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Pete Atkin >> News >> Goodbye Clive
(Message started by: SharkTrager on Today at 16:09)

Title: Goodbye Clive
Post by SharkTrager on Today at 16:09
Although it's been expected it's pretty devastating to hear the news about Clive.

Love and thoughts to family friends fans and further.

Title: Re: Goodbye Clive
Post by S J Birkill on Today at 16:22

Title: Re: Goodbye Clive
Post by Rob Spence on Today at 17:16
This news comes on the same day as Jonathan Miller's death is announced. Two giants of our cultural scene. What a sad day.

Title: Re: Goodbye Clive
Post by CM1978 on Today at 18:30
We appear to be losing all the good ones, just when we need them the most.

Title: Re: Goodbye Clive
Post by Adam L Holden on Today at 18:55
My friend Michael Fearn introduced me to their songs when I was a teenager and it changed my whole perspective on what was possible in a song. Literary. Contemporary. Funny. Brilliant. And, thanks to Clive's cadences as much as Pete's accent, startlingly English. There's so much in Clive's writing that is astonishing and rewarding but the songs were the thing that really set my mind and heart alight.

Title: Re: Goodbye Clive
Post by dr_john on Today at 19:35
A king at nightfall. I saw him and Pete in Lincoln on the 'Together at Last Again' tour in 2002. 'Canoe' (not the Keith Douglas one) made me cry then, and is doing so again tonight.

Title: Re: Goodbye Clive
Post by Andrew Curry on Today at 21:08
The music writer and journalist Richard Williams has this short tribute—much of it on the songs—on his excellent The Blue Moment blog.


Title: Re: Goodbye Clive
Post by Douglas Fergus on Today at 21:45
Just heard the news.
So sorry to hear this although knew Clive had been unwell for a long time.
So passes a wonderful songwriting partnership.
My condolences go out to you Pete and to Clive's family.
Rest in Peace Clive.

Title: Re: Goodbye Clive
Post by SFTB on Today at 22:55
So sad tto see the fateful day has arrived.

Clive has left through the Sumlight Gate.

Title: Re: Goodbye Clive
Post by S J Birkill on 28.11.19 at 18:46
Clive's death has moved many to check out MV again -- it's been a while since we've had so many log-ins in one day. These show only the latest per member -- some have checked us out hourly. The Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/121229350012/) has been busy too, with several good links to obituaries in the press.

http://www.peteatkin.com/images/Log-ins 28 Dec 19.png


Title: Re: Goodbye Clive
Post by Ian Sorensen on 28.11.19 at 19:40
It's been very gratifying to see the huge number of articles and radio pieces marking Clive's death. I've just listened to the "Up All Night" show on Radio 5 Live whereRhod Shales put together a nice selection of Clive's work and interviewed both Melvin Bragg and Pete.

I only met Clive a couple of times - Buxton and Hebden Bridge - but will always treasure the memory. Where Pete is approachable and ever amenable, Clive radiated a more determined air and made me think he would brook no nonsense from the likes of us mere mortals.

I see Steve has posted a note of recent visitors to the site and it's good to see some of us old lags are still plugging away. Even better, seeing Douglas Fergus posting his tribute. As mentioned in these pages before, we were school chums and listened to the early Pete albums together. Good to know he's still around, and I hope, like me, he's comfortably retired. More time to listen to some great old songs...

Title: Re: Goodbye Clive
Post by fueryhk on 29.11.19 at 09:53
Knew it was coming but an unpleasant shock nonetheless - especially on a day when we also lost Jonathan Miller and Gary Rhodes.

RIP Clive. Thanks for all the wonderfully evocative lyrics and laugh-out-loud jokes, Really wish I hadn't been too shy to pop over and say hello to you and Pete when you visited Hong Kong - jesus - 15 years ago now.

Title: Re: Goodbye Clive
Post by Seán Kelly on 29.11.19 at 14:08
Very sad news.  Having known this day must come does nothing to minimise it when happens. I think (and hope) that Clive had an idea how much we would miss him. And boy do we miss him!

Title: Re: Goodbye Clive
Post by Jeremy Pymer on 01.12.19 at 16:27
The songs of James and Atkin for me stand alongside those of Dylan and Van Morrison, in that they are original and so different. Both words and music stay with us, teach us, enrich us, through all our lives. Ephemeral they’re not, and that is their true worth.

Within that originality, what I value most about Clive's words (as with so much of his prose as I am familiar with) are their precision and clarity, to the extent that there is an almost cinematic quality to the images they evoke.   That's far from the only quality in his writing I admire, but the one which comes first to mind.  Pete's music matches it step for step and speaks as clearly and directly, whatever the mood of the song.

It's hard to believe that that crystal clear, busy, hungry-for-knowledge mind with an almost infinite memory capacity has been stilled - or has it?  We may have lost Clive as the bow wave, so to speak, but we still have the astonishingly rich legacy he left in his wake to enjoy.  

He maybe would have demurred politely at the thought, but without doubt, he could always justifiably have expected to be remembered.

Thank you, Clive.

Title: Re: Goodbye Clive
Post by Avner Greenberg on 02.12.19 at 09:14
How very fortunate are we to have the MV forum to turn to right now, when one really feels the need to connect with like-minded soul mates. A huge thank you to you Steve for persevering on this mission. And for providing links to the various interviews. Gratifying that Pete was given an opportunity to share his thoughts and memories of their enduring collaboration. Hearing him speak of his great good fortune at having hooked up with Clive and how that changed his life reminded me of how lucky I was to come across the first two albums so long ago and how the songs have enriched my life. The word master has sadly departed but the songs are still very much alive thanks to Pete’s ongoing performances, the website and forum, and all our coveted CDs and LPs, and are waiting to be discovered by new audiences. My two young grandsons on the underside of the world take delight(and perhaps instruction) in Uncle Seabird, for example.

Best wishes to Pete, Steve, and all you fellow MVs out there.

Title: Re: Goodbye Clive
Post by S J Birkill on 04.12.19 at 03:02
Thank you, Avner.


Title: Re: Goodbye Clive
Post by Solar_Panel_Phil on 06.12.19 at 18:10
Just listening to the double CD  (A King at NightFall/The Road of Silk) - how apposite to last Wednesday must have been "Carnations On The Roof".....Clive may have departed this Earth but the lyrics remain to remind us of such a great wordsmith...as many have already written, not unexpected, but still a wrench that a man who gave such intellectual pleasure has shuffled off this mortal coil.

Title: Re: Goodbye Clive
Post by Revelator on 09.12.19 at 22:24
Clive was sui generis. I can't think of anyone else who excelled in so many disparate endeavors. Poet, memoirist, essayist, lyricist, novelist, literary critic, TV talk/clip show host and documentarian...have I left out anything? No one else so deftly wore so many hats.

I've read that as a child he received a genius level score on his IQ test, and genius might best explain his versatility, though not his vitality. Despite being a truly prolific writer, his prose never grew stale. And as he proudly noted, his magnificent sense of humor and glittering wit (surely Clive was the wittiest writer of the second half of the 20th century) were always sublimated to make points, not just jokes.    

I read many of the obituaries and all paid Clive the respect he deserved. But none conveyed the full range of his accomplishments. Some chose to mainly praise his TV criticism, others his poetry, others his literary criticism, and some his TV work. Some even mentioned his lyrics. But none showed the totality of his achievement and range. The obituarists were confronted by a diamond too large and multi-faceted to circumnavigate. The only man fully qualified to eulogize Clive was Clive himself.

It's been two weeks since his death and I still have to remind myself that I can't look forward to more Prospect columns or reviews or interviews. But I can re-read the memoirs and literary criticism and catch up on the poems--and look forward to The Fire of Joy and any other books or essays he managed to complete before his final illness.

Even great novelists or poets tend to fit into literary types. But Clive James was like no else excerpt for himself. I'm tempted to say "himselves" in light of his range, but everything Clive did was unified by the warmth and humor of his personality, along with his limitless thirst for knowledge. He wanted his epitaph to read: “He loved the written word, and told the young.” He was too modest to mention what a superlative example his telling set. Thank you Clive.

Title: Re: Goodbye Clive
Post by Ian Chippett on 10.12.19 at 08:14
Jeremy wrote "He maybe would have demurred politely at the thought, but without doubt, he could always justifiably have expected to be remembered." Yes, Clive CAN expect to be remembered. We DID catch him being such a fool...thanks Clive. Perhaps Pete could be persuaded to drag out some of their unrecorded songs for another album?

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