Saturday, January 5, 2013

Keith Crombie 1938 - 2012

I was told about Keith's death only a hour or so ago and I am amazed how much it affects me. One of the rudest people I ever knew, I was somehow compelled to forgive him his transgressions. I did not ever want to become a Jazz Café regular; I enjoyed the arty parties we organised and meeting regulars, musicians, enthusiasts and waif and strays.

The atmosphere in the increasing shambolic Café was utterly unique and on my last visit just before last Christmas, even among the towering heaps now of second hand books and DVD's gathered weekly from charity shops ('thrift' U.S.), I realised why: It was a theatre. I watched twenty minutes of a black and white British film Keith projected onto a wall for me, for once not a war movie: "Make Mine Mink" from the 50s – our era, so to speak. It seems entirely appropriate for something shared on our last meeting this side of Eternity.

Keith phoned me often, usually to vent ire at the shameful results of planning in the city, that and the lack of interest in those (himself obviously) who had been pioneers of the cultural vanguard. Somehow it wasn't absurd; it was of course, but, inside the theatre that was the Café, one dispensed with realities. My heart will be there always I think.

Love and Goodnight dear Keith,


A Facebook tributes page together with many fine photgraphs can be found here.

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