Be Llŷrious

Today is the fourth anniversary of the passing of my best friend and honorary little brother, Llŷr, and as regular readers will know this series is where I share a memory about him. It’s my way of keeping him alive, I guess.

Whilst I’ve been off work unwell for the past couple of months, I’ve taken full advantage of all the various streaming services I subscribe to, and recently embarked on watching a Channel 4 comedy drama which so reminds me of Llŷr, that it almost became the subject of this post, until I checked back and saw that this time last year I also wrote about some TV shows we both loved, so I figured I’d save it for another time.

So instead, a music- based reminiscence, and I suppose I should start by explaining why there is a picture of an aubergine (or egg-plant, as our American friends inexplicably call it) at the top of this post. Truth be told, whenever I see a picture of the purple fruit, I think of Llŷr, and not for the reason you mucky emoji-obsessed folks are currently imagining. I should clarify immediately, but I’m not going to; all will become clear.

When Llŷr and I first began sharing a flat, we both knew the other was a massive popular culture nerd obsessive, and that the favoured emphasis was most defintely on music. My chunky stereo – turntable, 5 CD, non-DAB radio, twin tape deck – got positioned in the living room, along with my extensive CD collection, since Llŷr had, of course, called ‘shotgun’ on the larger of the two bedrooms, and there simply wasn’t the room for them all in mine. Not if I planned on having a bed in there too.

Llŷr’s vinyl collection lived in the lounge too albeit in a much more prominent position. Because vinyl looks cooler than CDs.

Flat-sharing meant that we now had unlimited time to peruse each other’s hoarded stashes, as I often did with great envy. I occasionally got the feeling that mine was viewed with a bit of a chuckle, and a rueful shake of the head – not neccesarily of disapproval, more disappointment when I owned records by certain acts, but perhaps not the right records by them.

A case in point:

“You’ve got some Dire Straits albums…”, Llŷr once said to me, not in an accusatory manner, more quizzical. He’s right, I have, and I’d previously owned more on vinyl, but I’d left these with my father when he expressed an interest several years earlier and I’d decided they didn’t quite project the cool indie-kid image I had cultivated at Uni.

“I have indeed,” I confirmed, nonchalantly. “And….?”

“No, no, nothing…I’m just disappointed you don’t have the one tune by them I like.”

It transpired that it wasn’t the actual song he liked. but the video which accompanied it, which consisted of a load of US sporting bloopers, the equivalent of those you would find playing alongside the closing credits on late 70s/early 80s Burt Reynolds’ films like Smokey & The Bandit and The Cannonball Run.

This one:

And not an aubergine in sight yet, no matter what you think of Knopfler’s headband.

One day, his opening gambit was “I see you have a Cud CD single….”.

“I have indeed,” I confirmed, nonchalantly. “And….?”

I had this one:

Cud – One Giant Love

“Nothing, nothing,” Llŷr innocently protested. “I’d not heard it before, it’s really cool.”

It’s always nice to have your musical taste vindicated.

“But, have you ever heard this?” he continued, dropping the needle on to the 12″ single he had all lined up and ready to go on the turn-table.

This one:

Cud – Purple Love Balloon

And that’s why I miss him so much; the unconditional acceptance of any of the less conventional (or, rather, in the case of Dire Straits, too conventional) records in my collection, and the desire to expand my horizons by nudging me in the direction of something else I might like.

Plus, I bet those Burt blooper reels were somewhere in his taped-from-TV video collection.

Miss you dude.

More soon.

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5 thoughts on “Be Llŷrious”

  1. I’ve fallen behind with my usual music blog reading in the past couple of weeks so it was a delight to see posts from you, Jez, though I appreciate how challenging and painful they are to produce. Your tales of your friendship and life with Llŷr are always a joy and a privilege to read. And any spotlight on Cud is a good thing, in my opinion. Good to hear from you again, take care.

  2. “The unconditional acceptance of any of the less conventional records in my collection, and the desire to expand my horizons by nudging me in the direction of something else I might like.”

    The very definition of a perfect mate.

    And that’s quite the perfect tribute you’ve given him.

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