Bandmate's tribute to tragic friend

THE former bandmate and schoolfriend of tragic blues musician Nick Johnson has paid tribute to him.

Gary Lithgow founded Bluefinger with the 48-year-old, who died in a motorcycling accident in Spain two days before Christmas.

Mr Lithgow said the two had been in bands together in Edinburgh since school, and praised the father-of-one's musical ability and personality.

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"I have been playing guitar now for 35 years, but you would have to be at your very best to come close to Nick on any night," he said.

"He was a naturally gifted and intuitive rock 'n' roll player. I remember asking him about things he did on guitar at a gig or even just practising, and he would just laugh and say he didn't really know - he just played what sounded right.

"He phoned me not so long ago, and I meant to call him back but never got round to it - this will haunt me for a long time. Whatever he did, or was into, be it guitar playing or calligraphy - or a study of Arthurian legend - he did it with great passion and enthusiasm. A lot of memories have come flooding back."