Wednesday, December 01, 2004

MOTL

Michael was a huge music fan; we met through our love of music, especially live music. His tastes were a lot more diverse than mine, he introduced me to bands that I had never heard of but grew to love. His main group of enthusiasm was Fairport Convention (motto: we haven’t heard of you either!) They are a British folk-rock band that has been going for over 36 years. They were formed the year he was born.They are fantastic people who are accessible to their fans, which is more than you can say for most successful bands. They knew Michael, and even more, they really liked him (who wouldn’t?)

I planned the scattering of Michael’s ashes on their concert field at Cropredy village (near Banbury in Oxfordshire) on the one weekend between their international tours. I made sure they would know it was taking place and when, just in case they wanted to attend the proceedings. Of the five band members, three attended the scattering where I gave a speech (about them, in front of them!) It was very emotionally charged but I managed not to cry. It didn’t end there…. It was suggested that we went to the pub and raise a glass or two to our good friend Michael. Dave Pegg (bass) and Rick Sanders (violin) came back to the pub with us. Simon (lead vocals) left, he was quite upset.

All friends and family went back to this tiny pub in the village…. And there we sang all of Michael’s favourite songs to guitar, mandolin and violin. I have never experienced an atmosphere so emotionally charged or so full of joy and sorrow. It was a true celebration of Michael and the music he loved.When the pub was closing and we were about to be thrown out they played that one song that they only play at the end of concerts. Their signature tune and Michael’s (ironically) favourite song, Meet on the Ledge…

We used to say
That come the day
We'd all be making songs
Or finding better words
These ideas never lasted long
The way is upAlong the road
The air is growing thin
Too many friends who tried
Were blown off this mountain with the wind

Meet on the ledge
We're gonna meet on the ledge
When my time is up I'm gonna see all my friends
Meet on the ledge
We're gonna meet on the ledgeIf you really mean it, it all comes round again

I love you Michael, we were so honoured to have known you!