HE belonged to one of the most famous bands in the world.
Now the name of The Shadows’ bass guitarist Jet Harris, who lived in the Isle of Wight, is being used to continue the world’s biggest probe into a rare cancer which claimed the life of the sixties star.
Jet, who was in the original band which backed Sir Cliff Richard, died at the Winchester home of his partner on March 18, 2011. He was 71.
His chest and upper body had been taken over by cancer which had spread too far to treat. To this day nobody knows where it began.
After he died, Jet’s partner Janet Hemingway and his personal assistant Audrey Knapp vowed to raise funds for research into cancer of the unknown primary (CUP).
The Jet Harris Memorial Fund has already donated £15,625 to Cancer Research UK which has decided that the world’s biggest CUP clinical trial will continue.
Now on the third anniversary of Jet’s death it has been announced that fundraising for the memorial fund will also continue.
It was originally planned to close it at the end of 2013 but Audrey says: “We are delighted to announce that the fund will remain open.”
Fans of The Shadows across the country have helped to raise thousands of pounds through various events including concerts, sponsored walks and CD sales.
The fund is now managed by a small team which includes Justin Daish, lead guitarist of The Shadowers – the band chosen by Jet to back him in his final year.
Jet’s final concert was at Fareham’s Ferneham Hall just a few weeks before he died. The unique photograph, taken by Barry Gillam, shows him playing for the last time with two fellow former Shadows – bass players Brian “Licorice” Locking and Alan Jones.
The fund has also received support from John Waterman of Solent Records on the Isle of Wight, who has donated his stock of the Diamonds Are Trumps CD, which Jet recorded in 2002. It is now available from the fund for a minimum donation of £6 which includes UK postage and packing (if you live overseas contact the JHMF before ordering).
Contact the Jet Harris Memorial Fund at PO Box 6260, Thatcham RG19 9JL Tel. 07428 242685 or visit jetharrismemorialfund.org