By George Matlock, editor
The Gus Dudgeon Foundation for Recording Arts was launched on June 30, 2004, in the company of record executives and producers, at the newly-completed recording studios where students will get a chance to become the next generation of Gus-likes. Eltonjohnworld was also there to represent the fans and provide media.
At the Reading College in Berkshire, bass guitarist and long-time pal of Gus Dudgeon, Chris Hook, unveiled the charitable foundation whose aims are to assist budding producers in the UK and eventually abroad too.
Gus and his wife Sheila died in a car accident in July 2002. They were not survived by children and they provided for a small charity called Music Therapy in their wills.
Music Therapy is the “default” charity, which means that in the event the Foundation was ever wound up, remaining assets would be transferred to Music Therapy – which assists mentally handicapped children by using music to communicate with them.
At the official opening in Reading today, both charities agreed to work together. MUsic Therapy was set up 30 years ago.
Chris Hook later gave eltonjohnworld an exclusive interview about the Foundation and explained the reason why the charity has taken 18 months to open – following its first announcement at a London memorial for Gus and Sheila at Abbey Road Studios in January 2003.
You can hear the interview and comments from Gus pal and musician David Crawford, on London Voice broadcasting on the Internet at www.radioheynow.com this Friday, July 2, 2004, at 8pm (1900 GMT).
Earlier this year, Elton agreed to become patron of the Foundation and other artists may also join, Chris told us in the interview.
Chris said that open days, where Elton fans can attend to see the replica of Gus’ studio may also be arranged in the future.
The studio is adorned with many memories of Gus and his work. Photos from the event will also be online soon.
Chris also said the Foundation is now accepting donations. If you would like to contribute, please refer to www.gusdudgeonfoundation.org for more information. And Chris sends a BIG thank you to all who do.