Tributes have been paid across the music industry for Probe Records boss Geoff Davies, following his death. He was aged 80.
The music mogul was most famed for co-founding the Probe Records shop back in 1971 with his former wife Annie, and soon became one of the most influential figures of Liverpool’s cultural scene.
He died on Tuesday morning (September 12) in Kingswood Mount Care Home, Allerton. Announcing his death, his second wife Anne revealed that Davies was diagnosed with dementia in 2019, and only moved into a care home at the end of April this year.
She also told The Liverpool Echo that her husband had had a spell in hospital before being relocated to the care home, and that she saw him deteriorate quickly having been further diagnosed with lymphoma, which was his cause of death.
The couple’s record shop was originally located on Clarence Street in 1971, before moving to Button Street in 1976. It was also close to Eric’s nightclub, leading to frequent visits from artists including Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Echo and the Bunnymen and The Teardrop Explodes.
Famous faces including Pete Burns and Julian Cope worked at the shop before making it big in their respective careers, and Davies was soon established as one of the most integral names in the local music scene.
In 2010, the shop moved to its current location on School Lane.
Following his passing, new wave band Deaf School took to social media to pay tribute to Davis, describing him as “a dear friend, not only to us, but to the entire musical collective on Merseyside”. Former Eric’s director Ken Testi also said the record label boss helped “build the raft” for other Merseyside creatives “to sail on”, and that the city’s “musical creativity and legacy” was built on his and Annie’s work (via BBC News).
It is with enormous sadness that we report the loss of Geoff Davies.
A dear friend, not only to us, but to the entire musical collective on Merseyside.
Rest in peace Geoff.
We will not see your like again. pic.twitter.com/pFMCMoAnGm
— Deaf School Live (@D_S_Live) September 12, 2023
As reported by The Liverpool Echo, Nigel Blackwell – frontman of Half Man Half Biscuit – also paid tribute to Davies. “OMD, Echo and the Bunnymen, Wah!, The Teardrop Explodes, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Farm, The La’s, Lightning Seeds, Boo Radleys, The Coral – magnificent bands all, and yet somehow Geoff missed each and every one of them and ended up with us. Poor blighter,” he wrote.
“Let it be said that without Geoff we would probably never have released our first record or indeed any record… He shall undoubtedly be missed by us all and suddenly ‘Life seems less sweet, Death less bitter.’”
Louder Than War founder John Robb also wrote a heartfelt tribute to Davies, which described him as a “key driving force in the Liverpool post punk scene.”
“Geoff (and Annie) was one of the true architects of the Liverpool music scene. One of those mavericks who seemed to live through every pop culture generation and facilitate the action,” the update read. ”Without Geoff, most of post-punk Liverpool probably would not have happened.”
Check out more tributes from across the entertainment world below.
So sad to hear about Geoff Davies from Probe passing away soon after his ex- partner Annie – they were giants of the Liverpool music scene – may they rest in peace
And there was only one Geoff Davies farewell my dear friend pic.twitter.com/TrhfSO1osC
— Mike Badger (@MikeBadgerShady) September 13, 2023
So many icons of my youth have passed on over this past year but none has hurt so viscerally as todays sad news about Geoff Davies. To many of us, Probe was the gateway to enlightenment. Go easy, Geoff. Step lightly. Stay free 🖤
— Kevin Sampson (@ksampsonwriter) September 12, 2023
Geoff … a little thread …
Everyone has a story about Geoff chasing them out of the shop for askig for the wrong kind of record. I used to think that was to do with taste and cool but came to realise .. https://t.co/fN0EM1LRqr
— Frank Cottrell-Boyce (@frankcottrell_b) September 13, 2023
FAREWELL OLD FRIEND: @ProbeRecords founder geoff davies died earlier today. this makes today’s news doubly sad following annie’s recent death. they were huge figures in mine and many people’s lives and what they did with probe should never be underestimated. so long, old bean. 🖤 pic.twitter.com/xIfJGwB91O
— Bernard Connor. MD ANT (@bernieworld) September 12, 2023
Many things change ones life. Geoff Davies changed mine for sure… me and the family too, moving over to Liverpool gave us all a re boot… a different life. His backing for me in the bands … HMHB and now… Geoff has gone, he's departed. So sad. Love to Jessy, Zack and Ann X pic.twitter.com/Gx76u8iYfM
— jd meatyard (@meatyard_jd) September 12, 2023
So sad to hear the news that Geoff Davies, co-founder of Probe Records has passed away.
Dealing with Geoff in later years was always a pleasure.
He seriously was one of a kind and will be sorely missed by many.
My condolences go out to his family. pic.twitter.com/fr4FlFuGqF
— Action Records (@ActionRecords) September 13, 2023
Find out more about Probe Records here.