Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Remembering Ron Johnson

Ron Johnson at The Platform. Photo: Barrie Marshall

Musician Tony Cooke pays tribute to Ron Johnson of the Beside The Seaside website and Lune Valley Audio, who died earlier this week...

It is with great sadness that I report the death of my dear friend Ron Johnson.He passed away, peacefully in his sleep, in the early hours of Saturday 1st February.

Ron was a wise and witty man, a man of many skills and a part-time grumpy sod.He believed in important things like real love and genuine, heartfelt music – preferably played live – and as such he was a staunch supporter of, and friend to, all local musicians.

No mean guitar (and ukulele) player himself, Ron devoted most of his professional life to supporting and promoting live music and working musicians.There were, of course, many other facets to his life but it is the love of music (and the occasional pint) that brought him and me into contact initially and thereafter forged a friendship with him and Glynis, his wife and constant companion.

If you ever attended a gig at The Platform, or the Maritime Festival or myriad other local events then you will have benefitted from Ron’s skills as a PA operator and sound engineer.If you ever played in a local band then Ron will have attended many of your gigs, and promoted them on his website Beside The Seaside.There is every chance that over the years Ron will have hired, or lent, you PA gear. He may have repaired your amps, mixing desks, mikes and cables and offered his help and advice.He may have attended your session, supported your musical projects and recommended your band to landlords, promoters and event-organisers.

As musicians and music-lovers we owe him a lot and, as someone said to me on Saturday, “he leaves a huge hole in the District”.

His passing leaves me sad beyond words. Please hold Glynis, Jenny and Tom in your thoughts.

Glynis informs us that his funeral will be held at 4.15pm this Monday, 10th February, at Lancaster Crematorium.She has said all who knew Ron are welcome to attend the funeral and are invited to join the family afterwards at the Royal Hotel, Heysham.

No flowers please, but donations may be made in Ron’s memory to:

Royal Lancaster Infirmary Day Unit (where Ron attend regularly during the last three years to be topped up with useful blood) or

• The Morecambe and Heysham Model Railway Club who are based on Schola Green Lane in Morecambe of which Ron was an energetic member. Any donations for the Club can be sent to Mick Brown, 70 Clarendon Road, Morecambe or donations for either cause can be given to the funeral directors if people prefer. They are Alex Willis, Middleton Road, Heysham and they will forward it all on after the funeral.

Ron Johnson's Local Gigs Photographs

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