Author Topic: `Clive John RIP  (Read 36867 times)

Michael Heatley

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`Clive John RIP
« on: August 24, 2011, 05:19:42 PM »
It is my sad duty to inform you all that Clint has passed away after a  long fight with emphysema.

Here's a short obituary I'll be sending to the press - if you know it all, as you will, please skip to the quotes!


CLIVE JOHN

Welsh band Man, leading lights in progressive rock between 1968 and 1976, are best recalled for guitarists Micky Jones and Deke Leonard. But it was keyboardist, occasional guitarist and vocalist Clive John who played the major role in transforming the Bystanders, Man’s pop-playing predecessors and Top 20 wannabes, into the more successful album-based outfit they became.
Hailing from a Pembrokeshire family but educated in Merthyr, Clive John had achieved some success with the Bystanders, formed in 1963 when his group the Crescendos merged with local rivals the Rebels. But as 1967 brought a sea-change in the wake of ‘Sgt Pepper’, he became aware of their limited musical horizons.
“We were doing Beach Boys, Four Seasons stuff and so on – doing it well and enjoying it, as it happens – but things just had to move. I was listening to Zappa and people, listening to different sorts of music, so I started shoving that to the rest of the boys, hoping they’d pick up on it. It was a gradual process. We’d started to write our own songs, grow our hair and so on. By the time Deke arrived, we’d had a good year or so to change. We then told our manager that we were no longer the Bystanders, and were going out as Man.”
Leaving Man for the first time in 1971 was due not so much Clive’s disillusionment with his colleagues but the rock’n’roll treadmill in general. He rejoined within a year “‘cos I missed it. ‘Cos I loved it, really.” Even switching from keyboards to guitar to accommodate Phil Ryan didn’t make any difference. But if the first time he left “was because I wanted to, the second time it was obvious to the boys that I was fed up; it came down to who was going to say so first! I was relieved to be off the road, because in that situation one place looks just like another. I mean, you could be in Timbuktu or Glasgow…”
After recording a solo album, ‘You Always Know Where You Stand With a Buzzard’ with the help of Andy Fairweather Low and other Welsh pals, he became a successful builder, but remained active on the Swansea scene with bands like his own Tremblin’ Knees, Contraband and the Blues Bunch. He was a regular guest when Man played home-town gigs, now short-haired and unrecognisable from the Jesus-maned figure of his heyday. A genuine musical visionary and all-round nice guy, he will be sadly missed.

George Jones, son of Micky: ‘If it wasn’t for him, Man would not have existed. He and my Dad were the Merthyr boys who said “We’ve got to get out of this place” and used music to do it. I’d like to think he’s found my Dad up there and they’re sitting down with acoustic guitars, a spliff and a bottle of Scotch writing more psychedelic madness.’

Deke Leonard: ‘He was vital, the face of Man. He wasn’t the greatest keyboard player but he sounded like he did on the record, which was crucial  – his offerings were pungent, and when he left that was diluted. I remember we played our Number 3 hit ‘Erotica’ in France at a rich man’s party. None of us wanted to do the (female) moans and groans (on the record), it would have seemed too masturbatory. So Clint saved the day by climbing on his organ and fucking it – switching it on and off to get the sound required. I’ll always remember that.’


Alan Davies

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Re: `Clive John RIP
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2011, 05:26:52 PM »
Very sad news. Saw the Knees in The Singleton in Swansea a few years back they were really enjoying themselves. Buzzard will get an airing tonight. RIP Clint.

Colin Salter

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Re: `Clive John RIP
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2011, 05:30:45 PM »
Very sad. Can't see the press picking up on the whole Deke quote though!

Colin Jouxson

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Re: `Clive John RIP
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2011, 05:31:53 PM »
Very very sad news on Clive's passing. Clive was one of the funniest and approachable guys I ever met in the music scene. I loved watching him play because he loved doing what he did best and his enjoyment of playing always wore off on the fans. I had a great photo of Clive,Micky,Jimmy Carl Black and myself taken in the patti some years back. Clive was his usual humorous self pulling jibs while my mate was trying to take the picture and pissing himself laughing at the same time.. I cherished that photo but sadly lost it with a lot of cherished Man pics when my PC crashed. I once asked him  at a "tremblin knees" show what it had been like on the road with Man in those early days,his answer "F****** crazy".

A great guy,and a fantastic musician and another huge loss to the manband family  R-I-P Clive John.... you were a top geezer.

Allan Heron

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Re: `Clive John RIP
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2011, 05:32:47 PM »
Sad news.   Over the past decade when we were down in Wales, Clive was always so warm and welcoming and greeted me like an old friend every time.   I'll remember him for that just as much as the music.
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George Jones

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Re: `Clive John RIP
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2011, 05:39:22 PM »
I can only echo what I said on Facebook.......

RIP Clive John, The founding member of MAN. You brought us all together, you started it all. So many wonderful friendships have been created, because of what you and 4 other musicians started.

Clive John, the underlying driving force of the early welsh music scene.

Words cannot express how upset I am for this loss....

R.I.P my friend, Say hello to Micky and Ray for us all XXXXXXX

Mike M

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Re: `Clive John RIP
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2011, 07:16:41 PM »
Very sad news, strangely it was only last week that I thought about posting a message asking how he was as the last news I remember hearing about him was some time ago (at the time of the Ponty gigs?) when he'd had some sort of interview / conversation from his hospital bed.

Spoke to him a few times and he was always pleasant and approachable. I recall one gig The Breeze did about 20 years ago in Skewen Rugby Club (Micky was also there) and I asked him how he felt playing a smallish club after the larger venues he'd been previously playing at and he said he didn't care. he just enjoyed playing.
Great gig, but the Friday night regulars weren't so happy when they realised that there wouldn't be any bingo that night!
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rayman

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Re: `Clive John RIP
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2011, 07:48:16 PM »
Very sad to hear of clive's passing  a true gent , met Clive many a time and spent a rather boozy evening in his company! The Welsh music scene has lost  one of its greats..
R.I.P. CLINT and may the Great Knee shine on you  :-\....

Jules

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Re: `Clive John RIP
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2011, 07:57:39 PM »
Can only add to the comments made above. For me Clive was much of the heart and humour of Man and very much a welcoming face in Swansea. Generous in spirit, and master of the surreal phone call. Without Clive, no beginning.
Boldly going.......

Pete T

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Re: `Clive John RIP
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2011, 08:02:42 PM »
That's really bad news. Got a text from Gina in the middle of a Gaelic lesson..

my first album was BITF, so he helped forge my liking for the band, and it was only when I started getting the back catalogue that I realised what I had been missing out on. I didn't really know him, I'm ashamed to say, but I knew his music. The few times I've spoken to him, he came over as a real gent.

Thanks Clint.
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Martin Daughton

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Re: `Clive John RIP
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2011, 08:22:07 PM »
Well said everyone. Terrible news after the recent flurry of posts about Buzzard.
I was listening to the last 3 Bystanders singles only the other night as well...
South Wales has lost another original.

Nick Nation

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Re: `Clive John RIP
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2011, 09:34:21 PM »
RIP Clint, a vital ingredient in the Man story.

Rob W

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Re: `Clive John RIP
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2011, 10:34:32 PM »
Like Pete T, Gina texted me whilst I was driving on the m'way. I didn't read the text, could see who it was from, I daren't tell you what was going through my mind. When I stopped, and read the news, frankly it was to be expected, but doesn't soften the blow.

Clive, like MJ, and others, made me, a nothing, so welcome. I was so humbled. Last time I saw Clive, was when he appeared at MJ's funeral. Much better memories though, are the first time I met him at one of the early JBO Man gigs.  Clive appeared in the densely congregated room, I said (shouted!) to him. "I had a dream about you last night" (which I had). Can't remember precisely what he said, but in no uncertain terms questioned my parentage, questioned my sexuality,and I think told me to go forth and multiply, but not as politely. (In retrospect, I don't think he thought that last bit through   ;D )

We spoke about his cricket, I think he was treasurer of some cricket club, and we spoke at length when he was on the door of the Tawe Delta Blues Club.

Highlight of all my Man Xmas gigs, I'm afraid wasn't Man, but one Sat afternoon at the Adam & Eve, watching the Tremblin' Knees and Contraband. The place was jumping. Had to leave early for the Patti Man gig, half way through a song, but Clive gave us a cheery wave, shouted something, I forget what. Oakers may recall the events.

As Allan rightly says, as good as the music was, it was as much, if not more, the warmth and welcoming of the Clive's and MJ's which made everything so worthwhile.

x
         

John Bannon

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Re: `Clive John RIP
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2011, 10:50:28 PM »
This is terrible news, everyday that goes past another part of my youth is no longer with us, its selfish of me to talk like that, I don't know how else to put it, Clive and early Man played such an important part of my life. The trials and tribulations of growing in S. Wales were helped by listening to Clive, Micky and the Manband, they literally were my hero's at the time and still are.
I put up a little dedication to Clive's 'You Always Know You Stand With a Buzzard' on the man forum just lately, this was from having the chance to listen to it in more depth on holiday this year, I rate it as a very good piece of music. I wished I could have listened to it more when it was released and told Clive how I enjoyed it when we met up at man re-union concerts.
I'm going to attach some photo's of Clive signed by him at the time, its not so much the photo's, but the statement he makes along side his signature, Always humorous.
For me as I said before it should have been Sir Clive John.... he's going to be sadly missed......
Inside every old Man is a younger Man thinking 'What the f**k happened'

Allan Heron

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Re: `Clive John RIP
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2011, 10:58:09 PM »
This is terrible news, everyday that goes past another part of my youth is no longer with us, its selfish of me to talk like that,

John - no shame in saying that which is only what many of us will be thinking as well.  We've spent our lives building up all the different things that make us what we are, and you feel that a bit of you has been hacked off as each person is taken from us that has contributed to that.    And just reminds us all in the most terrible fashion that we've just skipped that bit nearer the top of the queue ourselves.

Hopefully we'll all be able to raise a glass or two together in celebration of Clive come December.
It's Just My View

Information is not knowledge
Knowledge is not wisdom
Wisdom is not truth
Truth is not beauty
Beauty is not love
Love is not music
Music is THE BEST........