I heard yesterday evening that Dave, a very close RL friend for 25 years, died during the week. Dave was an immensely talented pianist and an enormous influence on my thinking, and along the way turned my passing interest in Pet Shop Boys into a love affair that continues to this day. He opened my eyes to their cleverness at around about the time that Behaviour was released, playing me a ten minute extended version of Being Boring, the song in the video below. I’ve never known anyone who filled every minute of his life quite as he did. Dave, I will really, really miss you.
UPDATE 28 MAY: I’ll be attending Dave’s funeral in Brighton on Thursday… and I just found out Pet Shop Boys will be playing in Brighton the same day. Beautiful serendipity.
ANOTHER UPDATE 30 MAY: My brief eulogy at the funeral yesterday.
There’s a list that I keep in my head. These are people other than my family who’ve had a profound impact on the way I think and interact with the world. It’s a very short list. It’s in chronological order (Dave would want to know how it was ordered). And Dave is in position two, the second person I met to really shape me.
To say that Dave had an impact on the development of my character would be a monumental understatement. He taught me to be critical, responsible and informed. He taught me to think for myself and to rely on myself to get things done.
He also taught me a lot about music, in particular – as we’ve heard – dance music. At the time that I met him 25 years ago, Dave was a big fan of the Pet Shop Boys. He would talk about Pet Shop Boys quite a bit. He would buy everything that they brought out: the albums, the singles, the limited edition twelve inch vinyl, the rare Japanese imports; he had the lot. I’ve been a fan ever since. It was a gift to me, that music.
And I mention this purely because there’s a nice serendipity going on today that I thought might make you all smile. See Dave wasn’t a particularly religious man, but he did love life and he did love the universe, and if you got him in the right mood, he could be quite philosophical. We used to talk about this quite a lot. I once said to him that, every now and again, I catch a glimpse of ‘it’ from the corner of my eye. “Oh yes,” he said, “and it’s bigger and more complicated than either you or I can comprehend.”
Well, Dave, the universe is giving you one last knowing wink. A couple of days ago, I learned that the Pet Shop Boys are playing right here in Brighton this very day. That’s not happened in years. And if he was here, of course, he’d roll his eyes at me, he’d tut and he’d shake his head.
Sleep well, old friend.