Andy ‘Thunderclap’ Newman Memorial Fund

Friends of Andy ‘Thunderclap’ Newman, who sadly died in March of this year, held an event to celebrate his life on Saturday 17 September at St. Paul’s Church Hall, Clapham, London. It was well-attended by friends and family and there were video clips from Andy’s life, recordings, remembrances and live performances by many musicians including a moving tribute to Andy played on his own contrabass saxophone.

Guests at the event gave generously to the Andy ‘Thunderclap’ Newman Memorial Fund which has been set up to help promising young musicians from low-income families to continue their musical education and fulfil their potential.  All donations to the Fund will be transferred to ‘Future Talent’ whose aims would be close to Andy’s heart.

Andy ‘Thunderclap’ Newman made a huge impact in the music world and beyond with his piano break in ‘Something in the Air’ (UK number 1 hit in 1969).   This was produced by Peter Townshend of the ‘Who’ who was an early admirer of Andy’s honky-tonk piano style. Other members of the Thunderclap Newman group were Jimmy McCulloch and John ‘Speedy’ Keen who wrote the song.  In 1970 Townshend obtained a recording contract with Track Records for the album ‘Hollywood Dream’ which featured ‘Something in the Air’ as well as ‘Hollywood’ and other successful tracks.  Andy’s most recent recordings were on the album ‘Beyond Hollywood’ in 2010.

Andy was a polymath and mainly self-taught musician whose talents included most wind instruments as well as the piano.  He ranged from comedy/satire to jazz in his performances of latter years.  He always had time to help young musicians develop their skills and would have been delighted to be associated with Future Talent.