Alan Wills 1961-2014

Former Shack drummer and founder of Liverpool’s Deltasonic record label Alan Wills has died following a road accident.

It was reported on Friday 9 May, that Alan had suffered serious head injuries after crashing his bicycle on Thursday evening while cycling along East Prescot Road. He sadly succumbed to those injuries two days later with his family at his bedside.

Alan will be best remembered here as the drummer who played on those fantastic post-Zilch/pre-Waterpistol tracks such as “I Know You Well”, “Al’s Vacation” & “Irish”.

After leaving Shack, Alan went on to join Top and then, alongside his partner Ann Heston, became the driving force behind their Deltasonic Record label responsible for the success of The Coral, The Zutons, The Dead 60s, The Little Flames, The Rascals, The Basement, Candie Payne, The Longcut, The Suzukis and The Sand Band.

Alan’s funeral will take place on Friday May 30 at 1pm at Green Acres Woodland Burial Ground, Rainford WA117HX. All are welcome to attend.

It was Al who told us the soul is an eternal entity that will live on beyond death. He said our body is just a spacesuit. When we die the spirit lives on and the spacesuit is left behind.

Alan, I am left crying over your spacesuit, but I know you live on. See you on the other side my friend.

Dave Pichilingi

Alan was the first person I met who I could talk to about my brother, the first in my whole life to tell me I was any good and always the person I called when the things got too much.

Alan was a beacon for people who didn’t want to be swallowed up by their past. His future was everything, that continues in all of the people he touched, the musicians he gave a chance to and of course Sonny. His influence on me as a teen and the worlds of thought he introduced to me shaped me into who I am and saved my life time over.

It felt that with ever turn my life took Al was there to explain it for me. Every corner of ill health or disaster was made perfect sense after a phone call. In many ways the view on life that I took from him has given me the best preparation you could have. Its a game, there’s a piece missing now, you’ve got to carry on and see how you do.

Too many amazing memories. One of the most important times of my life I still joke about: being the one who got stuck next to him on the flight back from Japan 2001, everything from Siddhartha to U2 to New Balance being the ‘Joy Division of trainers’, the Tao of Pooh, life was an illusion, maths, music and everywhere else his brain wanted to take us.

An unending well of energy and positivity x

Bill Ryder-Jones

Photo by Mark McNulty.

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Zilch (1988)
1. Emergency (listen)
2. Someone’s Knocking (listen)
3. John Kline (listen)
4. I Need You (listen)
5. Realization (listen)
6. High Rise Low Life (listen)
7. Who Killed Clayton Square? (listen)
8. Who’d Believe It? (listen)
9. What’s It Like… (listen)
10. The Believers (listen)