Goodbye Old Friend…

As is so often the case with the significant and profound relationships or events in a life, the conception is difficult to identify with certainty. The instant in time where Steve first entered my life is lost to my memory now because the impact that he had on my life has been so profound and overshadowed whence it began some 40 plus years ago. What I can say on reflection is that my time with Steve contained the most enjoyable and wonderful experiences I have had in my life to this very day.

I met Steve through music. As I said I don’t remember those initial specifics anymore, but what did matter was that when Steve, Gary and I played together that first time, it was a case of the whole was greater than the sum of the parts. We immediately knew that there was a special connection between us that operated at a level of consciousness that was beyond speech. Our creative processes complimented each other. Over the years of our playing together other band members or guests came and went but the nucleus was always the three of us. No one else we played with offered the same experience of being able to either preempt or immediately respond to a creative choice while playing or composing. The musicians out there will know what I mean when I say it’s a unique find. The ability to collaborate unconsciously, bounce off one another creatively with respect, assuredness and with consistency is an aspiration few bands achieve.

We played gigs together, split briefly, realized that what we had together was not to be had easily then rejoined. We recorded together, but it was performing live that we really enjoyed the most. In fact we didn’t record it if we couldn’t repeat it live. At that time we had dreams, hopes, a lust for life and friendship that I recall with envy now as the passage of time has eroded my dreams, hopes and life of lust.

As our twenties hit, life pulled Steve, Gary and myself along different journeys, but Steve would reach out to me every so often over the years and attempt to recapture that musical magic. Unfortunately my journey kept steering me away from people who cared for me and burned my musical bridges. In the 1990’s Gary died and along with him so did a little bit of Steve and myself. At that point we both realised that we’d lost something unique in our lives. Still it was not until the 2000’s that our friendship flourished again. What is amazing is that we could just pick right up again even after some years apart. But that’s true friendship: with solid honest foundations and respect, friendship will survive a drought. Interestingly we had yet another creative cross over, independently we’d both become interested in photography. So kindred spirits are kindred spirits in more ways than one.

When I think of Steve these are the words that come to mind. Genuine, authentic, loyal, extraordinary, creative, enthusiastic, respectful, kind, loving, paternal, dedicated, perfectionist, passionate, audacious, effervescent and absolutely a man of integrity.

Dear Steve, I think of thee with kindness, with kindness I think of thee.

Until later “big buddy”, ever your friend, Craig.

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