( - January 9th 2007)
Chris Aylmer, founder member and Bassist of Samson passed away on 9th January, following a long illness.
Chris had been friends with Paul Samson for a number of years before he replaced John McCoy in late 1977. It was Chris's idea to name the band Samson, and also to give a young drummer called Clive Burr a chance. Chris played with Samson through the Thunderstick / Bruce Dickinson period, where his solid playing held everything down giving Thunderstick the space to cut loose. During the Nicky Moore/Pete Jupp years, it was Pete's solid foundation that enabled Chris's melodic side to shine, and on the "Before the Storm" album he also played fretless. Although Chris wasn't a prolific writer, his musical knowledge and ear for arrangements was paramount to the Samson sound, and the importance of his contribution cannot be overstated.
Chris and Samson parted company after the "Dont get Mad get Even" album, and Chris embarked on several projects, such as Rogue Male, Sleek, Head over Heels and M:80, but Paul and Chris remained friends, and every few years would get together with Thunderstick for a couple of days of jamming through the back catalogue. In 1990 they recorded some new material with US singer Rik Anthony, and then Chris and Paul toured through most of 1993 as a power trio with drummer Tony Tuohy, and recorded the "1993" cd. In the mid 90's, Chris started work on his own project, Dr.Ice.
In 1999, after much speculation, the trio of Paul, Chris and Thunderstick reformed. Bruce Dickinson showed interest in playing some shows, but they eventually played a NWOBHM anniversary show in Tokyo as a 3 piece, to critical acclaim. On their return to the UK, Nicky Moore rejoined as vocalist, and they played shows in the UK, as well as the Wacken festival in Germany. Chris co-wrote some of the songs that appeared the posthumous Paul Samson cd "P.S....", and although he didnt play on the recordings, his bassline and arrangement on "Murder" played a crucial part.
Chris was a private, peaceful person who had started to get involved in teaching music in the community before his illness took hold. He will be greatly missed.