According to, friends in the music business have paid tribute to former WHITESNAKE/TRAPEZE guitarist Mel Galley, who succumbed to cancer of the oesophagus a month before he was scheduled to go on the road again with a new band.

In February, Galley announced that he was dying of cancer. Bravely, instead of wallowing in self-pity he made the most of the time he had left. "I have been very lucky," he wrote on his MySpace page. "I have seen some great bands, played with many great musicians and enjoyed some tremendous experiences. I am thankful that I can say a proper goodbye to all the friends I have made, who are now rallying round me."

Chris Evans (BBC Radio Two disc-jockey): "He was a fine man, never knowingly besmirched by anyone. Not a bad bone in his body, and annoyingly good at tennis. We've lost a good one there."

Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH, TRAPEZE): "He was my oldest, closest friend, bandmate and brother."

Justin Hayward (THE MOODY BLUES, Mel's former bandmate in THE BLUE JAYS): "Mel's quiet, laconic humour and infectious smile brought real warmth into my life. His contribution as a musician and friend was immeasurable. Our times together are magical memories for me. Some people possess the quality of true timelessness, and Mel is one of the few who the years never seemed to change."

John Lodge (THE MOODY BLUES, THE BLUE JAYS): "From our first recording sessions together, his enthusiasm and his passion shone through, and it was a true pleasure to be part of his life. His songwriting and his melodious rock guitar playing will be his legacy. Mel, your music lives on."

Tony Perry (Mel's manager): "Mel was a superb musician and a true friend. It has been a great pleasure and a wonderful experience to have been involved in his career for so many years. His outlook on life and his courage will remain with me forever. I will miss him greatly."

Tony Perry's daughter, TV star Suzi Perry: "Mel was the kind of person that you just wanted to be around — warm, generous, and very talented. He owned a wonderful sense of humour, and time spent with him was always fun. As a child growing up, he was my rock star hero, and as an adult he was the perfect and coolest godfather. Mel was very easy to love, and that's why he will be missed by everyone who came into his life."


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