I vaguely remember Gareth at school....
by Mary Currie
When Gareth died on Christmas Eve 2001 we had been friends for thirty one years. Thirty-one is a number that Gareth built a song structure on when he was, coincidentally, also that age.
‘How old are you?
How old should you be?
How was it then?
How did you see the world?
Name me an age with it all sewn up
Hope I get old before I die laughing
Hope I get old before I die’.
I knew Gareth at secondary school, but not that well, as he wasn’t there that often. He wasn’t a great fan of formal education in those days but came back to it much later in life gaining a BA in Comparative Religions and Indian Music.
I got to know him well when he came back from Newfoundland in 1970 and he was full of stories from that experience. He played me songs by Bruce Coburn and in later years the songs of another Canadian, KD Lang. I remember Van der Graaf Generator and Captain Beefheart featuring quite heavily in the early days of our friendship. He was funny, interesting and totally driven by music. We worked together in a record shop, went youth hostelling, and shared our first flat together with lifelong friend Nick Goodall.