It’s been on my mind over the last couple of days. The rock ‘n’ roll bit anyway. Two disconnected events have set me thinking.
Yesterday the Textiliste and I went to the Bedford in Balham for a friend’s three score year celebration. Said friend wanted a live music evening and, being a bit of a blues aficionado he arranged for King King to play.
I admit, I hadn’t heard of King King before but in the words of the Bard they were ‘damn good chaps’. Led by Alan Nimmo they produced a set of high quality and some stunning guitar playing. Now those who know me will tell you I’m no expert on music – I’m very modest as to both my knowledge of music and musical accomplishments, because I have a lot to be modest about (thank you, Winston). However I love a good strum and not since I saw Dire Straits have I seen such a virtuoso performance. If you haven’t listened to them yet try this maybe.
It looks fun, doesn’t it? What about the young man whose picture adorns the poster?
Sam Harper-Brighouse – ‘Marco’ to his friends was at school with the Lawyer. He visited ours regularly, sharing with us his love of cereal and his appalling trainers. I think we still have a set of his house keys, somewhere.
He was like most of the Lawyer’s buddies back then, as they entered the wild and wilderness years of adolescence, that time when coherent sentences converted instantly into grunts and when male grooming took on a somewhat simian aspect. But one thing stood out with Marco – his love for and his knowledge of all things music related. Marco wasn’t content with knowing the latest in music tastes and trends. No, he wanted them in context. He was the sort of guy who’d make links between the Mothers of Invention and Dizzie Rascal (I’m making that up, but you get the point). He would correct me, gently but firmly, for misplacing some Jefferson Airplane song by attributing it to the Steve Miller Band canon.
In April 2013, one hot Sunday, Marco undertook his first marathon in Brighton. He was destined never to finish it. A freak series of event conspired to end his young life at 23. Early death is like a punch, it removes any sense you can actually breath again, so stunned are you by it. His many friends from school and University couldn’t accept that was the end, the full stop on Marco’s life and so they set to, to create a fitting memorial for him. Not some stone or bench for Marco; while being contemplative was within his character it would need a vibrant, basso profundo, full volume backdrop to be him. They have arranged a music festival in his name (see above), tirelessly raising funds to make sure it goes ahead and raising yet more money for the charity Marco was supporting when he ran his race.
They miss him – anyone who met him will miss him – but he will live on just a little in the tinnitus we post Beatles babies all suffer from. So as I watched and enjoyed King King last night. As I tapped my feet and smiled at the many people getting great enjoyment from a band making music, I thought about Marco. He’d have liked them I’m sure. But more to the point he would have already have known about them and have been comparing them with other great blues bands down the years. If there’s one thing you can be sure about, whether you have a God or not, and that’s wherever the essence of Marco is right now, it ain’t resting in peace.
My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too.
These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.