Liverpool has John Lennon Airport, Belfast has one named after football hero George Best. Recently low cost carrier easyJet announced that it would be setting up a new base at Southend’s Airport near the Essex coast. What with Southend’s easy access to east London for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, I think it’s time the airport’s owners thought about rebranding it as Lee Brilleaux Dr Feelgood Airport, after local hero, the late great Dr Feelgood frontman Lee Brilleaux.
I first saw Dr Feelgood on a teatime music show called The Geordie Scene back in 1974. I must have been15 at the time and for a youth steeped in prog-rock and glam they blew my mind. Solid back line of the Big Figure and Sparko on drums and bass, lunatic guitarist Wilko Johnson careering around the stage, but at the front the brilliant Mr Lee Brilleaux. I think it’s probably fair to say this band had more influence over the emerging UK punk scene than any other British band and they were from Oil City, as Canvey Island was known, next door to Southend.
Sadly Lee died from cancer in 1994 so I think it would be a fitting memorial to rename Southend’s airport after him.