The co-founder and guitarist of Queen, Brian May, recently posted a photo on his Instagram account and announced the unexpected passing of his friend Geoff ‘Bison‘ Banks with whom they toured around the world and he bid farewell to the professional but always jolly ‘old friend.’
As you know, Brian May highly enjoys using his social media accounts and in specific, he prefers to use his Instagram account when he wishes to express his views on various matters, share sneak peeks from his life, update his fans on his upcoming projects, and pay tribute to the people he has lost.
For the past couple of days, Brian May had been teasing his fans considering an upcoming project, and while they were patiently waiting to receive another update from him, they came across some heartbreaking news. His guitar tech and ‘old friend’ Geoffrey ‘Bison’ Banks passed away suddenly and left his loved ones heartbroken.
Bison was a guitar technician and spent most of his professional life touring the world as the personal guitar tech of AC/DC’s Malcolm Young, Robert Plant, Mike Rutherford, Steve Lukather, Phil Collins, and of course Brian May. In the caption of his post, May cherished the beautiful days that he had with Bison and praised him for his character.
He said that they met with Bison during a very challenging time in his life, when he had lost Freddie, and started working out on his solo career. May said that he was a great professional who was ‘always jolly and calmly philosophical in the face of the challenges of live work’ and finished his message by sending his condolences to Bison’s family.
Here’s what Brian May said in the caption of his post:
“Very sad to hear of the passing of our old friend Bison. Bison was a seasoned Man of the Road when I met him, who volunteered to take over looking after my guitar, as my dear long-time tech Brian Zellis stepped away from live work. It was just around the time I was tentatively moving into a solo touring situation, Freddie having gone, and my album ‘Back to the Light’ just released. Bison worked for a year or more around the world as I toured with the Brian May Band.
Bison was a great pro, always jolly and calmly philosophical in the face of the challenges of live work. He was also a pretty accomplished guitarist in his own right. Here you see him with my ‘Old Lady’ – he actually gave her that nickname, as I remember – checking her out. You can see clearly that the Red Special at this point was quite battered, and held together with gaffer tape in places. Soon after that, Greg Fryer came upon the scene and undertook a restoration of her body – giving back enough life to make this far with me. Bison moved on to other things when Pete Malandrone took over a permanent position as my guitar tech.
Very sad that Bison is no longer with us – my deep sympathies to Elaine, Lola, and Cade at this terribly hard time. RIP Bison. Bri”
Click here to check out the photo that Brian May posted on his Instagram account.