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Bebop Spoken There

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12,393 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 112 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (Jan. 23).

Friday, May 13, 2011

R.I.P. Kevin Savin

I received the following sad news this morning:
"Hi Lance. You may have already heard but Kevin Savin died yesterday (May 12) in Spain. He moved there when he retired some years ago and had spent the last few weeks in a hospice. Kevin was a really good banjo player and played with the Bill Croft Jazzmen during the 1950's before having short spells with various other bands. Unfortunately his committments with his day-time job prevented him from playing on a regular basis, but he never lost interest in the music. He will be sadly missed by all his friends in the UK.
Gordon."

This is indeed sad news. although I'd lost touch with Kevin over the years I have a vivid memory - no 'vivid' isn't the right word, substitute 'hazy' - travelling through France to Northern Spain in Kevin's Caravette destination the San Sebastian Jazz Festival. Kevin did the driving whilst Charlie Carmichael, Ronnie Young and I did the drinking. We'd stop off at French villages to replenish our stocks of food and wine (mainly wine). Although, because he was driving, Kevin was forced to abstain it nevertheless didn't stop him from sharing the laughs and joining in the fun we had along the way.
Lance.

5 comments :

Anonymous said...

Hi Lance,
Very sorry to hear this news, it was Kevin who send me a letter, a couple of years ago now, along with my fathers original Besson trumpet, that I have had restored and use, then I had another letter saying he was going to move to Spain.
I will always remember Kevin with Peter Gascoigne and The Vieux Carre Jazzmen,at the Corner House in the very early 80's, and Kevin playing with that smile on his face and Peter telling the audience that he beams like a very bright lighthouse...
God Bless Him...
Colin Aitchison
Hong Kong

Lance said...

I remember his laugh full toned, hearty and loud - it could drown out the band!

Steve Andrews said...

A very nice man! I played with him in the Savoy Jazzmen in Durham in 1973/74 at the Redhills Hotel. He was always laughing at something. He only occasionally took a banjo solo (being a gentleman) but very often broke a string when he did - possibly due to the rest of the band turning round to him and chanting in rhythmic fashion "break-a-string, break-a-string, break-a-string......" in time with the solo.
I'm very sorry to hear of his passing.

Andy Hudson said...

I fondly remember the campervan trip to San Sebastian and Kevin's incredibly loud laugh.
Having been follicle challenged since an early age, he rejoiced in his role in the Big Band audience as "The North Shields Lighthouse" when I would use the lights glinting on his shiny pate as a reference point for navigating around that crowded University Theatre Bar. (I can't remember who the South Shields Lighthouse was - but there was another chap who always stood at the other side near the door),
Ref Kevin - just close your eyes and you see that big smiley face and just wait for the roaring laugh.
RIP Kevin.

Carl Bigmore said...

Sorry this is a very belated comment, I am a Welshman who ended up working in Darlington. I met a Kevin Savin who I think was a mobile accountant going to firms / businesses in the area. We started to drink together and he introduced me to Newcastle Brown Ale. He invited me to a club near the arched bridge in Newcastle, to my surprise he appeared on stage playing a banjo, I had a very memorable time the like of which has stayed with me to this day. The man I knew fits the description in your blogs to a tee. If it his him his memory will live on with me until my passing. I am going to put my email on this communication in the hope somebody will confirm his type of employment and maybe a photograph. I have other stories about my trip to Newcastle which show what a lively lad he was.
Carl Bigmore. Newport South Wales. clbigmore@btinternet.com

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