Dick Heckstall Smith: One of the finest persons and musicians I have ever met
Sept 26, 1934 –Dec 17, 2004

Everybody should know Dick Heckstall-Smith's legendary status as a musician, saxophonist and composer. He had a major part in bringing British Blues and Jazz to the forefront of the world music scene. He was a part of one of the important and unfortunately over looked bands the Graham Bond Organization which also included the upstarts Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. How ironic that a Cream reunion is coming this March. Maybe without Graham and Dick there is no Cream? Dick had a long career being part of many other legendary bands such as Blues Incorporated, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Coliseum, Mainsqueeze a
DHS and Ike Turner at the Handy Awards--both were nominated for Best Comeback Record of the Year (blues and beyond), Ike won but DHS had a blast and was honored to be nominated.
The late DHS with the late Sam Phillips of Sun Studio on the roof of the Peabody Hotel in Memphis for the 2001 Handy Awards.
DHS and John Mayall working on 'blues and beyond'.
nd many other solo projects.

As a performer Dick was one of the finest showmen of the era, being able to play two horns at once and keeping the audience glued to him at all times, he had a real charisma on stage and off. It's too bad America didn't get to see more of him.

DHS, Karen Usher-White, and Sam Phillips on the roof of the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, moments before Sam Phillips was honored with a Life Time Achievement Award from the Blues Foundation.
DHS and Jack Bruce working in the studio on "Dick Heckstall-Smith and Friends, Blues and Beyond".
My first introduction to Dick that came on a personal level happened in the 70's. I was working on a project with Chris Youlden and he suggested that we go down to a Blues Jam, in Camden in London. As soon as I walked in who do I see but Dick Heckstall Smith, who looked like he just came off the cover of the Bond Between US album. I was amazed to get that close up to him and to see him in such an informal atmosphere. I had a great talk with him and asked him every question a fan would ask. Many years later, in the 90's, Pete Brown who was producing a lot of our product for Viceroy and later Bluestorm re-introduced me to Dick on a professional level and I got to work with him and see first hand how great he was instudio. The projects included Clas Yngstrom and Knights of the Blues Table (a tribute to the UK Blues Scene) which Dick playeda major role in. These projects led us to having the honor of doing the best piece of workI have ever been involved with "blues and beyond, Dick Heckstall-Smith and Friends," whichincluded Jack Bruce, Mick Taylor, Jon Hiseman, Clem Clemson Paul Jones, Peter Green and John Mayall.

Karen Usher from Bluestorm Music had the pleasure of taking Dick to the W.C. Handy Awards in 2002, where he was nominated for an award. Unfortunately, Dick did not win. But like the gentlemen he was, he took it in stride. They both had a great musical experience down in Memphis.

The first I heard of Dick's illness was last summer. Dick was to be part of the British Blues All Stars who were going to be playing the San Francisco Blues Festival. As soon as I heard Dick was not coming, I knew he was deathly ill. Dick never missed a show. It was a big disappointment for both the press and the fans.It would have been a great stage for an American audience that came from all over to see Dick at his best in a 'live" element.

It is my hope that Dick Heckstall-Smith receives some of the credit he richly deservers, after his amazing life. Long live his memory and great music which he will leave with us forever.


Arnie Goodman
Dec 17, 2004

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