Offenbach guitarist John McCall lost his life in a car accident at the weekend in Lachole, Monterrey.
• Read more: Death of John McCall: Music world in mourning
The 66-year-old Ontario musician succumbed to his injuries following a 2:45 a.m. fall on the Odelltown climb. His car left the road and hit a tree before bursting into flames, the Sûreté du Québec explained.
Offenbach producer Stéphane Daoust confirmed to QMI agency that John McCall was the driver who lost his life in the crash.
“He was a super talented musician, but most of all he was a good person. We could easily rub shoulders with someone and have good discussions with him,” recalled Mr. Toust, who considered John McCall his mentor.
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The guitarist was the last original member of Offenbach. His death disrupts the current group’s plans, underscored the producer, who was friends with McCall for more than 20 years.
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“We put out the ‘Draversion’ album – originally released in 1978 – which was re-released years later on CD and vinyl. We were touring to promote it all. It saddened a lot of people, a lot of musicians who rubbed shoulders with him. It was going to be an adjustment for a lot of people. “If you can’t congratulate John, play with him,” he said.
Offenbach thus loses not only its last original member, but also an ardent supporter of the group. “He kept Offenbach alive. […] “He loved the team, and when he took the reins, he was one of those people who never resigned,” Stephen Doust said.
McCall joined Offenbach in late 1978, almost at the same time as singer and bassist Breen LeBoeuf, after several band members left him. He gradually established himself as a composer and collaborated on the writing of the group’s second English-language album, “Rock Bottom”, although his success remained modest.
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Gradually, the guitar aficionado – he owned more than 300 – established himself as Offenbach’s main composer in the early 1970s and early 1980s, almost a decade after the band’s formation in Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu. McCall notably composed five of the ten songs on the album “Coup d’Eclair” (1981) and eight of the ten songs on the album “Dennetebrick” (1983).
John McCall is notably behind the big hits like “Just an Adventure”, “I Know It’s Ben”, “Wild Cat” “Zimbabwe” or “The Girl Out”.
Despite the successes, the group gradually disintegrated, while Jerry Poulet withdrew to release a debut solo album in 1984. Offenbach’s last original album ‘Roccorama’ was released in 1985.
After the breakup of the cult band, John McCall collaborated with many artists, including Nanette Workman, Dan Bigras, Lulu Hughes, Michel Rivard, Marie Carmen, Isabelle Boulay, Eric Lapointe, Steve Hill, France D’Amour and Martin Deschamps.
He was also responsible for the artistic direction of the “Nature” album, in which Martin Deschamps covered Offenbach’s greatest hits, and took over the direction of the tribute album “Les Jealouses du Blues”.
The musician, despite everything, stuck with the group that made him known. So, he returned to the stage with Offenbach in the early 2000s, stringing together shows as the group’s faces continued to change around him.
– With information from Frédérique De Simone
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