# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Geoff Davies - 1943 - 2023

  by Steve Kinrade

published: 25 / 10 / 2023

Geoff Davies - 1943 - 2023

I have often said that when the story of Liverpool Music and Culture is attempted to be told, Geoff Davies, who died recently, will play a prominent part. Yes, the usual suspects will be assembled and glorified, but how many of these people had such an ongoing influence? Not many. If you are of a certain vintage, and interested in music and its cultural influence on Liverpool, chances are you will have a Geoff Davies story of your own. Although Probe Records had a history before its relocation to the infamous Button Street premises, it is here that legends were forged. The Probe ethos went hand in glove with the burgeoning punk spirit, and if you became interested in music, it would soon become a destination of choice. Not only was there a nicely stocked second hand section, but they had - or could get - any record you wished to purchase. Now the counter staff wouldn’t always agree with your choice, and response ranged from downright ridicule, usually from a feisty Pete Burns, or gentle education, which was Geoff’s speciality. It took some courage for my13 year old self to ascend those famous Probe steps after school, in uniform, in a quest for some interesting Prog Rock, hopefully to be found in the second hand section. If you did find something you wanted, it was wise to time your transaction so to involve someone who at best would express utter boredom at your choice; if your timing faltered reaching the counter you could, at worse, face open hostility. But my first meeting with Geoff was when I had started to listen to John Peel and was entranced by Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. He informed me over a cup of tea that they didn’t have their catalogue in stock, but would order them in for me. From then on I was on nodding terms with the legend. Fast forward some twelve years when I had an office in the new Parr Street Studios, and we met again due to the fact that we shared the same Regional Radio Plugger, a fast talking Irishman called John Foley who worked with Level 42 at the height of their success. It was a time when the first flush of success that Probe Plus Records had with Half Man Half Biscuit was on the wain. Still totally committed to the label, he would continue to release at least one record a year, which he also invariably produced. He was in his fifties then, but great company and fun to be around with, possessing so much tremendous energy and drive. Our paths diverged until 2015, when we resurrected the Klee Music label to put out Thomas Lang’s 'The German Alphabet'. Geoff and I picked up where we left off and would meet at The Roscoe Head or The Dispensary, to talk publishing, MCPS, travel, films and classical music. Now into his seventies, he was slighter than before but those eyes of his still twinkled. And that laugh! We didn’t talk about the past, he was solely concerned about the future, the bands he was preparing to work with, the films he was going to see. Oh, and Liverpool Philharmonic had become a great passion also. Geoff was a real larger than life character, who achieved so much as well as given so much to the music and cultural life of Liverpool. He was never meant to have a career in selling carpets, his career was really being himself, a force of nature, and what a success that was. So on behalf of all those who were lucky enough to cross your path, thank you for the music, the humour, the energy and for instilling the belief in so many people that literally anything is possible…You showed us the wa

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Geoff Davies - 1943 - 2023

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Steve Kinrade pays personal tribute to Geoff Davies, the manager of the legendary Liiverpudlian-based record shop and label Probe Records. who died in September.

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