Tributes have poured in for ‘Big John’, the legendary doorman of Glasgow venue Nice N’ Sleazy, who died at the weekend.
The “beloved doorman” worked at the iconic Glasgow venue on Sauciehall Street for 30 years. Speaking to NME, Ariki Porteous, proprietor at Nice N Sleazy, described him as a “massive part” of the venue’s family and local nightlife.
“He saw it all, he had stories to tell. He was a big man with big hugs and big laughs,” Porteous told NME. “Everyone knows him and he remembered everybody’s name…we are deeply saddened yet it has been incredible to see and hear the outpouring of love and stories and see the affection people have in their hearts for him. It is of great comfort to his two daughters and brother to see this too. John we will be sorely missed!”
Franz Ferdinand‘s Alex Kapranos said he will remember John for being “very jovial” and “compassionate”, but who was “firm” in his job guarding the iconic Scottish venue.
“Very sad to hear about Big John, doorman of Nice n Sleazy and loved by many in Glasgow,” wrote Kapranos. “A lovely guy and a presence that will be greatly missed. That time he had to kick me out for misbehaviour, he was very jovial, compassionate, but firm. Rest in peace, big man.”
The Twilight Sad remembered “a truly lovely man who we’ll miss”, who “put up with my drunken after hours patter”.
Very sad to hear about Big John, doorman of Nice n Sleazy and loved by many in Glasgow. A lovely guy and a presence that will be greatly missed. That time he had to kick me out for misbehaviour, he was very jovial, compassionate, but firm. Rest in peace, big man.
— Αλεξ Καπράνος (@alkapranos) February 1, 2021
So sorry to hear that we lost John this weekend. My wife was one of the managers of @nice_n_sleazy & John was the doorman for as long as I can remember. Many a night he had to put up with my drunken after hours patter. A truly lovely man who we’ll miss. Rest in Peace John ❤️ pic.twitter.com/mQz5b66U7a
— the twilight sad (@thetwilightsad) February 1, 2021
Elsewhere, Arab Strap member and soloist Aidan Moffat spoke of “a solid gold gent with the mightiest laugh“, while former Sleazy’s worker John Baillie Jr told GlasgowLive: “If they could have a proper funeral the place would be packed out the door – I hope he knew how loved he was.”
Shocked & saddened to hear that Big John has passed away. Such a wonderful man. Thought of him the other day, recalling my husband & I going to Sleazys for a nightcap on our first date. Might be the last time I had a proper good catch up & bear hug with him. I'll miss the big guy
— Gráinne Vedamanikam (@grainnerules) January 31, 2021
Glasgow-based designer Lyndsay McCartney wrote that she was “devastated to hear of the passing”.
“The things he must have seen at 3:30am on Sauchiehall Street. Obviously hadn’t seen him in a while but everyone has such lovely stories about him and it hurts to know he isn’t with us anymore.”
Devastated to hear of the passing of John Fraser aka Big John! If you’ve frequented Sleazys in the past… fuck knows how long…? You’ll definitely have heard his booming laugh from the front door. pic.twitter.com/DlXhKA269i
— Lyndsay McCartney (@lfmccartney) January 31, 2021
She continued: “Did anyone ever pay to get into Sleazies? Same stories from everyone, he must have known absolutely everyones gossip! It makes it that extra bit sadder we can’t be in clubs & pubs raising glasses to celebrate Glasgow legends like Big John and SOPHIE.”