A Tribute to George Melly

I guess George Melly was part of my life, the first gig I attended an end of term thing (it wasn’t a dance we were an all boys school) featured him, then the singer with Mick Mulligan’s Jazz Band. I saw him many other times, in venues as varied as Ronnie Scott’s and Colne Municipal Hall. He was always good value but more influential was his writing. Jazz went into something of a decline in the early nineteen sixties and George made most of his living as a critic and commentator. Many people of my generation learned through him to appreciate surrealist art and he was a great exponent of the Bohemian lifestyle. Everything George did, he did because he wanted to and thus he made it fun.
Not all of us will be in a position to do only what we enjoy doing of course but the lesson we can take from his attitude is that a life spent thinking of money, status and material posessions is a life not well spent.
It was lung cancer that took him in the end but he refused treatment, carried on smoking heavily and continued performing until a few months ago, refusing treatment that could have postponed his death. To George the important thing was not how long his life lasted but what he did with it.
And George Melly seemed to have paxcked two and a half lifetimes living into one spent on this mortal coil.
He will be missed, but will be celebrated rather than mourned.
So long Good Time George, thanks for all the enjoyment you gave me.

George Melly’s last performance, June 10th 2007

George Melly – music videos info

One thought on “A Tribute to George Melly

  1. He was pretty amazing. And there is something rather touching about someone with Alzheimer’s doing a gig for the cause. That said I’m sure he was hell to live with! :))

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