AS music legends gathered at Pitsea Crematorium to say farewell to Eddie and the Hot Rods guitarist Dave Higgs, the musician’s dog Susie was saying her own goodbye to her master at the home they shared in Zelham Drive, Canvey.
The Canvey musician died of cancer in December, aged 64.
He was part of the South Essex pub rock movement in the Seventies, which saw bands including the Rods and Dr Feelgood, storm the charts.
Yesterday members of both bands joined friends and family to pay their respects.
Dr Feelgood bassist John “Sparko” Sparks paid tribute to the guitarist.
He told the story of how he met Dave when he was 15 when he came to jam with him and Lee Brilleaux in a WI club in Canvey. Dave invited him to join his band, but only if he played bass.
He said: “He taught me what I know. I don’t think there would be Dr Feelgood if there hadn’t been Dave Higgs. He’s really underestimated in the influence he had on people. I know he had a lot on me.”
Hot Rods lead singer Barrie Masters said the band only formed after Dave answered Barrie’s advert in the Echo.
He said: “He started playing and we realised he wasn’t the world’s greatest musician, but he had something powerful.
“Like him his songs were direct, to the point and powerful. He had an ability to drag the best out of you.
“He used his mind, didn’t follow anyone else. He was an innovator, an original and I am really sad to see him go.”
Eddie and the Hot Rods songs Beginning of the End, Quit this Town, Teenage Depression and Do Anything You Wanna Do, were played to more than 50 mourners. Jimi Hendrix song Hey Joe was also played and the poem I’m Free was read.
A wreath in the shape of a guitar lay on the coffin, while three of his guitars and his NME coverwere displayed during the service.
Mr Higgs leaves behind two nieces, four great nephews and one great niece. His Jack Russell will be looked after by his neighbour Bob Land.
The Oysterfleet pub in Knightswick Road, Canvey will hold a memorial gig on Thursday, February 27, from 7pm.
Tickets cost £22 and can be bought from www.seetickets.com.