Pop stars out in force to pay tribute to musician

SAD LOSS: Rex Sargeant (right)
SAD LOSS: Rex Sargeant (right)
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A Chorley musician, who carved out a glittering career working with some of the biggest bands in the English music industry, has died at the age of 45.

Tributes have been paid to ‘The Racket Scientist’ Rex Sargeant, who produced for, among others, The Charlatans, New Order, The Chemical Brothers and Richard Ashcroft.

The music mogul, who travelled the world as a tour manager, and went on to produce for pop stars including former Spice Girl Mel B and worked on the X Factor tour, was found dead at his London home before Christmas.

Hundreds of people attended the funeral of Rex, whose real name was Ronan.

New Order’s Peter Hook and The Verve’s Ashcroft were among those to stand up to remember the talented musician in their own words.

Speaking fondly about her brother, who grew up in Whittle-le-Woods, Gail Sargeant said: “Rex was such a very, very laid-back person, he was almost horizontal.

“My dad used to despair as he would always miss school, but he went on to do incredibly well.

“He produced albums, was a sound technician and a tour manager, and he worked with a lot of well-known bands and he got to see every country you would want to visit. He had just returned from Australia a few weeks before he died.”

Rex, known to his friends for his unmistakable Northern sense of humour and love of red wine, was well regarded in the industry for his calm nature.

He even had a recording studio in his London home, which he shared with his wife Suzannah.

Gail added: “Music was his life. When we were teenagers, we would go to Manchester and just hang around absorbing the end of the punk scene.

“He absolutely loved what he did and he would send me CDs to listen to. He worked with The Charlatans, New Order, Chemical Brothers, The Fall, Moloko – the list just goes on.”

The 45-year-old’s body was found at home and there are no suspicious circumstances. An inquest into his death has now been opened.