10 May 14 by Elise Brewerton
FRIENDS have paid tribute to a rock music journalist who chronicled the lives of music’s greatest stars.
Harry Doherty was a regular at The Blue Bell, in Emsworth, where he even had his own reserved seat at his favourite table, number five. He would while away the hours at the pub telling punters stories about his rock ‘n’ roll life which saw him travel the world and write the only official book on Queen, having championed the band in their early days.
Guitarist Brian May paid tribute to the 61-year-old on his personal blog saying: ‘In a largely cynical music journalism world from the 1970s onwards, Harry was one of the good guys.’
He added: ‘Over the years, he remained passionate about music and kept his freshness, a rock and roller with very good heart… He was a trusted friend, one of the very few I have ever had in the music press, and I will miss him greatly.’
Mr Doherty was born in Northern Ireland, and started his career with the Derry Journal in the 1960s. The Troubles were at their height and the young journalist covered Bloody Sunday where one of his colleagues was killed.
His passion for music journalism began at the paper where he had his own Pop Pages. He moved to London to work at Melody Maker and went on to become editor of Metal Hammer magazine. He was one of the first people to write about Kate Bush and was a huge fan of Thin Lizzy. He went on to write a book about the Irish band.
Giles Babb, landlord of The Blue Bell, said: ‘He moved to Emsworth in 2004 to escape the London rat race. ‘He fell in love with the Blue Bell and his table, number five. He was a generous, kind and honest man. A big character always with a story to tell. Harry was loved by all and he will be sorely missed by all his friends in the Blue Bell and Emsworth. In honour to Harry we have added his favourite fries to the menu the Blue Bell Menu which he named Thin Lizzy.’
Mr Doherty, a father of three, died at the Royal Free Hospital, London, on April 27.
His funeral took place this week. A memorial is being held in Northern Ireland today.