15 years ago, my beloved brother tragically died way too young. He was truly one of life’s special people. Dedicated to his friends, his family, his work and his creativity – performing in a band, making a CD and writing a book. He travelled the world, nearly settled in Thailand, did a parachute jump, trekked across America. He taught young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, worked with disabled young adults, mentored, advised, guided and coached, before coaching was even a thing.
He was a good time guy – he liked a drink and a smoke, loved his mates and watching footie (West Ham particularly), going to gigs and playing guitar with friends, and had the most wicked and sharply observed sense of humour I’ve ever seen. His infectious laugh was something literally once heard, never forgotten.
He also lived with Crohn’s disease from the age of 16, had a kidney transplant in his early 20s, and spent his short and vivacious life in and out of hospital with surgery after surgery. He never complained, he was always there for others, despite so many limitations and so much suffering. The circumstances surrounding his death should never have occurred, and the hole he left in our lives is indescribable.
What he left behind, however, was the knowledge and belief that we could be anything we wanted to be. That we could live a life without limits, that we could be brave and overcome. That it was ok to be happy and find joy amidst adversity. That there was always an adventure to be had, and the glass was absolutely half full.
Three of his most precious possessions were his guitars, and they are now sadly largely gathering dust, so we have decided to bring the music from these gorgeous instruments back to life! There is Brian the 6-string, Alan the 12-string, and Les ‘Barry’ Paul the electric. We are passing them on to people who may want to play them, to create something beautiful and help spread joy. In return, we simply ask for a snippet of music to be shared with us, and for the musician to carry out a random act of kindness. We hope to see the guitars travel far and wide, and can’t wait to hear their songs and stories.
The journey of Brian’s guitars can be followed on instagram #thelifeofbriansguitars