Last Friday night, July 19, about 500 people came together at The Asylum in Birmingham, England for a very special event – The Steve Harris (SHY) Tribute and Brain Tumour UK charity event. “It was amazing to see so many people come together to support a great cause and to pay tribute to a wonderful man and a great musician. I cannot believe how generous people were. When I decided to organize a raffle I was overwhelmed the by the donation of prizes,” replies Pamela Mills. “I anticipated that I would raise around 200 pounds but people were queuing to buy tickets. The total of 650 pounds for just the raffle alone totally exceeded all my expectations”.
The event, which hosted esteemed hard rock heroes SHY raised around $7,000 on the night to donate to Brain Tumour UK in Steve’s name with more money pouring in from online auctions, as well. “The event was absolutely amazing,” says Shy keyboardist, Joe Basketts. “So many people came together to make this happen and on the night nearly two years of hard work just fell into place. The support we received from friends, fans and other musicians has been overwhelming, without which we could not possibly have put this show on.”
Several items were raffled off and are included in an online auction, including autographed guitars from George Lynch, Michael Schenker and the members of SHY, a Blackstar amp autographed by ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, drum heads autographed by the members of Magnum, autographed artwork from fantasy artist Rodney Matthews, who designed a total of ten Magnum album covers, an autographed Ozzy Osbourne poster and an autographed TNT jacket amongst various other autographed CD’s, records and t-shirts.
Steve Harris was struck down with a brain tumour in June of 2009 during the recording of the band’s self titled swansong album (and thirteenth release overall) and succumbed to the neurological disorder in October 2011. He was an extremely beloved person in the hard rock community, not only respected for his incredible talent but also as someone who had a positive affect on everyone he came in contact with. Steve was the founding member of SHY (initially called Trojan) at 17 years of age and played on every album the band recorded from 1983 to 2011.”Steve Harris was one of the nicest and most down to earth blokes you could ever hope to meet,” says Roy Davis. “As talented as he was there was never any sign of ego at all. He was the most humble member of the band! He should have gotten more recognition than he did. Who knows, maybe if he had put himself ‘out there’ a bit more, was more flashy, more over the top, whatever, he might have been.”
The current members of SHY (vocalist Lee Small, bass player, Roy Davis, keyboardist Joe Basketts and drummer, Bob Richards) were joined onstage by friends Neil Hibbs and Carl Anthony Wright, who played Harris’ parts on the older songs, whilst Harris’ own guitar parts were taken straight from the multitracks and played using a click track through the PA system for the songs from the latest album. One of the many highlights of the evening was original frontman, Tony Mills joining the band onstage for a run through of some of the classic hits. “It’s been over twenty years since I performed with SHY to any great measure, but the rehearsal went as if it was only yesterday,” says Mills. “I have to attribute that to Steve’s writing and undeniable flare in composition. A truly great artist, taken from us much too soon; it was an honour to be part of such a fitting tribute to one of the most professional musicians I have ever performed with.”
Roy Davis on Steve Harris:”Steve was always on time, never missed a day of work. He had never been sick. He’s never smoked or drank. When we were on tour, the rest of us would go out and get drunk every night and he never did. He really was the epitome of someone who lives the clean lifestyle. And this happened to him. There are a lot of people asking, ‘why him and not me?’ There’s no reason to anything in life in that this would claim the life of a guy like Steve Harris.”