Tale of a Pixi - tribute to Pixi Morgan

A young Pixi Morgan

Source

Known as Pixi

Pixi Morgan's real name was Neill Morgan but he was much better known as Pixi. Like a pixie he was small in stature but big in heart, as so many friends and family would testify. Pixi Morgan passed away on 6 February 2016 after being hospitalised in Southhampton and suffering from liver failure, but he lives on in his music, and in the memories of all the very many people whose lives he touched in some way by the Pixi magic.

Pixi was a very talented singer, songwriter and musician who had the gift of interpreting songs in a sensitive and individual way. He covered traditional folk songs and contemporary classics in a heartfelt and soulful way. He embodied the minstrel and troubadour and often busked on the streets of wherever he happened to be. He had a song of his own entitled Travelling Minstrel. Although he hailed from Cardiff in South Wales he was very much a traveller. His travels took him all over the UK and abroad and wherever he went his guitar went with him.

Pixi with King Arthur Pendragon

Pixi (left) with King Arthur Pendragon and Bill the Nirvana fan.
Pixi (left) with King Arthur Pendragon and Bill the Nirvana fan. | Source

Glastonbury Busker Pixi Morgan and Dave Sanger perform Solid Ground

Off The Cuff

Off The Cuff was continued by Steve Andrews
Off The Cuff was continued by Steve Andrews | Source

If I wuz a Russian by Pixi Morgan and Dave Sanger

The many talents of Pixi Morgan

When still in his teens Pixi penned a song with Chameleon as its title. He used to sing it acapella and his first public performance was at the folk night at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff. It was easy to see his talents right from the start. The lyrics began:

"Some people call me Chameleon, they say I change from face to face, but they don't know me, they don't know me at all."

and from the same song:

"Sailed away on that magic night, I found my wings and burst in flight, even though I change I stay the same."

These words were to sum him up in many ways because Pixi went through very many apparent changes in where he was living, what he was doing and what he looked like but he was the same friendly and creative soul underneath whatever his outward guise and label might be. He was a biker for a short period, a New Age Traveller, and an eco-warrior. He was even Herald for King Arthur Pendragon at the Twyford Down protest camp. Pixi was a Quest Knight and Bard of the Loyal Arthurian Warband Druid Order and a big part of the Travelling Court of Camelot, its musical wing. He was knighted by King Arthur at Tinkinswood Burial Chamber and the event was filmed by Sky TV for a programme on reincarnation. The story has been told in detail by CJStone in his tribute From The Trials of Arthur: in memory of Pixi Morgan.

Music was always a big part of his life. Pixi's early influences were the songs of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and The Beatles, but later he was to incorporate many compositions in the folk and folk-rock genres into his repertoire, songs like Dirty Old Town by The Pogues and Richard Thompson's Beeswing. He really made these songs his own, so much so that they sounded as if they were his songs. He also regularly played covers of Redemption Song by Bob Marley, Jack in the Green by Jethro Tull, and One More Cup of Coffee by Bob Dylan.

Well-known in Glastonbury, where he lived for many years, Pixi also wrote mystical songs like Within Us All, as well as humorous ones, such as If I Was a Russian. He could charm a crowd with a cheeky glint in his eye and he had the gift of the gab too, always knowing what to say when performing in public. This made him a very successful busker but he never seemed to want to take it any further. Fame and wealth and the world of the music business were not for him. He was too much of a free spirit for all that.

He definitely had the talent though, and in recent years was spotted by Dave Davies, who is famous for being part of The Kinks rock group and for his solo career. He had a big hit with Death of a Clown many years back, and wrote the Kinks' song Strangers. Dave could see what a gifted performer Pixi was when he saw him busking in the streets of Devizes with Laura Howe. So impressed was the rock star that he invited Pixi and Laura to support him at The Barbican in London. It was probably Pixi's most prestigious gig when it came to venues. He was far more used to playing bars and on the streets, in subways, or in the shopping centre of some city or town. Speaking of bars, Pixi used to run an acoustic open mic night for a while in the Four Bars pub in Cardiff. It was called "Off The Cuff" and used to attract regulars, as well as newcomers who had heard about it. But Pixi decided to leave Cardiff again. This was typical of Pixi and he stopped running the folk night because the call of the road was summoning him, and so he was off on his travels once more!

The Kinks' Dave Davies catches street busker act Laura and Pixi do Stray Cat Strut

Pixi the Eco-warrior

Besides Twyford Down, already mentioned, Pixi was also involved in the Newbury Bypass protest and in many other campaigns to stop the destruction of the countryside. In 2007, he was filmed at the Rath Lugh, Gabhra Valley road protest in Ireland. Pixi sang the well-known folk song Spancil Hill to help raise the spirits of his fellow protesters. He was truly a modern bard and a minstrel with the magical musical gift!

Accursed Road, Rath Lugh 2007, Gabhra Valley

Pixi Morgan poll

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Tributes to Pixi flooded in

After the news that Pixi had passed away went out on the social media, countless comments in tribute and the memories of his friends and family were posted on Facebook. His wall has been covered in messages and posts sharing videos and news about him. This flood of personal memories, photos and heartfelt tributes shows what an impact Pixi made on so many people, how much he was loved and how much he will be missed.

Here some of the comments posted at Pixi's Facebook page.

"going to miss this man lots................... a great musician and a good mate.. love you Pixi Morgan ... rest well and see you at the great gig in the sky" - Matty James

"this is how i remember Pixi ~ out in the wilds with the wind in his hair, a cheeky smile on his face, a mischievious glint in his eyes & magic in his melodious voice ~ love you Pixi Morgan, missing you already xxx" - Moss Klaczak

"Strange memories keep cropping up about Pixi Morgan , like the time in Avebury, when he demanded "Breakfast, give me breakfast!". He had a bowl of cereal, but no milk, I said I'd pop back to my van as I had some, "Don't worry Joolz my Lady" he said, as he poured a can of Special Brew on it! He ate the lot.....Pixi, you will be so missed, and you were loved more than you knew x" - Julie Moore

Pixi's first cassette album inlay card and tape

Heart With Wings
Heart With Wings | Source

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Comments 6 comments

CJStone profile image

CJStone 7 months ago from Whitstable, UK

Nice one Steve. It's only beginning to sink in that he's actually gone, that we won't hear him singing at Avebury any more, or bump into him pissed on the bench in Glastonbury, or any of the other times he used to show up, unexpectedly, and charm us with his wit and warmth. I'm thinking of seeing if the Guardian would run an obituary. It's worth a try.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 months ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thanks, Chris! It's wonderful how so many people are coming forward with their memories, tributes, and now with support for his funeral fund. Yes, we will no longer be seeing him in Glastonbury or Avebury, or if I was still in Ely, arriving back at my house like he so often did after his travels took him wherever he went. Do try The Guardian. The story is there for sure and I know you would be the writer to cover it best!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia

You wonderful hub and tribute. pixie was obviously a remarkably talented musician and likeable soul. RIP. Thank you for sharing a little of his life Steve.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 months ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

You are welcome! He was indeed a very talented musician!


Larf 7 months ago

Thanks pixie, for one of my enduring memories from the 90's, yourself and busker paul, performing "move along get along", whilst being physically evicted from the water meadows at the solsbury hill protest camp. A gem.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 months ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

I was at that protest too with Pixi and remember climbing the hill with him, stopping for some cider along the way.

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