October 5th 2011 will be remembered as a bad day. Three remarkable talents were all taken by cancer , all much too soon. All three were part of my life too in some ways.
The first, at 56, was Steve Jobs, of Apple. The Internet is rightly awash with tributes to this man who played such a part in all our lives with his innovations that turned the worlds of computing, and then, music upside down. My own tenuous connection is that I worked for Xerox in the Eighties failing to sell some of the technology that Jobs reputedly “stole” from Xerox to create the Apple Mac. It makes a great story in any event and here is a short clip of a TV drama about the legend that was Steve Jobs.
The second talent was cricketer, Graham Dilley at only 52 years old. A great bowler for England but perhaps perversely remembered for his batting partnership with Botham in THAT Ashes test match in 1981 at Headingley.
The third loss was Bert Jansch aged 68. Jansch was an iconic acoustic guitar player, a founder member of the famous folk/jazz group Pentangle. Pentangle’s Light Flight is still frequently heard today as background music (The same way Nick Drake’s material seems to be always in use) but for those of us who remember the sixties, Pentangle provided the music for a real life drama series Take Three Girls which featured the lives of 3 young women in swinging sixties London. A sort of “This Life” of the Sixties, it was a secret vice for this crop-headed Soul Boy. Jansch also provided inspiration for many others , including Nick Drake, Donovan, Neil Young and Jimmy page of Led Zeppelin. Page famously studied Jansch’s music and style and adapted Jansch’s “Blackwaterside” into his own “Black Mountain Side” on the first Led Zeppelin album.
All these remarkable but quite different people have been taken from us by cancer. But this dreadful disease is indiscriminate in it’s choice of victims. too many lives less celebrated are taken too. A good friend, a sufferer herself, very recently lost her sister to pancreatic cancer, the same cancer that Steve Jobs suffered from. All we can ever do is let people know that we are thinking about them and that, hopefully, time heals.