It is with deep sadness that we learned of the sudden and tragic death on Sat Aug 25 of our dear friend and musical compatriot, lead vocalist of The Poets, George Gallacher. He died from cardiac failure, whilst driving home from Firhill Park after watching his beloved Partick Thistle FC beat Dumbarton 3-0. He would’ve been a very happy man that day. As anyone who’s ever heard George in action either in The Poets of old, or in the recently resurrected Poets line-up with The Thanes will tell you, he had a totally unique vocal, and despite having only one serviceable lung, was a thoroughly compelling and unique presence.
Since undergoing major heart surgery some years ago, George was on daily dose of medication, and often voiced his fears to his friends over his mortality. He is survived by his dear wife Anne, and sons Craig and Fraser.
His good friend, and BBC Radio Scotland producer Stewart Cruickshank sums it up thusly: “For many, the dapper and enduring singer with The Poets. For many more, a man of principle, a family man, a natural-born teacher, friend and philosopher. For me, at 13, the man who, in 1964, sang the eerily beautiful Now We’re Thru’, the beginning of a life-long adventure in reverberation. Beyond beat music and into another realm: George Gallacher. I loved George, I worked in music with George. He and Fraser sang at my 50th birthday ‘do’. The application of eloquence and economy in language: George Gallacher. Not for nothing did Andrew Loog Oldham sign The Poets. Not for nothing did Partick Thistle win 3-0 on Saturday 25/08/2012.”
Personally I feel very privileged to have been good friends with him for the last 25 years, and more recently, to have had the good fortune to have played alongside him, and Fraser too, in the revamped group, helping to keep the name of The Poets alive. I’ll be eternally thankful that we also got to play these few truly memorable gigs in Glasgow, London, and most recently at Festival Beat in Italy.
Lenny Helsing (The Thanes /The Poets)