Pete Baillie obituary






Pete Baillie, a fan of blues and R&B, ran a mobile disco in the 1970s and then set up a fanzine in the 80s

My friend Pete Baillie, who has died aged 73 , was a music lover who set up a mid-1980s fanzine called Capital M that covered the London pub rock scene.

Capital M, which was founded in 1985 and was mostly written by Pete, became required reading for gig goers on the blues and R&B scene, as well as a significant catalyst for live music at the time. Quite often the musicians were from the bands Pete had followed in the past, such as Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers and Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band, and they played in London clubs such as the Blue Moon and the Eel Pie.

He also followed up-and-coming American acts, such as early Ry Cooder and John Hiatt, and enjoyed several musical trips to the US, in particular to Austin in Texas.

In the early 70s Pete had also been involved in music through a mobile disco business that he established as a hobby. Although he pursued a career as a telephone engineer, he would have loved to have worked in the music business, and he used the money he made from the disco to buy himself expensive sound equipment.

Born in Ealing, west London, Pete went to Ealing Walpole grammar school before taking a job with the Post Office as a telephone engineer in the early 60s. He eventually became an instructor at a BT training college, then an engineer with Rank Xerox and, in a complete change of role later in life, managed an Athena shop franchise in Cheltenham.

Apart from music he was also interested in cycling, and he specialised in gruelling long-distance road races and organising events for his local clubs, Ealing Paragon and the Archer. Always a Francophile, he spent many of his early holidays following the Tour de France, and often his bicycle took preference over other luggage.

He and his second wife, Sue (nee Johnson), whom he married in 1989, eventually moved to France to enjoy a more rural lifestyle.

He is survived by Sue and by his sister Brenda.