RIP John Tout…..the first keyboardist for Renaissance….The progressive rock standard bearer.

On the morning of May 4th, I got a notice that John Tout, the man who was on piano and other keyboards for Renaissance, during their ‘Classic Five’ era passed on. His journey around the sun ended on May 1st, but that was just his physical body. It’s the work, the influence and the joy he brought to all of us that is going to live on.

While he was not front and center in the band as Annie Haslam, Jon Camp or the late Michael Dunford were….John along with Terence Sullivan …who was on drums…were the time keepers of the band. Well that is a little simplistic, John’s mastery of the keyboards…..from their first album ‘Prologue’ to ‘Azure d’ Or’ which comprised the ‘Classic Five’ collection was unmistakeable. As impressive as Stravinsky or Prokofiev… laid back cool as Dave Brubeck….as effortless as Oscar Peterson…while making his name in progressive circles as important as Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson, Tony Banks, Michael Pinder, Richard Wright or even Richard Tandy. That is one hell of a group to be a part of.

If one wants to understand how broad this range is, give a listen to any of the following songs by Renaissance and you will get the overall gist:

– ‘Prologue’

– ‘Kiev’

-‘ Can You Understand’

– ‘Ashes Are Burning’

– ‘Running Hard’

– ‘Mother Russia’

– ‘Trip To The Fair’

– ‘Can You Hear Me’

– The Captive Heart

– ‘Day Of The Dreamer’

– ‘As Song For All Seasons’

– ‘Jekyll and Hyde’

– ‘The Flood At Lyons’
He excelled and extracted  deep emotions feelings  in the compositions through his playing, be it on a grand piano to electric keyboards from Moog, Yamaha, ARP, Mellotron and others. In the process, he taught us all HOW it is done. Which is what the next generation[s] of keyboardists for Renaissance were to follow.

Peter Gosling, Mick Taylor, Rave Tesar, Mickey Simmonds, Tom Brislin, Jason Hart and others have had some pretty big shoes to fill and 88’s to knock out. But if John Tout was not there in the beginning……then the lessons would not have been given, the standard would not have been set. But we were blessed, in concert, on disc and on the radio to hear, to enjoy…to be taken on one hell of an aural trip thanks to John Tout.

RIP Bro…..


About rheapdx1

Just another geekette from the Pacific Northwest. Windows computer tech, as well as the mom to 2 cats. My blog is more or less about life; the adventures in fixing PC's, the trips to the doctors....otherwise known as my 'gang of five who keep me alive', the cats...and thoughts about a particular person who I am deeply smitten with [if the person only knew how deep that goes *S*]. Otherwise, this is ordinary.
This entry was posted in Music, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s