Tributes were paid today to Jon “Fat” Beast, the music promoter who was best known as the warm-up act for indie pop band Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine.
Fans and friends pledged nearly £5,000 to an internet appeal to raise money for his family following his death aged 51.
Carter lead singer Jim Bob, told The Independent that the former MC had been ill for some time and was understood to have been suffering from septicaemia.
“He didn’t have any money and he had been in and out of hospital for the past few years. We got a message a couple of days ago that he was quite seriously ill then pretty much a day later we found out he had died,” he said.
Beast was a much loved feature at Carter gigs before which he would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him and he traded insults back.
But before that he had run the highly influential Timebox club at the Bull & Gate in Kentish Town, north London.
In the mid-1980s it was one of the most important venues of the then thriving indie live scene celebrated as a place that would give unsigned or even unheard acts the opportunity to perform in London.
Among those that played there were Voice of the Beehive, Half Man Half Biscuit, Jesus Jones, Pop Will Eat Itself and Carter USM.
“We met him when we played there, and he was doing the lights as well as running the club. For some reason he had his own microphone and he used to heckle us from the stage,” recalled the singer, now an author whose latest novel, The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81, is written under the name J.B Morrison.
“He was a very lovable character,” he said. “He asked us to come on tour but we said no and he just turned up. The audiences really liked him,” he added. “When we reformed in 2007 he came back for those shows. He was a handful. He was so enthusiastic about everything all of the time but he was genuinely lovely,” he added.
Carter are due to play their last ever shows in November which sold out in a matter of minutes. These are now expected to include a tribute to the former warm-up man.