Gerry Radford, 1964-2021
The popular pipe band snare drummer Gerald “Gerry” Radford died on November 19, 2021, in Tiverton, Ontario, at the age of 57 following a lengthy illness.
Born in Gladstone, Manitoba, on March 9, 1964, Radford started his musical life playing piano, but started drumming with the Rivers & District Highland after his family moved to Rivers, Manitoba. He would benefit from drumming instruction in the Canadian Prairies, mainly at annual summer schools at Qu’appelle, Saskatchewan.
He moved to Windsor, Ontario, in his late teens, and then settled in Whitby, Ontario, and he would join Grade 1 Macnish Distillery, and with the 78th Fraser Highlanders under Lead-Drummer John Fisher in 2003. He was lead-drummer of the Grade 2 Toronto Transit Commission in the 1990s and, most recently, led the drum section of the Grade 3 Penetangore Pipe Band.
He moved to Kincardine, Ontario, in 1993, and would live in the town on the banks of Lake Huron until his passing.
The well known bass drummer Craig Colquhoun cited Radford playing roto-toms with Macnish in Lead-Drummer John Kerr’s corps in the early 1980s as an inspiration, saying, “Gerry Radford from Rivers Manitoba was playing seven toms mounted on a rack. That changed the way I heard the melodies forever.”
Known to his many friends as a fun-loving and congenial personality, Radford drifted away from the pipe band scene, but would attend the Kincardine Scottish Festival and other games on the Ontario piping and drumming circuit.
Our sympathies go out to Gerry Radford’s friends and family at this sad time.