I’ve been reluctant to write a journal entry for a while. I’m still very depressed about losing my Mum and can’t find much positivity at the moment. Feeling down and disheartened...
I’m currently trying to deal with Mum’s belongings and have been travelling to Wakefield a couple of days each week to continue sifting through a lifetime of her stuff, trying to decide what to throw away and what to keep. There’s a lot of it and it’s not been easy.
I’ve brought back a few car loads of memorabilia and paper ephemera from her cupboards, drawers and boxes, plus some items of crockery, glassware and kitchen utensils that I remember from my childhood in the 1950s. It's not easy to find space for everything here, but some items, whilst inconsequential to anyone else, have a great deal of sentimental resonance and value for myself.
In a spare bedroom there were tons of boxes of reel-to-reel tapes that I’d stored at Mum’s many years ago when I’d become divorced and had no place of my own to keep them.
I’d forgotten just how many tapes there were, from ¼ inch stereo mixes to four, eight and sixteen track master tapes from my home studio in the‘70s and ‘80s, plus some two inch multitrack master tapes, (the latter very heavy to carry.) It took four or five trips in the car to bring them all back here from Wakefield.
I haven’t had time to go through the tapes in detail but there are quite a few ¼ inch stereo monitor mixes from the tour that was recorded for Be Bop Deluxe’s live album. These are not multi-track tapes, just raw stereo recordings straight from the front of house mixing desk, so the quality or balance won’t be great, but they may make interesting listening and might cover shows that were not chosen for the official live album.
There are also master tapes for the soundtrack of the ‘Dream Demon’ film and some other film and tv master tapes. Plus odds and ends of solo home recordings, live backing tapes and so on.
Of course, one of the problems in dealing with all this material is that they’re on various different tape formats and I no longer have the machines to play them back on and, in the case of multi-track tapes, to mix them. I need to find somewhere that has the facility to copy them across to a digital platform that would be compatible with my Cubase system, but that is going to prove expensive and time consuming.
Dealing with Mum’s furniture is proving to be more of a headache. I’m planning to contact a house clearance company to see if the majority of it can be taken by them, even though there are some items that go back to my ‘50s and ‘60s period. In particular there is a very nice bedroom suite that my Mum and Dad bought in the late ‘50s when we lived at 28 Conistone Crescent on Eastmoor. It comprises two large wardrobes, a big dressing table, bed headboard and side tables. It’s in a kind of grey Melamine finish, quite unusual and stylish. It’s a very nostalgic and sentimental thing to me.
When I was a boy and was told by my parents that I would be getting my first electric guitar for Christmas, I couldn’t wait. And when Mum and Dad had gone out into town, I searched the house to see if I could find where they might have hidden the guitar. Various cupboards were explored but with no luck, then I tried the wardrobes. Nothing in the first one other than clothes, but in the second wardrobe, behind the clothes, was a brand new Antoria solid body guitar. I took it out, posed in front of the dressing table mirror with it for a minute or two, then carefully placed it back behind the clothes in the weardrobe. On Christmas day I had to pretend I was seeing it for the very first time.
Anyway, those wardrobes are just one of the things that must now be disposed of. I’d dearly love one of them but we simply have no space for it, so it will have to go along with the rest of the bedroom suite and other items of furniture.
One thing that has proved fascinating whilst sorting through Mum’s things has been the discovery of old photographs and documents relating to different generations on her side of the family.
I’ll attach some to this and future journal entries but there is also an excellent thread on my website’s forum in which a fan has researched my geneology on my Mother’s, (Griffiths,) s