Steve Harley

& Cockney Rebel

DIARY 19/09/14

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Steve was in Spain visiting his dad, who turns 88 years old soon, and could not attend Lincoln Anderson's funeral, which took place in Weeley Crematorium, Essex on Thursday. Steve wrote the following tribute, which, with Lincoln's wife Shereen's permission, was read in the Chapel by Barry Wickens.

On Lincoln

BARRY: “I’d like to read a personal tribute on behalf of Steve Harley – who, due to a long-standing family commitment abroad – could not find it possible to be here today.”

There are few walks of life where a man can feel part of not just family, not just a circle of friends, or of a workforce, but of something else; something equally special but much rarer. In the music business, among those of us who play and tour, we become part of a Band of Brothers. And the extended Cockney Rebel family, of which I am the un-elected Patriach, has been proud and honoured to know that Lincoln was, for more than 14 years, one of us - one of our Band of Brothers.

Lincoln could play bass guitar brilliantly; certainly well enough to have shared the stage with most of the world’s leading acts. And he chose to share mine, ours, Cockney Rebel’s.

His loyalty was unstinting. When my office sent emails to the 10-man team with offers of Live concerts, recording sessions, or TV/Radio appearances, Lincoln (my assistant has assured me) was always, ALWAYS, the first to respond. She says he never wavered. Never mentioned any other commitment (and remember, he had his “other, day job”, too!) which he may or may not be able to get out of, but just “Yes, I am free for the date offered…” Those were, as a rule, his exact words in his email responses. “Yes, I am free…..” Succinct, positive, without any pomp or complications. I liked the way Lincoln could keep things simple and uncomplicated. And I liked the way he shared my own philosophy on life: “The answer is yes, what’s the question?”

I didn’t share his love of shopping, though – at airports, Europe-wide – I’d spot him loitering among the gadgets and the clothes, the shoe stores and the duty-free booze, and pass him a quizzical look.

Lincoln: “I’m shopping, Steve.”

My face: “What?”

Lincoln, in a beat: “I like shopping.”

He’d throw me a gentle shake of the dreads, a sweet - but never broad - grin, and begin a bouncy stroll away, accentuating his bulky physical presence, and identifying the uniqueness of the man which would leave me pondering, my forehead crunched in puzzlement, whether or not he was serious. Shereen will confirm, I think, as will his Band of Musical Brothers, that he was indeed extremely serious.

He liked shopping!

And we liked him for it. It marked him out among us. He was his own man. He was modest, unassuming and often gently amusing. He was loyal and considerate, intensely private, and always kind and respectful towards the crew working for us. And towards the fans he met. They all liked Lincoln. Plus, he was an immensely talented musician.

Lincoln is missed by his Band of Brothers. And I can guarantee that, as we continue to travel, and to play, and to negotiate time and place through hotel lobbies, in hotel rooms and dining-rooms, backstage, on stage and at the world’s ever-growing airports, his physical presence will seem to be among us for a long time to come…..Big man. Proper guy. Special.

May God bless Lincoln.

Steve Harley