A TALENTED Rotherham artist’s work has struck a chord with rock royalty.
Mel Davies’ oil painting of Jimi Hendrix was gratefully received by Queen guitarist Brian May backstage at a glittering ceremony at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York.
It was handed over on Friday by Sheffield rockers Def Leppard as a thank you gift on the night of their admission to one of music’s most prestigious clubs.
May, who was formally inducting the band into the Hall of Fame, described the artwork as “a fabulous painting of a hero of mine”.
Explaining how the presentation came about, Brinsworth artist Mel (69) said: “I am also a guitar teacher and have been teaching a long-time friend of (Def Leppard singer) Joe Elliott.
“Joe has obviously seen something in my work and he surprised me by saying he wanted to purchase this Jimi Hendrix painting.
“I have also sold a painting of Freddie Mercury to Rick Savage, the band’s bassist.
“When I took it to Rick’s house, we spoke about the Hendrix one and he said it was going to be handed over when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and I realised it was for Brian May.
“It’s quite an honour.”
Mel, said he produced a wide range of work, including landscapes and cityscapes, but particularly loved painting musicians — especially Jimi Hendrix.
“I worked as a engineer when I was younger but I also formed and played in a few bands,” said the artist, who paints at his home studio, known as The Little Wing Art Studio after the title of one of his hero’s hit songs.
“I was always a Hendrix fan and became known as something of a Hendrix player.
“I decided to go into guitar teaching full time in the ‘90s but I have always painted alongside that. People would see my paintings and ask: ‘Is that for sale?’ and I’d say: ‘OK, then’.
“I’ve sold hundreds of paintings over the years and my work has sold quite extensively in America.”
Mel was recently commissioned to produce a painting of former UFC world champion Conor McGregor for a Rotherham Hospice fundraiser.
His latest work is quite timely, as he revealed: “I’m actually working on a portrait of Brian May at the moment.”