Thursday, April 04, 2013


I so love music, I have quite a varied taste which doesn't extend to really heavy metal or country, but a hotchpotch all the same.

Today I have been listening to some old David Bowie and Life On Mars. Immediately 2 friends spring to mind, sadly both dead. The first was

Terry was a handsome little chap, really cute looking at the tender age of 15. We used to meet him in Greengate cafe during school lunch breaks or truanting time!! He went to a different school to us but was always smiling and had a real mischievious streak. The minute Life on Mars came on the cafe radio, he came alive and began miming with gusto, he also played air drums to I love you, love me, love'. He was into banger racing and absolutely adored David Bowie. Once he left school we didn't see him except for him driving a moped down Prince Regents lane where he happily tooted and waved. Eventually he married and had 3 kids, built up his own business and moved out to Essex. About 8 or 9 years ago I came across him on Friends Reunited. His business had gone to the wall due to a business partner running off with the money. He'd lost a lot, a house in Florida, almost his house in Essex. But his family had stuck by him. We swapped numbers and spoke occassionally. He was still a smiler and mischievious. After not speaking to him for 18 months I sent him a text: Oye Terry! Are you dead?' a few days later he called. 'No' he said 'but I have been diagnosed with cancer. They have no idea where it has origniated from but it is a secondary. I am having Chemo and feel great' That was the last conversation I had with him. I got a call from his wife 18 months later telling me he had died. She said, positive and smiling till the day before he died, when the reality sunk in and he went off peacefully. Terry was 53

I had known Peter from his childhood, he was 8 years younger than me, but hung around with a friends brother. He was much the same as Terry. Always smiling and michievious. After I divorced and moved into my own flat with Christine I started working. Money was tight and my confidence was low. Peter kept me sane by popping in on a regular basis and updating me with all the local goings on. One night he went through my record collection and came across a Bowie album 'Please play Life on Mars' he begged and so I did and there he sat mining away. Deja Vue. One night, as a joke, he went into the local shop and having known the previous shop keeper who knew how micheivious he was, picked up a box of mushrooms saying yum yum and walked out of the shop with them as a joke. He never got back inside the shop. the 3 brothers who ran the shop chased him outside and started beating him with crowbars, one finally held him in a headlock that snapped his hyoid bone. He died out on the street, in front of 50 witnesses who had come out to see what the disturbance was. It took police 40 minutes to get there and by that time Peter was already dead. He was taken to hospital and put on life support. Later the hospital admitted a junior doctor had taken the decision, had a more experienced doctor seen him she would have declared him dead on arrival. Peter was 22.

So when I play 'Life on Mars'  it always makes me smile. I am not a religious  person, but I like to think that when I play it they pop down to visit me and are happily mining away together. I have great memories of 2 nice people no longer here but hopefully bopping away somewhere.

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