Video: Documentary to tell story of Aberdeen rocker ‘Beefy’

A community “musical genius” who has inspired a generation of Aberdeen musicians is to be honoured in a new documentary.

Sons of Beefy will tell the story of Torry rocker Phil Robertson.

Sean McBain with the crew who will be filming a documentary on Beefy (Phil). From left, Sean McBain, Dean Ross, Phil (Beefy), Lauren McAllan and Kyle Rennie

Known to the youngsters as “Beefy”, the 55-year-old spent his free time at a community centre known as The Doss, and it was there he introduced them to musical instruments.

The documentary’s producer, Sean McBain, was one of those teenagers turned on to the power of rock music thanks to Beefy and he hopes the film will celebrate “the man who changed the lives of a generation of young men” in Aberdeen.

Beefy in the 90s

Sean, 35, was 17 when he bought his first bass guitar and was told by his friends to get in touch with the musician.

He said: “When I met Beefy he was such a laidback guy and had such an infectious attitude.

“I remember he had so much charisma and I appreciated the way he talked me through the way to play guitar.

“He was a great source of encouragement growing up. To many, he was as much as a father figure, always on hand to teach the kids the tunes they loved.”

Five years ago Beefy was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), but that hasn’t stopped him playing his guitar.

Sean said: “Even now, with his MS diagnosis, he still has that same attitude and strength to teach.”

Beefy says he is ‘flattered and overwhelmed’

Sean says he can remember spending all his free time at The Doss, on Balnagask Circle, in the 1990s, and it was there youngsters were introduced to guitars, drums, bass and vocals.

He added: “We were boys with so much to say, so desperate to be heard but with no way to express ourselves until we met Beefy and would play in The Doss.”

Beefy says he’s very touched by the idea of Sean’s documentary.

“Sean got in touch with my nephew to say he wanted to do this film about me,” he said.

“I was flattered and a bit overwhelmed.

“I remember him from The Doss and he was in a band at the time and wanted to learn to play.

“I’m excited to talk about my time in music and playing around Torry, Kincorth and Northfield and my time at The Doss.”

To soundtrack the documentary, Sean has enlisted 23 musicians who grew up attending The Doss under Beefy’s guidance.

Sean, who is spearheading the project

Sean, who now lives in Neilston, near Glasgow, said he hopes the documentary will not only tell the story of the “musical genius” but also show the importance of teaching music to youngsters.

He added: “My vision is to exhibit the infectious character of a hero unknown to the wider world. I want to highlight the important roles that community music and youth projects play.

“We are also using a young Aberdeen film-maker called Lauren McAllen.

“She is a talented young student studying at NESCol.

“I have brought her and her team in for doing camera work.


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“I also wish to show that learning an instrument and forming a band is a life experience everyone should try, and although the pursuit may never lead to stardom, the memories and connections it creates helps build good people with good souls.”

The team is currently crowdfunding £2,000 to produce the film.

Those who want to contribute can donate and find out more by visiting bit.ly/2E4RviE.

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