We are very sad to hear that Jock Scot has died – inspirational wild man of poetry and, latterly, a Heavenly Recordings artist.
Jock was born in Musselburgh, near Edinburgh, in 1952. A remarkable post-punk musical Zelig, he worked with artists including The Clash, Ian Dury, Vivian Stanshall, Taj Mahal and The B52s – as press officer, roadie, housekeeper and, most particularly, someone who made any occasion better – no matter how good it was already.
From the 1990s onward Jock reinvented himself as a rampaging rock poet and read his material in concert at the invitation of bands including Belle & Sebastian, The Libertines and British Sea Power. Here at Heavenly we were honoured to re-issue Jock’s My Personal Culloden album last year – recorded with The Nectarine No.9 and originally released in 1997 by Postcard Records. Many were the musicians and writers who looked to Jock with a gaze that was occasionally bemused but always delighted. Irvine Welsh gave us his take on Jock as my Personal Culloden was reissued: “Jock Scot is, along with Iggy Pop and Paddy Stanton, one of my all-time heroes. A Musselburgh superstar.”
The musical world will be a lot poorer for the absence of Jock and his amazing life and times. His poetry was first collected in the book Where Is My Heroine? – published by the Clash roadie Roadent and possibly the only book to feature cover recommendations from both Martin Amis and Lemmy. Jock’s voice and words were then captured on My Personal Culloden. With Jock sounding like a more disruptive version of Sean Connery, My Personal Culloden is a beautiful, emotive tour de force – words addressing girls, drugs, extinct volcanoes, French rugby and Ronnie Wood.
Jock had been diagnosed with cancer but lived well beyond the time allotted by the doctors. He made a truly bravura performance at a night at the Heavenly Social launching the My Personal Culloden reissue in September 2015. He also appeared at a memorable night in London in December last year, alongside The Nectarine No.9 and British Sea Power. Jock leaves his lovely wife Helen and his lovely daughters Iris, Poppy and Tara. Jock has gone but his recorded voice and endless unrecorded tales will reverberate through this earthly realm for a good while yet.
Words by Roy Wilkinson & Heavenly Recordings.
Photograph taken by Brian David Stevens.