Goodbye to Steve Harley frontman of the glam rock band Cockney Rebel

Goodbye to Steve Harley frontman of the glam rock band Cockney Rebel

Steve Harley, best known as the lead singer of the British glam rock band Cockney Rebel, he died at the age of 73, his family confirmed.

Real name Stephen Malcolm Ronald Nice, he remained active until last December, when he canceled his live commitments following his cancer diagnosis.

“We are shocked to announce that our wonderful husband and father passed away peacefully at home, with his family by his side,” a statement on social media read. “The birds of his forest, which he loved so much, were singing to him. His home was filled with the sounds and laughter of his four grandchildren.”

And the post continues: “Anyone who knew him knows that his heart instilled in abundance only the fundamental elements: passion, kindness, generosity and so much more. We know he will be greatly missed by people around the world and we ask that you respectfully grant us your privacy to grieve.”

THE Cockney Rebel they were active from 1972 to 1977, then again for two brief reunion periods before a definitive return in 1996 – although for most of that period they were effectively a Harley solo project.

Along with “Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)”, came several other hits, including “Judy Teen”, “Mr. Soft” and a cover of the Beatles' “Here Comes the Sun”.

“I was in the hospital from February '63 to December and in that year the Beatles blew up, the Stones blew up and Dylan imploded,” Harley – who suffered from polio as a child – once told Songwriter magazine. “He didn't blow everything up with a rock image and music, but he proved something to all of us who cared about words, not just lyrics.”

“Because in Dylan's case they were poems. That made my head spin and overwhelmed me. … They bought me an acoustic guitar when I was ten and I would never have learned those chords if it hadn't been for Dylan.”

Admitting that he had always been “difficult to work with” in terms of songwriting, he recalled recording “Make Me Smile” before its release in 1975, saying: “The EMI CEO at the time, Bob Mercer, he came to Abbey Road… I said, “Listen to this,” and he said, “Number one.” I joked, “Is that a promise?” He repeated, 'Number one,' so we knew he was special.” “Of course,” he added in the interview, “it's… the whole package,” but it all starts with the song. You can't make a great single out of a shitty song.”