Rock guitarist Willy Willy has over the past weeks and months, despite his illness, forward for the action that he last week along with The Scabs gave up on the MIA’s. The group received a Lifetime Achievement Award. “That recognition, and that act, were very important for Willy,” says Scabs-singer Guy Swinnen. “I’m losing a very good friend, not to say my best friend. We have turbulent periods experienced, but that made our friendship very strong.”
Willy Willy, a pseudonym of Willy Lambregt, came the mid-80’s at The Scabs. “He has at that time been at the brink of the practices of The Scabs”, looks Swinnen back. “In the middle of years 80 was our group actually what finance gasping its last: we had our record company and our management was with it stopped. Willy was on the come up, and so have The Scabs, musically, then, a new injection. We then started our big succesperiode, with Willy on guitar and Fons Sijmons on bass. That was the ultimate line-up.” Sijmons died in July 2013, all to lung cancer.
Swinnen praised especially Willy Willy’s feeling for melody. “As we bring our songs with another guitarist play, then find myself like I have the solo’s and Willy’s mind hum,” says the frontman. “His melodies were an integral part of the song, of the music. That was his great strength: simple but to the point.”
In 1994 Willy Willy out of the band. A horrible period, gives Swinnen. “That was the result of frustrations about our failed efforts abroad. In addition, groups such as dEUS, in which we, as old news were seen. The year after we split, which suggested that he was indispensable within the group. Drummer Frank Saenen has even said that we were looking for a new guitarist, but actually were looking for a second Willy Willy – and who doesn’t.”
In the years after the split sought Swinnen and Willy Willy meet again. “He cherished no resentment, quarrel is quite quickly settled. They said not for nothing about him, “a man so nice they named him twice’.” In 2007, still the reunion at the request of AB. “We have one evening hoped for, and eventually that become three,” says Swinnen. “And so it is that now, once again, start bulbs, without fixed plans.”
In the meantime, the group was 40 years, and got Willy Willy and the other Scabs last week a MIA for their entire career. There, they played again “Robbin’ the Liquor Store”. “Willy wanted that action per se. We have him with the wheelchair on stage, and he has then thrown for the 3 minutes that the song lasted. It took him much effort, but he wanted that so badly.”
Wednesday night died, Willy Willy, in the presence of his wife and Swinnen.