ONE of the key members of North-East group Lindisfarne has explained why soccer legend Paul Gascoigne's take on the song Fog On The Tyne led him to quit the band.

Ray Jackson has spoken out after being asked about the collaboration on a radio talk show recently.

Jackson said in the late 1980s the band was approached by the former Newcastle and England star's then manager Mel Stein to discuss the project.

"Paul was apparently interested in extending his career into pop music. He had been a life-long fan of Lindisfarne and wanted to make a rap version of the song with the band," said Jackson.

"I was living in London at the time and most of the initial negotiations had taken place without my knowledge. The band’s recording career was beginning to wane and the idea was presented to me as a way of finding our way back into the charts.

"We had previously made an alternative recording of the song with a Bo Diddley beat and I was asked to overdub that with a guide vocal in rap style that Gazza could imitate. I felt uncomfortable right from the start of this process and considered it ill judged. In my opinion it was totally at odds with our solid reputation, built over the previous two decades of performing and writing. I felt we were selling out; the rest of the band disagreed."

Jackson said the issue came to a head when he was asked to take part in a video to be used to promote the song and soon after he left.

"The single did in fact reach No 2 in the UK. The rest of band therefore achieved what they had set out to do but sadly the Lindisfarne name suffered thereafter," he said. "A few years later co-founder Alan Hull sadly passed away and the band struggled on with a new frontman for a few years and then packed in. In the words of Jeff Beck, who did not want to record Hi Ho Silver Lining, even though it continues to be a much played record,” it feels like wearing a pink toilet seat round your neck for the rest of your life”.

"I left Lindisfarne 23 years ago after not wanting to take part in the Gazza video, recording or Top Of The Pops as I was extremely unimpressed with the collaboration from a musical point of view.

"Gazza was a great footballer and a Geordie hero but no musician. I similarly could never play football. I’ve never met Gazza but I gather he is a very funny and entertaining guy and I hope he overcomes his current problems. He’s much loved on Tyneside."

Jackson is playing a series of gigs with a new Lindisfarne line-up this Christmas, including gigs at Newcastle City Hall, Middlesbroigh and Hull.