MARSH COOK (R.I.P.)

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First published in May 2017

The great Sax player, Marsh Cook, passed away in Kaitaia on 24th May 2017, after a long battle with kidney failure.

TRIBUTES

Another 'Gun' Kiwi Muso Gone but never forgotten.  Although I never gigg'd with Marsh I got to know him when he would come into the Musical Instrument Shop I was managing to buy reeds for his horn.  I found him to be a really nice dude and we had a few 'chin-wags' I can tell you.  A great guy and a great New Zealand Musician.  He will be really sadly missed by many.  R.I.P. Marsh - Errol Timbers
A sad day, as we have lost one of the great Sax players who had started in those early days last century in the late 1950s.  He was in his teens when we first met & played in one of the early show bands of the day being the Moon Glows.  Our singer was Ray Paparoa who was NZ Maori Elvis & a great show man.  Dave Paul was the other Tenor sax player along with Bill Poka on Alto.  Paul Robson, was our lead guitarist.  His brother Danny was a great guitar player & went overseas as a top player.  The Young brothers on drums & base & the list goes on.  Marsh & I had a life time of playing & sharing the same group of friends & musicians through our our lives.  That spanned nearly 60 years & I am proud to have been there with him in the early days until the end playing at country clubs in the north where Marsh is from.  I have lost track of all the big shows we did together & the fun enjoyed at the time.  We were there at the beginning of the days when we had to play as there were no big sound systems like today.  Old school in its truest form.  Johnny Devlin was up & running & a few other big names were getting ready to get onto the scene as we had Ricky may singing with us for a while.  We have both spent many hours playing with Bill Sevesi included & I spent around the last 15 years with Bill recording & playing.  Marsh you were a true champ sadly missed, there will never be another JOE, SELWYN, MARSH, blowing in the wind.  R I P my good mate sadly missed. - John Bercich
Very sorry to hear this sad news.  We first met when he lived in Manukau Road (just down the road from me) 55 years ago - from memory the Quin Tikis went overseas & due to young family commitments.  Marsh didn't go & he joined our band "The Sundowners".  We then had 2 Saxes plus a trumpet player which enriched our brass sound.  He drove a truck (daytime) & gave me a lift to Trades Hall for rehearsals/ gigs etc.  The Sundowners were like brothers/comrades (like most bands).  We remained true friends for all these years - caught up with him for our Sundowners reunion (Sonny's fundraiser & tangi ).  I am pleased I attended his 70th Birthday and enjoyed a great night of music and memories at the Marae with his family and friends. He was a true mate and I will miss him. - Max Purdie
I knew Marsh very well back in the days of the Shiralee.  Saw him a couple of years ago at one of the Pt Chev get togethers.  Very sorry to hear of his passing.  RIP Marsh - Ian Saxon
Sorry to hear of Marsh passing – A nice guy and great muso – played with him at Hokianga country music bash about 3 years ago with John Bercich and marvelled at Marsh’s ability to do the gigs - and then when we went back to our digs hook up to his dialysis machine – all the best to his Whanau – Adrian Holland  

Marsh was a terrific sax player. playing in the Quin Tikis for a number of years and then joining the Ben Tawhiti Band at the Milford marina in its heyday.  Marsh moved to Kaitaia later and formed his own group up there, but still doing the odd gig with the Maori Volcanics.  Marsh had kidney failure and was on continual dialysis.  However he never let that slow him down, still playing gigs all over the North.  He was admitted to hospital a couple of weeks before he died.  Funeral arrangements have not been finalised, but I should imagine it will be a musical blast.  He was a good friend and while living on the Shore, became well know as a rugby referee as well as a muso.  He featured in all the Musos bash’s run by Haggis McIntyre at the Glenfield Tavern many years ago. - Buddy Wilson

(click here to email me your tribute to Marsh and I'll add it in andy@nzmusos.co.nz)

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