Tributes to Burnley musician who played alongside stars
1:00pm Tuesday 1st January 2013 in News
A SINGER who has played alongside Elton John and Fleetwood Mac died from a rare form of cancer on Boxing Day.
Les Walker was diagnosed with adrenal cancer, a rare but aggressive tumour, in August but by October the cancer had spread to his lungs, kidneys, liver and spine.
The grandfather-of-four, formerly of Gordon Street in the Stoneyholme area of Burnley, moved to London in the late sixties to pursue his dream of becoming a musician.
Mr Walker, 65, travelled around Europe touring with bands, performed at the Reading festival and released over a dozen motown, soul and blues albums.
He got to meet and work with some great musicians, such as Joe Cocker, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Chas ’n’ Dave, Jim Sullivan, Rory Gallagher, Nazareth, Albert Lee and Steve Simpson, During his time with the band Warm Dust he played major festivals and gigs in the UK, and across Europe, radio and television performances and the Lyceum London.
He also performed at Reading Festival and released his own solo album.
In 1989 he moved back north with his wife Angela and children Georgia and Jennifer. They moved to Sabden for a brief spell before settling in the Chequers area of Clayton-le-Moors.
Daughter Georgia Wood, 37, said: “He had always been a singer. He left home as a teenager and travelled around Europe with his bands.
“He was a natural performer. He knew everything about music.
“He could turn his hand to anything and taught himself to play the guitar and harmonica.
“Dad had some amazing stories, but he never bragged.”
Mr Walker was sent for further tests after a routine doctors appointment and was diagnosed with advanced adrenal cancer.
He found out that the cancer had spread to his spine, liver, kidneys and lung while on holiday in Spain in October with wife Angela, whom he would have been married to for 40 years this month (January).
Mr Walker, who was still performing in pubs and clubs across East Lancashire in October, was taken into hospital on the Saturday, December 22, suffering from pneumonia and died four days later.
Georgia said: “I last saw him on Christmas Eve. I wished him a Merry Christmas and I genuinely thought I would see him again.
“It has been incredibly hard for the family but we are sticking together.
“There have been lots of tears and reminiscing about him.
“A cousin said that when we look at the night sky, we have our own rock star looking down on us.”
His funeral will be held on Monday, January 7, at Burnley Crematorium at 3.40pm.