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London – 17th May 2018 – Nicky Hopkins (1944-1994), considered by many to be one of the greatest session rock musicians of all time, will be honoured with a memorial park bench at his birthplace of Perivale, Ealing, London. At 12 noon on Saturday 8th September 2018 in Perivale Park, the bench will be unveiled by his widow, Moira Hopkins in the presence of the Mayor of Ealing.
Click here for high res images of the front and rear view of the bench and of the backrest artwork:
Nicky recorded and performed with many of the world’s most well-known artists of the 1960s to the 1990s including the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, David Bowie, Ella Fitzgerald, Art Garfunkel, The Kinks, The Who…. the list goes on and on.
Celebrating Nicky’s life, the seat of the bench will look like a large piano keyboard while the backrest will display photographs of Nicky, his biography, the top 20 tracks he played on as chosen by his fans, as well as a quote from Bob Harris.
The bench is being crowdfunded through PledgeMusic, the online direct-to-fan music platform. From 12 noon BST on Monday 21st May 2018, for a pledge of £100 via https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/nicky-hopkins, Nicky Hopkins fans can be a part of the world’s only Nicky Hopkins memorial by having their name listed on the reverse side of the backrest, for posterity. Their pledge will also allow them to put forward, via PledgeMusic’s Update tab, their favourite Nicky Hopkins tracks to be considered for the Top 20 Tracks that will be listed on the bench. The Nicky Hopkins page on PledgeMusic will go live at 12 noon BST on Monday 21st May 2018.
Pledging will end at 12 noon BST on Saturday 30th June 2018 or when all 340 name places are taken. Once the bench and admin costs are covered, all proceeds will go towards funding a music scholarship at London’s Royal Academy of Music (https://www.ram.ac.uk). Nicky himself won a scholarship at the Royal Academy in the 1950s.
The decision to honour Nicky in this way was that of Gray Levett, Nicky’s former personal manager, and John Wood, a devout Nicky Hopkins fan.
Gray Levett: “It’s unbelievable to think that Nicky won no awards for his stellar contribution to the music industry. Many fans feel, as do I, that he is the ultimate unsung rock hero and that he definitely deserves to be included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We hope this memorial will go some way towards acknowledging Nicky for his extraordinary talent. We’re hoping that his bench will find its way onto London’s rock tourist circuit, attracting fans from all over the world.”
The wording to be inscribed on the bench (manufactured by Furnitubes International Ltd and designed by Jesse Wilson of Beyond Media) is as follows:
Nicky Hopkins, born Nicholas Christian Hopkins in Perivale, Middlesex (February 24, 1944 – September 6, 1994) was an English pianist and organist. He received a scholarship to the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in London; though classically trained at the Academy, it was his discovery of rock and roll, and Chuck Berry in particular, that led him to develop his own sense and style of boogie technique. He recorded and performed on some of the most significant British and American popular music recordings from the 1960s to the 1990s, and is widely regarded as one of the most important session musicians in rock history, perhaps even the most important. It is an almost impossible act to quantify his near-immeasurable contribution to songs and albums so many of us know and love. Indeed his performances are part of the fabric of classic rock itself. His almost magical ability on the keyboards enabled him to weave just the right sequence of notes, which Mick Jagger acknowledged when he said, “Come on, Nicky, give us some Diamond Tiaras!”. Diamond Tiaras were, of course, what Nicky always produced.
ROCK’S GREATEST SESSION MAN • 1944 – 1994
This bench celebrates the life of Nicky Hopkins, with love from his fans • Saturday 8th September 2018
“When Nicky sat at the piano, each take would be breathtaking and each one different from the last. He was a truly creative and dedicated musician, modest, quiet, wonderful to work with and never given to overstatement…. all his work had an indefinable magic that shines out of the grooves.” – Bob Harris
Created by Gray Levett and John Wood. Designed by Jesse Wilson (http://www.beyondmedia.co). With special thanks to Moira Hopkins, Furnitubes International Ltd (https://www.furnitubes.com) and Ealing Council (https://www.ealing.gov.uk).
Top 20 tracks section:
Top 20 tracks featuring Nicky, as chosen by his fans
(The list that will finally appear here on the bench will be announced after pledging ends at 12 noon BST on Saturday 30th June 2018. The list of tracks shown in the artwork above is for illustration purposes only).
The Official Nicky Hopkins on social:
For more information, please contact:
+44 777 152 0001
For a pledge of £100, you can forever be a part of the world’s only Nicky Hopkins memorial by having your name listed on the reverse side of the backrest. Your pledge will also allow you to put forward your favourite Nicky Hopkins tracks (via the Updates tab) to be considered for the top 20 tracks that will be listed on the bench.
All donations contribute towards the Scholarship Programme at the Royal Academy of Music. Everyone who donates here will have their name read out at the Nicky Hopkins Memorial Park Bench Unveiling Ceremony on 8th Sept 2018 and will be listed in the press release announcing the unveiling, as well as on Nicky’s official website: www.nickyhopkins.com