My friend Pete Edwards, who has died of cancer aged 60, worked in the music industry for nearly 40 years, starting in the mid-1970s as a roadie for the punk group the Lurkers, of which I was the drummer, and later touring the world with the post-punk band Bauhaus as their sound man. He also worked for a time with Gary Numan.
Pete was born in Ickenham, Middlesex, son of Betty (nee Where), a nursery school worker, and Ronald, a surveyor for the GLC. He left Abbotsfield County secondary modern, Hillingdon, at 16 to take up an apprenticeship as an electrical engineer. He was working in that field when in 1976 he became one of the four founding members of the Lurkers, a group of friends who drank at the Coach & Horses pub in Ickenham.
In the early days Pete was the singer. But when a new vocalist, Howard Wall, appeared on the scene, Pete graciously stepped aside and took on the full-time roadie duties, using his electrical expertise to good effect and driving us around Britain and the US on tour. He was always regarded as the fifth member of the group and would occasionally appear on stage playing the harmonica.
The Lurkers were signed by Beggars Banquet, who were then not a record company but owned record shops, one of them in Fulham, west London, where we rehearsed. Pete stayed with Beggars from then on, working with Numan as a roadie and sound man, and then touring extensively with Bauhaus, not just doing their sound but acting as an indispensable general fixer. Renowned for his skills as a technician, Pete was hard- working, fun-loving and very honest – a combination of assets that ensured he was liked and respected.
His loyalty, sense of duty and commitment was recognised not only by the bands and artists he served with but also by Martin Mills, the owner of Beggars, who continued to use Pete when his touring days ended, employing him at the Beggars office in Wandsworth, south London, as building manager. Pete remained a significant figure at the company until his death.
Blessed with a generous nature and good sense of humour, Pete was never happier than when having a drink with friends. But away from the drinking and general rock’n’roll merriment that he embraced on tour, he was a committed family man. A member of the National Trust, he would regularly take his daughters, Alex and Elizabeth, to places of interest while touring the country – the Lake District being a favourite. He also imparted to them his great love of animals.
Pete is survived by his partner, Pat, and by Alex and Elizabeth. His marriage to their mother, Isabel Clark, ended in divorce.