Home Forums Robert Wyatt Music and Art Of Robert Wyatt Robert Wyatt’s farewell to Kevin Ayers

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    A Tribute from Robert Wyatt

    About 50 years ago, someone said to me that there was another bloke with long hair in east Kent, so I should meet him because we’d be sure to get on. I did, and we did. He wrote songs and sang in an amazingly deep voice for someone so young.

    His little record collection included Astrud Gilberto and acoustic jazz guitarist Charlie Byrd. He admired Oscar Wilde and Louis McNiece. His songs were witty and touching.

    He and a couple of us decided to try to form a group using just our own tunes. We called ourselves Soft Machine [with William Burroughs’ permission]. We played together, in various incarnations, until the end of 68.

    By that time, we’d become a mainly instrumental band, in which Kevin played bass guitar. Kevin wanted to get back to song writing, which resulted in a sequence of great records such as Joy of a Toy.

    In 1970, I played in his new band, The Whole World, a few times. Playing with Kevin was like basking in sunshine. He was funny, wise and unhurried. I am very lucky to have worked with him all those years ago. Goodbye Kevin.


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