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Speaking ill of the dead.

John MacKenzie 21 Oct 07 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 21 Oct 07 - 02:35 PM
Geordie-Peorgie 21 Oct 07 - 02:38 PM
Jean(eanjay) 21 Oct 07 - 05:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Oct 07 - 06:23 PM
skipy 21 Oct 07 - 06:40 PM
Folkiedave 21 Oct 07 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,wordy 21 Oct 07 - 07:12 PM
Alba 21 Oct 07 - 08:57 PM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Oct 07 - 10:20 PM
Wilfried Schaum 22 Oct 07 - 02:36 AM
treewind 22 Oct 07 - 02:52 AM
theleveller 22 Oct 07 - 03:33 AM
OldPossum 22 Oct 07 - 03:48 AM
Goldrush Paul 22 Oct 07 - 03:58 AM
theleveller 22 Oct 07 - 08:34 AM
Jean(eanjay) 22 Oct 07 - 09:04 AM
The Sandman 22 Oct 07 - 09:19 AM
The Sandman 22 Oct 07 - 09:31 AM
Richard Bridge 22 Oct 07 - 09:48 AM
Big Al Whittle 22 Oct 07 - 10:12 AM
John MacKenzie 22 Oct 07 - 10:15 AM
Big Al Whittle 22 Oct 07 - 10:30 AM
Folkiedave 22 Oct 07 - 10:45 AM
Bryn Pugh 22 Oct 07 - 11:15 AM
GUEST,Winger 22 Oct 07 - 01:06 PM
John MacKenzie 22 Oct 07 - 01:13 PM
oggie 22 Oct 07 - 01:42 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Oct 07 - 01:56 PM
The Sandman 22 Oct 07 - 02:02 PM
Sorcha 22 Oct 07 - 05:46 PM
Richard Bridge 22 Oct 07 - 06:12 PM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 22 Oct 07 - 06:41 PM
Folkiedave 22 Oct 07 - 07:20 PM
GUEST,pat cooksey 22 Oct 07 - 07:36 PM
Effsee 22 Oct 07 - 09:23 PM
Richard Bridge 22 Oct 07 - 09:56 PM
Jeri 22 Oct 07 - 10:26 PM
Bryn Pugh 23 Oct 07 - 05:51 AM
Richard Bridge 23 Oct 07 - 07:04 AM
Emma B 23 Oct 07 - 07:23 AM
Jeri 23 Oct 07 - 08:28 AM
John MacKenzie 23 Oct 07 - 08:34 AM
My guru always said 23 Oct 07 - 08:36 AM
GUEST,Betsy 23 Oct 07 - 10:50 AM
The Sandman 23 Oct 07 - 11:02 AM
Bryn Pugh 23 Oct 07 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,Winger 23 Oct 07 - 12:21 PM
The Sandman 23 Oct 07 - 12:38 PM
The Sandman 23 Oct 07 - 12:46 PM
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Subject: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 02:33 PM

Alex Campbell did more to promote and popularise folk music in the UK than any of those who seem intent on tarnishing his reputation. Yes he did some iffy nights, but I've watched him being bought drinks by admirers and hangers on, all of which contributed towards those nights when he was below par. If they admired him they should have thought of him and not bought the drinks, if Alex was stronger, he would have taken less of those drinks. There are so many 'if onlys'. However if you think it is fair to adopt the holier than thou attitudes taken by a couple of posters on here towards Alex, and rubbishing the man and all he did over many years, then I for one am disgusted by your bad manners, lack of respect, and gratitude. That man is one of the reasons that there were so many folk clubs, and audiences to fill them for many years.
BTW I've seen one well respected member of a once popular folk group, too pissed to hold on to his instrument on stage. I bet you just can't wait for him to die so you can slag him off!!
Giok


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 02:35 PM

Don't suppose you'd like to add MacColl to that appeal would you?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Geordie-Peorgie
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 02:38 PM

Aye! Well said Giok!

Sorry Jim!


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 05:51 PM

I think I must have been Alex Campbell's number 1 fan in Yorkshire. We always had a great evening when he was booked in the local clubs and I still enjoy listening to his LPs even though I've listened to them many times over the years.

I think the stories he told were part of his charm.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 06:23 PM

Presumably this thread has its source in some other thread I haven't seen. I don't think there are very many people who knew Alex Campbell who didn't admire and love him. He drank more than was good for him, and that was a shame, and maybe if he hadn't he'd still be with us, and I wish he was.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: skipy
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 06:40 PM

That Hilter bloke was pratt!
'es dead!
Skipy


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Folkiedave
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 07:08 PM

I never claimed to know him. I do know I went to one of his gigs and he was awful. And that was his reputation at the time as well.

I have also read what a great performer and cultured man he was. Not the night I saw him he wasn't.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 07:12 PM

It always seems hard for people to tell the truth.
Alex, in his prime was magic, unfortunately he became an alcoholic, as did Jake Thackray, Colin Scott and others on the circuit at the time.
It's an illness, and it kills, both talent and people.
Remember them in their pomp and sometimes check your own intake. It can happen to anyone.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Alba
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 08:57 PM

"I never claimed to know him"   The remarks that you have posted about Alex only serve to confirm that fact. Puzzling then that you feel you are in a position to bad mouth the man what with you not knowing him at all!

You cannot claim to know him and now you never will.
That is, without a doubt, your loss.
Sadly,
J


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 10:20 PM

And clearly you don't know Dave, since you accuse him of 'bad mouthing' (which he does not do) when he is merely telling the truth; however unpalatable you may find it.

On the general point, we do no favours to those who are no longer with us by glossing over their faults. The truth includes their achievements, certainly; but also their failings. Is there anything particularly 'holier than thou' about that?

This new thread needs to be put in proper context. A few comments about Alex Campbell were made in the course of a very long, recent discussion on Ewan MacColl in which a good few people, many of whom didn't know what they were talking about, said some pretty nasty things about MacColl. Campbell came up briefly as an example of someone who, as a rule, doesn't attract that kind of posthumous abuse; though, as it was pointed out, his later career was less than glorious. That's all. It was at most peripheral to the main discussion, and I had already forgotten it.

I don't know that starting a new discussion that will only draw attention to that serves Campbell's memory particularly well. I never met him, and never saw him perform; but I have known others who took a similar road; and drug-abuse has for centuries been an occupational hazard for the professional entertainer.

Tony Capstick, for instance, was a fine singer and a considerable wit in his day (and even managed a chart hit, albeit with a novelty number) but in later years he was mostly just drunk and incapable. I prefer to remember the good times, but denying the bad would be foolish. The dead who are worth remembering are worth remembering as they really were, not as we would like them to have been.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 02:36 AM

Fine post, Giok.

Every person stricken with this malady needs our compassion, not a bad mouthing, alive or dead.
I know what I am talking about having seen too much of it in my not so short life.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: treewind
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 02:52 AM

Hey skipy, I don't think Godwin's law works on Mudcat.

A.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: theleveller
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 03:33 AM

As I posted on another thread, I met Alex Campbell on a couple of occasions. Once, at a folk club in Bayswat6er, he walked in while I was playing, made a huge racket and then, after I'd finished, came up, apologised for the interruption and said:'The Robin Hood song you sang first was OK but the other American one was shite". We both had a good laugh and, needless to say, a small libation or two.

I really liked him. There was no pretentious crap about him

Hell, yeah!


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: OldPossum
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 03:48 AM

Alex Campbell was also mentioned (not always favourably) in the fRoots thread. I only saw Alex Campbell live once, and that was just a couple of years before he died. He was absolutely brilliant. I particularly remember him singing 'When I paint my masterpiece'. You could have heard a pin drop, and the applause afterwards was tremendous.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Goldrush Paul
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 03:58 AM

Sadly that is the way of the world, people will bad mouth people and they don't even know them, that should be a lesson to us all. I've heard good and bad reports about Alex Campbell but the music I have heard of his is wonderful and that will live on.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: theleveller
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 08:34 AM

On the BBC Folk & Acoustic board, there's a thread commenting on Davey Graham's poor performances due to his being drunk. A love of the booze does seem to be an occupational hazard of a great many talented folk (and other) performers. You can make up your own list. But perhaps we should just bear in mind that everyone has different personality quirks, good and bad, that make us what we are. Maybe the propensity to overindulgence in alcohol is the other side of the coin of the creative temperament that makes them such good artistes – and the one would not exist without the other.

Having said that, giving up the booze does not seem to have adversely affected Bert Jansch's performance.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 09:04 AM

Alex Campbell's career continued right up to his death which is a testament to his popularity, not only in this country but around Europe.

From the notes on the "Alex Campbell sings Folk" LP you can extract the following "Alex is a natural entertainer with an irresistible magic that communicates to his colleagues and his audiences with the result that everybody gives of their best. Hence the tremendous atmosphere of a Campbell session .......... we recorded him in his natural habitat holding a guitar in front of an audience ....... singing folksongs without any tricks of orchestration, without echo chambers, without fussy arrangements and without those little commercialisms which are too often thought necessary to the success of folk song on record."

For those of us who did like him and his music the above quote says it all.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 09:19 AM

Alex Campbells name came up om the froots board thread.
please see Diane Easbys comments and my replies.
I saw Alex[ several times] approximately 1974,he was very, very, funny[ imo],and was on the occasions, I saw him a superb entertainer/ performer.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 09:31 AM

Folkie Dave saw him once,typical generalising from one particular occasion.Personally I would rather see Alex Campbell sober or not,than watch Sheffield United attempt to play football or fisticuffs,each to their own.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 09:48 AM

With you on that Cap'n.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 10:12 AM

I suppose the thing is to hope people remember you on the good days. If you thought they were only going to remeber bad days, crap performances, silly things that you said when you were s drunk, the time they were stuck in a lift with you and you farted....

The thing about mudcat, it gives you s a fair idea of who will be shouting loudest on the day of judgement.

We need a new word for these people....judgementalists!


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 10:15 AM

What do you do if you meet someone on a good day, and they subsequently turn out to be a shit?
G ¦¬]


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 10:30 AM

You cherish the memory of that first illusion.

If they get you to sign up for some double glazing - that's unfortunate. If you marry them, that's more of a problem. If you book them for your folk club; pay them after the raffle, get pissed and slink out before the end.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Folkiedave
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 10:45 AM

Dick, I was reporting that people (club goers) wanted us (club organisers) to book Alex Campbell and when they went to see him they no longer wanted to book him and I explained the reason why they no longer wanted to book him. We never booked him because at that time he had two reputations and one of them was "unreliable", and going to see him confirmed that reputation. That is not generalising from the particular. And I did not make it clear - but it was not just me.

If instead we had booked him on his other reputation as an all-round good singer and entertainer - a reputation which I have never denied the existence of - and the Alex Campbell that we saw turned up - what would people have thought of the club organisers? Especially since they saw us there watching him!!

Dick I watch all Sheffield United's home games when I am in the UK. If I am likely to be away I go to reserve games to get my fix. I first went to see them in 1959. I suspect I have seen them more than you have, and they are much worse at the moment than even you could dream about.

They could be overtaken by Sheffield W*dn*sd*y for the first time in seven years tomorrow night. The shame.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 11:15 AM

The posting was mine, and I make no apology for it.

I have seen Alex Campbell at MSG - hosted him, even - when he has been good.

I have also seen him when he should have been in concert at the Golden Lion,and he could not stand for booze and dope, let alone sing, or even speak.

I have no wish to re-ignite the controversy over Ewan McColl. I never saw him the worse for wear.

Don't preach at, or to, me - I have the alcohol sickness. I deal with it one day at a time. It is one of the reasons why I gave up singing, and the Morris.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: GUEST,Winger
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 01:06 PM

I only got to know Alex Campbell in the months before his death, by which time he could no longer sing (a result of throat surgery). He was a most interesting man to spend time with and I urged him to begin writing his autobiography but sadly, he just wasn't interested.

He was by this time living in Denmark, supported apparently by a small pension bestowed by the Danish Government on "artists of note". When asked about the "old days" he recalled that it was not unusual for him to have spent his folk club fee at the bar before the night was over buying drink for himself and whatever "friends" might be with him. Seemingly, it was always Saturday night when Alex was in town.

I remember once buying tickets for a Ewan MacColl/Peggy Seeger concert and turning up on the night only to be told that they wouldn't be appearing as Ewan was ill. Though disappointed, I understood. Illness is usually something beyond our control and let's face it, folk music is not a matter of life and death (sorry, Bill Shankly).

Clearly, in Alex Campbell's case, he had a long struggle with alcohol and found himself in an environment which nurtured his addiction. Not that he was unique. The folk scene in the UK and Ireland has had no shortage of performers who have struggled with drink and however good their "good" nights were, their "bad" nights could have been equally woeful.

So while I wouldn't dream of criticizing anyone for the state of their health, I do not feel that we should bestow saint-like qualities on those who have gone before. No matter how much we may have admired them and no matter the huge influence some of them had, they were human. MacColl and Campbell, each in his own way, played a huge role in taking us to where we are today and (like it or not) they will continue to be discussed.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 01:13 PM

I'm not trying to canonise Alex, but I do want his positive contributions, which far outweigh the negative, to be given due respect.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: oggie
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 01:42 PM

Apologies if this is well known but I think this article is a fair summation of the man that I saw a couple of times back in the seventies, warts and all Alex Campbell in Living Tradition

All the best

Steve


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 01:56 PM

Written by the great Ewan MacVicar - occasional mudcat contribtor. I've read two of his books so far, and I can thoroughly recommend them.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 02:02 PM

Thankyou,Oggie.
Alex Campbell was what the folk scene used to be about.
I shall never forget him,a very very funny entertainer,who gave me some of the funniest nights, I have ever had.RIP Alex Campbell and thanks.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Sorcha
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 05:46 PM

I never knew him, never met or saw him, but I don't say anything after someone is dead that I wouldn't have said while they were alive. I don't believe in 'whitewashing'.

But if he was an alcoholic, that is a 'fact'. It IS a disease, and should be treated as such, gossip notwithstanding.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 06:12 PM

Well, now that the cat has come back, and I am unwinding after lecturing, I stored these thoughts last night while tech probs were present:

I fear that some espousers of "standards" regard him as the source or primary propagator of a deep seated mentality about folk music, one that they regard as being the cause of the decline (if there is a decline) of folk music. They appear to refer to him as the founder of the "GEFF Brigade" - "GEFF" standing for "Good enough for folk".

We all make our own excuses for our own failings, and a little bit of self-effacement is probably good for most of us.

The only time I saw him was at Nottingham University, and the first half was not good - red eyes, shaking hands, hoarse voice. I was behind him at the buttery bar in the interval, and saw him get a pint glass filled with vodka, down it while the barman (Karl) was taking his money to the till, and require a refill when Karl got back with his change.

The second half was fine.

Whether it would have been so after a third pint of vodka I cannot say. I don't think that diminishes what he did achieve. I still have some vinyl he recorded, but I don't play it much. I do still play the CDs of the early Martin Carthy stuff, and some Jansch and Renbourn, and I simply live on the Young Tradition. Horses for courses (if not for folk music). It seems to me he was a respected performer for much of his day. That he sought to excuse his own failings (we all have them) ought not to damn him, and it ought not to drive us to be clinically precise about what we do. The passion is the most important thing, and that, I think, he had.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 06:41 PM

QUOTE: 'and I simply live on the Young Tradition.'

So, Richard, whilst we might disagree about a few things, we can definitely agree on what constitutes pure genius. Oh that I could have seen them play live... (one of the few disadvantages of being born in 1963). Did you ever have that pleasure? Seeing them live I mean, not being born in 1963.

Cheers

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Folkiedave
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 07:20 PM

YT.

Saw them on a number of occasions - and each time they were great. Heather - the only one still alive - lives in New York and works (last I heard) for SETI. (Look it up!!). She knits too.

Also one of the few qualified tank drivers on the folk scene. Born in Sheffield of course.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: GUEST,pat cooksey
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 07:36 PM

unlike some who have posted here I did know alex,naturally he was not allways at his best and his alcohol consumption was sometimes over the top. During my times running folk clubs I booked him three times, and although he tended to ramble a bit between songs he did three great nights, all three gigs were sold out which despite his high fee we always made a profit on the nights he played.
Alex Campbell was, together with Hamish Imlach, Derroll Adams, and John Macintosh,instrumental in opening up Folk Music in Europe, and
paved the way for many artists to come.
In his later years Alex was unable to sing, and lived his final years in Denmark where he was much loved, his friends organised several benefit concerts for him his songs being sung by others, Alex attended some of these and was very touched that people thought so highly of him.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Effsee
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 09:23 PM

You are absolutely right Pat. I never met Alex, but from the live recordings I've heard and the tales of people who did, he was a guy I would loved to have met. He was one of the major trailblazers into the European scene without a doubt, and the folk scene could do with more of the "characters" of his ilk. Just ask Alan Taylor!


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 09:56 PM

http://www.seti.org/



It figures. I hear she still sings, but mainly filk, and that one of her great regrets is that no record company will let her put on a CD for distribution either of the great songs from the Pratchett novels "The Wizard's staff has a knob on the end" or "The Hedgehog can never be buggered at all".


No, Nigel, I discovered the YT after 1972 via an LP that my late wife had. In the 60s it was rare for me to go to folk stuff, my seeing Alex Campbell was quite by chance, I paid my way through my law degree by working as a mobile DJ and my music was mainly heavy rock and electric blues.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Jeri
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 10:26 PM

Richard, stop making this stuff up. Heather is quite active in the NYC area Pinewoods folk organization. 'The Curate's Egg with the group Poor Old Horse is her last recording as far as I know.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 05:51 AM

Nice one, Richard. I saw YT in concert at MSG many years ago.

I have a cassette tape of their first LP with 'The Innocent Hare', and 'The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter', as two of the tracks.

Peter Bellamy sang as narrator on this ; Royston Wood as the 'knight'.

Heather Woods's comment was 'that left me with being either the kinght's horse or the Shepherd's Daughter'.

To which Royston Wood replied 'no problem - they both get ridden'.

Damned if I ever learned the title of the LP. Is there any of their work available on CD, do you know ?

(I financed some of the fees for my LLM out of gig fees in the days before John Barleycorn got to me.)

De mortuis nisi bonum, pissed or sober.

I repeat - I have seen Alex in top form, and I have seen him in appalling form. Hwyl, Bryn


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 07:04 AM

I certainly didn't make it up about Heather Wood, but I no longer remember where I got it from. It seems consistent with her Aol homepage http://members.aol.com/hwood50/hw/faq.html


Yes, you can get a CD from the USA of their first album "The Young Tradition" and also "So Cheerfully Round". It is, if you listen hard, re-mastered from vinyl. As far as I know the original tapes are now with Castle Music (they stayed with Transatlantic for a long time), and also as far as I know the original Performers' Protection Act consents were for a period of 30 years, and have expired, and the Bellamy Estate will not I think re-authorise, so official re-releases are not lawfully possible in the UK. I hope I am wrong, but htat was the way I last heard it.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Emma B
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 07:23 AM

Heather sang at one of the concerts at the greatly lamented "National" Festival at Sutton Bonnington some years ago. It was lovely to hear her again.

I have fond memories of meeting the YT and taking them out to an Indian reataurant before they were performing at our local folk club back in the mists of time.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Jeri
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 08:28 AM

Richard, per Heather's website, "Castle Communications in England has re-released the first two Young Tradition albums on CD." They, along with some other tasty recordings, are available from Grass Roots Productions. (Appears to be Heather's)

As to the actual subject (don't look so shocked), there's none can judge what interferes with enjoying a performance for anyone but themselves. Some people find a singer's politics makes them cringe, others don't like a singers appearance, religion, addictions or any number of things.

A good friend once talked to me of the hazards of being known for anything above the music. When some walk into a room, people think, "Here he is - I hear he's a wonderful musician." Others walk in the room and people think, "So this is the drunk? The misogynist? The racist?" There is a very great danger that someone can find their reputation dominated by rumors and incidents magnified in the tabloid brains of a mob looking for any weakness.

For the listener, we must recognize everyone has weaknesses. If we can take in what we enjoy and ignore the rest, we're better off. Sometimes we can't do that. It's just a personal thing, and it does absolutely no good to tell someone to change their mind and either ignore a performer's shortcomings or be as offended as you. We just have to focus on what we love.

...unless what we love is telling other people what their opinions should be.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 08:34 AM

Well I liked YT as group that's for certain.
G


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: My guru always said
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 08:36 AM

Richard, I used to have a CD which featured both of those 'Pratchett' songs on it. Lent it to another Catter a few years ago & don't suppose I'll ever see it again *sob*


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: GUEST,Betsy
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 10:50 AM

I believe one can, on very special occasions speak ill of the dead. Hitler , Mussolini, some would say Franco, and other people considered considered to have been despots - leading their populations into war and all the associated horrors.
To speal ill of people who on occasions displayed frailties in their lives, but, overall attempted (and in most part succeeded) in bringing some enjoyment fun and pleasure to their audiences is a complete abhoration.
I have fond memories of Alex - the first time I saw him (obviously when I didn't know him ) the audience was eating out of his hand.
Years later (he was drinking a non-alcohlic wine ) we had a great long yarn for hours , at an agents house in the Midlands ,and he was a goldmine of information, stories, humour and song. Oh Yes !! - larger than life, a few tall stories , but a lovely man and as someone said earlier , a real character , the type of which, the sanitised folk scene is now sadly lacking.
RIP Alex.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 11:02 AM

somone said he was an alcoholic,lets sort this out.
He may have become an alcoholic,at one time he was just a social drinker,this is what happens to a lot of alcoholics.
Alex Campbell, was someone who gave alot of people pleasure.for a relatively short period of his life he had an illness, alcoholism,can we not remember him for all the pleasure he gave,and his music,rather than his illness.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 11:31 AM

I made the original posting, Goddess be kind to me, because it seemed to me that a number of people allegedly repeated scurrility about Ewan McColl when it was patent that said people had never met Ewan McColl.

I have heard people say 'Alex Campbell is on at Folk Club tonight. He;'ll be pissed out of his head so we'll have a good laugh'.

I have treasured memories of Alex Campbell.

As an alcoholic myself, in recovery just for today, I think I have a better understanding than those of you who are not alcoholic.

That said : there might well have been other people at Folk Club who knew Alex by reputation as a talented performer. Waht must they have thought when a shambling drunk who couldn't sing two consecutive verses of a song tookj the stage?

And before anyone who is not alcoholic weighs in - been there, done that, given the tee-shirt to the jumble sale - but never, never on stage whilst being paid a fee for singing.


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: GUEST,Winger
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 12:21 PM

Alex Campbell was a professional singer, i.e., he relied on performing to earn his living and to support his family. Would you have preferred, Mr. Pugh, that he would have quit singing during his drinking years and taken up another occupation - as a lawyer perhaps?

Are you telling me that you never took fees for legal work while you were (are) an alcoholic?


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 12:38 PM

no Bryn,
Those of us who have had close relatives who were Alcoholics,my mother and stepfather were,have a very good understanding of what it is about,and have suffered the consequences of seeing those we have loved, destroyed by this disease.
I remember my mother before she became an alcoholic,a person who was very positive,who graduated from the Royal Academy of Art,who cared about trying to wrong the ills in our society[we have to remember the positive sides of people,Remember them at their best]

Alex Campbell,did his bit,went on CND marches etc,he had an illness[alcoholism]during the later part of his career,but the majority of his gigs were good.
can we remember him for the majority of his gigs?,he did a hell of a lot of gigs,made a lot of recordings and was overall [IMO] a good ambassador for folk music.
please lets not remember him for his illness.after all we dont remember Woody Guthrie for having Huntingtons Chorea,but for his songs,can we be even handed.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Speaking ill of the dead.
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 12:46 PM

what a coincidence ,my stepfather was a lawyer,he certainly took fees and was practising,during the time he was an alcoholic.


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