Thursday | November 23, 2017
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Glenn Cornick, former Jethro Tull bassist, dies in Hilo

Glenn Cornick, a Hilo resident and the original bassist for the classic British rock band Jethro Tull, died Thursday in Hilo. He was 67.

Born on April 23, 1947 in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England, Cornick was on the first three Jethro Tull albums: “This Was” (1968); “Stand Up” (1969); and “Benefit” (1970), before leaving the band. He was also on the compilation “Living in the Past” (1972) and the live album, “Nothing is Easy — Live at the Isle of Wight,” which was recorded in 1970 and released in 2004.

Cornick later formed his own band, Wild Turkey, and played with the late Fleetwood Mac singer-guitarist Bob Welch in the band Paris.

Ken Cameron, owner of Hilo Guitars & Ukuleles and a band mate of Cornick’s in Endangered Species, said Cornick had suffered from congestive heart failure and had undergone triple bypass surgery.

“His heart finally just gave out,” Cameron said. “I’m still a bit grief stricken.”

“He was very funny; he had a wonderful sense of humor,” he continued. “He absolutely loved Hilo. He came to visit me three-and-a-half years ago and within two weeks he said, ‘I want to move here.’

“He’d pretty much stopped playing, and I said, ‘Well, if you’re going to move over here we’ve gotta put a band together.’ And so we did.”

They only played a few shows together.

“He insisted that we not play any paying gigs, that they all be benefit concerts for charity,” Cameron said.

The last concert, according to Cameron, was a benefit Dec. 28 for Philippine typhoon relief at Aunty Sally’s Luau Hale.

“When Los Lobos played here the last time up in Honokaa (at the People’s Theater last November), he got up onstage and played about four songs with them and he brought the house down, because everybody knew he was kind of a Hilo boy now,” Cameron said.

Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson posted a tribute to Cornick on the band’s website.

“Glenn was a man of great bonhomie and ready to befriend anyone – especially fellow musicians,” Anderson wrote. “Always cheerful, he brought to the early stage performances of Tull a lively bravado both as a personality and a musician.”

Added Cameron: “I’ve known him for 34 years; this is the second band I’ve been in with him. He was just a wonderful friend. I just enjoyed having someone from Britain and from the old days that I could talk to.”

Cornick is survived by his wife, Brigette Martinez, sons Alex and Drew Cornick, and daughter Molly Martinez.

Services will be private, Cameron said.

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