Jackie Lomax, a singer-songwriter who worked with the Beatles and enjoyed a long solo career, died Sunday in the Wirral, near Liverpool in northwest England, following a brief illness. He was 69 and had fought cancer.
Lomax was signed to the Beatles’ Apple label in the 1960s. He had known the band members since their early days at Liverpool’s Cavern Club, when he was a member of the Undertakers, one of the most popular bands on the thriving Liverpool music scene.
“He was a great rocker, a solid out-and-out rock and roller,” said Tony Bramwell, the former publicist for the Beatles’ Apple Records. “They were one of the great groups in Liverpool in the early ’60s. They did a great version of ‘Mashed Potatoes.’”
Bramwell said John Lennon persuaded Lomax to sign with Apple Records and that George Harrison and the other Beatles backed him on his first release for the label, the 1968 single “Sour Milk Sea.”
“Even with all that, it just got lost in that mass of sales,” said Bramwell, pointing out that the Lomax single was released by Apple along with the Beatles’ “Hey Jude” and Mary Hopkin’s smash hit “Those Were the Days.”
He said the Lomax tune received lots of radio play but did not become a breakthrough hit.
After leaving Apple, Lomax moved to Los Angeles, where he made a number of records, including a strong collaboration with Harrison, Bramwell said. But for a time Lomax was also the maitre d’ at the Cat & Fiddle restaurant in Hollywood.
Lomax lived for many years in Ojai, California, but recently had returned to England. His website says he recently finished an album that will be released within months.
Hepburn, manager of Lomax’s website, said a funeral will be followed by a remembrance ceremony — “more like a rock-and-roll gig” — in Liverpool at some later date.
He said Lomax is survived by his first wife, Dionne Lomax; three daughters; and five grandchildren.