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Journalist who landed record deal while at hometown weekly dies aged 60

Iain SheddenA journalist who went from his hometown weekly to interviewing some of the world’s most famous rock stars has died aged 60.

Tributes have been paid to Iain Shedden, left, formerly of the Wishaw Press, who went on to become music writer for The Australian newspaper after emigrating in 1993.

Wishaw-born Iain began his career at the Press in the mid-1970s, but moved to London after his band The Jolt got a record deal in 1977.

Drummer Iain was a co-founder of The Jolt while still a junior reporter on the Press and, although the band split in 1979, he went on to spend much of the 1980s touring with another outfit, The Saints.

He began working for The Australian newspaper in 1993 as a sub-editor before taking over as music writer, interviewing famous names including Keith Richards, Stevie Nicks and David Bowie.

Former Jolt bandmate Jim Doak told the Press: “Iain was always great fun; a great guy to be around. He was always up for a laugh and full of energy. We moved down to London in September 1977 and it was a great time to be young and in that profession.

“Iain never forgot where he came from or his friends. Although he moved to Australia I saw him once a year. He was back over in Scotland a month ago doing a tour with a band and he stayed at my house.”

The Australian’s editor-in-chief Paul Whittaker paid tribute to “our much loved and respected colleague” who “was a close friend to many, many people on the paper”.

“He was as brilliant a friend as he was a journalist and will be deeply missed.”

Iain is survived by wife Christine, and children Molly and Conor.