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Davy Speirs

Just found out from Big Davy at Linlithgow yesterday that we'd lost Davy Speirs last week.

Another good man gone.

I was fortunate enough to work with Davy on Jim KcKenna's Woody Guthrie show in the late 1980s.

A really likeable guy and a good laugh too.

And a fine musician and singer.

He managed to pop the bottom E string on one of my electric guitars once.  Bloody guitar had a floating tremolo on it too. How do you bust a bottom string on a floating trem? Eh?

With a great big fuck-off thumbpick!


He'll be missed.

Aw, thats harsh.

My first outing to folk clubs was Paisley Folk Club 20 odd years ago and Davy was very welcoming and knowledgeable to a kid who was soaking up the music like a sponge.

A right nice bloke.

I had a good few enjoyable nights at the attic and the arts centre with Davy Spiers and Danny and I hope there will be a few glasses raised in his name as he was a nice guy to all that crossed his path.

renfrewshire radical

I knew Davy had been unwell for some time, but this comes as a shock nevertheless.

Great big heart, I never heard him say a bad word about anybody.

His smile light up the room when he came in.

Always helpful, always supportive.

I've got gye few mentors left noo.
renfrewshire radical

From Spike (Wendy Weatherby)

Davie's funeral will be on Thursday, 17th Sept at Woodside Crematorium, Paisley ,at 1pm.
Myra ( Davie's wife ) requests that no black or sombre colours are worn - as a nice cheery tribute to Davie. xx
Rid Sonja

I was very sorry to hear this on Saturday (Thanks Big Davy).  

Unfortunately I'll not be able to make it along today, but I'll certainly be putting a minute aside at 1pm to pay tribute to a lovely and generous man.


Davie would have loved idea of singing at his own funeral

Sep 16 2009 by Andrew Newport, Paisley Daily Express

FOLK music legend Davie Speirs will give one final performance tomorrow – by singing at his own funeral.

And those who knew and loved him reckon he’ll be somewhere up there, having a wry smile to himself.

The popular folk and blues singer – who, at some time or other, taught almost anyone in Paisley who ever picked up a guitar – died in the early hours of Friday at the age of 68.

And tomorrow, at his funeral, Davie’s family are paying tribute to his lifetime as a musician by playing a track from a record he released in 1969.

The album, on Beltona Records, was called ‘A Man of Constant Sorrrow’ and the song being played is Oh Had I A Golden Thread, which was written by Pete Seeger for a United Nations concert.

Davie’s widow Myra said: “That song meant a lot to Davie because he agreed totally with the sentiments of the lyrics, which are about the innocence of children and the wish for a better world for everyone.

“Playing at his own funeral – Davie would have loved that idea. How many folk can sing at their own funeral?”

Davie and folk music in Paisley are synonymous as he – along with the late Danny Kyle and Helen Gilderson – started and, for years, ran the town’s famous Attic Folk Club.

He taught Billy Connolly to play guitar and, in the 1960s, the Big Yin was a regular visitor to Davie’s flat in Broomlands Street, Paisley, to get lessons.

Other visitors to his home to spend time and share music with him were John Martyn, Hamish Imlach, Dave Campbell and Martin Carthy to name just a few.

In the early days, Davie played in the Tannahill Folk Trio, which went on to become the Tannahill Folk Four, performing all over the country.

As well as being a fine singer and exponent of the blues guitar style, he was also expert on the banjo.

Myra, of Albion Street, Paisley, revealed how Davie had “a hard struggle coming into the world and a harder one leaving it.”

When his mother, Margaret Greene, was only eight, she suffered internal injuries after being crushed in Paisley’s Glen Cinema disaster.

Sadly, Margaret’s sister Mary died in the tragedy, back in 1929, as hundreds of youngsters tried to escape what they thought was a fire.

Even in adulthood, those crushing injuries meant Margaret had an extremely difficult time giving birth to her only child, Davie.

In the last years of his life, he had to have both his legs amputated below the knee as a result of peripheral disease – a complication of diabetes.

But the singer’s constant humour carried him through this trauma and he never let these circumstances get him down.

Even when he was in hospital, Davie would have friends take him in his wheelchair to concerts and, after one such sojourn, the nurses had a stern word with his family.

Davie’s daughter Seona, 41, said: “My dad was in the Southern General Hospital and, when I went to visit him, one of the nurses said that he couldn’t keep coming back to the ward late at night singing.

“Apparently, his friends brought him back from a concert so late that they were scared to come into the ward, so they just opened the doors and pushed dad in his wheelchair down the corridor into the ward.

“Even when he was in his wheelchair and in hospital after the amputation, dad still played his guitar.

“And once, when he was in the Glasgow Royal, a doctor was late for his rounds because he wanted to play my dad’s Martin guitar and he even left all his case notes lying beside dad when he eventually left.”

Myra, 65, added: “Even though he went through a lot with his illness and the amputation, he was absolutely magnificent and never complained.”

Davie was born in May 16, 1941, and brought up in the east end of Paisley, living in Bank Street.

After leaving school, he became an apprentice painter and decorator and worked with the Co-operative and Grant’s Whisky, in Glenburn.

In the mid-1970s, he had a change of career and began working with people who had learning disabilities.

“Davie was always one for helping people make the best of themselves and he always supported the underdog,” said Myra.

“He worked in Ferguslie Park, Linwood and then in the east end of Glasgow for Strathclyde Regional Council. He was also seconded to the Enable charity.”

When Davie retired in 1996, he had plenty of new challenges lined up to keep him active. As well as performing, he was a keen photographer and also enrolled on a course at Paisley University to study geology.

Seona continued: “Our house was always full of people playing music. Dad would have done anything for anybody and I remember how he even brought a stranger he had just met at a bus stop home to have tea and we shared our dinner with the guy.”

Davie is survived by Myra, Seona, son Gary and grandchildren Calum, Ryan, Caitlin, Caroline and Owen.

His funeral is being held at Woodside Crematorium, Paisley, at 1pm tomorrow.

The family have asked that, instead of floral tributes, donations should be made to the Enable charity.

Paisley Daily Express
The Wanderer

Davey Speirs

Further to some of the correspondence, I would like to say that whilst Davey was in hospital I visited one night after he had been advised that both his legs would have to be removed because of his illness. To cheer him up I took up a copy of his LP 'A Man of Constant Sorrow' which I had promised him at an earlier family gathering, I would transfer from vinyl to CD. as he did not even have a copy of his own LP.
His granddaughter was there at the time and was quite unperturbed about this latest development.
'Sure Granda,' she said, 'When you get out of here your going to be bionic.'
You couldn't help but laugh.
His godson Davey Spiers Cherry is now living up in Aberdeenshire and has acquired the rights to the LP if anyone would like a copy on CD. Young Davey handmakes guitars under the 'Cherry Guitars' logo and was taught by Davey to play guitar as a youngster. He can be contacted on as he works on the rigs when not playing around with guitars.
I would be interested to hear if anyone has the complete lyrics to 'The Glen Cinema Disaster' which I remember fondly from my days at the folk club when Danny Kyle had one of his serious moments.
Rid Sonja

I would be interested to hear if anyone has the complete lyrics to 'The Glen Cinema Disaster' ...

I think that it's very likely that Raddy will have them... bom

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