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I vaguely remember Gareth at school....continuedc

by Mary Currie

Gareth and I moved to Cambridge in 1975 and rented another fairly squalid house and it was here that we decided to enrol on a course to study the History of Art.  I think we had been there for about two weeks when Gareth was invited to return to London to join Charles Hayward and Charles Bullen in a group called Friendly Rifles where he became the unpredictable keyboard and bass guitar player.  Gareth’s membership of this group, which shortly thereafter became This Heat, is well documented and needs no description here. Our relationship was different through the This Heat years.  He was still my best friend but there were other factors which made things more complicated.

Gareth left for India via Germany in early 1982 three weeks after my son was born and shortly after leaving This Heat.  We kept in contact through letters and I sent him cassettes of songs that I learnt at a singing workshop.  These were interspersed with baby chatterings and gurglings.  We shared our different new experiences in our letters and we missed each other. Gareth enthused about India

‘So here we are in Guruwayor.  Here is one of the temples of India and there are many people making pilgrimages all year round.  We aren’t allowed in of course which is a real drag.  We got permission to go into the temple in Trichur and it was so beautiful, beautiful, beautiful and quiet in the middle of town.  We got permission because our teacher asked if we could see another form of dance drama called Koodiyattam.  Kathakali is four hundred years old but Koodiyattam is thought to be two thousand years old.  And it was so
strange.  All night of course – all week in fact.  In Koodiyattam there is one play that takes forty one days to perform….’

Gareth came back from India in late 1983.  He looked amazing, incredibly toned and had new energy and enthusiasm.  He told me stories from the Mahabharata concerning the Pandava brothers and their exploits. 

‘From a golden age of no war or misery to the destruction of the universe through fire and flood and the birth of a new golden age. ‘