This afternoon I attended the funeral of a colleague and friend (although we would go years without seeing each other), Martin Gomme. He had retired a couple of years ago only to succumb to cancer at the too-young age of 63. Years ago we used to pay football in Hyde Park, we shared a couple of overseas postings (Tokyo and Beijing), if not always simultaneously and he loved music even more than me.
Martin's vinyl collection was legendary, he had every single issue of Record Collector and his knowledge of all types of music was phenomenal - including the influence of China on Jamaican reggae (see this post).
It was a sad but dignified paying of our respects. Music of course featured prominently in the eulogy and the end-music was Eva Cassidy's 'Fields of Gold' - a cover of Sting's original. Cassidy died of cancer in 1996 and the track was subsequently used in Cancer research ads. I have it on a Virgin new age compilation.
But much more than all this, he was a gent. Oh, and you could never be sure whether he was being serious until that arched eyebrow came into play, and once again you knew you'd been 'Gommed'. RIP Martin.