“Ooohhhhh Stone Cold Fever, yeah, so hard to see…I’ve got trouble in my backbone…”
Of all the bassists to emerge from the late 1960s –early 1970s wave of hard rocking British bluesmen, the late Alfred Gregory Ridley was among the most distinguished by way of his founding membership in two legendary ensembles: Spooky Tooth and Humble Pie.
Unlike his peer bassists, the tall, blond, handsome Ridley was a showman, gravitating towards center stage with his natural finish Fender Precision adorned with abalone inlays and a floral décor. Ridley’s bold, free-form style harmonic extensions within his respective bands’ canon were further bolstered by his Hiwatt rig –which was among the most powerful of the era. A vocalist and songwriter, Ridley all but vanished from the music business when Pie split in 1975, though he worked sporadically over the ensuing years with Steve Marriott, among other former band members.
At the time of his passing in 2003, Ridley toiled in Tea, a modest blues band based in Spain where he resided.
Humble Pie, featuring Marriott, Peter Frampton, Jerry Shirley, Clem Clemson, and Greg Ridley were a major influence on a generation of rock musicians, and are long overdue for Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame honors.