the band an impeccable understanding of ‘feel’ and comradeship, a unique sense of subtlety and a complete understanding of what was required.”

Fairport Convention - Woodworm Swing [Cropredy 1998] on Music on TV1 Youtube channel

Rest in peace!

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