Tim Smith RIP
This week we learnt the tragic news that Cardiacs frontman Tim Smith passed away. He had been ill for some time following a heart attack and stroke back in 2008, but I understand his death came out of the blue. To be honest when I heard the news I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I have never met Tim, but his band and music have played a big part in my life for many many years. I just felt the need to share a couple Cardiacs related memories on this blog. Personal stuff and probably not very interesting to the wider world, but something to help me with the shock and that sense of loss.
All that Glitters is a Mares Nest
It was 30th June 1990 and like many other Cardiacs obsessives I answered the call, they were recording a live video and album at Salisbury Arts Centre. I lived in London but that didn’t matter, I had to be there. First task that morning was to phone in sick to my Our Price Music job. I don’t know how I got away with that, phoning in from a pay phone at a very noisy Victoria station was not a great idea, but kids, there were no mobile phones for the likes of me back then!
I think the band had organised a coach from London so I joined the throng and off we went. The day went so fast but what a live performance, it was electric, song after song of craziness. It was perfect, a classic set list, with the band at its height and topped off with ex band member Sarah Smith making a cameo appearance. But it was being part of the community that was most exciting, joining fellow Cardiacs fans all together worshipping at the altar of Tim Smith. Not many of my musical memories top that day.
The great Bob
Picture the scene, I was older, a Dad with a mortgage, life was a little more serious. Sitting in the changing room waiting for one of my son’s swimming lessons to finish, I spotted that one of the other small kids was wearing a Cardiacs t-shirt. I hadn’t been following the band for a few years so was a little out of the loop with line-up changes. “Nice t-shirt”, I said to the Dad, who seemed equally surprised that anyone recognised the logo. We got talking and the guy was Bob Leith, Cardiacs drummer! I was made up, a brush with a bona fide band member. We kept in contact and stayed friends, if you are reading this Bob we need to have that drink!
That’s it, a couple of very brief stories, I shall save the video shoot at the Marquee with a Japanese metal group for another time!
I love the Cardiacs and love your genius Tim. RIP big man and condolences to all those close to you and all the Cardiacs fans out there.
I will leave you with one of my favourite Cardiacs tracks, it was hard to pick just one, but I think this captures the mood.
Love to all…