Full Story 09/29/2002 07:15:11 EST
Folk-Rocker Tim Rose Dies at 62
By ROBERT BARR
Associated Press Writer
LONDON (AP) - Tim Rose, a raw-voiced folk-rocker who recorded memorable versions of "Hey Joe" and "Morning Dew," has died at 62, according to obituaries published in British newspapers.
Rose died Tuesday at Middlesex Hospital in London, The Independent and The Times reported. Rose died shortly after surgery for bowel cancer, according to his Web site.
"I've never made it so I can never be a has-been," Rose once said, ruefully surveying a career of missed opportunities including, he said, an offer to join The Rolling Stones after the death of Brian Jones.
In his first musical venture, the Washington, D.C., native teamed with Michael Boran in a duo billed as Michael & Timothy.
Rose worked with Cass Elliott, a future member of the Mamas and Papas, in a group called The Triumvirate. When James Hendricks - who later married Elliot - joined the group, it was renamed The Big Three.
The group lasted only a year, as Rose's enthusiasm for electric guitars clashed with Elliott's folk traditionalism.
"I wanted to take the folk genre and put in electric guitars, bass and drums; Cass said she would never do that with her music - she never wanted to be a rock singer. Famous last words, right?" he said in an interview with Brian Mathieson, who runs a Web site devoted to Rose.
"We broke up when we were singing at a big oil race in Indianapolis. We were throwing pies at each other and so I grabbed a Mustang and drove it to New York City," he said.
Rose worked the folk scene in New York, and signed a recording contract with Columbia in 1966.
His debut album, "Tim Rose," appeared the following year. He composed most of the songs on the album, but it is mainly remembered for his versions of "Hey Joe," "Morning Dew" and "Come Away Melinda."
"Hey Joe" is a traditional song of unknown origin, but Rose claimed that he formulated the version that was covered by Jimi Hendrix and others.
"When you're working in acoustic folk clubs, you hear bits and pieces by lots of singers. I heard 'Hey Joe' one day but this guy, Vince, was singing it in a monotone all the way through. I added a verse and went up a third. I was essentially writing a new song but using the inspiration of the four or five lines that I heard," Rose said.
"I know Chas Chandler, who managed Hendrix, played my version to Hendrix as he told me so, but I was not thrilled with what happened next. I was accused of taking a Hendrix song, but I said, 'No, it is the other way round.'"
In 1968, Rose toured in Britain with a band including John Bonham, who later became drummer for Led Zeppelin.
Rose's career petered out in the 1980s. He worked for a while as a laborer, then recorded an advertising jingle for Wrangler jeans that paid for him to return to college. After that, he was a stock broker in New York, but quit after the market crash in 1987.
In 1991, Rose released another album, "The Gambler," made from tapes of a live performance in 1977.
In 1996, he returned to live performing in London with a show which featured his reminiscences of the ups and downs of his career.
He contributed lyrics for four songs on an album by the Norwegian group, "Headwaiter," released earlier this year.
Rose was divorced and had no children. Funeral arrangements were not announced.
On the Net:
Tim Rose, http://www.timrose.net