Monday, December 22, 2014
Well, it's taken 45 years, but I finally got a record deal for Guildford Arts Lab house band Poppa Ben Hook. It's a shared vinyl release from Record Collector with a band called Museum, which sounds rather like PBH, so is a good match. I'm still trying to track down Max Thomas and Roy MacGregor. It's due to be released 2 January and costs £23.84 in the UK. The story of my involvement with Poppa Ben Hook can be found here. You can hear the tracks on Soundcloud.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Jenny Millington (Parsons that was) has recently bought a film scanner - from Aldi at a bargain price, and here are some of her Shyneford-related photos. Top two are Graham Clarke, and below him what remened of Millbrook Cottage after demolition. Bottom are pics of the Cottage in happier times!
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Clive Young died on 18 October 2014 and his funeral took place at Christ Church, South Nutfield. Bob Hamblett gave me a lift there and there was a good turn out of ex-Arts Lab folk, including Graham Clarke (who read the tributes), Cherry Simpson, Dave Ambrose and Miranda, Mike Coote, Ba Phipps, Dion and Judy, Alina, John Degenhardt, Pete the Meat and many others. The funeral opened with John Fahey's 'When the spring time comes again' and ended with Pink Floyd's 'Shine on you crazy diamond.' There are some photos on Flickr. The committal took place in Stoke Cemetery in Guildford.
Autumn somehow seems like the right time to leave this life, and Clive loved it – both autumn and life.
I knew Clive for 47 years as a fellow writer, flat-sharer, all-night conversationalist, co-worker, co-layabout, drinking buddy, trusted confidante, inspiration and exasperation: in short, all-round best mate. He had a wicked sense of humour, a razor-sharp intellect and, behind a sometimes austere façade, a genuinely compassionate nature. His patience when regaled by some of life’s more trying eccentrics (and the King’s Head had plenty of them!) was exemplary.
As for many of our generation, the 60s went by in a blur of partying, playing and penury, of late-night music sessions, counter-cultural debate, poetry readings, hitch-hikes, riverside meanderings. Summers of daydreams; winters, perhaps, of regret.
Through it all, Clive was always there, whether as co-conspirator, harshest critic or moral support. Without his efforts, Guildford Arts Lab would probably have been still-born and the 50th anniversary party we’re planning for next summer would be meaningless. Sadly, now, the celebrations will be deprived of a star.
Through the 70s and onwards, alcohol took its insidious toll on Clive, but - a hero to the last - he astonished everyone by rising up and defeating this curse. It is a not inconsiderable consolation to reflect that the last six or seven years of his life were, without any doubt, the happiest - his battles behind him and the demons done. I know nobody more deserving of the peace that is now his.