A depressing day.
I went out with my Mum to a coffee shop. My phone had no signal so I was surprised to get a flurry of text messages when we were driving back to inhabited land.
"Heard about Stuart Cable? Didn't you know him?"
"Have you heard the sad news about stuart cable?"
"Bad news about Stuart Cable mate."
As I was driving I didn't know what to expect but it didn't look good.
I met Stuart Cable a few times when he worked at Kerrang. Usually in the context of a night out. He was a larger than life character with a big deep voice. He had a massive grin which would stretch from ear to ear. Above anything else he had a huge laugh and a good sense of humour.
Listeners to the old Kerrang show may remember the noise of him breaking wind which we used to play out at the start of the show occasionally, complete with his casual response: "oops - 'ave a go on that!".
It never failed to get a laugh in the studio.
No one replied to my text messages asking what had happened so I sat down on my laptop and checked the world wide web. I was stunned to read about the death of an ex-collegue on The Times website. I don't think I've ever had an experience like that. Usually people who have died in the news are ones I haven't met.
It made me realise how cold sentences like this are:
"If a post mortem confirms claims by friends that he died in his sleep having choked on his own vomit he will have followed a rock ‘n’ roll tradition laid down by previous wild men of rock including John Bonham, drummer with Led Zepplin, and Keith Moon of The Who. " THE TIMES ONLINE.
When written about someone you've never met that sort of seems like fair comment. To me, in this context, it struck me as inappropriate. I had a little glimpse, right there, of the peculiar tendancy our society has to glorify depressing unecessary deaths. It had never really dawned on me before that people like Jimi Hendrix and Keith Moon have families and friends who will only be devastated by their deaths*. I imagine it takes time to see it as in any way romantic.
*My thoughts for the rest of the day were with his family and friends. Very sad news.