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Robin Le Mesurier, guitarist for Rod Stewart and The Wombles, dies at 68

"He was born to be a rocker"

By Joe Goggins

Robin Le Mesurier onstage with Faces at Hurtwood Polo Club on September 5, 2015
The veteran sideman joined Faces for their one-off reunion in 2015. (Photo: Graham Prentice/Alamy)

The guitarist Robin Le Mesurier, a prolific collaborator who worked with the likes of Rod Stewart and Johnny Hallyday, has died.

The British rocker was 68, and passed after a battle with cancer. He was a member of the novelty pop group The Wombles in the 1970s, before going on to join Stewart’s backing band and tour the US with him in the 1980s. He died on Wednesday (December 22), according to an announcement by his friends yesterday (December 23).

He was the son of the actor John Le Mesurier, best known for playing Sergeant Arthur Wilson in ‘Dad’s Army’. Born in London in 1952, the younger Le Mesurier was surrounded by actors and musicians from a young age. In an interview with the Daily Express in 2017, he said: “It became normal for me to see famous people. I was in awe because I had seen them on film and TV.”

He went on to describe, at the age of 12, once walking downstairs in the early hours to find Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan playing jazz. “Kenneth Williams was another regular. He was an amazing character whom I adored, and was like a brother to my mother. Sellers was always joking around. Then there was Tony Hancock and the charming Sid James.”

Tributes from around the musical world have been paid to Le Mesurier. Stewart took to Instagram to post a photo of himself onstage with his former guitarist, with the captain reading “A Rock & Roll soul, rest in peace my dear friend.” Ronnie Wood, who played with Le Mesurier in 2015 when he joined Faces for a one-off reunion show at Hurtwood Polo Club, posted a photo from the gig on Twitter, along with the caption: “Rest in peace Robin, I have so much respect for you ~ you will be missed.”

Le Mesurier played on Wood’s 1981 solo album, ‘1234’. In 2017, he released his autobiography, ‘A Charmed Rock ‘N’ Roll Life’. In the foreword, Stewart said: “Robin has an unforgettable stage presence. Over the years I’ve had some wonderful musicians and bands but I also always wanted mates – someone I could sit in a bar with, fall down with and even confide in. Robin has all these qualities and more. Like myself, he was born to be a rocker.”