My father, Mike O'Neill, a piano player and songwriter who enjoyed his heyday in the 1960s, has died of cancer aged 75. Born in Lowton, Lancashire (now in Greater Manchester), the oldest of four brothers, he grew up in the 40s causing havoc as a child.
He later took a job in the steelworks, but decided to teach himself the piano instead, eventually hitching his way to London, where he threw himself into the music business. After playing with Colin Hicks and the Cabin Boys, he fronted the instrumental group Nero and the Gladiators who performed in togas and had hits with rocked-up versions of Entry of the Gladiators and In the Hall of the Mountain King. After leaving the band he went on to play with the Ivy League and the John Barry Seven and was a founding member of Heads, Hands and Feet with Tony Colton and Chas Hodges (of Chas and Dave fame).
Source: The Guardian, UK