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Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Goodbye Dear Friend...

I have a novel, on the back-burner which will probably never be written, Entitled "It Always Rains at Funerals", it seemed as though that might be the case today. The heavens opened and the traffic at the Lindisfarne Roundabout was moving so slowly I wondered if I would get there in time for my funeral let alone Bill's! However, having set out early and having made a few trial runs we got there in time and the cortege, no doubt having similar problems, eventually arrived. By this time the rain had stopped and the sun shone, if not on the righteous, on those privileged to regard themselves as friends of Bill Shaw.
Apart from Mary and family, Newcastle Big Band associates, Andy Hudson and Germaine Stanger, as well as myself provided a link to Bill's musical past. George Watt, and, again, myself linked us to Jarrow Central School and pianist Neil Gutteridge, a longtime friend of us both, shared memories later at the wake.
I was last to enter so I'm not sure what the music was - it may have been Joe Morello working out on Take Five.
The Humanist guy did his piece and then Ella sang I'll See You in my Dreams with Charlie Shavers on trumpet, Peanuts Hucko on clarinet, Lou McGarity on trombone, Al Sears on tenor, Trigger Alpert on bass, Remo Palmieri on guitar, Buddy Weed piano and, natch, Buddy Rich on drums! 
If they'd chosen My Way I'd have never spoken to Mary again! Although, in retrospect, My Way would have been very appropriate if played by the Jazz Messengers or sung by, say, Tom Waits!
We left The Crem to one of those bop riffs that everyone knows but can never remember the title of!
Later, we reconvened at the Wardley Hotel in Bill Quay and the memories flowed. I recalled a dance band gig in a community centre in Washington. This was back in the days when dance bands wore dinner suits and bow ties. As there was no beer at the gig, come interval time we dashed down to the nearest pub. It looked to be a rough sort of place so we discarded our bow ties, rumpled our shirts and maybe even added a bit dirt to our faces. Imagine our surprise when we opened the door and everyone was dressed up to the nines!
Another time, after a gig in South Shields we went to catch a late drink at the Kismet Club. Not being members, we expected to have to do some fast talking but, the doorman took in our tuxedo (ish) outfits and said, 'You're late, due on in 5 minutes!' he thought we were the cabaret! Once again the bow ties were discarded and we blended into the crowd whilst the compere was saying,'They're here, the doorman told me they'd arrived'!
The duo eventually did turn up and we breathed a sigh of relief. If we'd had to go on stage they'd have realised we weren't a comedy duo but, then again...
So many memories of a dear friend. Rest In Peace and don't go telling Gabriel he ain't a patch on Dizzy Gillespie. Or, then again, Bill may be asking Gabe's opposite number to turn the heating up or down.
Lance.
In the photos - taken circa 40 years apart - Tom Smith is the pianist. 

4 comments :

Andrea Picton (on F/b) said...

Sorry about the loss of your friend Lance. What a lovely tribute and beautiful writing. Go for the novel! x

Liz said...

I thought of you today, God Rest Bill. LL

Steve Hanford said...

Hello Lance, I am Steve Hanford, Bill's ex son-in law and attended the ceremony on the 8th. With Mary's blessing I am embarking on a mission to collate as many of Bill's cartoons that I can find into a booklet for us all to share and enjoy. I have already contacted the Mirror/Chronicle/Gazette but perhaps through yourself and your many contacts there might be cartoons out there which I would dearly welcome a copy of. Would you be kind enough to perhaps contact me to discuss matters further via email

Lance said...

Can anyone help Steve to locate any more of Bill Shaw's cartoons?

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