William Stuart Adamson
Vocals, guitar, e-bow

Born: 11th April 1958 in Manchester, England
Died: 16th December 2001 in Honolulu, Hawaii


Stuart quite unmodestly says he knows Big Country are a brilliant band – and speaks from the heart when he says this is the finest thing he’s ever been involved with. One of his aims through BC is to put back all the best that he feels has been lacking current music. “The joy has gone out of most of the music you hear nowadays – and it is sorely missed.” His other aim is for the band to remain honest. “When something is not right you should stop it. Big Country IS right.” The young Adamson became a music addict at the tender age of 9. His mother had always liked records, and each Saturday she would send him from their home in the samll country town of Crossgates to the shops in Cowdenbeath. “She would give me about 4/6d (22p) to buy a single for her every week. The first one I chose myself was ‘Tears of a Clown’.” Gradually Stuart was allowed to buy more records than his mum, and music became his main interest in life. When he was 12 his dad bought him a nylon-stringed Spanish guitar. He learnt all the chords and practised hard – then got a ‘cheap’ electric for Xmas. With his first band [Tattoo] which he formed at 15, he played cover versions of chart hits, learning and discovering the scope of the guitar as he went along. The rest is history. The Skids were formed and went through various transformations, always including Stuart – the dominant musical influence in the band. These days he is, understandably reluctant to hark back to those times. He says the honesty went out of the Skids and he was happy to leave after months of disillusionment. Big Country is his life now. “We all fitted in like an Airfix kit. I know there is a magic there. You only have to look at the audience reaction so far.” Many people look to him automatically as the leader of the band. His name is known, he is the principle songwriter and lead vocalist. But he is anxious to stress the importance of the rest of the band. “All the songs are left open for contribution. I just play the riff, I don’t tell anyone what to do. Without the others there would be no Big Country.” He has no ambition to be a typical rock star. His spare time is spent quietly at home in Dunfermline with his wife and young baby [Callum], writing new songs and being an ordinary family man. he has never felt the need to move down south, even though Mark and Tony live in London. The band rehearses both in Scotland and London – and have a lot to thank British Rail for.

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