R.I. P. Julie Felix

Anjani, Sharon Robinson, NEeMA, The Webb Sisters, Dino Soldo, Jennifer Warnes, Perla Batalla, Julie Christensen, Unified Heart Touring Band, Leonard's tours musicians...
Post Reply
John Etherington
Posts: 2603
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 10:17 pm

R.I. P. Julie Felix

Post by John Etherington »

Very sad news. My dear friend Julie Felix has passed-on, after a short illness. If you search for "Julie Felix" on Facebook and Google, you should now find several tribute articles.
Last edited by John Etherington on Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
John Etherington
Posts: 2603
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 10:17 pm

Re: R.I. P. Julie Felix

Post by John Etherington »

Like many from the Sixties generation I first saw Julie Felix on David Frost’s “Frost Report” programme on TV. For those of us in the U.K., Julie was the “English” Joan Baez, introducing the public to many great folk artists (though some will only remember her for the song “Going to the Zoo”). Somewhere, I still have a full page colour photo of her from Fab 208 magazine. Later in the Sixties, I regularly watched Julie’s weekly BBC TV show on which she introduced such icons as Leonard Cohen, Tim Buckley and the Incredible String Band. I saw Julie live at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1969, where Bob Dylan was making his comeback. In 1970 I saw her play up-close at the “Extravaganza ‘70” event at Olympia, where I took a small colour photo of her on my camera.

I first met Julie at an astrology seminar at Regents College in the 1980s. I arrived late for this and the only available seat was the one next to Julie. During the morning our teacher (Howard Sasportas) told us to pair-off with the person next to us to discuss the position of Mars in our horoscopes. I told Julie to go first. She introduced herself by saying “my name’s Julie. I’m a singer…”. Before she could go any further, I said words to the effect of “I know exactly who you are, and I love what you do”! This was the start of a friendship that has lasted for more than 30 years.

Since then, I have seen Julie play live numerous times at various folk clubs. I also saw her 40th anniversary concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, her 75th Birthday Concert at Leicester Square Theatre and her 50th Anniversary Concert at the Charing Cross Theatre. Last year, I saw her play at an open-air gig in Ladywell, South London, and also at the Walthamstow folk Club.

I have attended two events with Julie herself. In 2007, we travelled by train to Manchester to meet Leonard Cohen at his art exhibition, where I took Julie as my guest. It was a great honour to re-connect her with Leonard, who she hadn’t met properly since the Sixties. Later that year, we went to see Anjani Thomas play at a club in Piccadilly. Julie also invited me to a 40th anniversary recording of the Frost Report, where I had the pleasure of meeting both David Frost and Ronnie Corbett. Since I missed the last train back, and since her home was nearby, Julie kindly let me sleep on her sofa.

On another occasion, when Sylvie Simmons was giving a talk on Leonard Cohen close to where Julie lived, I connected Julie with Sylvie who kindly invited Julie to sing with her. Another event where Julie performed was the Tribute concert to Leonard Cohen at St James Church in Piccadilly, where Felicity Buirski also sang, and where the Webb Sisters were present, in the audience.

Julie was a wonderful spirit who kept the Sixties vision alive throughout her life. As a Gemini, she stayed forever young, and (with yoga training) often ended a song by kicking her leg high into the air. An important annual event for her was the Goddess conference at Glastonbury. Politically she supported Jeremy Corbyn and she wrote a wonderful tribute song to him (“Corbynista”) on her excellent final album “Rock Me Goddess”. I had bought a ticket to see Julie again this Spring where she was set to share the bill with Linda Em. Sadly, this was not to be. I will miss her greatly.
User avatar
Posts: 894
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2002 1:36 am
Location: Michigan, USA

Re: R.I. P. Julie Felix

Post by MarieM »

Article about Julie Felix which includes a significant mention of Leonard.

https://heavy.com/entertainment/2020/03 ... elix-dead/

Folk Legend Julie Felix Dead: Singer Dies at 81 After ‘Short Illness’

By Paul Farrell
Updated Mar 23, 2020

Julie Felix, the folk music legend, has died at the age of 81 following a “short illness,” her agent, Fran Collier, said in a statement. Felix passed away on the night of March 22.

The most recent message on Felix’s website says that the singer had been forced to cancel a string of gigs following the coronavirus outbreak.

Felix’s agent’s statement read, “It is with great sadness that we announce that folk legend, Julie Felix, died peacefully in her sleep on Sunday evening 22nd March after a short illness. We offer our condolences to Julie’s family, friends and legions of fans at this time. She was a legend who will never be forgotten.”

In her later years, Felix remained prolific in releasing new music and performing. Felix’s most recent album, “Rock Me Goddess,” was released in 2018. Felix said in a 2016 interview, “I try to live in the moment – I don’t sing songs nostalgically. I’ve lived a long time so I bring validity. When you sing live, you’re tapping into a great energy. People open their hearts and that’s spiritual to me, my way of praying.”

Felix, a Native of California, Decamped to the United Kingdom in 1964

Felix was born in Santa Barbara, California, in 1938, but spent much of her adult life living in the United Kingdom. At the time of her death, Felix had been living in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire. Felix first moved to England in 1964. Shortly after arriving, Felix became the resident musician for the Australian talk show host David Frost’s BBC show.

Later, Felix had her own show on BBC, “Once More With Felix.” Among the musical guests who were featured on Felix’s show included Dusty Springfield and Leonard Cohen. Speaking about this time, Felix told The Guardian in 2018, “I was a beatnik, a pre-hippie. I’d been traveling around like a kind of “On the Road” thing, inspired by Jack Kerouac. I wasn’t as pure as they thought. Decca [her record label] wanted me to have that image but I didn’t want it – although I never wore makeup.”

In the same interview, Felix said that she was arrested at Heathrow Airport in 1968 on drug possession charges. A report from the time said that Felix was found in possession of marijuana as well as $216 more than what British residents were allowed to take abroad. Felix was en route to Geneva when she was arrested.

Felix Had a Lifelong Friendship With Leonard Cohen

(Video of Felix and Leonard singing together: https://youtu.be/f1EJ-ITAcEU)

During her interview with The Guardian, Felix spoke of her friendship with Canadian legend Leonard Cohen. Felix said that she first encountered Cohen on the Greek island of Hydra during the 1960s. At the time, Felix said that she was singing in bars on the island in exchange for free drinks. Felix said of Cohen, “There was a young poet from Canada there whose name was Leonard Cohen. He used to borrow my guitar and sing union songs because he wasn’t really writing songs back then.”

(Video of Leonard speaking about Felix on Jools Holland: https://youtu.be/S2Z_X4CSV4E)

Felix said that her friendship with Cohen lasted until his death in 2016 at the age of 82. Felix said, “Years would go by but we were always talking and emailing. Leonard had a way of choosing his words so carefully. He was never afraid to go to deep, dark places and that’s why people liked him, without even knowing that was what they liked.” Felix added that she was in Mexico when she first heard of Cohen’s passing saying, “I knew he was ill but I didn’t expect him to go. I received so many requests to speak and sing in tribute to him all over the world. I was in a kind of dream but what amazed me was how personally everyone took it. People felt they knew him.”

Felix Was a Theater Graduate From the University of California – Santa Barbara

Felix was a University of California – Santa Barbara graduate. Felix was a theater major at the school. Felix said in a 2016 interview that her parents were American and Mexican adding that both had Native American blood. Felix’s father had been in a mariachi band.

Felix told the Goddess Pages in an interview that she left by boat for Europe two weeks after college graduation. Felix spoke about living in Greece saying, “I loved Greece. The landscape reminded me of Mexico: the colors are so similar.”

Speaking Cohen
John Etherington
Posts: 2603
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 10:17 pm

Re: R.I. P. Julie Felix

Post by John Etherington »

Thank you so much for posting, Marie!
User avatar
Posts: 550
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 4:42 am
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Re: R.I. P. Julie Felix

Post by AlanM »

Felix first moved to England in 1964. Shortly after arriving, Felix became the resident musician for the Australian talk show host David Frost’s BBC show.
Until just now, I never knew that David Frost was Australian.

Too much Leonard Cohen is never enough.
London 1972, Adelaide 1980, 1985, 2009
Sydney 2010; Adelaide 2010
Sydney 2013 X2; Melbourne 2013; Adelaide 2013
John Etherington
Posts: 2603
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 10:17 pm

R.I. P. Julie Felix

Post by John Etherington »

First time I've heard about it too, Alan! I wonder if David himself knew he was Australian? :D
User avatar
Posts: 2770
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:03 am
Location: UK

Re: R.I. P. Julie Felix

Post by Mabeanie1 »

I think someone is confusing their presenters! English (Kent born) David Frost looked just like Clive James .....

Posts: 4017
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:40 am
Location: Columbus, Ohio USA

Re: R.I. P. Julie Felix

Post by MaryB »

My heartfelt condolences on the loss of your friend.
1993 Detroit 2008 Kitchener June 2-Hamilton June 3 & 4-Vienna Sept 24 & 25-London RAH Nov 17 2009 NYC Feb 19-Grand Prairie Apr 3-Phoenix Apr 5-Columbia May 11-Red Rocks Jun 4-Barcelona Sept 21-Columbus Oct 27-Las Vegas Nov 12-San Jose Nov 13 2010 Sligo Jul 31 & Aug 1-LV Dec 10 & 11 2012 Paris Sept 30-London Dec 11-Boston Dec 16 2013 Louisville Mar 30-Amsterdam Sept 20
User avatar
Posts: 471
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 11:38 pm
Location: So on battlefields from here to Barcelona

Re: R.I. P. Julie Felix

Post by ForYourSmile »

John, I was moved by reading your memories of Julie Felix. I am her fan, she was a beautiful person and an human rights defender, RIP.

User avatar
Joe Way
Posts: 1207
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2002 5:50 pm
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Re: R.I. P. Julie Felix

Post by Joe Way »

John, just saw this now-deep condolences on the loss of your friend. You have posted some wonderful memories.

"Say a prayer for the cowboy..."
Post Reply

Return to “Related Artists”