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So it's 2013. You are 52 years old.
So you would have seen the success of your Dad all the way wouldn’t you, from a toddler?
Oh yes. It was a marvellous thing to be brought up with father. You never knew who you were going to see at home. I mean, it is very rarely I saw my father in the 60’s or 70’s because I would either see him when I went to school in the bedroom because he would get home early hours of the morning. I could see his feet hanging out of the end of the bed or I’d see him occasionaly on a Sunday and we would all sit down and watch The High Chaparral or something in the old days. No, it was wonderful. Thinking back at it all, those years ago, to actually see him play on stage, his trumpet playing was so aggressive. His style was really based on his hero, which was of course Louis Armstrong. He always said when Louis came over in 1968 he wanted Dad to do a tour with him. Of course that was a great honour for father because he was his hero and he did that. Basically, you never knew who you were going to have at home when you came home from school or whatever. It could be either if Sammy Davis was up in London, people like that, you would have all these type of people at home.
Oh, you wouldn’t believe it. They would either be in the bedroom or his entourage would be downstairs sleeping on the floor. My mother was great and she would put them all up, so I had loads of people there.
And where were you living at that point?
We were living in Elm Grove. In the 60's we moved from 5, West Row Gardens in Seven Kings and then we moved to Emerson Park. We moved to Elm Grove and then my father, after a while, wanted to build his own house, and it was a Spanish house in Silver Avenue. What he did, because the house Elm Grove was on the corner of Silver Avenue and Woodlands is like a junction, he bought a couple of gardens from the people next door to us and built the house out the back garden funnily enough and built the house in Silver Avenue. We lived their until about 1978/79 and then my mother and father, of course, broke up, as they do in music sometimes, because they couldn’t put up with the life. My father was not just my father he was my best mate. The music side around Essex, he was always concerned. He would always come down to see Pete Corrigan. He would pop in if he was around. If he was anywhere all over the world, he would pop down. I always remember as a kid carrying his trumpet. I used to think “Why have I always got to carry this trumpet?” We would walk in here and I learnt that, basically, he took his trumpet because he wants to get up and play, even on his day off. So he would pop down to see Pete Corrigans band down at the Queens Theatre (Hornchurch), and of course he was always friends with Pete for many many years, and Pete would kind of be playing bass and the hand would come up and wave and Dad would wave back. Next minute we go down stairs to the bar and next minute, Dad, instead of doing one number, he would end up doing a set. Pete Corrigan was probably the only person who got Dad for nothing.
Your Dad would have been a pretty penny, and rightly so. An international star
He did not act like an international star. He could walk in Sainsbury’s in Hornchurch.
The real stars don’t, no.
No. They can walk down the road and everybody used to come up to him and say “I remember you Kenny.” There was a lady once came up to him and said “I remember coming down to some place in Leytonstone. You were playing with the Sid Phillips’ band, Ken, and I remember seeing your trumpet coming out from behind the curtain, but we never saw you hardly”. He said because he was really shy to come out. So he used to play behind the curtain, and things like that, but the Sid Phillips band, that was brilliant. We were looking on YouTube, funnily enough, to see his history, and it is probably one of the first videos that was actually sold, like when Sid Phillips was selling a single of his in the old days. Standing on the back of this, like, Chicago/Mississippi train, you know where the back there used to be a veranda, there was my father at the back playing the trumpet but the screen was going by round the back as if the train was moving and he did the most unbelievable solo even then. He must have been probably about 21 or whatever. Essex, he loved his Essex. Even though he was born up in the East of London, Ilford way, but he always loved Essex.
Well in those days even East Ham was Essex and obviously Leytonstone. Bit by bit we are all becoming a part of London aren’t we?
There used to be pub called the Greyhound near Chadwell Heath towards Goodmayes and the story comes how my father was playing down there with his own band. He had got a little tiny band together and.............
Was this in the late 50’s?
Yes, this was in the late 50’s, yes.
Was that the Chicagoans? That was his first band, the Chicagoans.
Something like that. He got this band together, and he was playing down there, and this is how the relationship with John Bennett started, I am carrying on my father’s band, you know, keeping it going and everything. John Bennett is still in the band. I have still got all their original guys and John Bennett is coming up to a record of 56 years of being a member of my Dad’s band. John Bennett was playing with Terry Lightfoot’s band at the time. Terry Lightfoot turned round and said “I have heard about this trumpet player at the Greyhound, can we go down and see him? See this guy called Kenny Ball”. So he went down there, and the next minute John Bennett turned round and says “He is a bit too good for us. No leave it with me”, so they had a word and Dad turned round and said “Yes I’ll join you” and that is how his friendship became with John Bennett and then it was not long before my father passed away he told me this story. It was great because John and Dad became very very good close friends. They said “Come on let’s form our own band and let’s do our own stuff”, because they had this idea of doing the actual Dixieland. The idea was very appealing to John. John said “Yes I would like to do that.” Because of the way Terry Lightfoot was in a way, they did not want to upset him because he was a big name. I think the drummer found out that Ken and John were getting this band together and Terry drove by John Bennett’s house at the time and my Dad was in there. Suddenly Terry walked in and said “I have heard about you want to start a band. OK fine, you do it”. He walked out, but then, of course that was the start of the Kenny Ball Jazz Band. It was on the toss of a coin that who was going to be leader, out of John and Dad. Honest to God truth. It was just lovely. John, I call him Uncle John. John Bennett. He only lives in Potters Bar. Yes, that was the story, basically, how the band started, and then Lonnie Donnegan......... The story of Lonnie Donnegan was brilliant. Even now I ask John Bennett “Is it true what father said how basically what Lonnie said.” It seemed a bit far fetched. Because Lonnie said to him, “Hello Kenny. Have you got a record contract?” He said “No, but I would like one.” He said “OK, you’ve got one.” He said “Do you want to be on a TV show?” He said “Oh I would love to.” He says “OK you have got that as well.” Honest to God, John Bennett turned round and said that is exactly how it went from Lonnie Donnegan turning round and saying that, and that is how it all started.
Lonnie Donnegan would have had so much clout right then wouldn’t he?
Easy Beat and Ready Steady Go and all those shows..... and that was it. They were really wonderful times. He had about 17 top tens and ones and twos in the 60’s, which he fought against like the likes of Rock n Roll and The Beatles and everything. He was wonderful. His legacy is unbelievable but the guy from who won Easy Beat gave him, it is by the Russian Red Army Choir, Midnight in Moscow. “What do you want me to do with these?” He said “Ken I want you to make this into a hit. Do what you want. Arrange it”. That is how it all started. He got hold of it and he turned it into, of course, a multi-million pound seller all the way round the world. My father’s roots were Essex in music, and he was very supportive of anything, even the Brentwood big orchestra; the young kids school down the road, Brentwood School, and they have got a massive very very good big band. He supported them. He would go down to the school and present them with a trumpet or play with them. He was very supportive of music in Essex and of course like Pete Corrigan’s band. There are not many places around that you can say that for 35, probably 40, years. I will probably upset Pete by saying this, at the likes of how long he has been going down the Queens Theatre keeping the Jazz going, because everybody goes down there. Jazzers go down there and Jazzers have been going down there for multi-decades to see, basically, see the friendliness of Jazz as well. You know, it is a very friendly atmosphere and I will keep it going as long as everyone wants to hear the great sound of Jazz. I will.
What was your Dad’s opinion of Modern Jazz?
He didn’t dislike Modern Jazz but he said it was too confusing sometimes. He said the great musicians, and they are probably some of the greatest musicians in the world some of them, and their technique was fantastic. Dad, how can I say, stuck to his guns with the Dixieland. He knew he was up against quite a few rows with top guys to come away from the Dixieland, I mean, in the 60’s because of Rock n Roll, Pop and everything and would he go into Modern Jazz. Modern Jazz didn’t appeal to Dad and he stuck by his guns and I think because of that he became the international star he became. It’s funny because, bless his heart, I miss him terribly and he was a very stubborn man, very very stubborn in everything, but his music he was very stubborn. He wouldn’t move away from that. He did an album with strings and it was a great album. It was a very successful album. I think he did it before Acker, and then Acker did a string album which was very successful. He didn’t want to move away from that Chicago/New Orleans. He focussed on that. There was one gig he had a saxophone player in the band and I remember John Bennett in the band turning round and saying to me that there were people literally standing up shouting abuse at the band while they were playing because they didn’t relate to the saxophone being Dixieland style.
It’s amazing isn’t it, yes.
I remember that. He turned round and told me that. My father’s roots were very much that he loved the Dixieland. He loved the Trad. And to me personally I think he made it very well known in this country and all the way around the world because he stuck by his guns.
Your Dad and Acker Bilk are the two big international stars of that who wrote in that sound and even though it is authentic it has definitely got a unique sound to it. It is not the same as comes from New Orleans. There is a sound to it that is ours really.
Yes, how can I say it.... he never made it sound boring. It never sounded boring at all. He would make the guys in the band do solos in certain songs. Suddenly the key would change or he would change something. He was an absolute genius in arrangement. His brain and his musical brain was absolutely unbelievable. How he could change certain songs but he still liked to keep the originals as the originals. There was one of the songs I Still Love You All?” Bless his heart, he stopped doing it because there were 80 women’s names in this song and why he stopped doing this song because he forgot the women. He forgot their names. The names of the women have got to be of course in order to go with the way the song goes. He stopped doing it. He changed the build up in the song. He changed something there, and even to this day, everyone keeps requesting it, even when I am doing the gigs people are asking “Are you doing I Still Love You All? He was just an absolute genius in arrangement, and being on the road with him in a car and people turned round and say I said “Why don’t you write a book?” because some of the stories of how he got hold of songs and changed the arrangements and the ideas. Even our last gig together before he passed away was on 23rd of January. We were in Germany, and everybody turned round and said “He sounds a bit chesty. Is he going to be alright?” I have actually got a wonderful video of him of his last gig, and to see him dancing about on stage and really laughing, and while I was singing on stage he was behind me. My partner, she turned round and said he looks like the laughing policeman because he is cheerful. He has big red cheeks and he was dancing about behind and everything. Of course the illness of COPD which goes in terms of into emphysema then it went into pneumonia. Even though he was 82, he, to me personally, it was still too early for him. I wish he had sat down, chose his gigs and let me earn money for him and take the band over for him whatever. Of course, that never came.
When did you get involved with your Dad’s group?
I would say officially about two years ago. When he started to feel unwell and a bit breathless I advised him to get a wonderful trumpet player in called Ben Cummings to help along the line. So father was still playing trumpet, but of course bless his heart, his lungs were not the same. He was still giving wonderful performances and the crowds, thousands of people that saw him, were loving the show. Ben came in. I started working with Dad and looking after him and basically I became like a nurse in a way. Also performing with him but also, because he was my father, I knew always what he wanted if he needed anything. Also from my father travelling in the bandwagon I started driving him so he could stop whenever he wanted. It came a bit more of an easier life. He said the day before he passed away that “Son I think it is one of those things that people do know when they are going to go. I do believe in that.” He said “It is now your turn to take over.” I said “You are not going anwhere”, as you usually would. No Son,” I have wooed you long enough.” He says “Remember keep the band as a family. Treat everybody with respect. Everybody in that band, Son, is a bandleader, so treat them with respect.” Basically, if they weren’t working with father, these top guys have got their own bands. People like Ben Cummings has got his big band and everything. Bill Coleman on bass and people like that have all got their own outfits. Treat them with respect because they have all been in the game long enough. Basically I have kept that friendliness and that family atmosphere in the band and, as Dad used to do, treat them to meals. Treat them to coffees. Make sure they were comfortable. I get told in the band to stop worrying. We are alright, but it was my Dad’s wish to make sure everybody was alright. I always make sure that the hotels that they are in are comfortable. Things like that. You have got John Bennett, of course 55/ 55 ½ years in the band. You have got Bill Coleman. I think he is about 15 years. Nick on drums – he is about 12 years. I have got Julian Stringle on clarinet – he is an absolute magician, but it is sad that my Dad always wanted Julian. When Andy Cooper left last year and then became ill he was the one that my Dad always basically wanted to have in the band if he could get hold of him. Julian often offered his services to Dad and Dad said “Of course.” The two young guys are Julian and Ben and it is really strange being in a band that I have got two guys that are younger than me. They work absolutely terrific. They work so well together and of course after Julian Stringle, his solos I can’t even mime what that man can do. My father loved his lovely sound because it reminded him of Dave Jones who, in the 60's, was my Dad’s original clarinet player. He loved that clear sound, how a clarinet should sound.
It is interesting with Ben and Julian, and Tim Huskisson for that matter, they are very kind of preservationist about styles of Jazz, but they are also incredible Modern Jazz players as well.
Yes very much.
They have kind of studied all the forms of Jazz, which is quite amazing really.
Well, Julian of course.......... when they go off they do their own bit and if you listen to the way Ben plays with certain bands............ I remember being on stage, we were at Buxton and me, my father and John Bennett were standing at the side listening to Ben. Dad turned round and said, “Ben, do you want to do a solo?” and he said “Yes, I will do so and so and so and so”. John turned round and said “That Ben Cummings, what a player”. He was in the dressing room before on those IPads going through so and so and so and so of this song and within 10 minutes he knew how to change and he had learnt the song. You’d think he is a total genius.
That Ben is an amazing guy.
My music we play is Cuban jazz. It is very niche music and I use Ben sometimes in my band, and he nails that as well. He even knows that style too.
Well my Dad gave him one of his trumpets. It was made in 1938.
Wow, what a gift.
Yes, this was my Dad’s wish that if anything did happen to him, give Ben one of the trumpets. So I gave him this lovely old Kings and it is a beautiful colour, and also Ben uses it now. He had it all cleaned up and everything and he uses it actually when he does my gigs, but I don’t know if Ben uses it all the time but he says it is very light and it has got a beautiful sound to it, and I do believe in that type of trumpet. It is an old trumpet but also it has got that lovely proper gorgeous sound than the modern stuff has.
Well your Dad had a huge sound didn’t he, and obviously so does Ben as well.
Dad taught Ben a lot of things. He loved Ben and he used to turn round and say to lots of people that I love this guy”. He used to turn round and say “I have got that **** so and so, and he is staying with me”. He was so happy that he has got a bit of money. Dad had a lot of lovely players play with him. The wonderful Alan Bacon which I love Alan Bacon, Mike Henry in Chris Barber’s band, and lovely people that actually helped Dad out in times. I really appreciate that and they are great trumpet players. I still use them occasionally. If a gig comes in and Ben is not available I will ask either Alan or Mike Henry if they are available, and of course they dive at the chance to join the band. I am hoping to take the band and carry it on, and I know I will carry it on. The band’s name now is Keith Ball and the Jazzmen, a tribute to Kenny Ball’s hits. I am down at the Queens Theatre on 15th of October doing a celebration of his music. Of course there will be loads of the originals like Vic Pitt on bass come along. I will have Tony Pitt and the Bacon brothers. Alan Bacon and his brother Ian Bacon. Of course I will get Pete to come down as well. It will just be a nice Jazzy evening. A nice celebration of his music. It will be wonderful. It will be loads of nice great music. Like Digs (Digby Fairweather), I will try and get Digs if he is available, because he is always busy. He is either doing playing or, bless his heart, he loves keeping the Jazz archives up-to-date, like he is doing that Loughton National Jazz Archive. He does a hell of a lot for Jazz in Essex. A lot of great guys, well known guys, came from Essex. People don’t really know that guys went on to become international stars.
Which is why we are doing this project.
They really don’t know about the likes of what Essex has pushed out there, and the good thing about it is that Jazz will always live on. People that go into pop - and I know I might be saying it out of order, and I hope people don’t see that as me saying this - but you get a pop act and a great singer: If they get 4 or 5 years good, I think you forget them. Then they go on and then they give up and then they end up doing something else away from music. The thing about Jazz players is that you might be famous for 5 years but for the rest of your life you can go out doing Jazz.
Jazz is a commitment.
Jazz never dies. There is always somewhere where Jazz is being played and the likes of Pete Corrigans band every Sunday that is always played. Pete doesn’t just do the Sundays, he does everything. He will turn up and he is one of the greatest Essex supporters of Jazz and he deserves the respect and the fame. I know, I have known Pete since I was knee-high to a grasshopper but I used to come down as a kid without my father to the Queens Theatre to see Pete Corrigan’s band on a Sunday. The first time was probably about when I was 11/12 years of age and even then I used to walk over to Pete and he let me get up on the drums.
Were you a drummer as well?
Yes. I was a drummer. I have always been a drummer. It’s people like Pete that keep things alive. It is like gigs: I have been doing the actual emails, and the letters I have been getting from people of gigs I have been doing......... I mean I had a lovely, lovely, lovely letter from the youngest fan I think I have ever had – a nine year old girl – saying “Please, please, please...” – it is the first time she has ever been to a concert and ....”please, please, please come back to Wales.” That was in Porthcawl where I did a gig with the band. Then I have got 18 year olds, 19 year olds right the way up, lovely letters and emails wanting us to know they enjoyed the evening. We do probably about two encores and even then they still stay at the end and want CD's and autographs, so it is working. The horrible part about it is sorting out all the rigmarole, which is quite sad, where I have to change names and change this and change that, but I will keep my Dad’s name up there and hopefully keep the likes of Kenny Ball’s Jazz in all the Jazzers hearts hopefully. It is his original band and it is me singing the hits.
We have just found out that you are a drummer. Aside from accompanying your Dad on gigs and tours and one thing and another, what’s your journey through all this as a musician and as a singer? Have you always been a Jazz player yourself or a Jazz singer?
No drumming days was very much:I done a few things early days like Shakatak.... the Funk scene. I went through the Funk scene to the Rock scene. I went through the Reggae scene. I don’t know. It was great at the time. I had a good living out of it. I became a session drummer. I was very much the opposite to my Dad. My family came first so I slowed down. The ex-wife turned round and said to me that I have got to choose this or choose that basically, and I started slowing down and not going all over the world-type of thing, because I have my boy and my girl and seeing them brought up.
Which a lot of musicians miss don’t they, miss their children growing up?
Yes, they do. I missed out on it and I know it sounds funny: people turn round and say “Oh you must have had a great life”. Fine we had the big house but it is only bricks.
You wouldn’t have seen your Dad much would you?
Didn’t see my Dad. As I said earlier on, if on the way to school my Mum and Dad’s bedroom would be open and I would see my Dad’s feet or his car outside and then when I get home he has gone. I didn’t really see him.
Do you not play drums at all anymore?
Oh I still do sometimes, if I get asked. Pete doesn’t ask me no more. He has got a great drummer. Go on, Pete.
Pete Corrigan: You don’t want me jumping in here, but there was something that came up earlier, and it isn't about the Jazz came from Essex itself but also the Jazz musicians, believe it or not, from this country, such as your Dad, Acker, Chris Barber and so on when they were at that period of the late 50's and 60’s. I actually found out that they influenced the Jazz that was being played in America. A guy told me “You won’t believe how the British Jazz musicians influence the way we play Jazz in America”.
It is people like his Dad that did actually have that influence back over there in America. Well it is interesting that the Frog Island Jazz Band have been to New Orleans five time,s and the reason they kept getting asked back is because even people in New Orleans are not playing that music anymore and they are shocked at seeing it being played. There is a lot of publicity around that. They are amazed that there are these English people playing this music in a very preservationist, very early way.
They do like this style. They really love it. Once I was interviewed by Peter, and Peter turned round and said to me “There is a guy in America that used to get in touch with people on the internet” didn’t he? About how this well known jazz fan loved the English style of Jazz music and “Whenever he gets something new, can he send it over to us?” That is true what Peter says, like. They do love the English sound, and the Germans do as well.
Scandinavians. Holland......... You said earlier on before this interview that you started your own Jazz club.
I started my own Jazz club at a place called The Brickyard in a restaurant in Romford, and the wonderful guy there who owns it is a very very good true friend of mine called Terry Phillips. He had this idea. We used to go up to Ronnie Scott’s, he said he would love to have his own Jazz club. “Keith come on, let’s do our own Jazz club downstairs at The Brickyard”. I started it up last year and of course you know the Olympics was on and everything was going on. We had some top acts down there.
A lot of businesses went under. The Olympics wasn’t good for the country. It was in a lot of ways, but for business a lot of places went under last year because of it.
No it wasn’t that good for everybody really. Everybody were finding it a little bit hard getting people in. I had all top acts down there. I had The Jive Aces down there. The people just didn’t want to come. I could not advertise it anymore than I did. I mean how big? It was going out on radio stations. It was all in the local and major newspapers, and also outside the venue were massive posters up, and in the end even though we were charging people nothing to come in, they wouldn’t come in.
It’s a shame considering the heritage of Jazz over the years in that area. It is a shame the interest is not there now.
It wasn’t just Jazz. Me and Terry, we had Rockabilly, we had Jive, we had Modern Jazz. We had the wonderful Wayne Brown down there. He was superb, unbelievable. Terry had it all done up downstairs, bless his heart. He had it all done up very much like the Ronnie Scott’s atmosphere; if you wanted all the lovely velvet beautiful curtains all the way round the walls. Very Jazzy atmosphere. Beautiful. Honest to God, no-one wanted to know. People that did want to come said “We used to go to Ronnie Scott’s and it is nice to be local and have a club like this,” and off course it didn’t work. People didn’t want to come.
You as a singer, obviously you are singing. Well you now run your band as Keith Ball and his Jazzmen. When did you start singing that style of music?
I would say roughly about 6 years ago. I didn’t want to become a singer. I was always loving my drums, but I suppose I think as I write music myself I thought I would start singing my own stuff. Just the idea came up.
In what style?
I am a great fan of the ‘Great Master’. My favourite singer is Tony Bennett. Everybody talks about Frank Sinatra. Yes he is a terrific singer, but Tony Bennett is my hero. His style, what he can do with a trio in the Albert Hall without no orchestra, just a trio, that man is a genius. His singing style. My father went to see him a couple of times at the Albert Hall and they were great friends, but Tony Bennett to me is probably, I think, the greatest Jazz, Swing, big band....... whatever. He is just terrific. His delay in singing. It is a thousandth of a second behind the band and it gives you that nice relaxed feeling and that is what I base myself on. It’s when I sing I like to just be with the band. I follow, funny enough not because he is sitting here, I am in love with the bass. If you get a decent bass player you can hear them just slightly slow, just behind the drums and the beat. I love that feeling, and that is what I try and do. I hope I do anyway. I am just looking at Pete here because Pete loves Tony Bennett as well. Pete also goes out with a trio as well. When Pete goes out with a trio he features top guys. There is a pianist that I am very fond of that you always have with you, Pete. What’s that young guy? Mick Dawson. Great artist.
You talk about Tony Bennett and of course now we have got Buddy Greco living in Southend, haven’t we.
Funny enough you say that. I spoke to Buddy’s girl friend last year and I wanted him down the club but she said at the time he wasn’t well. Buddy Greco living at Leigh-on-Sea.
No Westcliff. He is 85. Amazing. So that was about 6 years ago. So you have been writing your own music in that style.
Yes, and my father and I, we did our own bit. We did our own little venture. We did our own music and went to the studio and did our own bits and pieces. It is going to be released one day. We paid a fortune. Top guys all over the country. We even had guys come from Newark. We had an orchestra come. Basically, as people would understand that you go into a studio. We had eight string section but made it into a full section, we overdubbed, we balanced, we did it again and it sounded like a proper orchestra. My father did some wonderful stuff. We even wrote a song for Skyfall, the James Bond movie. But we were, how can I say it, what stays in the family, stays in the family with the Bond people so they kept it with Mr Arnold. I had a wonderful singer called Josh Dubovie singing the single, singing the song of Skyfall. We will try and get that re-released but we will have to try and change the words. We were first and it was played on the radios, funnily enough. We were first with Skyfall’s.
And was your Dad playing on that?
Yes, Dad was playing on that as well. We wrote so many songs that people had never heard that I will, one day, get them played.
Yes, you have got to.
It’s great, but since his passing the stuff that we have found is his memorabilia stuff. Going through his tapes and reel-to-reels and stuff like that and I know you have got a reel-to-reel, Pete haven’t you.
Pete: I have got loads of them, and so much material.
I am going to go round Peter’s and I am going to play all his reel-to-reels and then I am going to let my mate hear. He can keep them and put them on CD.
< p>The Jazz archive needs them.
This is what I want to do with Peter. This is the idea. I know the Loughton and I know Dig does a lot but I want to give some stuff from my father that is hopefully going to be appreciated at the Archives, which will be wonderful, but I will sort that out.
It will be there forever. That’s the thing.
That’s it. The thing about people is that they think that he had hundreds of trumpets. My Dad did not have hundreds of trumpets. He was very fussy of what he used and he kept them. He kept using them. Of course I have got two sisters and they all wanted a trumpet each, but these are things that mean a lot to me. It is not the value. It wasn’t until the last two years that I can actually say of my father’s life where he became not only my father, he was my best friend. It was lovely, because he was interviewed and someone said to him “Who would you travel with if you had the choice anywhere in the world” and he said “My Son, Keith.”
Yes. It was lovely. The man himself. Playing was his life. He loved playing more than anything in the world. It was his life. He did what he did til the end. Yes, it was wonderful.