Fane was a musician, visual artist, filmmaker, creator of music videos and co-author of books. He was a prolific multimedia experimenter – and he created some of the greatest pop art in this country, of both variety you hang on your wall and the type you listen to.
The song Tears is one of his co-creations. That alone makes him worthy.
But he was not only a member of The Crocodiles, he was part of the groups Blerta, Spats and The Bend. He made music videos for several big-name musical acts and was constantly tinkering with sound, with old bits of wood, with new forms of art.
I met him only once – three years ago almost to the day – but we corresponded a few times also. I was a huge fan of both his work and his workload. His output. His passion for creativity – and the results that came from his discipline, his skill, his tenacity. His utmost facility.
We recorded a conversation for my podcast series – and I spent a large part of the day with him to gather that chat. I arrived, thinking I might set up the portable recorder, accept the offer of a cuppa and start the conversation. But no. Instead, I was a guest at a table full of people for a full lunch – instantly I was part of the fold and felt like an old friend.
After the conversation that was captured on tape I was welcomed back to the house to visit any time, but not before I was shown all of the art and given previews of new music to come, artworks in development and several other projects that were on the drawing board – literally, in the case of pencil sketches for a planned new children’s book.
It was hard not to be inspired – to not feel the influence.
Fane’s great achievements will be documented elsewhere – and more extensively – but I wanted to highlight the power and importance of his musical friendship and collaboration with Tony Backhouse and Peter Dasent. Across some 40 years, several recordings and many different group-names the three of them have made some of the best music I’ve ever heard. I don’t know Peter or Tony personally, but my heart goes out to them – and of course to the family and close friends of Fane.
I was chuffed to be able to review the recent record by The Bend. World class and an important document – given that it features songs built from Sam Hunt poems and several of them include Bruno Lawrence’s final recordings made in his lifetime. What an album this is. And I know Fane spoke of many more recordings in the can to be released going into the future.
That’s all speculation for another time though. For now we must remember this giant – this towering creative force. And a funny guy too. A really funny, mischievous prankster-type. But his love of music – his knowledge of it too – was what will forever stay with me from our brief encounter.
R.I.P. Fane Flaws