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Obit: Nigel Gray, musician (4 June 2006)

JohnInKansas 04 Jun 06 - 08:26 PM
JohnInKansas 05 Jun 06 - 11:20 PM
GUEST 11 Feb 12 - 03:38 PM
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Subject: Obit: Nigel Gray, musician
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 04 Jun 06 - 08:26 PM

I'm not normally much inclined to posting obituaries, especially for persons I'm not associated with, but a local death reported in the Sunday, 04 June 2006, Wichita Eagle claims this musician has extensive roots in the UK, and he may have been known to some there who wouldn't otherwise receive timely notice.

[quotes extracted from obituary]

Wichita drummer Nigel Gray 48, dies

Mr. Gray died Thursday in his Wichita home. He was 48.

Born on Dec. 10, 1957,in Suffolk, England, Mr. Gray came to the United States in 1995 when the company he worked for, British Aerospace, was acquired by Raytheon.

He managed technical publications for the aircraft company, but his passion was music. Although he sang and played guitar, he fell in love with the drums at age 6, when he saw Ringo Starr perform on TV.
‘That was it for me; I only ever wanted to play drums from that point on,â€쳌 Mr. Gray wrote on the Rain Web site.
And play he did, from tapping on his parents’ tables with a teaspoon to performing at country-music clubs in London.

Though he made his home in Wichita, playing with bands such as Color Blind, Flipside and Gravy From The Hip, those who knew him said he never forgot his British influences.

Several years ago, Mr. Gray returned to England with his friend and bandmate Al Lang. The two “Beatleheadsâ€쳌 visited Abbey Road, Penny Lane and other haunts of their idols. “We walked in the path of the greats,â€쳌 Lang recalled. “I’m glad to have shared it with him. He was more than a bandmate; he was like a brother to me.â€쳌

[end quotes]

The obituary identifies a wife, Vaffi, and I infer that they probably were married before leaving the UK. "Mr. Gray is survived by his brother John and sisters Sandy Lanief and Maureen Duralski," but there is no indication of whether they are in the US or UK.

According to the obit, Nigel's current band was called "Rain" and reference is made in the obit to the band's website; but I don't find it. The obit also says: " In April, the Wichita drummer and his band, Rain, opened for the premiere Beatles tribute band, 1964. . . The Tribute." Being not myself a Beattles fan, I don't recall whether this was a local event.

Note that my Google finds a number of other "Nigel Grays," including possibly several other musicians. I'd suggest independent verification that the correct and proper person has been identified before extensive publication of this news.

Nigel Gray
Approximately 48 years old
Drummer, guitarist, and singer
Extreme(?) Beatles fan, and possibly a "re-enactor"
Wife Vaffi, probably but not confirmably British
Brother John, residence unknown
Sisters Sandy Lanief and Maureen Duralski, residences unknown
Reportedly played in "country music clubs in London" prior to 1995
Has revisited the UK between 1995 and "some years ago."
No cause of death was given.

A local (Wichita KS) phone number is given for information, and I have a .jpg scan of the full obituary if anyone recognizes this person and is interested in the relatively sparse additional info I have.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Nigel Gray, musician (4 June 2006)
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 05 Jun 06 - 11:20 PM

It's been pointed out that some are seeing the above posting with lots of "funny characters." This appears to be due to my having changed the "character encoding" in my browser to read something elsewhere, and neglecting to change it back before posting.

In IE, on the top toolbar, View|Encoding and selecting "Unicode (UTF-8) should make everything nice and neat for your viewing of that post. Most other browsers should be able to select this, or another Unicode character mapping, but I can't say where the controls would be.

Just don't be sloppy like I was and neglect to return to your customary setting before wandering too far.

(I checked this time, and this post will be in "Western European (Windows)" characters - I hope.)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Nigel Gray, musician (4 June 2006)
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 03:38 PM

This is a reply to an article I came upon while going through a Search file. It was from a JohnInKansas about the obit of Nigel Gray who played drums for a group named Rain. Nigel sadly died on June 1st.I am his older sister Maureen Duralski & yes I live in Modesto CA.with my daughter & husband who I met in England he was in the Air Force. We came over here in 1986 & Nigel & Valli had a son Daniel who is following in his father playing the drums.I don't keep in touch with Valli, she moved to Texas,about 2 yrs after Nigel died My sister Sandy Lanier is married & also in the States, she lives near Springfield ILL. Her & her husband run an English Bed & Breakfast. John my other brother lives in England still with all his family. I won't put my email on here in case it gets into the wrong hands, but I am on face book if you want to get in touch with me. Also Dave who managed the band is still in Wichita. I don't know if this will reach you, I hope this is genuine for Nigel's sake. Maureen.

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