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Pete Edwards Obituary

PETE EDWARDS

Before Beggars Banquet became a record label, they were a chain of record shops and concert promoters. Below their Fulham store was a basement, fitted out as a cheap rehearsal room that proved popular with young bands playing the London pub circuit at the birth of the punk explosion.

One such band was The Lurkers, a four piece from in and around Ickenham, West London. They had a ‘fifth’ member too, a school friend who had briefly been the singer but wasn’t overly enamored with rehearsing so instead became their driver, minder and sound man – he was Pete Edwards, also known as Plug.

Now managing the band, Beggars helped them to buy some gear and, more importantly, a van so they could get around the country. In 1977 and with no interest forthcoming from established labels, Beggars decided to release their first single, the Free Admission Single 7”, the record that kicked started everything for band, label and Pete. Over the next couple of years, the label experienced success and signed other fledgling bands like The Doll and Gary Numan with his band, Tubeway Army. Pete expanded his activities to help out as roadie and sound man for them too.

As The Lurkers’ audience grew, so did Pete’s experience so when the band stopped performing in 1979, Pete and the van became a Beggars’ fixture. It was also at this time that a Lurkers’ spin-off recording project was completed, The New Guitars, which featured Lurker Pete Stride with John Plain from The Boys and, on some of the tracks, lead vocal and harmonica by Pete Edwards. The day after Pete passed away, Steve Lamacq fittingly played ‘Laugh At Me’ by them as the ‘Lost 45’ on his 6Music show in tribute to him.

The next significant work came when Bauhaus were signed and rapidly developed an audience across Europe and the USA. On the surface it was a relationship of contrasts – Pete, the down-to-earth man who loved a pint in the pub and the Northampton aesthetes. But a strong and lasting bond was formed and when Bauhaus morphed into Love And Rockets, Pete became their sound man and fixer, touring the world, especially the USA, throughout the Eighties. From online posts it’s also apparent that Pete is affectionately remembered by other bands that played with his; always friendly, helpful and supportive and willing to share his experience. Or as Gavin Juniper from Under Two Flags posted, “So loved by us. He made us sound a lot better than we were.”

When he stopped touring due to ill health, Pete became Buildings Manager at the Beggars’ Alma Road office in Wandsworth, and for decades he not only held the fabric of the building together, but also the spirit of those within it – always there to smooth things out, to comfort, to reassure.

He still retained strong links to his legacy and in 2008, using his desk recording of Bauhaus’ final concert in 1983, stepped out of studio retirement to help mix the definitive recording of said show – even supplying the old analogue effects equipment that he had used to create the in-house sound. Sadly he then fell seriously ill, and after a long illness, during which he continued to be on the Beggars staff, he sadly passed on. Everyone at Beggars, and all who came across him, will have lasting affection for him. In honour of him, Beggars has named its new Common Datastore “Plug” in his honour, so he will be part of the company’s daily working life, as well as in peoples’ memories, for years to come.