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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"a city with my name on, i will enter in disguise"~ Jackie Leven

Jackie Leven playing Hebden Bridge Trades Club,August  2010.Phil The -Ex-Fireman lends an ear ,far left of the photo.
Jackie Leven [wikipedia] died from Prostrate Cancer on Monday night at 8pm.
[In a Shivering Blaze by Jackie Leven]
Usually ,media announcements of death leave me cold.To mourn a passing you must,i think, have some physical connection.Only friends & family have the right of grief.
Look .I like Bob Dylan.I have seen him play often.But when he dies i doubt if I should really care.I have never  had a wish meet him.[I suspect he's as mad as a bucket of frogs]
I will mourn Bob's back catalogue.I will mourn the fact that it indicates my own mortality.But, Bob's Pulse itself doesn't really  touch me individually .
Jackie is different.in the late 70s in my grotty East London ;Acid-Soaked bedsit, i had developed a fairly eclectic taste in music.[I talked about this period of my life in this old post ].The likes of Nick Drake,The Only Ones, & a couple of LPs by a punkish band called Doll By Doll  graced my turntable... I knew little about Doll by Doll:never saw them play. +Eventually I forgot..........
In the middle 80's i was introduced to a cd by Jackie.I was attracted by the Leven /Fife connection.My Mum had lived as a child in Leven.It was only later I realised Jackie was the Voice of Doll by Doll....so it goes...
My first Jackie Leven cd had contributions from the likes of Robert Bly & the whole Mens Movement thing.
At this time I was having all sorts of Stress & Depression Problems with my teaching career . Jackie helped me find my balls again.
[Defending Ancient Springs by Jackie Leven]
From then on I was hooked.I saw him play live 5 times at The Hebden Bridge Trades Club & once at The Bury Met.It was at Bury in 2008,with Cathy,Don& Margaret, I saw Jackie play the week between my Mum Dying &  My Burying Her.
Unknown to Jackie, he told a wildly funny story about him trying to scatter his own Mum's ashes.In a very counter-intuitive way, I laughed for the only time that week...it really helped me to cope with my own loss.
I only took up 2 minutes of Jackie's Life.
Twice I talked to him in The Hebden Bridge Trades.Once ,just a simple "Good Gig Jackie".The other time, we talked about how Jackie had had a "dodgy curry in Bradford" the night before...and his fear of having to leave the stage midstream to go to the bog..........(a conversation held appropriately ,during the Interval,in The Trades Club toilets)
God Speed Dear Jackie.I Love You but,for fuck sake, say well away from that  Jimmy Savile! X
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Der Tagesspiegel:Obituary
*a 2nd,amusing,Obituary in The Independent
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Jackie with Princess Di.She was the patron of the CORE TRUST that he help set up for addiction.She was one person who encouraged him to return to singing+performing  after he got his throat cut.

 Below another of my photos of dear sweet Jackie in Hebden Bridge...........

22 comments:

Thomas Alice said...

I know what you mean. Typically when a celebrity dies I feel a pang of selfish loss for the jokes and songs I won't hear, but I don't mourn their loss personally.

But there are a select few that do become a part of us.

Brian Miller said...

that second one has such and intersting opening all the noises...i was fascinated...and then kicks in...nice...

there are a few that will miss because of their touches on my life...

Kurt said...

Great post!

Prixie said...

RIP Jackie

Big Mark 243 said...

There are some artist that become a part of us for unexplained reasons... but once they do, they affect on us goes beyond what they do that we admire them for... I know I have that kind of connection to cats I used to box with...

And Jackie has a voice that touches something deep inside... but I often think that of voices from across the pond..!

Martin said...

I rescued a mangled copy of 'Man Bleeds in Glasgow' for a friend, once. After transferring from tape to CD, I made a copy for myself, fell in love with it, and played it in the car for weeks.

Alan Burnett said...

Oh Bugger! It was you who introduced me to Jackie Leven (via the "sitting in Huddersfield in the Slubbers Arms") and he is one of the few "new" singers that I have grown to like over the last decade since I gor my hearing back.

Little Nell said...

Sorry I missed him. Sounds like my kind of singer songwriter (I have eclectic tastes). I admire singers who write their own music. Some, as you say, touch us way more and continue to do so. I agree with you about Bob Dylan. I never saw the appeal, and still can’t bear to hear him ‘sing’. However, I recently became acquainted with a couple of his beautiful songs via ‘Atlantic Sessions’ on BBC4. Alison Krauss singing 'I Believe in You’. was just gorgeous. Hope this link works.

http://youtu.be/2pOzwNYFIgo

Tom said...

sad for you then. i remember feeling that way when a popular band lost its lead singer to suicide...there was a lot of music left in this guy, and now we'll never know. i like the first song especially

FrankandMary said...

& I must admit ignorance here. Didn't know anything of him...but that really doesn't matter does it?
I am sorry for your loss. ~Mary

Teresa Evangeline said...

Tony, Every time I visit your site, I feel as though I'm being given permission to enter the Meaningful Archives. I feel a timelessness about them as though they could have originated years ago, but all time is now and I get a glimpse of that. You post things that are filled with wonder, and introduce things that matter. This man was so real and his music so fine. I wasn't aware of him, so thank you fore this. I loved the video of 'My Philosophy," and the titles of his songs are so intriguing, especially "Defending Ancient Springs." And, I love the title of this post, too.

I'm sorry to read that he has passed, but he certainly left us a great gift by his presence.

Excellent post.

sunny said...

like it,Mr Tony i have a message on the post visit it

Little Nell said...

Sorry, that should read TRANS - Atlantic sessions’ :) Atlantic sessions would be very different I’m sure.

LadyCat said...

Thanks for the introduction to Jackie's music. Sorry to hear of his passing.

Zuzana said...

Tony, I could sure relate to what you mean. Sometimes people in the public eye, whether writers, actors, musicians or any kind of artists can touch our inner being, for some reason or another. We feel connected to them even tough we never met them. Thus their passing effect us deeply. I recall when I was young, I was totally consumed by an American series, featuring a very enigmatic actor. Then the series was cancelled and I later learned it was because he died in a motorcycle accident. It affected me deeply for some reason.
xoxo

Kate Hanley said...

Sometimes a passing really reminds us how much an artist meant in our lives. RIP Jackie!

Nana Jo said...

Lovely post, Tony. I'd not heard of him and enjoyed the introduction. I must admit to feeling personally connected to a few more 'celebrities' than I probably should.

I hadn't heard Jimmy Saville's name in years, or known that he had recently died. That brings back memories of long, long ago when I used to watch him hosting 'Top of the Pops'!

blackwatertown said...

What Teresa Evangeline said.

But also - I regret not cottoning on to Jackie till a couple of years ago, but I'm glad I eventually managed it.

Such a great warm performer.

Since you've shared a couple of your meetings with him, I will too.

The first time was at the Rhythm Festival near Bedford. I'd gone specifically to see him. All the others I might have gone with dropped out. We had a chat after his set. I bought a CD. I told him how much I had enjoyed his set. No surprises. He was very charming and low key. Shambling, with no air or graces. Bit on that here http://blackwatertown.wordpress.com/2010/08/23/still-got-it/

Later on I wanted to send a copy of the same CD to a bereaved friend. It had such beautiful songs and warm stories in between - and dealt with death and loss in a way that I thought might be useful. But that particular CD was nowhere to be found - not through the record label, nor on Amazon, ebay or anywhere else. Given how highly I thought of Jackie it would have felt low class to have ripped off a copy. And I didn't want to lose my own. (And to be fair, it had been shifting around in my car and was no longer in the best nick.) So what to do? The agency that purported to represent Jackie didn't give me great hope when I tried to get in touch with him - they assumed that Jackie must be a "she". I managed to track his manager down abroad and then get through to the man himself. Fire away, said he, copy at will. That CD had been a limited run sideline - no more were available from him or anywhere else. So I did. This time he was perhaps a little bemused as well as charming - probably thinking who was this oddd guy hassling him.

Then just before he died, up went the Twitter status - Alive Alive-O.
But not for long.

Like you - I find myself disproportionately upset. But then I think of the story of the Irish-Canadienne transexual contract killer Shannon Doyle - and that cheers me up.

There's another of his characteristic interjections here http://blackwatertown.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/the-romans-were-they-italian/

blackwatertown said...

What Teresa Evangeline said.

But also - I regret not cottoning on to Jackie till a couple of years ago, but I'm glad I eventually managed it.

Such a great warm performer.

Since you've shared a couple of your meetings with him, I will too.

The first time was at the Rhythm Festival near Bedford. I'd gone specifically to see him. All the others I might have gone with dropped out. We had a chat after his set. I bought a CD. I told him how much I had enjoyed his set. No surprises. He was very charming and low key. Shambling, with no air or graces. Bit on that here http://blackwatertown.wordpress.com/2010/08/23/still-got-it/

Later on I wanted to send a copy of the same CD to a bereaved friend. It had such beautiful songs and warm stories in between - and dealt with death and loss in a way that I thought might be useful. But that particular CD was nowhere to be found - not through the record label, nor on Amazon, ebay or anywhere else. Given how highly I thought of Jackie it would have felt low class to have ripped off a copy. And I didn't want to lose my own. (And to be fair, it had been shifting around in my car and was no longer in the best nick.) So what to do? The agency that purported to represent Jackie didn't give me great hope when I tried to get in touch with him - they assumed that Jackie must be a "she". I managed to track his manager down abroad and then get through to the man himself. Fire away, said he, copy at will. That CD had been a limited run sideline - no more were available from him or anywhere else. So I did. This time he was perhaps a little bemused as well as charming - probably thinking who was this oddd guy hassling him.

Then just before he died, up went the Twitter status - Alive Alive-O.
But not for long.

Like you - I find myself disproportionately upset. But then I think of the story of the Irish-Canadienne transexual contract killer Shannon Doyle - and that cheers me up.

There's another of his characteristic interjections here http://blackwatertown.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/the-romans-were-they-italian/

Jill Hodgson said...

A year behind, filling in time till the midnight toast. So.. Jackie Leven eh? Waking in a shivering blaze is all too familiar an experience but I can't believe I've never heard of him until today so thank you! Doll by Doll connection very good. We will be in Hebden Bridge for a week in August this year seeing friends, will make a point of visiting the Trades Club this time. Saw Patti Smith a week after you in NY, she was very jetlagged, you got her best. She spat like a camel onstage, luckily we were a few rows back. Happy New Year from Washington DC

tony said...

Jill:We Must Meet Up Im August When Your Over Here.

Jill Hodgson said...

That would be great, thanks, we'll have a drink shall we? Last year we stayed at Croft Mill in May. A month to the day before the flood.... the rental car would have been a real mess.