Friday, 12 April 2013

a brother slips away

and a brother slips away
like a ship at dawn of day
a brother slips away
another brother gone

Amongst the hand-wringing, sword clashing, celebration and general brouhaha clamouring for people's attention this week, a quieter death was announced.

Whilst not as well known perhaps as his older brother Glyn, Andy Johns did work on many seminal releases. Whilst the list of albums he produced and/or engineered is impressive and is probably the soundtrack to someone's life. He engineered Joni's Shadows and Light which remains one of the great live albums. Anyway, he's presumably finished climbing the stairway to heaven now.

As the obituaries pile up for those we admire (as well as those we didn't) it gets more and more uncomfortable to realise that those fellow travellers moving on are of a similar age to ourselves.

That's quite a sobering thought.


Zouk Delors said...

Here's another:

I sent him a story about an appearance of linguistician(?) David Crystal at David's Bookshop in Letchworth once, but he said that wasn't "News".

Dave Leeke said...


Sorry in tardiness in getting back to you. I was trying to access the link and I thought I kept getting a phone advert! I've not seen this sort of page before.

Was he someone you knew well? I don't think I recognise him.

David Crystal seems to be put forward as a "consultant on language" but linguistician is what he is.

One man's news . . .

Zouk Delors said...

The problem with the link may have been that it was to the mobile phone version of the page.

John Adams was News Editor of the local rag for 37 years, and worked there for a total of 46. I had no contact with him beyond that remarked in my comment, but our friend the Zythophile may well have known him.

David Crystal is Emeritus Professor of Linguistics of the University of Bangor, author of over a hundred books on language and linguistics, both popular and academic, and as you say consultant on language, the BBC's first port of call for expert opinion on matters linguistical.

Anonymous said...

I worked with John for the first four years of my journalistic career, in fact, and introduced him to the woman who became his second wife. He was a fine local journalist, though how he stuck working in the same place for 46 years ... he was also a great, nay legendary drinker, shagger, Elvis fan and all-round character, about whom there are numerous tales that could be told. It's funny reading some of the tributes to him on the Comet's website, since several of those who have commented I know John couldn't stand.

Oh, and Zouk, we don't say "the local rag". I remember a probation worker coming up to me after a shoplifting case in Stevenage Magistrates' Court and asking if there was any chance that the case could be "kept out of the local rag." "Not now you've called it 'the local rag', dear," I thought, but didn't say, fobbing her off with the usual tale that it wouldn't be up to me to make that decision ...


Zouk Delors said...


' we don't say "the local rag"'

I recall reading in a book about language by Anthony Burgess that in the Malay language (I think it was) there are three words for 'we': you and I; you and I and at least one other; and I and at least one other, but not you.

I'm sure the Comet was a much better paper when you were on the staff, not least because they obviously had reporters in court and didn't just reprint police press releases verbatim (as evidenced by the fact that that the other rag uses identical wording).

Kate the State said...

Another blog please! I'm feeling starved of Dad news out here in Mexico...

Dave Leeke said...

Hi darling, sorry this came as we were rushing off to Wales.

Some news posted, hope all is well.

Simpson fantastic despite the upchucking. Wales as beautiful as ever. A good summer ahead, I'm sure - Cambridge for the first time since 1981!! Oysterband playing Ipswich in December as an alternative Christmas do - even if work's crap the music's great.