"The following is a post I originally wrote in September 2010. It's actually one of my favorite pieces. I have happened across some additional information in recent weeks thus I've added to the article and updated it"
I am someone who finds it difficult to calm my mind. It is always working, always processing things and I have experienced many a restless night because of it.
I have an obsessive interest in trivia. Like - I like to often drop the useless bit of trivia that Fletcher Christian - that infamous Bounty mutineer from long, long ago had syphilis. I don't know how I know that, but I do. I'm the guy who stays behind at the cinema, after the movie has finished because I like to watch the credits to spot who the cinematographer was or who the girl in the back ground was in a particular scene because I know - I JUST KNOW - that I have seen her in some other film in an equally obscure background scene.
I predicted a long time ago that Uma Thurman was going to be big...now that's freaky isn't it. I mean, why the F*** would I bother with that little freaky nugget???
And so it happens that I know just about every backing vocalist who has ever paired up with British rock icons Pink Floyd since the early 1970's. This particular piece of useless information is especially that...useless but I can't help myself.
Such is that, which is my mind.
And of all the backing vocalists who have ever graced the stage with this most favored bands of mine, one - in particular - has intrigued me to the point of being a little too screwy.
I speak of course of Rachel Fury.
I first sat up and took notice of the singer Rachel Fury as a 14/15 year old back in 1989 when my father came home from the video store armed with a VHS version of the world beating 'Delicate Sound Of Thunder' concert, complete with the girls wearing those figure hugging outfits and the long, sultry gloves.
From the moment I saw her, I was completely besotted by Rachel Fury. I have watched that concert over and over again in the proceeding years just to indulge in her performance - her vision. I thought her contribution to "Great Gig In The Sky" and her duet with David Gilmour on "Comfortably Numb" were sublime - hypnotic. Her captivating dance during their performance "Momentary Lapse Of Reason" that hooks me every time.
I have to profess a kind of love for this woman.
Rachel Fury performs "Great Gig In The Sky" on the Delicate Sound of Thunder Tour, 1988 which featured some of the most impressive visual art by Storm Thorgerson.
Why it was that I forgot about her for 18 odd years afterwards is something I can't explain. I guess I grew up, stepped out of my adolescent brain and became a cynic. But my love for Pink Floyd has never waned.
A few short weeks ago, going through my music collection, I fished out David Gilmour's superb third solo album "On An Island". I was in the mood for the atmospherics of that album and I was - of course - not at all disappointed. Here you go - here's another piece of useless triva - David Crosby and Graham Nash performed backing vocals on that very album. Listening to the sounds of Gilmour and Wright, Carin and Pratt - and Crosby and Nash's contributions - something was suddenly touched off in my mind, an almost long forgotten memory of that beautiful woman from so long ago.
Rachel Fury is (or was) a session singer who first appeared on the radar in the very early 1980's. The only evidence of this comes by way of a MySpace image (below) for the profile of British guitarist Alan St.Clair who was a noted musician in the punk and new wave movements at that time. One might surmise that Rachel Fury toured regularly with St.Clair and his colleague Howard Devoto (of Buzzcocks and Magazine fame) but this would need to be confirmed.
Rachel Fury poses with Alan St. Clair and Howard Devoto c. 1983
Rachel Fury, date unknown (image courtesy Col Hancock).
Rachel Fury, date unknown (image courtesy Col Hancock).
The next significant snippet comes from some information on the noted music producer, James Guthrie, who it appears, introduced Rachel Fury to Pink Floyd in or around the mid 1980's. She and Guthrie were in a relationship at the time. Fury's talent as a session singer must have impressed the band because she is credited as a singer on the reimagined Pink Floyd's 1987 album "Momentary Lapse Of Reason" and was contracted to tour with the band for the world beating "Delicate Sound Of Thunder" tour between 1987 and 1989.
Various Pink Floyd message boards have suggested there may have been some sort of romantic "thing" between David Gilmour and Rachel Fury during the 87-89 tour. Commenters refer to concert footage suggesting an "innate" chemistry between the two. I read this as drawing a very long bow and I prefer to think that it is more a case of there just being a good vibe between all the members of the mid 80's Pink Floyd line-up. In fact, it is perhaps because of this good vibe, that an additional side project was fostered during this period that Rachel Fury participated in. "The Fishermen" was conceived by David Gilmour as a loosely fashioned band that would play secret gigs at various venues throughout the DSOT tour.
Liner notes from a bootleg recording of The Fishermen in Copenhagen c. 1988 (http://www.hokafloyd.com)It is after the successful DSOT tour that Rachel Fury all but drops of the precipice. It seems that no-one - least of all her vocal colleagues from the tour - know what happened to her. The only singer from that trio to continue with Pink Floyd was the equally fabulous Durga McBroom (who is credited on "The Division Bell" album and appears in the "P*U*L*S*E" tour line-up). As a side note and yet another example of my love of trivia, Margaret Taylor - the third singer from the DSOT tour - is also still active in the music industry.
Lorelei McBroom, Gary Wallis & Rachel Fury circa 1989 (? Venice).
The last snippet of significance I can find is a mention that by 1995, Rachel Fury had given up singing altogether and had become involved in the animal rights movement.
But this is not the last thing.
Drilling deeper, I have unearthed an additional snippet that confirms something I wondered about for a long time - that Rachel Fury was not actually her real name. Some months ago, I happened across some evidence that confirms this. Again, from some other message board sources I found that her name is (or was) actually Rachel Brannock. A Facebook page exists titled "All Things Brannock" - dedicated to the Brannock family. Clearly visible on the Left hand sidebar of the page under pictures, a picture of the very Rachel (Fury) Brannock.
Rachel Fury, her enigma is powerful - with Lorelei McBroom & Gary Wallis, circa 1989.
Who knows if this is all true. I still hope Rachel might surface one day. Perhaps she is living on ... I dunno ... Guernsey perhaps? Happily married with a couple of kids, still looking pretty damned hot and running - say a successful vet practice ... perhaps??? Would she, one morning, open her laptop while sipping her coffee and indulge in that little thing that I'm sure we've all done in the recent past and Google herself? She might see this and decide to respond? Either that or she's dead, a hippie who renounces all forms of modern technology or she's just not that into all this worship...
I take heart in the knowledge that I am not alone in wondering just what happened to this beautiful siren. All over the world, people just as (crack potted) dedicated as me are posing the same question. Where did she go? Does she still sing? Is she actually alive??
One can but live in hope...
Update - February 27th 2016: This post just never gets old does it. Quite by accident, I have discovered the secret "Fishermen" gig as a YouTube video. Clocking in at just over an hour, this gig was captured in 1988 in a Copenhagen nightclub and features Rachel in all her gorgeous glory.