I may have missed quite a few music related deaths recently, well certainly in regarding to posting on this blog anyway. One of the biggest of those was the late, great Clarence Clemons long time sax player and personality in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. He also played a few tracks with Lady Gaga recently. So whilst much has been said about the passing of such a great man I will not add much to that right now. However if you click here you will be taken to the excellent Barely Awake In Frog Pajamas blog which contains, for me, the best write-up of Clarence Clemons I have read since his sad passing.
But there was another non music related death last week which I would like to say something about; Brian Haws passed away from cancer aged 62, he spent most of the last 10 years protesting outside the Houses Of Parliament in Westminster. His protest began in June 2001 as a voice against the sanctions imposed on Iraq and gained popularity (although not among some politicians) in a post 9/11 world where Blair cosied up to Bush and took us into a pointless war. I am not religious in any way, shape or form so I wouldn’t agree with Brian Haws Christian beliefs, however I have immense respect, admiration and support for what he did. The law makers of Westminster did their best to move him from his prime Westminster position and failed abysmally. Essentially Haws won his legal argument to remain when his lawyer pointed out that the new law, which was essentially designed to move Brian on, had a clause in it that said such protests were only permitted if the police were informed before the protest started and agreed to let it happen. As Brian started his protest before the law came into being he was exempt. Which begs the question exactly how bright are our politicians and their lawyers? It’s nice to know that the little man still has an opportunity to stick one to ‘the man’
As a footnote I once met Brian Haws, albeit very briefly. I had been to a business meeting in Westminster and as I was walking to the underground station and I was just across the road from Brian’s spot. I had heard that a number of supporters stopped by for a chat and gave him sandwiches and such. I decided that I couldn’t let the opportunity pass so I decided to cross the road and speak to him. It was very brief but I expressed my support for his stance and wished him well. I also gave him a Mars Bar which was all I had on me food wise. I think that was in 2004. Brian Haws RIP I hope that there are many more individuals in the world with that kind of courage of conviction.
As usual I would like to bring this back to music as after all it is a music blog. So enjoy the following songs in the spirit of Brian Haws protest;
“War” – Bruce Springsteen
“Taxi For Mr Blair” – Sicknote
“Give Peace A Chance” – Plastic Ono Band
“War” – Edwin Starr