The music industry has paid tribute to Probe Records boss Geoff Davies after his death. He was 80 years old.
The music mogul was famous for co-founding the Probe Records store in 1971 with his ex-wife Annie, and soon became one of the most influential figures in Liverpool’s cultural scene.
He died on Tuesday morning (September 12) at Kingswood Mount Care Home, Allerton. Announcing his death, his second wife Anne revealed that Davies was diagnosed with dementia in 2019, and moved into a care home at the end of April this year.
She also told the Liverpool Echo that her husband had spent time in hospital before being transferred to the care home, and that she had seen him deteriorate rapidly after being diagnosed with lymphoma, which led to his death
The couple’s record store was originally located on Clarence Street in 1971, before moving to Button Street in 1976. It was also close to Eric’s nightclub, which brought frequent visits from artists such as Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Echo and the Bunnymen. and The Teadrop Explodes. .
Famous faces such as Pete Burns and Julian Cope worked in the shop before going on to their respective careers, and Davies soon established himself as one of the most established names in the local music scene.
In 2010 the shop moved to its current location on School Lane.
Following his death, new wave band Scoil Dhar took to social media to pay tribute to Davis, describing him as “a dear friend, not just to us, but to the entire Merseyside music collective”. Eric’s former boss, Ken Testi, also said the label boss had helped “build the raft” for other Merseyside creatives to “sail on”, and that the city’s “creativity and musical heritage” had built on his own work and Annie (via BBC News).
According to The Liverpool Echo, Half Man Half Biscuit boss Nigel Blackwell also paid tribute to Davies. “OMD, Echo and the Bunnymen, Wah!, The Teardrop Explodes, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Farm, The La’s, Lightning Seeds, Boo Radleys, The Coral … all great bands, and yet, somehow, Geoff “He lost every single one of them and we finished off.
“For the record, without Geoff we probably wouldn’t have released our first album, or any album for that matter… I’m sure we all hear it and suddenly, ‘Life seems less sweet, death less bitter.'”
Louder Than War founder John Robb wrote a heartfelt tribute to Davies, describing him as “a major driving force in Liverpool’s post-punk scene”.
“Geoff (and Annie) was one of the real architects of the Liverpool music scene. One of the mavericks who seem to live through every generation of pop culture and facilitate the action,” read the update. “Without Geoff, most of post-punk Liverpool probably wouldn’t have happened.”
See more showbiz tributes below.
More information about Probe Records here.