Tribute concert for Harrogate music legend after lockdown on the cards

A tribute concert to a Harrogate music legend may be held after the lockdown for coronavirus ends.

Monday, 11th May 2020, 10:14 am
Updated Monday, 11th May 2020, 10:16 am
Flashback to younger days - The late Harrogate musician Frank Mizen, left, pictured on stage with Paul Middleton and, just out of shot, Johnny Massey.

Multi-instrumentalist Frank Mizen, who worked with The Jacksons and The Commodores in the 1970s, passed away after a long illness after just turning 66 years of age.

His funeral is planned for next week.

A lynchpin of countless Harrogate line-ups over nearly five decades, Mizen's son Dan, a talented musician and renowned producer in his own right, said it was hoped a tribute event could be held later in the year.

Dan said: "His death came as a bit of a shock. He had been unwell for some time, and wasn’t expecting to see Christmas, but he had been stable.

"He'd been moved to a care home after Saint Michael's Hospice had got him back on track earlier in his illness.

"He had carried on fighting, and writing tunes down on his manuscript paper.

“The end was quick. He passed away peacefully with me by his side."

News of his death late last month led to an outpouring of grief from across the Harrogate music community and further afield.

Sax player Snake Davis, who has played on hits for everyone from Take That, Paul McCartney and M People, said he had been devasted by the news of Frank Mizen’s death.

Snake Davis said: “This is devastating news. Frank was a great man and wonderful musician. I have treasured memories of our Zoot and the Roots days in Harrogate and beyond in the late 1980s.”

Dan Mizen said his father's funeral was scheduled to take place next Tuesday, May 19 but would, by necessity during the pandemic, be a very small affair with, possibly, as few as ten people.

Once the emergency had passed, however, Dan hoped to organise a tribute event wth monies raised for Harrogate's Saint Michael's Hospice which had done so much to help his father in his final months.

Although a dazzling bass player, in particular, the list of local musicans the well-liked Frank Mizen played a variety of instruments with over many years was simply huge - both on stage and in the recording studio.

Recent years before illness struck had seen Mizen appearing every Wednesday night as part of Paul Middleton’s Angst Band in Harrogate’s home of live music, the Blues Bar on Montpellier Hill.

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