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Lisburn bass player Chris Stewart who counted Jimi Hendrix as pal dies aged 73

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Talented musician: Chris Stewart

Talented musician: Chris Stewart

Talented musician: Chris Stewart

A bass player from Co Down who rubbed shoulders with legendary musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Mungo Jerry and Pink Floyd has passed away after a battle against cancer.

Chris Stewart (73), who is originally from Lisburn, died last Friday at his home in Bury St Edmunds.

He is survived by his siblings Leslie and Olive, and the wider family circle. Mr Stewart was predeceased by his wife Pat from Belfast, brother Dennis and parents Eric and Ellen.

Mr Stewart's love for music began when his brother Dennis played with Dino and the Dolphins in the 1960s, before performing at American Air Force bases in Germany in 1966 as his career took off.

After joining rock band Eire Apparent, who were signed by Jimi Hendrix's manager Chas Chandler, Mr Stewart toured America for four years alongside Hendrix and Pink Floyd.

The band's only album - Sunrise - was produced by and featured Hendrix when it was created in California in 1969.

Mr Stewart's brother Leslie recalled: "He could have told you stories about Jimi Hendrix and he always said he was a really nice guy. He used to say that Jimi had a chest in the corner of his flat full of fivers and he used to just take a fiver and out he went.

"That was just the way he lived."

Following his stint with Eire Apparent, Mr Stewart played with Spooky Tooth, who featured Gary Wright of Dream Weaver fame and Mick Jones from Foreigner, Steve Miller, Whitesnake and Frankie Miller, among many other musicians.

Leslie said his brother was a kind and quiet man, who "just loved music".

"He was very kind, very modest and if he was talking to you now he wouldn't tell you half the stories of his life," continued Leslie.

"He never pushed himself. He could have made an absolute fortune by joining different groups and he turned down many big groups."

Belfast Telegraph