Before you read on, be warned that this is a very personal blog and provides no technical insights or much philosophy at all. Losing people that one cares about, in whatever form, leaves one emotionally compromised. I have needed to write about it for a while.
Outside my geeky, techie, environmental and entrepreneurial interests and passions I am a full blown muso. I grew up listening to Dad’s jazz and Mum’s Motown. I discovered proper (British) rock through school friends and then the beautiful sophistication of Prog Rock through university friends. From folk to punk, through pop and blues to hip hop and classical, almost every genre has it’s place in my life. Music, whether listening or playing, has been a source of constant emotional support, passionate interest and creative outlet. It’s really important to me.
We have lost many important musicians in the last few years, as, I suppose, is always true. Some are especially poignant. For me, Jon Hiseman, Neal Peart, Chick Corea, Meatloaf, Gary Moore, John Wetton have been some amongst many important contributors to who I have become.
Half a decade ago, a client colleague in Germany introduced me to Big Big Train; a current British progressive group with all the sophistication and breadth of Genesis, but with modern themes and relevance. They create beautiful music; exciting, enchanting, provocative and endlessly engaging. They are hugely talented musicians individually. Collectively they are so much more.
So I was deeply saddened to hear of David Longdon’s untimely death in November 2021.
His partner, Sarah Ewing, released this following his death
“I almost wish we were butterflies and lived but three Summer days. Three such days with you, I could fill with more delight than 50 common years could ever contain”
~ John Keats
“I am not sure where to begin or what to write. Or even if I should write at all. But the out-pouring of grief has been profound and deeply moving. So I wanted to say something.
To put pay to the rumours, speculation, inaccurate reporting and perhaps to help some of you with your own questions and sense of loss, I can tell you that David had a traumatic fall at our cottage during the early hours of Friday morning. I am not going to share everything which took place. Those intimate details are just for band members, David’s beautiful girls, his Mum and me. But I will tell you that David left this life being held in my arms on Saturday 20th November. I told him how much I loved him, that he was safe and that it was time to take the next step on his great adventure. To be with him during his very last moments is the greatest tragedy and greatest privilege of my life.
I waited all my life for David. He filled up my heart. He was inspirational, thoughtful, kind, generous, gentle, loving and funny. Goodness me, was he funny. We would laugh and laugh every day. He was the best of all men.
He leaves an enormous legacy behind. Not only in terms of his creative output but also the many lives he has touched, the friends he has made and the strong unshakeable brotherhood he shared with Danny, Dave G, Rikard, NDV and of course his dearest Greg.
I know David will always be right by my side. But if I ever feel I need that extra connection, I can always reach for the music. And so can you. Because even though he told us that we will find him in the hedgerow, let me tell you a secret : it’s not true. He’s in the music. That is where you will find him.
Good bye my beautiful boy – until we meet again one day.”
Music can touch our deepest humanity. Create connections with people we have never met, such that we share a fragment of their soul and are thus enriched. We may mourn their passing and feel a bond with those left behind. I am thankful that the remarkable technology we are privileged to have can preserve their works so that we can find them again and allow their vitality and spirit to endure.
He’s in the music. That is where you will find him.